By Emily Saunders, ME Certified Nutrition and Fat Loss Coach and co-founder of Momsanity

We live in a calorie counting, scale happy, diet crazed, low fat, gluten free, vitamin fortified  world yet everywhere we turn the statistics keep getting worse….Americans are overweight and becoming more so by the minute.  CLEARLY something isn’t working.

I have learned a lot over the past 7 years being associated with Metabolic Effect- perhaps most importantly- you cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  That is what we do as a culture.  Yes, each diet is a tad bit different and there is always the next big craze of group fitness classes, but at the root of it we are repeating the same behaviors and getting the same results- nothing.

It looks something like this:

1.  Start diet and exercise program,
2.  Work really hard for a month
3.  Get burned out, frustrated, tired, etc.
4.  Give up
5. Gain back the weight we lost plus more.

How many times does this have to happen for us to realize that DIETS DON’T WORK?

What if there is an easier way?  A way to lose fat and change your lifestyle FOREVER, where you replace bad habits with good habits effortlessly, where there is no calorie counting or hours spent on the treadmill or elliptical, where success doesn’t rely strictly on willpower?   I am thrilled to tell you that THERE IS!

Here’s the secret…. It’s all about hormones.  Yep, that’s right hormones.  When we take care of balancing our fat burning hormones then everything else takes care of itself.  When our bodies have the correct balance of insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, glucagon and countless other hormones, then we can achieve lasting fat loss while controlling hunger, energy and cravings.  Without getting too “sciencey” lets get into the basics of how to make this happen.

Eat  Protein at Every Meal:  Protein satisfies hunger and helps to lower insulin (a fat storing hormone) in the body.  Aim for 4 to 6 ounces of meat, fish, eggs, or protein powder.

Get Your Veggies: Your plate should be at least half full of veggies (the greener and more fibrous the better).  Veggies are full of fiber and keep us fuller longer while maintaining blood sugar levels.

Add Two Servings of Fruit per Day:  Fruit is trickier due to the sugar content but also full of antioxidants and fiber.  Aim for 2 servings of low sweet fruit (berries, grapefruit, apples, pears) concentrated earlier in the day.  Some people have great success with higher amounts of fruit and others need to limit it more.

Add a Few bites of Starch:  Some of the better choices are oatbran, brown rice, quinoa, black beans and starchy veggies like squash and sweet potatoes.  All carbs are not bad!  We need some complex carbohydrates in order to keep our metabolism running effectively and to maintain energy levels and reduce cravings.  Eating too LITTLE starch can actually hinder fat loss.  Each person has unique carbohydrate needs and but generally 2-3 servings of starch per day is effective for fat loss and managing hunger, energy and cravings.

Eat Some Fat:  Fat is not the evil that it is often made out to be. Eat 1 to 2 servings of healthy fats like nuts, avocados and coconut or olive oil per day.  Not only are fats extremely satisfying but these healthy fats contain fatty acids that actually assist in fat loss.  Eating fats at different times that starch is a good idea as eating fat and starch together is a recipe for fat storing.

Eat Often:  Eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day spaced every 3 hours or so keeps the metabolism humming and also helps combat overeating.  If you eat before you are ravenous then you are much more likely to make good choices and control portions

Stay Hydrated:  Water is essential for Fat Loss!  Aim for 3 liters per day along with unsweetened teas and coffees as desired.

Allow Yourself a Treat: Once per week enjoy whatever it is you’ve been craving.  When compliant through the week, a “cheat meal” can actually be beneficial for fat loss as it resets our leptin hormone and helps us continue to lose fat over time.  Be sure to limit to one sitting and avoid a cheat DAY or hours long binge.