I recommend "warming up" for 10-15 minutes as you slowly bring your heart rate up. Then work to keep that heart rate up for at LEAST 30 minutes. Usually a combination of, say, jogging with short 1-minute bursts of fast running, works beautifully as you challenge your body to go farther with each workout. Then, "cool down" for 10-15 minutes as you bring your heart rate back to normal. A heart monitor is the key here so you can keep track of your heart rate.
Most people tend to associate a vegan diet with being lean. And science backs that notion. In a study of 40,000 adults, Oxford University researchers found that meat-eaters had the highest BMIs; vegans had the lowest; and vegetarians and semi-vegetarians landed somewhere in-between. But throughout my years in private practice, I've worked with plenty of clients who did not lose weight after cutting out animal products. And some even gained weight. Here are five common reasons this happens, plus how to avoid them—so you can reap both the health and weight-loss benefits of going vegan.
I first learned about the weight-loss power of tea when my mother fell victim to diabetes. A former nurse back in Korea, she urged me to look into Eastern remedies when it became clear that Western science couldn’t help her. And time and again, as I pored through the studies, the same answer kept popping up: tea. What I learned in my research, and collected in my new book, The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse, in which test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week, was that certain teas not only melt fat by boosting metabolism, but can actually prevent our bodies from forming new fat cells.
When you are stressed, your body kicks up production of the hormone cortisol. “High levels of cortisol can lead to an accumulation of abdominal fat as well as other chronic health problems,” says New York City nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, the founder of Nutritious Life. Cortisol also causes the body to form a resistance to leptin—a hormone that sends the signal to the brain that you are full, she says. “The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you secrete, and the less able you are to tell when you are full.” There’s more to it too, she says. “During times of stress, we tend to crave high sugar, high carbohydrate foods that produce serotonin and make us feel calm and in control. So, reducing stress will help reduce these cravings.” She suggests carving out a few minutes to practice deep breathing each day. “Close your eyes, clear your mind, and breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth,” she says.
If you like peppermint tea then try and rotate that with a green tea drink as both speed up digestion and thus help you burn more calories. The peppermint leaves can be used to make a light, refreshing tea, which can be drunk either hot or chilled. To prepare the tea, take a tablespoon of fresh or dried leaves and add them to boiling water and let it steep for four to five minutes. Strain and add honey, if needed.
Berries are free radical fighters, protecting you from inflammation and cancer, as well as helping your skin stay supple and young-looking. Bananas are a key ingredient in a lot of vegan meal plan baking and sweetening. Though high in soluble fiber, it’s best to be mindful how much you eat, as bananas are still high in sugar. Apples contain pectin, which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, and a healthy gut leads to a healthy weight.
If you do drink tea, be sure not to cancel out some of the benefits of by dumping sugar or honey into your morning or afternoon cup. A little bit of sweetener is OK if that's your preference, but order a green tea latte out and you could be looking at 30 grams (more than 7 teaspoons) of sugar—about half of which is added sugar (some comes naturally from milk). Bottled iced teas, sweet tea, chai tea and matcha tea lattes all may contain lots of added sugar. Added sugar adds extra calories without any nutrition, and too much added sugar can hinder your weight-loss efforts. When ordering tea, whether hot or iced, opt for unsweetened versions to reap the most nutritional benefit from your tea. And, remember, while tea may not yet be proven to directly aid in weight loss, it is a good choice to include for its countless other health and hydration benefits.
Lots of people have, for their entire lives, used food as a reward. To restrict their own reward, and then not be allowed to have their reward after they succeed is tough. It’s like going into an apathetic void of brain fog and sadness. And sure, you can rewire your habits over time and eventually your body will self-regulate so hunger won’t be an issue anymore, but it takes time. This period is a trial by fire where many people fail.