Weight loss fiction #1: Don’t eat more calories than you burn.
Although cutting calories has been a weight-loss mantra for decades, along with “willpower” and “low fat,” NONE are right!
Why? Skipping meals, or reducing calories actually creates an “energy slump.” In order to conserve the few calories coming in, the body slows its metabolism—it burns fewer calories; you feel tired. Denied true food, your body goes into panic, cravings, and then starvation mode.
In a sense, the body further resets its “fatostat” to conserve energy. Because you’ve probably trained your body to live on carbs, it already cannot access and burn the stored energy (fat); your fatostat is already set on “conserve.”
And when you return to a “correct amount” of calories, your body doesn’t increase its energy burn; instead it stores fat expecting a future “famine.”
Weight loss fiction #2: Weight control can be solved with a crash diet.
Diet: n. the foods you routinely eat. Unfortunately, to some, “diet” means a special food restriction you do for a short period of time to lose weight. This is important; your food routine is 80% of your ability to maintain your ideal weight.
If you became overweight, was your routine healthy?
Food: n. that which is eaten to sustain life, provide energy, and promote the growth and repair of tissues; nourishment.
How much true food do you eat?
Seven Principles for Permanent Weight loss:
Ignite your energy (fat) burning ability. Don’t eat less; eat smarter! Flip your body’s switch from storing fat to burning it for energy.
Principle#1: You have to be healthy to stably lose weight.
Weight gain is a symptom not the cause. PLEASE STOP TREATING SYMPTOMS. Forcing your body to lose weight by starving it (or taking hormones or diet shakes/powders with synthetic additives and high fructose corn syrup…) just makes things worse.
Especially focus on reducing inflammation. Low grade infections, food sensitivities and unhandled stress interfere with weight loss by stimulating certain hormones. The more inflamed your body, the higher key hormones like cortisol and others. This triggers high blood sugar, insulin resistance and additional fat storage.
Principle #2: Hormones influence whether your body will store fat or burn fat or hold excess water.
Long-term weight control means restoring hormone balance to key organs and organ systems. Balance cannot be sustained by popping pills (either medication or synthetic vitamins) to address imbalances caused by our choices. Fat will come off in direct relation to the health of your hormones. Balance takes time; you may feel better faster than you lose weight. KEEP HEALING! Once your body is in “safe mode” the weight will come off.
Reduce exposure to hormones and chemicals. In the U.S. most meats and meat products come from animals grown faster thanks to injected hormones (and arsenic in poultry food). Pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals can mimic hormones and disrupt balance. These remain active in our food and work great in our bodies too—unfortunately. Get grass-fed or wild-caught meats; calorie-for-calorie, these are also higher in nutrients.
Principle #3: Eat to quench your fat-storage hormones.
Calories are not created equal! Eliminate added sugar and reduce starchy foods (bread, pasta, grains, white potatoes). These anti-foods elevate blood sugar, cause the body to produce insulin which actually stops the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, and sends that blood sugar into cells where—you guessed it—if it isn’t burned for energy right away it is converted to fat. Think about how many calories you actually burn in 30 minutes on that treadmill, a few hundred? The rest go to fat—not a happy scene if you go back to your desk… or to sleep…
Keep your total carbohydrate intake under 70-80 grams per day. Energy drinks and energy bars, Frappachinos, Caramel mochachinos, fruit juices and drinks are ridiculously high in sugars (carbohydrates). Even certain foods, legumes (beans), dates, white potatoes, etc. provide the daily carbohydrate count in a single serving. These will promote fat-storing hormones.
Artificial sweeteners of all kinds may be just as bad. In fact, recent research shows that artificial sweeteners may also signal the body to store fat.
Principle #4: Eat to ignite your fat-burning energy hormones.
Ounce for ounce, protein has the same number of calories as carbs. Just as too many starchy foods imbalance our blood sugar and waste muscle, the right amount of protein at the right times, can trigger fat-burning and restore muscle mass.
There is nothing more true than “eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper” when it comes to protein.
Start your day with 21 grams of protein to give you energy all morning and stave off that mid-morning energy slump and cravings. Whether eggs or protein smoothies or even things most people in the US associate with “dinner” (it’s not that way in other healthier countries); honor your natural rhythms and give your body protein in the AM.
Meet another hormone: Ghrehlin. Among many things grehlin signals stimulates appetite, increases food intake (especially “comfort food”) and promotes fat storage. Following a natural 24-hour rhythm, Ghrehlin appears to cycle high about mid-morning. A high protein breakfast makes this cycle less high and most people say it also makes them feel more energy, more full, more satisfied.
Principle #5: Cravings? Eat what your body really wants.
Most cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs a genuine building block. Unfortunately we’ve trained ourselves to associate the craving with whatever we used to temporarily solve the slump.
Craving chocolate? Your body doesn’t need chocolate, it is really asking for magnesium and will go slow until it gets some.
Craving salty foods? You might need more water (of the good, clean mineral kind—not stripped like reverse osmosis). You might also need to support your adrenal glands with more minerals. Table salt, especially iodized, can imbalance your system. Switch to sea salt, and…
Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet. There is no better way to get enough vitamins, minerals and fiber than eating plenty of green leafy vegetables.
Vitamins, minerals and fiber play an important role in weight loss. The best bioactive source is that pile of greens that should take up half your plate (at least).
Eat at least one-third of your food lightly cooked or uncooked. Overcooking destroys enzymes making it harder to digest and absorb nutrients (if there even are any left).
Principle #6: Fat does not make you fat!
Increase the healthful fats in your diet. By “healthy fats” is meant the clean, non-hormone and chemical-laden fats in pastured or wild animals, cold water fish, avocados and others. Seed oils (corn, soy, canola…) are very high in omega-6 fatty acids that have been shown to stimulate production of certain inflammatory and pain hormones—and, yes, inflammation promotes weight gain. Omega-6 fatty acids also promote attention problems—another story for another article 🙂 Easily reduce omega-6’s by eliminating all packaged foods and especially salad dressings—that is the biggest source of this cheap, plentiful ingredient and it is sooooo easy and economical to make your own.
If you do not get enough fat from your diet, your body will hold onto what it has. Your liver will begin to make more cholesterol and triglycerides. All the “Heart Healthy” marketing will tell you to cut back on fat. Don’t listen—it just isn’t true.
Craving fats? You probably need some—and don’t forget the veggies that give you enzymes, minerals and vitamins to digest that fat. Your body needs a balance of vitamins and minerals to burn fat as energy and help your body fight fatigue, illness, disease, and even stress (all of which shift your body into fat-storing mode).
Principle #7: Get enough of the right kind of exercise and 7 hours of quality sleep.
Exercise does not burn fat: it triggers fat-burning hormones to burn fat. 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week: your target heart rate = (220 – your age) x 0.5 (or up to 0.7 depending on your health). Take your pulse for 6 seconds and then add a zero.
Don’t like math? Just make sure you can hold a conversation on your brisk walk, slow run, ski, hike…
High intensity anaerobic exercise can also stimulate fat-burning hormones. So if you’d rather get your biceps around a dumbbell or your quads under the bar… go for it.
Both forms of exercise initially burn available blood sugar first and then force the body to release and convert fat into energy but anaerobic exercise stimulates fat buring 14-48 hours later. Consuming sugars (including sugary “protein bars” and “protein shakes”, starches, juice, sports drinks or alcohol) will decimate the body’s use of fat for energy, for about 48 hours.