A Post for the Weight Loss Train (choo choo!)

I will admit that this is going to sound silly coming from someone who cannot jump on the weight loss train. I cannot, because I am  weeks pregnant and gaining weight is what I am supposed to do. However, I can wave to you all from the side and give you some parting gifts of wisdom to accompany on your journey. Even though I can’t lose weight, I am fighting the battle of ensuring I gain a healthy amount of weight, not too much, not too little.
Most likely, you have been on this train before. What happened? Did you get off on the wrong stop? Did you fall off? Maybe you missed it all together a few times. Some of this information I am about to give you may be redundant, you may have heard it a million times. Maybe you haven’t though. This post is for all of you because it can never hurt to hear it again. Fad diets don’t work. What is the key to losing and then maintaining a healthy weight? Overloading your diet with healthy foods and portion control. If you attempt to cut out all of the foods that you love because they are high in sugar or fat, you will fail. If you attempt to completely change your diet all at once, you will fail. In my experience, the fastest way to success is to take it slow. Make small changes. Start by simply adding more vegetables to your diet. When you’re hungry in between meals, snack on carrot sticks. They are super filling, full of fiber, and have minimal caloric value. They are a great filler between meals.
Another thing that has worked for me when attempting to make big diet changes is to make the changes small at first and increase them slowly. Make 1 healthy meal a week to start. Wait… what is a healthy meal? The way I define a healthy meal is one that contains more veggies than anything else, and has minimal starches. I replaced potato and pasta sides with quinoa, or cauliflower. Pinterest has some fantastic mashed cauliflower recipes. Don’t skimp on the spices!! Garlic is a great way to flavor almost any dish, and won’t add any unnecessary sodium or calories. Keep your fats healthy. Use olive oil instead of butter, try to eat baked fish once or twice a week and skip the fried chicken. Your heart will thank you.  Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America and is also, 95% of the time, 100% preventable with lifestyle changes?
I’ll give you another tidbit of info, you don’t have to do it alone!
 Here is a little more science for you, because… I love science!
Grapefruit contains a chemical compound called nootkatone, which activates an enzyme known as AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase).  AMPK plays an active role in metabolism. When you consume grapefruit, nootkatone accelerates AMPK production which then stimulates metabolism. What is metabolism? In a very simplified explanation – metabolism is the way that your body uses calories for energy. So what does all of this mean? Grapefruit helps your metabolism to speed up and use calories for energy more efficiently. Read more about it here. If you don’t want to consume huge amount of grapefruit a day, I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t care for the taste, then essential oil is the way to go. You can get the nootkatone without having to actually eat the grapefruit. You can drink a few drops in water or tea, or you can even put a few drops along with some coconut oil into a vegetable capsule if you REALLY don’t like the taste.
Lemon essential oil is cold pressed from the peel. Lemon and orange peels contain a compound called d-limonene which is shown to have a slew of health benefits. According to Byron J. Richards, who is a certified clinical nutritionist, some of these benefits include improving digestion and relieving heartburn, helping in improving cholesterol, preventing gall stones, and is a nutrient that also helps in the prevention of breast cancer. It is also known to be a cleansing agent and cal help the liver in its production of detoxifying enzymes. In addition to all of this, limonene can help to suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Read more about the amazing health benefits of d-limonene here. Young Living lemon essential oil consists of 68% d-limonene (reference).
Peppermint has been known to suppress cravings and reduce appetite. In a 2008 study entitled Effects of Peppermint Scent on Appetite Control and Caloric Intake, participants inhaled peppermint oil every 2 hours and experienced less hunger and reduced cravings, and therefor consumed fewer calories from fat and sugar. Other ways that peppermint can aid you in your weight loss journey is by helping to increase your energy and aiding in healthy digestion. When your digestive system is functioning at its best, food will be processed and used more efficiently. (resource)
There are a slew of other essential oils that can help you on your journey to better health as well. Young Living has recently introduced an oil blend to its product catalogue called Slique, which contains grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, spearmint, and ocotea oils that all work together to help control hunger. Read more about Slique here. If you decide to take the dive into essential oils, make sure that you know what you are buying. Many of the cheaper oils that are offered on sites like Amazon are not meant to be consumed, and can cause more harm than good if they are. Be sure that your essential oils are pure and therapeutic and always research the company that makes them. Check back here soon as I will be adding an entire section on Young Living and why I chose them as my essential oil company.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a clinician. All of the information that I have provided you here comes from a love of anatomy an research that I have compiled on my own. Always do your own research. Essential oils are not a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise, but make a great addition to your already existing weight loss regimen. The best news of all? If you sign up to become a Young Living member, you get 24% off of all of their products! Interested in becoming a member? It’s easy – just click this link and make sure that you see my member number, 10731699, in the fields for sponsor and enroller so that I can help you on your journey!

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