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By Hilary Sheinbaum
Picture this: you’ve set a weight loss goal, modified your diet, and stuck to a wellness regimen that’s taken you just up to the finish line. But after weeks, months — or whatever amount of time during your journey — you’ve seem to keep falling short, almost reaching your target. That stubborn 3 to 5 lbs just won’t disappear!
The reality is, this scenario isn’t hypothetical at all. It happens fairly often. “A lot of times when we get excited about a new diet, we can go all-in, and then we get so close to our goal that we start to relax a little bit around our habits,” says Kelly LeVeque, a holistic nutritionist and celebrity wellness coach in Los Angeles.
“Consistency is what I really strive for with clients.”
While lifestyle, diet, and exercise are important factors for any weight loss plan: LeVeque, who is also a best-selling author, notes that consistency in three categories makes the biggest difference for those pesky last few pounds. Read on for her advice.
Midnight snacks are so 2020! LeVeque recommends a 12-12 approach: 12 hours to eat, and 12 hours of fasting. (Ideally, you want to eat during daylight hours.) “The goal would be to have dinner when the sun’s setting and switch over to tea and water,” she says.
In terms of how many fluids people can consume throughout the day, LeVeque notes the formula ‘half your body weight in ounces’ is a great target. That said, she’s more concerned that clients are properly hydrated and have enough electrolytes to retain what they’re consuming (read: not peeing it out). Her pro tip: start the day with a large cup of room temperature water with a twisted grind of pink salt, which contains 83 minerals and electrolytes.
A good night’s sleep can work wonders for mood and productivity, but it has an important stake in healthy eating, too. Poor sleep can wreak havoc on the body. “The following day, you’re going to have elevated blood sugar, elevated insulin, and increased ghrelin — which is a hunger hormone — that makes you want to graze and eat all day long,” says LeVeque. The result? Increased sugar cravings and decreased leptin sensitivity (leptin is a hormone that tells you’ve had enough to eat). Yikes! Avoid all of this by catching those Zs!
“Put four things on your plate every meal — protein, fat, fiber, and leafy greens,” says LeVeque. “Leafy greens are naturally wrapped in fiber and they’re going to slow the release of starch or sugar that could otherwise spike blood sugar.”
Protein is super important, too, because it keeps tummies full and makes hormone neurotransmitters, in addition to building the lining of intestines. Without it, muscle deterioration occurs. “Many women, especially across the United States right now, are under-eating protein,” says LeVeque. “When it comes to those last 3 to 5 lbs, you want to make sure you’re not under-eating protein.”
Recording several personal wins throughout the day can be helpful — without the burden of writing down every single thing you’ve consumed.
Before bed: reflecting, and gratitude journaling the simple joys in life (for example, what made you giggle today) can be a great exercise as well. LeVeque released her Body Love journal in December, to serve as a guide.
Incorporate these tips into your regimen to meet your weight loss goals more effectively. To boot, you’ll be snacking less before bed, sleeping better, and consuming more balanced meals, too, along the way!
Kelly LeVeque is a holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and celebrity health coach. Kelly is passionate about helping her clients improve their health and develop sustainable habits to live a healthy and balanced life. You can learn more about her optimistic approach to wellness at www.kellyleveque.com