Top 10 Ways to Jump-Start Weight Loss

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, you’ve come to the right place. Having worked in nutrition & fitness for 20 years, and having coached hundreds upon hundreds of clients to successful weight loss, I’ve discovered a few tips. They’re broad-based, founded on my reading of hundreds of much more specific, narrow studies, and tons and tons of clinical experience. All you have to do is follow these guidelines:

  1. Eat protein at every meal, including breakfast. (Protein keeps you satisfied longer, calorie for calorie, than any other energy source.)
  2. Eliminate wheat- and flour-based products for the time being. And yes, that definitely includes bread and pasta. (High glycemic foods cause blood sugar to spike and then plummet, making us hungry and tired.)
  3. Eliminate “food products.” Ninety percent of what you eat should be food that could have been hunted, caught, gathered from the ground, plucked from a tree or grown. (These are the foods our bodies were designed to process – and the ones that tend to be the most nutritionally dense.)
  4. Reduce starch. When you do eat starches, choose from “real” carbohydrates. Best choices are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, beans and legumes. (These foods are low on the glycemic index and packed with fiber.)
  5. Don’t eat unlimited amounts of fruit and be careful with the extra-sweet, extra-ripe variety. For now, keep fruits to two a day, and choose the low-sugar, high-fiber variety. Apples, grapefruits and especially berries all are good choices. For now, fruit should be eaten alone or with something light like nuts or a little cheese. Lose the fruit juice. (Fruit and fruit juice are very high in fructose, one of the quickest sugars to be processed and stored as fat.)
  6. Reduce or eliminate dairy for the time being, especially cow’s milk. Exceptions: reasonable amounts of cheese and occasional portions of yogurt, but not the fat-free kind (it contains way too much sugar). (Read more about the problems dairy poses.)
  7. Try eliminating alcohol. You can always go back to moderate drinking later on if it works for you. (Alcohol has a higher calorie count per gram than protein or carbohydrates – and it offers very little in the way of nutrients for the equivalent calories.)
  8. Stop using vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn. (The supermarket kinds are highly refined, and oxidize easily when heated, contributing to arterial plaque.)
  9. Worry less about the amount of fat you eat and pay more attention to the kind of fat you eat. The worst are fried foods, margarine and foods that contain hydrogenized or partially hydrogenized oils. The best is omega-3, found in fish and flaxseed oil.
  10. Drink at least eight or more large glasses of pure water a day. Every day. No excuses. (It hydrates you, and may give you a sensation of fullness.)


About the Author

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Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is a board certified nutritionist and a nationally known expert on weight loss, health and nutrition.

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