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6 Tips to Lose Weight, Once and For All

6 Tips to Lose Weight, Once and For All

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Tired of gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over again? Dismayed by the rolls around your middle? Want to know the secret of maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of your life? As a doctor of functional medicine with 30 years of experience, I have a few tips to share.

The key to losing weight is to gain fitness. Broaden your view and graduate from the very limited idea that a number on the scale is your goal. Rather, focus on the idea that your health and your energy is something you can improve through acquiring better habits. Looking and feeding good depends on that—not on weight loss alone.

What is the most important item in your wardrobe? No, it’s not your bra or your girdle or even your designer jeans. It’s your body! A healthy, fit body will look good in a burlap sack, and the person inside that body will feel good, too.

What follows are the main ingredients for lifelong fitness. Listen and learn, then do. Make changes little by little, but always keep the goal in mind. These suggestions for lifestyle changes are based upon the promise that the ancestral way of life is what we are adapted to, and the closer we get to “natural” choices, the better we will feel, perform, relax, and enjoy. There are plenty of studies to support this claim, but the real test is by you, for you, on you. Try it this year and see what happens.

Health Tips to Live By
Below are six tips to help reach your ultimate goals:

1 Sleep
Go to bed when it gets dark and wake up with the dawn—no screens, no stimulants, no drugs. Meditate, take a hot bath, use Epsom salts or take magnesium supplements. Sleep is like an essential nutrient—if you don’t have it, your brain will not work properly. If sleep is a problem for you, address the potential cause or causes, such as too much stress, caffeine, screen time, responsibility, or worry, or not enough exercise, magnesium, or iodine, or time to relax or be outdoors. Breathing problems at night are often caused by milk-based dairy products or mold in the house.

2 Healthy diet
Eat a whole food, mostly plant-based diet. Protein and fats in moderation will keep you from getting hungry, and the sheer volume of veggies can fill you up. The typical American’s diet (high carbs with bad fats) produces inflammation that keeps joints stiff and sore, and gut activity is unpredictable. An organic, whole food diet provides more natural nutrition. Choosing organic foods also helps you most of the poisons, toxins, and pesticides that are used to grow food in this country. The volume of brain-damaging chemicals we pour onto our grains, into our animal feed, and thereby into our children, is staggering.

3 Movement
Move your body, often and with pleasure. Exercise should feel good, revitalize you, and keep you limber and strong. If you’re just starting a new exercise routine, it’s important to first consult with a physician before taking action.

4 Junk food
As noted above, diet is important. Get rid of the junk food in your home. Junky food leads to a junky body.

5 Molecular levels
Hormone levels are critically important for both women and men, and especially for older people. Hormone deficiencies can be addressed by a doctor, who may prescribe bioidentical hormones that send “youthifying” messages to your cells and keep your weight in proper balance.

6 Treat yourself right
Never degrade yourself, in your thoughts or deeds. That means no starvation, no severe fasts, and no thinking bad thoughts. You must be your own best friend and be honest with yourself.

This year must be the year you get your act together. It’s not an act, though, because you really can start enjoying the rest of your life! Will you be able to stand up out of your comfy chair by yourself, no matter your age? Climb in and out of a bathtub safely? Drive a car as far as you want? Dance at your 75th wedding anniversary? Take the long view. Make your changes as rapidly or slowly as you wish. Just do it. Oh, and watch the weight roll off—never to return again!

Dr. Carol L. Roberts is medical director at Naples Center for Functional Medicine and author of Good Medicine: A Return to Common Sense. Dr. Roberts has practiced functional, integrative, and holistic medicine for nearly 30 years. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 239.649.7400 or visit: