How to Loose Weight Fast with a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Lifestyle

Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity.
— Herman Melville

The theme for today is about learning how to break loose from excess body fat. Learning how to loose weight fast is a fundamentally simple thing, but for many people difficult to implement to the extent that you can see real life changes. Often, researching how to lose weight fast will lead you down a slippery slope of misinformation and the sale of expensive weight loss supplements like the Forskolin belly buster and Medifast. In this article, I would like to suggest a better, far more natural approach to weight loss that I have actually put into practice - that won't cost you an extra dime. Through this method, I have seen significant results as exemplified in the loss of over 60 pounds, taking me from significantly overweight (borderline obese) and unhealthy, to within a reasonable BMI and feeling healthier than ever.

Letting loose this extra baggage is a simple desire for those of us who are (or have been) overweight. This change requires both a dynamic switch in mindset and perception of ourselves, as well as significant outward changes to our diets, as well as other components of our lifestyle. The most difficult part about learning how to lose weight fast and easy is learning how to accept that it requires you to step away from your old self, and begin to reevaluate what you really want from life.

The reason why it is so critical to understand that the secret to weight loss starts in your mind is because your rampant thoughts as you go through this process will be what makes or breaks your ability to drop the unwanted weight. For some of the most committed and steadfast among us, this process may be extremely easy. Conquering small amounts of weight loss in a short period of time may not be too difficult, but learning how to take a long-term journey towards a significant loss of weight will require you to commit potentially for years on end.

How I lost over 65 pounds with a WFPB diet -

Before weight loss - in 2011, near the start of my transition to a healthier diet and lifestyle....

After weight loss - showing the benefits of a healthy plant-based diet and lifestyle!

After weight loss - showing the benefits of a healthy plant-based diet and lifestyle!

One of the most relieving sensations in the world, for a formerly overweight person, is being able to see how loose fitting my former pants are compared to the current ones I wear today. This is actually a common marketing tactic you see in advertisements for all types of weight loss supplements and fitness program DVD sets - but when actually experienced in real life, it is a powerful thing. The same can be said about looking through old photographs, such as the two PA Driver's Licenses added above that clearly depict, in the unbiased DMV photo quality, my transition from overweight to healthy. You can see the difference clear as day!

After adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet and lifestyle based on teachings by Dr. McDougall in The Starch Solution, and other plant-based doctors, scientific research, etc., my initial foray into looking for a permanent, long-term weight loss solution was very positive. While it was not always an easy journey, the initial loss of weight started happening very quickly, and within a few months I was already down a good deal of weight.

Bodybuilders describe early gains to muscle mass as the easiest to pack on, while as they further their careers it becomes far more difficult to add weight and muscle without a really serious diet and gym routine. I think the same experience is felt by those of us in the process of losing weight - the initial weight loss can be dramatic, and is an excellent thing to see happen - however, after this initial loss, it becomes a far more difficult challenge to combat the body and mind to lose more weight. This stage of weight loss becomes the most important, and most difficult to stick to.

Fortunately, a plant-based diet makes it easier than most other diets to achieve this, was maintaining a nutritionally healthy lifestyle. One of the key weight loss secrets I have up my sleeve is the simple ability to eat until I am satisfied (virtually as much as I want) of plant-based foods. This is typically comprised of simple, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, etc. Many of these foods that form the basis of this diet are low in calories, but high in satiety levels. This means you will feel full and satisfied, but not be eating foods that traditionally convert into extra weight and fat because of their nature (like fat and grease ridden hamburgers) and the quantity often required to feel full (think about how you could eat a lot of McDonald's French fries and never feel ready to call it quits - the caloric content adds up fast!).  

In my own journey towards losing weight fast, I learned that diet is a major component of success. Some new research has shown that individuals looking to lose weight that work out rigorously at the gym, but don't make changes to their diet, tend to never lose weight. I am not looking to downplay the roll of exercise in your weight loss strategy, as it is incredibly important and necessary, but the initial loss of weight will be virtually tied to your ability to change your diet.

Today, I am able to maintain by weight loss by continuing on the straight and narrow of a health, plant-based lifestyle. I continue to eat foods that are good for me. Moving away from complex and sugary cereals for breakfast in exchange for simple steel cut overnight oats in one small change. Lunch, dinners, and snacks all follow suit by continuing to experiment in the kitchen to find tasty vegan recipes that appeal to my senses, and make me continue to crave healthy meals. While I do have cravings for truly unhealthy meals from time to time, I have learned to train myself to ignore these desires and continue down the path I set out on only a few years ago. Each time I look in the mirror, I know what I am doing is a continued good - both for myself, and for my family and friends who want to see me be around to enjoy all the good things life has to offer, like the recent birth of my 2nd grandson.

Tips for How You Can Loose Weight Fast, Too!

My journey towards reclaiming my health is a powerful one, and I hope you are inspired to take the leap towards bettering yourself as a result. Because I endured through this trying experience, and have come out on the other side to reap the continued benefits, I believe it would be valuable to add some tips on how you can loose weight fast yourself!

Before I begin, one powerful thought to consider:

...Let loose the dogs of war
— Marc Antony from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"
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This idea of "letting loose" is significant for those who are struggling with weight because it has so many implications. The word "loose" can easily be associated with the desire for "looser" fitting pants. In the context of Shakespeare's short story Julius Caesar, the character Marc Antony shouts this to a crowd at the funeral of the titular character. The intention? To incite the crowd to rise up against the assassins, and reclaim Rome and justice through whatever means necessary.

How does this pertain to you and your weight loss struggle?

While certainly I am in no way advocating violence, the notion of letting loose and committing yourself to a long-term battle with yourself is a necessary one. Those who struggle with their weight know it is a challenge to lose it, and a lot of the challenge is mental.

I find it easy to do workouts...once I make it to the gym.
I find it easy to eat healthy foods...once the meal is already made.

It takes a lot of perseverance to put aside unhealthy thoughts, especially during those moments where it is so difficult to resist temptation.

Enough Shakespeare analogies...you want more tips for how you can loose weight fast!

Tips and tricks for how I was able to lose weight fast naturally - that you can use in your own weight loss solution:

  • Adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet. The real turning point in my health was when I put away my old diet - the Standard American Diet as it is sometimes referred to - in exchange for a plant-based one. This transition was not easy at first, but the longer I stuck with it, the better I began to feel. I attribute much of my success to my diet change! 
     
  • Drink more water, cut out unhealthy sodas and beer. Staying hydrates is a key part of feeling energized. Replacing drinks that are high in sugar and calories with water will make you feel much better. Of course, for some, water can taste a little "plain" from time to time, so think about natural ways you can enhance it. Throw some organic fruit into your drink, like lemon, lime, strawberries, kiwi, etc. and let it sit in the fridge overnight. You will awake in the morning with a refreshing temptation that is actually good for your overall health. 
     
  • During times of temptation and weakness, remind yourself of the benefits of a healthier you. Learning how to loose weight fast came paired with learning how to keep myself focused and mentally prepared to deal with things that would come my way throughout the day. If you struggle with cutting fast food from your diet, try telling yourself some positives of adopting a new, plant-based diet as you pass by McDonald's. It will become easier and easier each time. 
  • Educate yourself about health and the keys to living a longer, better quality life. While adopting a WFPB lifestyle is the external change that is visible to myself, my friends and family, and even those of you I've never met, another key component of my success is rooted in education. As a general contractor for decades, one simple thing I have taken from the many projects I have worked on is this: if you don't know how to install a ceiling fan, your probably not going to do it right. A simple way to educate yourself is to read the instruction manual - but sometimes this isn't enough. For myself, it required having role models to look up to who knew what they were doing, and reading books and online articles (both scientific and non-scientific). For my diet and lifestyle changes on the whole, referencing great sources like The Starch Solution, How Not to Die, and even more recently The Starch Plus Diet served as a great first step. I've since supplemented these materials with many others - both online and in physical form - and have even offered my own recipe guide to try and help others, too! 
     
  • Think about your friends and family, and the things you are limited in doing because you are overweight or obese. Having difficulty keeping up with my grandson Hunter was a major reason I wanted to make a change to my health and lifestyle. Above all else, it is hard to have someone so hyperactive and full of life around without getting down on his level. While I'm certainly not as vibrant as a 3 year old, I feel like I'm not totally drained and having to take a break from him just because he likes being active. I've made it a goal to be a positive model for him - to go along with both of his parents. Maybe you have a similar situation, and can use friends and family as a motivator to get (and stay) healthy! 
     
  • Try doing something physically strenuous right now, and think about how much easier it would be without excess weight and other health issues that are interrelated with being over weight. If you are struggling to do really simple, physical tasks like picking up a 30 pound box and carrying it across the room or walking up the stairs, it is time to do some serious evaluation of your lifestyle and diet. Admittedly, these were just some things I struggled with being 60 pounds overweight. 
     
  • Keep a journal of your weight loss journey, and make note of every good and bad thing that occurs. Journals can help you to stay committed to your lifestyle changes, and even serve the purpose of helping you stay motivated in the days ahead. Imagine you have a really tough day of resisting a stop for fast food - and make a note of it. A month later, you have the same struggle and can think about (and read) that journal entry. This is a simple psychological tool to help give you the power to overcome this constant struggle. 
     
  • Take your journal up a notch and keep photographs as evidence of your physical changes, and consider a video log so you can reflect on changes in appearance and attitude over time. These days, for the tech savvy among us, taking pictures and making videos is as common as ever. I mean, I am in my 60's and back in the 1950's would not have imagined I would be on YouTube! Whether you want to put yourself on display for everyone to see, or just want some media to exist you can personally reference, it can be useful to see your changes over time. 
     
  • Limit influence from negative media outlets, especially is you struggle with your self-image. A difficult part of making personal changes for many is comparing yourself with unrealistic expectations set up by "the media." From magazine covers with attractive (but unrealistic and Photoshopped) supermodels on the front, to television shows with excessive makeup use and only selecting the best of the best (...or worse, putting overweight people on display like in The Biggest Loser). I am not really one to watch many movies or television, and imagine this helps me to maintain a positive self-esteem given that I am not being beaten over the head with this stuff! 
     
  • Learn how to enjoy being outdoors, and activities that take you away from a sedentary lifestyle. No one would want to commit to any lifestyle change if they could not get some pleasure from it. It seems that sometimes when the plant-based life is talked about, it can sound like a chore. But, if you can learn to find enjoyment in things that keep you up and moving, and outdoors in the sunshine, you may just find the lifestyle works for you quite well. I have always enjoyed being outside, and now it just meshes well with my plant-based and sustainability driven lifestyle. 
     
  • Find a new hobby. Sometimes all you need is a new hobby to drive you towards weight loss. Ideally, the hobby should require at least some physical exertion, that way you can get some exercise in the process. 
     
  • Create a system for rewarding yourself when you overcome challenging obstacles on your way to a better you. Everyone likes to be rewarded when they do a good job. Rewarding yourself can (and should) be a part of your movement towards a better life. Changing diet and adding exercise can be a very difficult thing for many. Set small goals, and reward yourself when you complete them. Consider setting a goal for every two weeks like "I will eat healthy dinners for 6 out of 7 days per week," then make notes on your daily intake each day. Review at the end of 2 weeks - and if you meet your goal, go out and purchase something you would enjoy. The sky is the limit for this one! 
     
  • Add structure to your week to help eliminate the opportunity for temptations to arise. If you find life to be very hectic, you may just benefit from a little more structure. One simple change I have made and recommend is learning how to make grocery shopping lists before you go to the store to purchase food and other household supplies, and making a weekly meal plan. 

    For example, if you do all of your grocery shopping on Monday night, prepare a list during the day and write out your meal schedule (also: consider checking out great plant-based recipes to help add variety). This will guarantee you buy the food you need to make those meals, and not anymore that is unneeded and will go to waste. The real benefit? Coming home from work each day knowing already what food to prepare, instead of it being something to ponder on and stress out about. A simple change that is easy to implement, can save you money, and can make you more aware of what you are eating all at once! 
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Are You Ready to Loose Weight Fast? 

A whole food, plant-based diet is powerful when paired with a reasonable amount of exercise. The hardest part is learning how to start. Take it from me - making this kind of lifestyle change is very doable - regardless of your age. With a good deal of effort, you can be the change you want to see in the world. I can tell you, after 3 years of the plant-based diet, I have no desire to go back to my old ways. The loss of weight and pain paired with the ability to enjoy myself, my grandson, and the natural world I live in is the only way for me to live.