5 Ways to Help You Lose Weight That Don’t Involve Diet or Exercise

Everything Else

13 January 2016

I know, I know- if you see one more post on the best diet to follow this year, newest workout regimen with GUARANTEED RESULTS or how to actually follow through on your New Years Resolutions you’re going to gag. I’m with you guys.

New Years Resolution. Two running girls - expectation, a chubby man sleeping - reality.

This post may seem to be just that, but I swear to you it’s not about rigid rules, or pressuring you to eat vast quantities of kale while feeling guilty about all the eggnog and cookies you consumed in December.

While I wholeheartedly believe eating real, nutrient-dense foods (especially lots of fresh produce!) and exercising regularly is KEY to helping you achieve optimal levels of health and wellness, I know the hardest part is figuring out where to even begin.

How will this fit into YOUR lifestyle?

What if I told you that you didn't need to wait till new years to make positive changes in your life

You may be thinking “It’s easy for you or other bloggers to say- you know how to cook all these foods and where to shop and don’t like the same things as me, etc.” But I didn’t always live this lifestyle- it took me years and YEARS (pretty much my whole life and I’m still learning 🙂 )to figure out what worked for me. I made it too hard on myself- and you probably are too.

I wish I had someone to tell me then what I know now, and I hope perhaps I can be that person for some of you!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle (this guy knows his shit)

BIG changes start with small steps. Daily habits that you consistently repeat over and over again. You don’t have to start your quest to get healthier by revamping your entire diet, cleaning out all of your cabinets, counting calories or carbs, eliminating everything you love (french fries, nom nom nom) and spinning yourself into cycle oblivion every day after work. That sounds super depressing, and in my opinion not a good long term solution that will actually stick.

Instead I suggest you start small. Start easy. Don’t be so friggin’ hard on yourself! And overtime my hope is you’ll find yourself benefitting from one of the five steps below that will lead you to feel better, look better, and continue on your path by taking additional steps to achieving your goals.

Below I’ve listed five habits. I believe most of you could easily integrate at least a couple of them into your daily lives (pick which ones fit with your lifestyle/goals and go from there). I saved the very best and most important for last so make sure you don’t miss it!

  1. Drink.More.Water-

Lauren holding a young coconut on a beach

You guys, there is a reason this advice is on repeat like the latest Adele hit (I even shared it with other local wellness gurus here) . It is so important and it really truly is one of the best and easiest habits you can incorporate to improve your health and help you shed excess weight and toxins.

Hydration is key to keep things moving and properly functioning in your body and helps carry out waste and other toxins. Also there’s been a ton of research that has shown people commonly mistake dehydration for hunger. Start each day with a cup of warm water with lemon (which is extremely alkalizing and helps aid in detoxing the body) and set a timer to remind yourself to drink a cup of water every hour or so. I carry a 33 oz water bottle around with me wherever I go and refill it three times throughout the day in order to keep track of how much I’m drinking.

Studies also show that people who drink more water also tend to consume fewer calories, which makes it easier to lose weight. That doesn’t mean drinking water has a specific physiological effect that induces weight loss, although some experts believe it increases your metabolism,  but it’s widely believed it also helps you lose weight because you’re replacing water with sugary beverages.

Drinking water before meals may also help you watch your weight because it takes up space in your stomach. This in turn may reduce the amount of food you consume during a meal.

2. Dry Brushing- 

Two skin brushes

Our body’s blood circulatory system—also known as the cardiovascular system—consists of the heart and all the blood vessels that run through our entire bod. The heart acts as a pump, transporting oxygenated blood to our organs through our arteries, then carrying de-oxygenated blood from our organs back to the lungs through our veins to get oxygenated again. Phew!

This is how blood circulation should work in the body #SCIENCE. As you can imagine, the circulatory system is vital for everyone, and with good blood flow comes good distribution of nutrients, especially oxygen.

The problem is, many of us don’t have good circulation (in this case blood doesn’t flow freely through the body because of a blockage in the arteries). This is primarily due to an increase in sedentary lifestyle (i.e. prolonged sitting at your computer desks all day + lack of exercise) and diets high in sugar and trans-fats (which cause cholesterol to build up in the blood stream and form hard plaques in your arterial walls that narrow your arteries and restrict blood flow).

I’m sure you can imagine poor circulation is not ideal, as it overall means your organs (including the heart and the brain) aren’t receiving all the nutrients they need in order to function properly. Not to mention when circulation slows you use less glucose (blood sugar that the body uses for energy) and burn less fat. Yuck.

So what’s an easy way to improve circulation without just drastically changing your lifestyle habits? Enter dry-brushing. 

Dry brushing is a technique that improves circulation and promotes lymph draining. By taking a natural bristled brush and rubbing it in small movements on your skin you stimulate your body’s largest organ (which is where a third of all blood is circulated through your body) and thus majorly enhance blood circulation (get that blood pumpin pumpin). These movements also promote lymph draining ( by loosening up toxins from your skin to then be excreted through the lymph system) , help to shed dead skin, get rid of cellulite and will even give you an energy boost.

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll leave you with some super easy tips so you can try it out for yourself (PS they are pretty cheap and you can find them everywhere. I like this one).

  • Use a soft, natural bristled brush.
  • Dry brush before your shower every morning.
  • Use a light pressure as you brush.
  • Starting at your feet, brush in small movements up towards your heart (the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction)
  • When you are done, take a shower.
  • Boom. No nights in da club or bootcamp necessary. I find this one of the easiest and quickest health improving habits to incorporate.

3. Infrared Sauna-

An infrared sauna cabin

I have a feeling this one won’t be hard to convince you to try because who the eff doesn’t enjoy a sauna (especially right now when it’s cold as balls out!)

But Infrared is special in that it uses light to create heat. Traditional saunas use heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body. But infrared heats your body directly without warming the air around you, enabling it to deeply penetrate our tissue to help remove heavy metal toxins and fat stored within it. Stagnant pockets of fat in our bodies can be storehouses for chemical toxins- and the more toxins accumulate in our bodies, the more our bodies will create additional fat to store these dangerous toxins in order to protect our vital organs. Umm NO THANKS. As we shed these chemical toxins, our fat can shrink.

Also the heavy sweating (and believe me you WILL sweat) promotes circulation (yes- more circulation!) , cleansing and elimination via the skin.

I try to go at least twice a month (believe me I’d go every day if I could) and especially after long bouts of travel. If you google Infrared Sauna you should be able to find local wellness spas that offer this treatment (btw they are all over ASIA which you can attribute to the overall awesome complexion and glowing skin of this region). My favorite spot in the Seattle area is City Sweats and you can get a monthly membership for only $38.

4. Sleep

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-a good night’s sleep is one of the BEST things you can do for your health.

Not getting enough can affect weight gain, insulin sensitivity, cognition, hormones and result in higher risk of fat gain and general obesity- not pretty. In fact, the University Hospitals Case Medical Center discovered in a first of it’s kind clinical trial poor sleepers were nearly TWICE as likely to be overweight! 23% of the “good quality” sleepers were obese, versus 44% in the group that reported poor quality.

Studies recommend 7-9 hours as optimal, however it’s not just about the hours, but the quality as well (reaching REM sleep is key for restoring health).  One of my fave nutritionist’s has some awesome, simple recommendations to follow to help get your 8 hours. I find that turning off all electronics at least an hour before bed, meditating for 10 minutes, drinking caffeine-free tea and reading in bed all work well for me.

5. Work on yourself from the Inside Out

Lauren hiking

Last but certainly not least, improving your mind/body connection is what I believe to be the most important habit to incorporate but also the hardest to figure out how to do.

Our gut is commonly referred to as the second brain. Emotions affect our digestion. Thoughts are a form of nutrition for your body that have formative effects. Is the thought, “I’m so fat,” what you want to be feeding your body? Or is it “I am beautiful, I am strong, I am healthy. ”

There’s also a small part of our brain called the reticular activation system (RAS) that turns on and off our perception of ideas and thoughts and determines our lense through which we look at ourselves and the world. When you tell yourself and believe in positive self-talk and affirmations you’re building new pathways in your brain to allow you to see what you can be and achieve. Aligning our thoughts, words, actions—such as what we eat—and core beliefs is the key to success in looking and feeling the way you want.

This is a lovely idea, but much harder to put into action. Which is where I come in. Yup, me. I’ve been taking health coaching classes at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for the past year and it’s been quite an amazing journey. The focus is on how to help others, such as yourselves and really truly dig deep to figure out and break down any roadblocks or what specifically has been holding you back from achieving total wellness? How can we work together to build new pathways in your brain, heart and body that will lead you to living your healthiest, happiest life?

If this is a priority for you in 2016, please leave a comment on this blog or send me a private message on Facebook or Instagram. I’m offering complimentary consultations through the end of January, so don’t hesitate.

Wishing you lots of love, health and prosperity in this new year, and excited to help you achieve it!