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7 Ways to Lose 25+ Pounds Without Taking Weight Loss Drugs, Says Expert

Her plan involves eating more – not less – food.

Dominique Sottile (@lifting_queen_dom) is a weight loss coach, trainer, and social media influencer who has amassed a large following across multiple platforms for sharing insider advice on how to burn fat and lose weight in a "realistic" way. In a new video, she explains how you can lose 26 pounds without taking weight loss pills – but simply through hard work and fueling your body with the fuel it needs to thrive. We also asked The Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, to weigh in on her advice. 

A Woman Is Struggling to Lose Weight


Dominique reads an email from a woman struggling to lose weight. "I weigh 176 pounds. This is the heaviest I've ever weighed. I'm depressed, sad, and would ideally like to weigh 150 pounds," it says. She goes on to explain that she is eating 140 grams of protein, 80 to 100 carbs, and 35 grams of fat. She also drinks green powder daily.  "I know you're probably not going to like those macros," the email continues. She adds that she is losing "some weight" and doing an hour of cardio daily, "but I feel so bloated and puffy and tired no matter what I eat or how little I eat."  

First, Supplements and Green Powder Won't Help You Lose Weight

Composition with nutritional supplement capsules and containers. Variety of drug pills

First, Dominique points out that green powder and supplements are going to "fix the problem" like changing your lifestyle will. "These weight loss pills, do you think you just taking these weight loss pills and not exercising and looking at your diet means you're going to lose weight? No. Just like taking greens powder, A greens powder is a good supplement for you to take if you are not drinking greens throughout the day. That is why I say take a greens powder in the morning. If you know that you don't like vegetables or put it in a smoothie, if you know you are lacking on your greens, this is not going to solve your bloating or your issues. This is just giving you extra greens throughout the day," she says. 

She Isn't Eating Enough

Chicken Breast on Food Scale with Mushrooms and Spinach

She adds that 80 to 100 grams of carbs is not the right number. "We know her current macros are 140 protein, 80 to 100 carbs and 35 fat. We know that she is bloated, puffy and tired, and she is only doing cardio. The calories for 140 to 80 carb and 35 fat is going to be 1195 calories, and then if she was eating a hundred carbs on a higher carb day, that's still only 1275 calories," she says, pointing out that it probably isn't enough for her especially if she is doing an hour of cardio daily.  

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She Has No Energy to Run On


She points out that if you are tired, bloated, only doing cardio, and suffering from inflammation, it's probably because your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs. Therefore it has no energy to run on. 

She Recommends Strength Training

Slim, bodybuilder girl, lifts heavy dumbbell standing in front of the mirror while training in the gym. Sports concept, fat burning and a healthy lifestyle.

"Here's what we're going to do," she says. "You can keep in some cardio if she truly loves it, but she's going to strength training three times a week."

She's Also Going to Bump Up Her Carbs and Fat


She also recommends bumping up her carbs to 50 and fat to 45. "She can stay at 140 protein for now. That gives her a total of 1565 calories," she continues. "As time goes on and she increases her activity, we will increase her food as well." She explains that this will help her lose fat and not muscle, now that she is also strength training. "If you want to look toned, okay, and you want to have a six pack and you want to be lean, you know how you're going to do that. By losing fat," she continues. As she starts exercising more, she will increase her food. "This is going to help with her bloating, with her digestion, with her being tired and she'll have more energy. The fact that she can have more energy, she'll be able to strength train."

She Will Start Noticing a Difference and Keep Going

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"When she starts strength training, she'll notice she's losing inches. When she's losing inches, she'll notice her clothes are fitting better. When her clothes are feeling better, she'll notice that she has more confidence. When she has more confidence, she will keep going because it feels so dang good, and then we can keep upping her calories and her food until she's at a steady place where she is not struggling to eat 1195 calories," she says. 

Bottom Line: Don't Fear Food, It Can "Heal You"


She concludes by telling her followers that "you do not want to live the rest of your life being fearful of food. You do not want to live the rest of your life feeling bloated, bloated to the point where you're so scared to eat because all you do is bloat. You do not want to live the rest of your life being tired and hungry and starving and moody and always needing energy, drinks and caffeine, and always needing to take a nap. You are going to miss out on so much in life. When you are fearful to live life, this is all holding you back. You having a toxic relationship with food. Food is medicine. Food can heal you. Food is fuel. This will help you achieve your goals. Life is meant to have energy and enjoyment and love and confidence."

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week

Lose Weight in a Sustainable Way


She adds that if you lose weight in a sustainable way, you can be happy. "Stop doing things that lead you into being miserable. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have your dream body. You deserve to have it all, and you can. It's not too late. You're not too old. These are all narratives that you tell yourself."

Collingwood Agrees That She Isn't Eating Enough


Collingwood agrees that the woman in the email isn't eating nearly enough and is too low on carbs and fat. "Definitely increasing both of these and spreading that out throughout the day is a great idea to give her more energy," she says. 

RELATED: The #1 Cause of "Hidden" Fat, According to Science

She Also Maintains That She Exhausting Herself With Cardio


Also, she confirms that she is "exhausting herself" with one hour of cardio per day and her body has probably adjusted to it. "Reduce the cardio, increase the intensity of it with some intervals and cut it to 30 minutes," she says. "Definitely add strength training to the routine and 3 times per week is a great recommendation." 

She May Be Bloating From Her Diet

Unhappy young woman standing in front of a mirror and holding hands on her bloating stomach.

She adds that she may be feeling bloated from eating low carb foods (sugar alcohols), from carbonated foods, "or just that the gut microbiome is off from years of dieting," Collingwood adds. "Add some probiotics and fiber to keep things moving." 

Body Booster: If you are struggling to lose weight, rethink your approach to diet and fitness. Maybe you aren't eating enough or doing the right type of exercise. 

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Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more