Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about healthy weight loss. Want to feel lighter and more at home in your body? We’re here with guidance and support! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
“How do I lose 10 pounds FAST! I have a friend’s wedding coming up, need to fit in my bridesmaid’s dress, and put off losing my Covid weight because…Summer. I know this isn’t the best way to do it, but help!”
Hi, Jordan! First, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone in feeling like health, fitness, and wellness goals fell by the wayside this Summer. Similarly, many folks put on extra, unwanted weight over the past few years. A lot has happened! A lot is still happening!
Not feeling our best or most comfortable in our body can be particularly stressful when we have special occasions ahead. This is doubly true when there’s pressure (internally or from others) to fit into a particular outfit, look a certain way, or be “on display.”
Just to say: I get it. And…you’re spot on: The “lose weight fast” approach is never the optimal path towards healthy, sustainable change. That said, there are steps you can do in the immediate term…and steps to set you up for success long after the wedding. Let’s break it down.
How to Fit into That Dress
To start with the obvious: Is there any way to alter or change up the dress? I know, I know…a wedding’s a big day and often requires advance planning and great expense. Still, if there’s an option to tailor your dress or choose a new one, please know there’s zero shame in that. You want to enjoy your friend’s special day. Doing so will be way easier if you’re wearing something that fits!
I recognize this might entail having an honest, vulnerable conversation with your friend or others involved in the planning process. While that may be difficult, folks sometimes respond better than expected. In fact, they may be experiencing similar places of insecurity. Try to keep all of this in perspective. However special the occasion, it’s one day. It’s also about way more than a dress. This time next year, what you wore will be the last thing anyone remembers.
As a Primal Health Coach (and not a stylist or tailor), I do have more to suggest. You didn’t mention how far away the big day is, but I get the sense it’s coming soon. That’s fine. Even if you followed the guidance I’m about to offer for just one week, you’d still feel lighter and more at home in your dress and your skin. Our bodies truly are on our side and are remarkably responsive when we give them what they need to thrive. Even better news? What they need isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to make us miserable! Here’s what you do.
1. Your first priority is to stick with Primal eating 100 percent during this stretch.
No “cheating.” No excuses. Keep your end goal in mind and know that this is not the rest of your life. After the wedding, you can pause and reassess.
Again, this doesn’t have to be miserable! We’re talking delicious meals of real, whole foods, including: high-quality protein, healthy fats, and summertime veggies and fruits. We also have a full primer on Primal eating and get tons of healthy recipes. You probably already know this, but eating Primal also means avoiding: grains, highly processed foods, and highly refined vegetable and seed oils.
2. Cut out alcohol and Primal treats and sweets.
Again, this isn’t (necessarily) forever. But alcohol is lipogenic (literally, “fat generating”). It tells your body to put metabolism of other things on hold while it clears alcohol out of your system. It also contributes to water retention and makes it far more likely that you’ll store extra sugar and carbs as body fat.
What’s more, drinking alcohol can increase hunger, reduce sensations of satiety, and lower inhibitions. All this adds an extra challenge when it comes to healthy eating! Meanwhile, Primal treats are fine for most folks in moderation. But if your goal is faster weight loss, sugar of any kind will not be helpful.
3. Watch your carbs.
This one requires slightly more attention to detail but is a game changer when it comes to body composition and weight loss. By eating strict Primal (priority number 1), you’ll already be skipping major high-carb culprits: grain-based breads, pasta, cereals, baked goods, and the like. To dial this up a notch, take it easy on higher-carb Primal fare, such as sweet potatoes and starchy fruits.
There’s not one “carb level” that works for everyone. As a coach, I help clients fine-tune general guidelines to serve their individual goals and needs. That said, you’ll likely want to keep carb intake under 100 grams a day for effortless weight loss. For more specifics on this and why it matters, check out the Primal Carb Curve.
4. Reduce or eliminate snacking.
If you’re sticking with Primal food and eating enough protein and healthy fats, snacking between meals will likely feel less and less necessary. Our bodies have not evolved to eat throughout the day; modern diets high in carbs and sugar have simply thrown our hormonal signaling system off kilter.
Even when eating a Primal diet, lifelong patterns, beliefs, and emotions around food have a strong pull. If this comes up for you, remember that hunger is normal and healthy. Our body needs to rest and digest between meals and can’t do this if we’re always piling on more food.
5. Drink enough water.
When we support our body by eating a Primal diet, we can trust its signals and we can trust our thirst. On the other hand, many folks have spent many years being out of touch of their body’s signals and needs.
As you go about your day, notice when you feel thirsty and what that feels like. Respond to that feeling by hydrating when needed. When the body is hydrated sufficiently, it’s less likely to retain excess water “in case you need it.”
6. Move your body frequently and try sprints.
Remember that Primal eating is only one aspect of the 10 Primal Blueprint Rules. In the lead-up to the wedding, take care to incorporate frequent movement into your every day. Once a week, do a sprinting session. This takes very little time, has a big impact, and doesn’t necessarily look like traditional “sprinting.”
7. Double down on sleep and managing your stress.
Again, Primal eating is just one part of the picture. Our hormonal system has a huge impact on health and body composition. Insufficient sleep and chronic stress lead to deregulation of that system, impair metabolism, and contribute to systemic inflammation. Those effects will work against your weight loss goals!
Sustained Weight Loss
Doing the above in a fully committed way will no doubt help you feel better on the big day and feel more comfortable in your dress.
Far more important in the bigger scheme of things is how you’ll carry these practices into your life beyond this single event. This is about sustained weight loss, yes. But it’s also about giving your body what it needs to thrive. In this regard, consistency is key—particularly when it comes to seeing the most significant, most sustained outcomes.
This doesn’t mean that you can never diverge from the above guidelines. But to see the biggest, most lasting results, adhering to the spirit of the 80-20 rule is key. This means: aim to eat and live Primally 100 percent of the time while recognizing that life circumstances sometimes get in the way. When that happens, simply re-set and recalibrate by returning to Primal ways.
Look, nothing I shared here today is overly complicated. Usually, we already know what our body most needs when it comes to maintaining body weight and feeling our healthiest and best. That said, one person’s “perfect protocol” won’t look like everyone else’s. For customized support and implementation backup, consider working with a Primal Health Coach one-on-one!
We can help you get clear on what practices are best for you and help you carry through with them. Visit myprimalcoach.com to learn more and get started!
Do you feel pressure to lose weight for an upcoming occasion? Have any encouraging words for Jordan or others wanting to lose weight this Summer? Please share and drop other questions for me in the comments!