In Part One of this story, we suggested thinking through your weight loss plan before embarking, clarifying your motivation, and establishing a solid, lasting commitment. Covering this ground initially better enables you to maintain the mental and physical energy required to change your habits for good. If you’ve set this overall foundation, what’s your next step? Along with daily exercise and proper hydration, these 5 essential strategies will help you achieve winning results:

Determine Your Ratio

One of your most valuable first steps in sculpting a lean frame is to get a body fat test at a local gym or health club. This will reveal your current percentage of body fat─something the scale can’t tell you. The idea then is to reduce that percentage while preserving your precious, calorie-burning lean muscle. What’s a healthy percentage? The American Council on Exercise recommends that fit, healthy men stay between 14-17% body fat and women between 21-24%.1

Commit to Breakfast

A healthy morning meal isn’t just good for you, it is virtually essential for lasting weight loss. A protein-rich breakfast lays a sound foundation for your day, protecting you against overeating by anchoring your blood sugar levels while simultaneously boosting your metabolism. As a result, you have more energy so you’re more likely to be active throughout the day. Conversely, skipping breakfast is linked to decreased physical activity, a slumped metabolism, and rebound eating─often whatever is within reach─when your blood sugar gets too low.

Incorporate Whey Protein

Whey protein─in the form of both shakes and bars─is filling, nourishing, blood sugar-stabilizing, and highly satiating, helping to zap the cravings and rebound eating that result from low blood sugar stress. While research shows that protein is the most satiating macronutrient, whey protein is especially effective in promoting feelings of satisfaction and fullness which help reduce your appetite and decrease food intake. Whey is also rich in leucine─a potent “signal nutrient” that regulates protein metabolism and protects against protein loss.2

Boost Your Calcium

Along with your daily multi-nutrient blend, a separate, comprehensive calcium formula will help you reach optimal levels of this important mineral─a key player in weight loss. In fact, calcium is responsible for nearly 50% of the “anti-obesity” activity of dairy foods.3 Calcium also appears to help reduce fat absorption and prevent excessive hunger when you need to reduce your calorie intake.4 Other studies confirm that calcium combined with vitamin D promotes fat loss by naturally helping to suppress appetite.5

Factor in Fish Oil

In her book Eat Fat, Lose Weight: The Right Fats Can make You Thin for Life, Ann Louise Gittleman discusses how omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate energy production and fat metabolism. Other research confirms that DHA/EPA omega-3s from fish oil stimulate calorie burning in your “brown fat” tissue,6 the layer of active fat underlying your stored white fat. Another study found that fish oil helps reduce body fat and improves both cardiovascular and metabolic health.7

These 5 essentials will not only help you lose weight safely and effectively, they will also enable you to maintain your hard-won, sleek new body when you reach your goal. And you’ll reap many additional health, wellness and longevity benefits as well. So, are you in?

2 Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 May;13(3):265-70
3 Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):29-39
4 Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Mar;1190:25-41
5 Br J Nutr. 2009 Nov;102(10):1538
6 Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Nov;21(11):955-62
7 Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74