Welcome to your 8-Week Weight Loss Challenge! I’m so excited that you will be taking this journey with me to better health. The goal of this challenge is to lose as much weight as possible in a healthy manner.
As an Obesity Medicine Physician, I have access to tools and products that you can’t obtain through commercial programs or internet fad diets. These tools will help you lose weight with greater ease and keep it off long-term.
Through this 8-Week Challenge, I will set the records straight, and give you my best “Clinical Pearls” in combination with weight loss tools that are backed by science, not empty promises.
Are you ready? Let’s go! I am challenging you to do everything you can to put yourself first for the next 8 weeks. Get your family, friends, and loved ones on board, and if you can, find a partner to do this with you!
You will hear from me frequently throughout this challenge on Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Lives—where we can communicate in real time, and I will answer your questions. I am here to support you, and we will do this together!
In the field of Medical Weight Loss, we focus on 4 distinct areas: Nutrition, Exercise, Behavioral Modification, and Medical Management. The Dr. Wendy 8–Week Challenge has pieces of each area included to give the complete weight losing and sustaining experience associated with our field.
Optimize Your Weight Loss With Meal Replacements
Despite what you may hear, there is no one perfect diet. As we say in our field, “the best diet for you is the one that you can stick to.” To this end, I have chosen the method that gets the best results with my patients: meal replacements combined with healthy food.
There is a huge difference between medical-grade meal replacements and store-bought brands. For the 8-Week Challenge, you will consume two shakes and two bars, preferably starting first thing in the morning and eating every three hours after. Your schedule can be something like this:
- 7 am protein shake
- 10 am protein bar
- 1 pm protein shake
- 4 pm protein bar
- 6 or 7 pm “lean and green” dinner (4-6 oz of cooked protein and unlimited non-starchy vegetables)
Check out our meal replacement options here.
Meal Planning for Your 8-Week Challenge
Women should aim for about 1,200 calories per day. If you consume all of the meal replacements we’ve discussed, you will get 640 calories per day. For your meal, aim for about 500 calories. If you follow your plan to a tee, you should lose 1-3 pounds of weight per week.
Men should aim for 1,500 calories per day. Have two shakes and two bars daily and then a 600-800 calorie meal. You should see a 2-5 pound loss in a week, depending on your metabolic rate.
For a ballpark of your weight loss projections, use this BMR calculator.
5 Supplements That Will Boost Your Weight Loss Results
For your weight loss challenge, I encourage you to start with the supplements listed below. The products I have chosen increase metabolism, decrease hunger, and help with cravings, sleep, and an overall sense of well-being.
- Fish Oil – increases metabolic rate, improves fat metabolism, and decreases hunger
- Probiotic – provides the appropriate strains of bacteria to create a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut
- Vitamin D – promotes healthy bones and teeth, supports immune, brain, and nervous system health, regulates insulin levels, and encourages lung function and cardiovascular health
- Multivitamin – improves cellular health, overall wellness, and longevity
- Chromium Picolinate – helps with the junk food, sugar, and carbohydrate weaning process
Check out our supplements by Metagenics here.
11 Tips for Behavioral Modification
We eat for many reasons beyond the simple physical sensation of being hungry. Sometimes we eat for psychological reasons, because we’re avoiding a task, or just because something looks good. These eating behaviors affect our relationship with food, how many calories we consume, and how much we weigh. Follow these quick tips to achieve long-term behavioral changes that will assist with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
1. Swap Sweetened Beverages for Water
Drinking water decreases hunger, increases metabolism, and improves fatigue, brain function, exercise tolerance, mood, and immune function. Getting 64-82 ounces of water per day is thus extremely important.
2. Record Your Food Intake
Journal your thoughts for the day: What were you proud of? What did you struggle with? Who encouraged you today? What did you catch yourself doing that got in the way of your weight loss, and what could you do to prevent that in the future?
3. Dine Without Distractions
Avoid eating while having screen time. Sit down, decompress, take a deep breath, and just focus on eating.
4. Sleep 6-9 Hours per Night
Insufficient sleep causes levels of ghrelin, a chemical that provokes hunger, to rise, which in turn stimulates your appetite.
5. Wean From Starchy Carbs and Sugar
As I mentioned above, taking Chromium 2-3 times a day helps with cravings and improves insulin resistance, making the weaning process so much easier! Plus, you’ll get a nice fix of sweetness from your meal replacement shakes and bars!
6. Eat Every 3 Hours
Research has shown that eating small, frequent meals causes us to consume fewer total calories a day. Eating every three hours can keep blood sugar levels stable, which decreases hunger and makes you more energetic and alert throughout the day.
7. Fast Between Evening and Morning Meals
Daily 12-hour fasting can help prevent insulin resistance and obesity. Try to start eating at 8 a.m. and stop at 8 p.m. to take advantage of this natural cleansing process in the body.
8. Find an Accountability Partner
Challenge a friend to participate in the 8-Week Challenge with you and hold each other accountable. The ideal accountability partner will face similar challenges and share your goals.
9. Cook at Home
There are many benefits of cooking at home. It will save you money, you have more control over what is being served, and a home-cooked meal makes for more family connectedness!
10. Abstain From Alcohol
Since alcohol tends to loosen us up, we snack more when we are drinking. If that weren’t bad enough, drinking alcohol disturbs your sleep and we already know how sleep affects our weight. So try to significantly limit your alcohol or don’t drink it at all.
11. Weigh Yourself Weekly
During weight loss, I recommend weighing yourself only once per week. Once you reach your goal weight, begin weighing yourself daily to promptly detect any weight gain and address it quickly.
Exercise to Maintain Your Weight Loss
Despite what you may have heard, exercise isn’t critical for weight loss, although research shows that it does help maintain weight loss. Continued exercise is the glue that holds the various aspects of healthy living together. People who exercise sleep better, feel better and crave more wholesome foods.
If you are already exercising, keep going! If not, start with walking, with the goal of increasing your steps to 10,000 per day. As you are probably aware, steps are measured on most electronic watches, smartphones, and other wearables such as Fit Bits. Once you get to 10,000, see if you can push it up a bit.
Embarking on Your Transformative Journey
It’s time to get inspired to become a better version of yourself: stronger, faster, healthier, and happier! Over the next 8 weeks, I challenge you to prioritize your health like never before. Rally your family, friends, and loved ones to support you or even join you on your weight loss journey! Having companionship and encouragement will make your pursuit of a healthier weight and lifestyle both easier and more rewarding.