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Losing 40 Pounds in 4 Months

How many lose weight fast articles and ads have you read that some unbelievable and amazing but you think ”maybe it will work”. Have you ever bought a diet plan, cookbook, or gadget to lose weight only to be disappointed that the magical weight loss never happens?

Me too! In fact in late 2019 I bought a cream that you rub on your belly and a band that wraps around your belly to “activate“ the cream and start the weight loss. Spoiler alert, it did not work, and I should have known better.

Let me start by telling you that I’m in the wholesale side of the natural product industry and have been for 20 years. During the 2 or 3 years prior to the start of the pandemic I had been traveling non stop and had not taken care of myself. I gained a lot of weight and started sitting around a lot, being physically tired from travel and mentally tired from the constant and punishing work schedule. That’s a recipe for disaster with regards to one's health and weight control.

Being in the health industry you would think I would be able to find a pill or shake that I could drink and then magically without dieting or exercise I would lose weight and fit it all my old clothes. But that’s a myth, after decades of study and research I understand the mechanics of weight loss perfectly. Of course it doesn’t stop me from sliding into old habits or falling prey to a well crafted sales pitch. So I’m going to give you the picture of how weight loss works and why some of these diets or supplements may help and I’ll also share with you tips and tools I used to I lose 40 pounds in about 4 months.

Okay so here it is this is the secret sauce for weight loss ... ssshhh! Come in close (I'm whispering now), drum roll please ... the secret to losing weight is to use more calories than you consume. Tada! that's it, you can stop reading right now because you have the formula. However, the devil is in the details, right?

The average human being needs about 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight, if they eat more than 2000 calories and they keep their physical activity the same they will gain weight, and conversely if they eat less than 2000 calories and keep their activity the same they will lose weight. It really is that simple, but how do you know how many calories your body is using and how many you are consuming and is they a difference in the types of calories consumed. Can devices, creams, pills, or certain foods make things go faster? Let's talk about that.

I hear a lot of people talk about diets that they try and sometimes it works and sometimes not. In general there are 4 types of diets, Low Fat, High Protein, Calorie Counting, and Time Restriction. Once again to be clear for a diet to work it requires that the body use more calories than it takes in so these all are calorie restricting diets if they work, but let's look at how they work to see if this is a good fit for you.

Low fat diets have been popular since the 70s and in the 80s lots of weight loss gurus said this was the way to go. Why would low fat be good for weight loss, because fat is calorie dense so a tablespoon of butter has more calories than a cup of peas. Many low fat proponents are vegan or vegetarian because most vegetables are naturally low in fat so you can eat a lot of volume and still hit your calorie targets. The draw back is it is hard to stay on the diet because fat is flavorful, butter, olive oil, bacon grease, ribeye and other foods that are fat rich make the best tasting foods. This means that to stay on the diet you have to give up some of the best flavors in the world and that's hard.

High protein diets like Adkins, Paleo or Keto say that you need to eat more protein and less carbs, these became quite popular in the 90s and still have a huge following today. They basically say that the body is designed to work better on protein because we started off as hunter gatherers. It works by satisfying your desire for flavor and it cuts out simple carbs like wheat flour (bread, pasta, breading on chicken, pie and the like) so a 8 ounce filet with broccoli and butter is a 750 calorie meal and very satisfying from a flavor standpoint. Where as a meal with 2 1/2 cups of penne pasta, a breadstick and brussels sprouts is about the same calories without butter or sauce of any kind so it would not be satisfying making you crave something else to add to it. So in the end a high protein diet is tricking you in to eating less calories.

Calorie counting is pretty self explanatory so I'll skip ahead to Time restriction or intermittent fasting. This is all the rage today and it is simple that you eat what you want but don't eat for a long window of time. So like you stop eating at 10 pm and skip breakfast so you don't eat again until say 1 pm when you have lunch that is a 15 hour fast then you have dinner and stop eating before 10 pm again. Did you see that? They give you all kinds of science on it but you are skipping a meal everyday and that reduces your calorie consumption. Duh!

Okay ... so which did I use to lose 40 pounds in four months? Calorie counting (with a twist, I'll reveal below). It is the truest form of diet and frankly with today's technology it is the least restrictive. Eat anything you want just log the calories I used the free version (and still do) of an app called Lose it (click the link on your mobile phone to get this free app)

The app lets me add the foods I'm eating in real time and keeps track everyday. If I have a prepackaged microwave meal I can just scan the UPC and it will almost always have the item in the system and if not I can add it by scanning the nutritional facts and adding it. I can also type in any dish I'm eating at home or a friends house. I can type in any entre at a fast food restaurant and get the calories, it is pretty amazing really. If you buy the premium version you can track nutrients as well as calories for just $3.33 a month.

But before you start logging your food the app askes for your current weight and your target weight and how long you want to accomplish it in. Then it figures what your daily calories need to be to hit your goals. Easy peasy, I think this app is brilliant and this is the second time I've used it to lose a significate amount of weight. Back in 2016 I started using the app and lost 20 pounds using it so coming back to it in 2020 was a simple choice to make.

Once the App is step up you can also log your extra activity and it will calculate how much more you can eat based on that activity. So this brings us to the second part of my weight loss journey. Physical activity, I do a lot of work on the computer and in meeting rooms so my activity level is generally pretty low or was, so I started walking everyday, 30 minutes to an hour before work or at lunch or both. I started listening to podcasts while I walked and I loved the extra time alone with an interesting podcast to keep me company. Maybe you like to run or swim or lift weights, you can log them in the app if you like or just keep that for the food either way, physical activity is super important so don't skip that part.

What about creams, supplements, and gadgets. Supplements like fenugreek, turmeric, cayenne and ginger are all totted as products to help lose weight but the science is not supper strong on them, there are lots of reasons to take them but they probably wont be a significant part of the weigh loss process. Other supplements like white bean extract can alter how your body absorbs fats from your diet and they may help but there are some gross results from not digesting the fat that you are eating. Don't get me wrong I take a lot of supplements and believe in them but losing weight is more about Calories and activity, so do your research and choose the supplements based on your own thoughts and not Dr. Oz's hype. As for me I take a few supplements everyday and the most consistent and important one is Ashwagandha which helps me sleep, gives me energy and helps me deal with stress.

Creams with caffeine, ginger, or hot pepper extracts in them are designed to make you sweat, which is like exercise and while sweating does help increase the number of calories you burn, the creams don't work in general. One device that does improve or increase the calories being burned is a far inferred sauna. The research on this is solid and it helps with a lot of other conditions an issues as well. Far inferred waves make us sweat without the workout and they can improve your mood and reduce your pain. This is one device that I highly recommend. We bought one years ago for pain relief and it as so many other benefits that we still use it. It only takes 10 or 15 minutes a day and you can get a bump in your calorie burning by 500 which is more than biking for an hour.

If you don't want to purchase the far inferred sauna there are a lot of spas and chiropractors that use them in their offices and they generally charge anywhere from $15 to $30 per session. Buying one is worth it to me so I don't have to pay each time I use it and I don't have to make an appointment or drive anywhere, but this might not be a concern for some people.

The FIR (Far Inferred Sauna) boosts metabolism - Far Infrared Energy pulsates the water molecules in the body, and breaks down the water molecule clusters. This improves capillary function, allowing the water molecules to easily enter, revitalize, and regenerate the body's cells.

It burns calories - The RELAX Far Infrared Sauna can produce 2 to 3 times the sweat of other FIR Saunas. Arthur Guyton's textbook says that producing 1 gram of sweat burns .568 calories. Using the Relax sauna for 15 minutes could easily burn about 600 calories, the equivalent of running 4-6 miles, or doing a 45 minute cardiovascular workout. Now this should not replace your 30 minute daily walks but added to it you will see faster gains.

So there you have it ...

First download the Lose It app on your phone LINK the free version is fine but the paid version is only $3 and some change each month.

Second take one capsule of Ashwagandha a day LINK

Walk for 30 minutes to one hour a day (no purchase necessary)

Third consider a Relax Brand FIR sauna to speed things up LINK I like the seated version but they have several options.

The Lose It app tells you how long you have been tracking your food and how long to expect until you see the results, so even if you pig out just track it all and be honest, and you will see the results.

Here are a few rules I follow to help keep me on the wagon as it were; While I'm trying to lose I stay away from white rice and white potatoes. These two starches are quickly converted to sugar in the body and can make you crave more. Instead go for brown or wild rice, riced cauliflower or sweet potatoes. Also, stay away from soda or pop depending on what state you grew up in, bread and candy, again all the sugar goes quickly into the blood stream and can make you really crave more food.

In general if I have vegetables for a meal I don’t log them unless they have bacon or cream sauce and the like. That way I treat vegetables as free food, so on a salad I just count the dressing and in stir-fries I just count the sauce etc. But with veggies like corn and avocado you need to count them because they have a higher calorie count. These tips will help simplify things and improve your results.

Always have one cheat day a week, still count but go above your target calories and don't worry about it.

Here are my rules as a list for while you are in the losing phase;

Avoid these Except on Cheat Day Replace with these

White Rice Wild rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice

Bread Baked Mushroom caps

White Potatoes Sweet Potatoes or Pumpkin

Pastries or chips 15 Corn chips or 1 Cookie

Candy Berries

Soda pop Water and unsweet tea

Noodles konjac noodles

Don't worry about logging these

Salad and Vegetables (except Corn, Avocado and peas).

Good luck and let us know how it goes for you! We would love to hear your success stories as well.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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