Conscious weight loss: Shed pounds, boost energy

Conversations With Health


By Christopher Hassett

My sister’s wedding is coming up in three months and to look my best I need to lose some weight. My goal is 15 pounds. What’s the safest way to do this?     — Lucinda, Lower East Side

There are so many benefits to being at a weight that’s right for our body. One is, as you suggest, it allows us to look and feel our best. But the more important benefits come in how significantly being at an optimum weight reduces, reverses or even eliminates many of the chronic conditions that come with simply carrying too much weight, conditions such as high cholesteral, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, sleep disorders, depression, exhaustion and countless other maladies now plaguing Western society. How, then, should we go about getting to a weight we can be happy with long-term? And how to do this safely?

Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, says perhaps the safest and easiest way to lose weight is to remove meat entirely from your diet. By doing this, he says, you won’t even need to count calories, for the weight will fall off on its own. He speaks of an average weight loss of 22 pounds in one year on a diet without meat. A quicker approach, he says, is to remove all animal products from your diet. According to his studies, the average weight loss in doing this is 13 pounds in three months, which would nearly be your goal. A weekend fast to help cleanse the body of excess toxins could then easily take you over the top.

There are good reasons why Barnard focuses on meat. As a percentage of its calories, meat is very high in fat. Beef at its leanest is 29 percent fat. Chicken is 21 percent. Fish tends to be lower, but a Chinook Salmon is surprisingly 50 percent fat, though only 15 to 30 percent of that fat is saturated, while beef is 50 percent saturated fat. All of which contributes not only to higher cholesteral and cancer rates, but difficulty in losing weight. But if meat is what you want, then eating less of it would certainly help.

Meat, though, is not the sole culprit in why so many of us battle wildly with weight. Consider our options, which through large swaths of this country are decidedly few. Most obviously, fast food is everywhere. In nearly every city these businesses far outnumber restaurants that serve fresh, low-fat, highly nutritious meals. Drive through some of the smaller communities beyond the city and it’s commonplace to see entire towns swallowed whole by these establishments.

But I see little point in singling out fast food, since it’s such an easy target. By now we’re all aware of the lethal long-term consequences such food has on our bodies. Instead, I’ll turn my gaze to those seemingly “safer” family restaurants that, in spite of the foamy sweetness they show us in their ads, in truth care nothing at all about our health. This is evidenced in the massive sums of fat and calories that go unmentioned yet wholly saturate their menus (though they quite happily tout the healthy stats on their few low-calorie dishes).

There are, for instance, 940 calories in an Applebee’s bacon cheeseburger, far more than half of what a normal body requires in a single day. Nearly 60 percent of those calories come in the form of fat. A Chili’s jalapeño smokehouse burger with jalapeño sauce has 2,140 calories! Eat this one burger and you’ve eaten more than a full day’s worth of calories. The namesake cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory has more than 1,500 calories in a single slice. A mere appetizer at T.G.I. Friday’s, aptly called Loaded Potato Skins, has more than 2,000 calories, 65 percent of which is fat!

It becomes apparent that one meal while dining at these so-called “friendly” chains — an appetizer, main course and dessert — can easily total 6,000 calories with the addition of drinks — four days worth of calories in a single meal! This is criminally high and aggressively negligent when considering that the companies that serve these meals absolutely know how ruinous such high intakes of fat and calories can be to our bodies.

Our supermarkets are no better, since they too are literally shelved with products that silently poison us and rapidly fatten us. But the most insidious influence snaking through it all is the relentless marketing directed at us every second of our lives, so that whether we believe it or not, we are continually being lured toward a more unhealthy way of eating.

Consider for a moment the number of ads you see for quinoa or kale in a day? In contrast, how many do you see for Coke? For chips? Pizza? These three make up what many consider to be a light snack. Yet far from light, the three together count in at 700 calories. This is a little less than half of what the average woman at 5 feet 6 inches, 130 pounds would need each day to simply maintain her current weight. That same woman wanting to lose even a little weight would need to aim for no more than 1,200 calories a day. If she were interested in a more rapid weight loss, her daily caloric intake would need to come down to around a 1,000.

You can see how the combination of packaged foods and fast foods, or rather the preponderance of all foods marketed to us each day works against our better impulses to remain healthy, and it all but crushes our ability to stay at an optimum weight. If you’re concerned about either your health or weight, then it’s crucial to remain ever-vigilant of these forces weighing in around you at all times.

On the other hand, should you choose to become a warrior against the commercial machine, you have the entire world of whole, unprocessed foods on your side. A large green-leaf salad light on olive oil, for example, has as little as 100 calories, and the energy you receive from those calories is significantly better than those found in the pizza combo above. A plate of rice and beans counts in at a meager 250 calories. Adding a serving of corn to complete the protein would still bring this supremely healthy dish in at around 300 calories. Yet those generously few calories will keep you satisfied longer, with far more energy and mental clarity, than the Coke, pizza, chips, and perhaps even the 900-calorie burger.

Narrowing the entire discussion down to just the numbers, know that a pound of fat in the body is 3,500 calories. To lose that pound in a week you would have to reduce or burn 500 more calories a day than what the body needs to maintain its current weight. Exercise helps in this process. Even walking makes a difference. Walk a mile and you can burn 100 calories. A more rigorous workout at the gym will burn another few hundred calories. Combine the two with an awareness of all the calories you’re taking in each day and you’re on track to losing a pound a week, and nearly 15 in three months. The wonderful bonus in doing so is that you’re likely to feel better than you have in many years.

Christopher Hassett is a columnist and natural healer living in New York City. Learn more about natural approaches to improved health at Do you have a question or concern you’d like Christopher to respond to? Please email him at: Receive an update when a new column is published at:

The Villager encourages readers to share articles:

Comments are often moderated.

We appreciate your comments and ask that you keep to the subject at hand, refrain from use of profanity and maintain a respectful tone to both the subject at hand and other readers who also post here. We reserve the right to delete your comment.

37 Responses to Conscious weight loss: Shed pounds, boost energy

  1. How about simply getting on all natural weight loss chewing gum Tonify? It works wonderful for us…….

  2. Just a youtube link to help people with their journey to lose fat showing some of the reasons why we actually don't lose fat!

  3. Personally, I prefer a quick trip to the gym or the long island weight loss clinic. It's a lot less stressful than removing a part of my diet.

  4. While I have swapped out a lot of foods in favor of a more alkaline diet…I find that most people won't stick to the 80-20 rule as well as I do…that is why I recommend drinking only Alkaline water. All of the processed and bottled waters we are drinking are like drinking packaged foods and have become acidic, so even if you are eating all alkaline foods (which most likely you are not!) you are still putting acid in your body by simply drinking distilled, RO and filtered waters! The easiest thing to help boost your alkalinity is to change your water.

    Dr. Oz Raspberry Ketone

  5. ow about simply getting on all natural weight loss chewing gum Tonify

  6. I agree with you but I think balance diet and exercise is very important if you are starting weight loss program.

  7. You can start using saffron extract, a magical herbal product that helps in achieving weight loss targets effectively, without causing any side effects.

  8. Losing weight has become very important for me and that's why I'm excited to follow above suggested ways. Thing is above mentioned ways are inspiring but tough as well. Thus I'm prepared to get over with any tough tasks to achieve my weight loss goals. Thanks.

  9. Like!
    Thanks for helping me get back on track after a week of feeling out of control.

  10. Hey Lucinda, I was wondering are you managed to lose weight. I hope you achieved your expected goal. Losing weight requires great determination and conscious weight loss lose pounds boost energy just mentioning that. Thanks.

  11. Fasting to weight reduction is very popular amongst women. It is essential that it is done in properly. Fasting for fat loss is evidently a rising trend in the highly-developed globe. No doctor I know would certainly discuss it.

  12. Yes, you've say the true thing about the weight loss. As a women I like very much your conscious weight loss plan. That helps me a lot to loss my weight as well as. I hope you'll gives me more some information about this weight loss in future.

  13. Besides aiding your thyroid operation, supplement B3 assists in maintaining the blood glucose level degree stable. This does not influence directly weight-loss or gain, nonetheless it has a strong control over the method you feel hungry at any particular moment. The reduced blood sugar height can additionally make you really feel disheartened and irritable.

  14. Perseverance is something that you will certainly should have, together with inspiration when you begin a weight management program. Try to avoid meals that are quite higher in fat deposits such as breads. Pastries consist of a ton of fat deposits, which will provide on your body if you consume these treats.

  15. Interesting advice, stopping eating meat is a good idea, i cant remember the last time i saw a fat vegetarian.

  16. Much to my surprise, it had not been a publication about ways to loose weight; diet plan, workout, etc. Rather, it was a publication on how to reprogram your sub-conscious and aware thoughts in the area of weight-loss. Now, this publication had caught my interest.

  17. If you log enough miles, which might quickly be achieved by factoring it in to your day-to-day trip, you will certainly quickly begin to see real outcomes. The most prompt results can be found in your reduce physical body, because muscular tissues in your legs would be the genuine 'engine' within powering the bike. With time though, you will certainly also establish a a great deal much more toned whole physical body general since your body grows a lot more toned up to be able to biking.

  18. Im sorry, but i dont agree with this at all. Ive been Paleo for about a year and never felt or looked better. The doctor is overlooking the results of so many studies that link grains to obesity and serious health disorders.

  19. Maintaining discipline will do a whole lot of goodness to your body as most people fail because they don't stick with their mandatory ritual rather they try unusual thing which harm there whole schedule, like you said walking can help but only if a person sticks with it regularly.

  20. Hello dude, this is really a well contribution and whatever you have shared here about Conscious weight loss seems to me sound like very wonderful from all side. keep up the good work :)

  21. Its not at good to stop eating meat, We cannot live without it that really unfair to Meagitarians.

  22. It has applicable minutia and figures. Thanks for posting this. Your blog is so intriguing and very informative. Thanks circulating. conclusively a large part of work Thanks for your work.

  23. Different ways has to control the weight. You can run daily atleast 1 hour and 5k then much possible to control the weight naturally.

  24. Because when you need to shed pounds at your home just for you'll want to command the enticement of ingesting unhealthy or even highly processed meals as they are generally brimming with energy and also extra fat which will limit the purpose of weight loss.

  25. Thank you Christopher for the article. I think the best thing the individual needs to do is to study his/her eating patterns ,and analyze the caloric content of those foods and substitute with healthy options. Also exercise has to incorporated in the plan to effectively lose weight.

  26. The reason extract of Garcinia Cambogia has proven so effective from a slimming perspective is due to the fact that it not only functions as a fat blocker by preventing the formation of fat cells, but also as an appetite suppressant, making you feel full for longer. By reinforcing each other, both sides of this dual action form a potent fat burning combination.

  27. That same woman wanting to lose even a little weight would need to aim for no more than 1,200 calories a day. If she were interested in a more rapid weight loss, her daily caloric intake would need to come down to around a 1,000.

  28. Weight loss within a shorter is not a good idea. Though three months is a quite lot of time to loss much weight by doing heavy workouts. I hope you've till that time you've achieved whatever you're wishing for. Thanks.

  29. Meat is a good source of protein. When I talk to a lot of people about their nutrition they are lacking a lot of protein.

  30. I tried Garcinia cambogia to lose weight as per Dr. Oz recommendation and I lose 10lb effectively

  31. I strongly support what Dr. Neal Barnard says, "perhaps the safest and easiest way to lose weight is to remove meat entirely from your diet".

    Ever since I became a vegetarian three months ago, I found that I've lost a total of 5lbs. Furthermore, I have more energy now that at least I don't feel sleepy after meals.

  32. Initially, the most crucial point you should do is fail to remember everything you have actually ever read through, seen on TV or been outlined fast weight reduction and rapid fitness. I wish you to remove your mind; we are going to get back to essentials. The upcoming most important thing is that you have to be crystal clear about reason why you want to acquire healthy.

  33. Great post Christopher!

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on CONSCIOUS weight loss – simple but powerful stuff!

    Jeff L.
    NC Weight Loss Surgery Webmaster

  34. It is not an immediate process.Better you should take some time to do this thing.The best way I think is to maintain a healthy diet and do some regular workouts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

× two = 4

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>