Ready to hear something incredible? Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, after decades of struggling, I was amazed at how simple it was once to drop weight once I made these 5 simple changes. Here’s how to lose 40 pounds—and keep it off for good (the easy way)!
My Not-So-Fun Roller Coaster Ride with Weight Loss
Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve literally tried every diet on the planet.
The Fat Flush diet. The Zero Belly Diet. The Green Smoothie Diet. Juice cleanses. The Cabbage Soup Diet. Weight Watchers. Noom. The F-Factor. BistroMD. Sunbasket. Vegan. Mediterranean. Low Fat. High Fiber.
The list goes on and on….
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I know, because I’ve tried every single one (and then some.)
I’ve tried exercise. Then I started running.
When none of that worked, I got desperate. I did a consult for liposuction and ended up paying thousands of dollars for a non-surgical lipo alternative at the local medi spa, trying to melt or freeze away my extra fat.
Yep. I sure did.
Spoiler alert! That didn’t work either.
It’s not that I NEVER would lose any weight. Sometimes I’d lose 5 or 10 or even 15 pounds. Once, I even lost 25 pounds, which felt pretty amazing.
But then I would gain it back.
Every single time.
And not only gain it back, but gain it back PLUS a little extra for good measure.
For years, I was on this yo-yo cycle of on-again, off-again diets, alternating between feeling miserable because I couldn’t eat, and feeling miserable because I had again eaten too much or totally blown it.
Losing weight then gaining it back. Over and over and over again.
And if you’ve ever struggled with this, then you probably know what I’m talking about.
It takes its toll.
Because often, this battle to lose weight and get a handle on our eating habits feels SO isolating and lonely.
We don’t want to talk about it because we’re embarrassed.
Plus, there’s so much shame that happens when we don’t feel good about ourselves and our bodies. It erodes our confidence, changes the way we put ourselves out into the world, and even affects our relationships and our sex life.
And it’s EXHAUSTING.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 100 pounds overweight or 20 pounds overweight, because perception is reality. When you don’t feel good about yourself and your body, then it doesn’t really matter what the scale says.
Because someone may have looked at me at my heaviest and thought I looked just fine. My husband certainly did! He loved my curves and especially my big boobs. He wasn’t the one pressuring me to lose weight.
I didn’t feel good about myself.
And THAT shame was affecting so many other parts of my life.
But like I said, I couldn’t get anything to actually stick long term.
I’d lose a little bit of weight, then gain it back.
Then I’d get so fed up that I’d try to tell myself that it was fine. That the extra weight wasn’t that bad. Because I was tall, it probably wasn’t all that noticeable.
And I’d buy more spanx.
So what exactly changed to FINALLY get me off this weight loss journey doom loop?
I guess I hit my breaking point.
I saw a picture someone else had taken of me, and It was the heaviest I had ever been. And when I saw that picture it was like seeing myself through someone else’s eyes for the first time. That was the moment I realized something needed to give.
But it was also the moment I knew I had to do something different than I had ever done before, because everything I had tried hadn’t worked.
How to Lose 40 Pounds: 5 Simple Changes
These 5 simple changes didn’t all happen at once. But, in combination, they were (and are!) incredibly effective.
But, as you’ll see, there’s nothing inherently magical about them. They are easy steps that everyone can do. If you are trying to figure out how to lose 40 pounds, I am confident these changes will work for you too.
1. Stop dieting and instead commit to changing your lifestyle for good.
After SO many previous failures, I knew I had to stop dieting and actually commit to a permanent lifestyle change. I needed to find a way of eating that would work for my entire life.
This meant something that would allow me to:
- eat out multiple times a week
- be able to socialize and party with my friends
- stay something flexible and easy
- make food that my whole family would happily eat
- show my teenage daughters I was eating, not starving myself
- never, ever be hungry
And so I did what I do best–I started taking a deep dive into ALL the research and the science of sustainable weight loss.
I took what I knew about what had actually worked for me in the past and compared it to a lot of studies and data related to how our metabolism actually works.
I read literally dozens of books and learned that SO MUCH of what we’ve been told about weight loss over the past 50 years is WRONG, and not actually backed up by research, but instead a result of the long-held biases that say people who are overweight just eat too much and exercise too little.
There is SO much misinformation out there about what is actually a healthy diet, and it is downright SCARY to realize how much of the current public and governmental dietary recommendations are funded by companies that DO NOT have your best interest in mind.
We’ve been told that weight loss is all about “calories in and calories out” and that a calorie deficit means automatic success. You’ve also probably heard that you should avoid fat, and that if you’re overweight it’s probably because you don’t exercise enough, or you eat too much, or don’t have enough willpower.
But none of that is actually true. And what’s more, when you eat the right things and cut out the wrong things, figuring out how to lose 40 pounds (or more!) actually can become almost effortless.
So that was it–no more DIETING. Instead, I changed my lifestyle. Permanently.
And you know what? It worked.
I lost more than 40 pounds, and I’ve maintained that weight loss for nearly two years now. I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my adult life.
2. Cut out sugar, refined carbohydrates, and any artificial sweeteners that spike your blood sugar.
Forgive me for this little tangent here, but the reality is that SO much of our weight gain–and a whole lot of other health issues–are a direct result of the overabundance of sugar and refined carbohydrates in our modern Western diet.
In fact, there is a TON of documented evidence that shows the impact of sugar and white flour when it gets introduced into a culture of society. Within 10 years of bringing in those specific things, the amount of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer will skyrocket. There’s a direct link.
And as soon as you cut those things out of your diet–literally within weeks–your health will improve exponentially.
Insulin is what causes your body to store fat, and when your blood sugar spikes, your body releases more insulin.
Cutting out sugar, carbs, and those “bad” artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose) keeps your blood sugar stable, which allows your body to burn more fat and work more efficiently.
Most of us assume that diet sodas and other “diet” drinks are okay because they contain zero calories, but if they have the wrong types of sweeteners (which most do) they could actually be a big part of the problem. This was shocking to me!
A big part of my success with figuring out how to lose 40 pounds is just understanding how to keep my blood sugar stable by cutting out sugar, refined carbs, and the bad sweeteners that spike your blood sugar.
And honestly, when people try to tell me that’s not healthy or “you need to have everything in moderation,” that’s where I really fight back.
Because no one NEEDS sugar. No one NEEDS refined carbohydrates or white flour. No one NEEDS chemical sweeteners or heavily processed foods. There is literally NO nutritional value in ANY of those things. You are not jeopardizing your health by cutting them out.
If anything, you are saving yourself because they are KILLERS. The evidence is there, even if a lot of companies have worked really hard to keep that information hidden from the public.
Read more about the connection between sugar and weight loss here. This is a topic that’s worth taking a deep dive into!
3. Dramatically increase your intake of protein and healthy fats.
In all my years of trying every diet under the sun, I had “done keto,” and it actually worked fairly well for me, which is why I was so willing to try going low-carb again. But the last time I did keto, I followed the “traditional” keto plan that has you eating mostly fat and not a whole lot of protein.
This time around, I started on the “traditional” keto plan, which is high fat, low carb, and moderate protein. But, after about 25 pounds, I hit a plateau. I just couldn’t seem to lose any more weight.
And so, I did more research and realized that I needed to get more protein. Like a LOT more protein, so much more than I was getting.
At the same time, I started adding more healthy fats, including avocado oil, olive oil, butter, MCT oil, and full-fat dairy products. Most of us (especially those of us who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s) have been conditioned to avoid fat as much as possible.
However, it turns out that fat is actually what makes you feel full and satisfied and regulates your hormones, while protein provides tons of energy.
Consuming enough fat (and protein) is essential for those with weight loss goals. Want to learn more? I have an entire article about why you need more healthy fat in your diet here.
Also, in case you’re wondering–I also eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, especially spinach, broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, cauliflower and salads, as well as low-glycemic fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
4. Become more intuitive and natural with your eating.
I decided that I was DONE with dieting. Forever. And that means that I don’t count calories. I eat when I’m hungry, and eat until I feel full.
And hear me out, because this is a big deal to me.
As a mom to two impressionable teenage girls, one of the most important things to me was to be able to just eat normally and not ever let them see me restricting or dieting (like googling how many calories are in every single item!).
I eat A LOT, and I eat the most delicious food! I just make sure to eat the right things.
The great thing about eating this way is that my whole family will happily eat the food I cook for myself, because it’s not “diet” food. It’s delicious.
Because I try to only eat when I feel hungry, I do end up doing some intermittent fasting, sometimes going as long as 16 hours without eating.
But I’m not always super rigid about it because I want to be able to live my life. That’s always my priority.
5. Work on your mindset.
Here’s what perhaps made the biggest difference for both my body and my mental health as I was figuring out how to lose 40 pounds.
I stopped viewing the process of getting healthy and losing weight as a “temporary” thing that I had to endure.
Because here’s the deal, friend. Changing the way you think about food also means you need to stop focusing on what you CAN’T have and start relishing all of the AMAZING, DELICIOUS, and completely SATIATING food that you GET to eat.
Alternatively, if you tell yourself that you’re being deprived because you can’t eat piles of pasta and french fries and potato chips and bread, then you will always feel deprived.
So much of how we view the world starts with how we think about the world, with our THOUGHTS, and with the story that we are telling ourselves.
And I realized I needed to stop telling myself that story.
Instead, the story I started telling myself every day is more like: “Oh my gosh, look at all this amazing food that i get to eat!!!! This is SO delicious!” And “OH MY GOSH, it’s so nice to be able to eat until I am completely satisfied and never feel hungry again.” And “OH MY GOSH it’s so awesome to be able to eat out at any restaurant and still be able to choose something completely delicious from the menu.”
When I stopped focusing on the few foods that I cut out and instead started celebrating all the delicious food that I get to enjoy WITHOUT LIMIT, it honestly feels like the best thing I’ve ever done.
This is just the way I eat now. And I love it SO much! I get to eat delicious food and as much of it as I want. Seriously, what more could I want?
The reality is that losing weight and getting healthy doesn’t have to be miserable or painful. I’m so glad I know that now.
Mindset is something I’m incredibly passionate about, in case you couldn’t tell! I have an entire post devoted to it that I encourage you to check out: 5 Important Mindset Shifts to Make for Successful Low Carb Living.
So, that’s how to lose 40 pounds—the simple way.
If you’re ready to get started, I highly recommend checking out our 28 Day Metabolism Reset. It’s the perfect introduction to our Thin Adapted System, and the best possible way to learn whether our program will work for you.
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