Weight Loss (and Metabolism)
We just recently finished an 8-week weight-loss community challenge with the Biggest Loser. The goal was to get people to lose weight, not by focusing on weight-loss, per se, but by focusing on being healthy. Because, if you work on being healthy and you are overweight, then you will begin to lose weight.
When I introduce people to my Complete Wellness System, I don’t necessarily focus on their particular health issue. I focus on making the body healthy. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is go on a weight-loss diet fad. It’s been proven time and again that they don’t work. The idea is not to kill yourself for three months to lose weight and then go back to your old unhealthy habits. Guess what? You’ll gain the weight back. The idea is to change the way you think about health and weight-loss, make permanent healthy changes to your life, and the rest will fall into place.
There was an article out recently in the NY Times where they went back and checked on all the people who had won the Biggest Loser tv show. It turns out that most of them gained a lot of the weight back. Some are even heavier now than they were before the show! The article talked about how the people had lowered their metabolism and because of that, so many of their calories were turning to fat. Without getting too deep into the weeds, the article focused on the old theory of calories in vs. calories out. Let me tell you why I think this is wrong.
First of all, all calories are not the same. Compare a 2,000 calorie diet of fresh fruits and vegetables versus a 2,000 calorie diet of cake and ice cream. Huge difference. One diet is full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. The other is full of empty calories. It’s kind of a silly comparison, but I think you get my point. Dr. Katz puts it this way:
“…you’ll look at the literature at large that a diet made up mostly of, and folks, here’s the epiphany, shocker, diet made up mostly of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds with or without fish and seafood, with or without dairy, with or without some lean meat and poultry, with or without eggs, but mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, and when you’re thirsty, drink water, that’s it. That’s the formula. We don’t need to bog down into cutting saturated fat or not. The answer is if you eat those foods mostly, your diet is low in saturated fat.”
The same goes with sodium and sugar. The point is that if you eat healthy, you don’t have to worry about fat, salt, sugar, etc. Therefore, I try not to count calories. It puts your mind in the wrong place and gets your focus off the important stuff. Typically, when people try to lose weight, they try to cut calories. Here’s the problem. If you’re eating a diet high in calories with no nutritional value, and you reduce those calories, are you getting any more nutritional value? No. You’re just eating less junk food. And if you reduce your calories too much, your body will go into starvation mode and hang on to your fat storage in order to keep you from dying. It will reduce your metabolism to save energy. By cutting your calories too much, you’re resetting your metabolism at a lower rate, so when you start eating again, you’ll get fatter faster!
So what do we do to lose weight and keep it off? I look at the type of food you’re eating and the nutrients you’re putting into your body. Here are some of the nutrients needed for weight management:
Asparagine: an amino acid that increases insulin sensitivity which helps your body store energy in muscle rather than fat.
Biotin: improves glycemic control (stabilizes blood sugar) and lowers insulin. It boosts metabolism
Carnitine: Helps to reduce belly fat (visceral adiposity). Carries fatty acids into the cell where they are burned for fuel.
Calcium: inhibits the formation of fat cells and helps burn fat cells.
Lipoic Acid: helps burn carbs more efficiently and improves glucose uptake into cells.
Chromium: makes body more sensitive to insulin which helps reduce body fat and increase muscle.
Vitamin B5: activates the enzyme lipase which burns fat.
Magnesium: increases insulin sensitivity by stimulating metabolism. Low magnesium impairs your ability to use glucose for fuel, instead storing it as fat.
Glutamine: Reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into the muscle.
Cysteine: reduces body fat in obese people
Inositol: may increase adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells.
Vitamin B3 (niacin): increases adiponectin. Niacin bound with chromium can reduce body weight.
Vitamin A: reduces size of fat cells, and reduces a person’s tendency to store food as fat.
Vitamin E: inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, reducing body fat.
Vitamin D: deficiency in D linked to poor metabolism of carbs.
Vitamin K: helps metabolize sugars. Deficiency linked to excess fat tissue.
Zinc: deficiency reduces leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite.
(list provided by Spectracell Labs)
You may notice that a lot of these nutrients affect insulin. Insulin plays a key role in fat metabolism (and diabetes.) So, my question to you is this, are you getting the nutrients you need (whether in food or supplements) that help you lose weight? My guess is no.
Another factor in weight-loss is boosting your metabolism. Some of the nutrients that help boost metabolism include:
Capsicum: a fruit extract from hot peppers. Helps manage appetite and increases thermogenesis.
Garcinia Cambogia: from a tropical fruit. The main ingredient is hydroxycitric acid (you may have heard of Hydroxy-cut.)
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): found in meat and dairy and some vegetable oils. Helps maintain normal fat metabolism and muscle.
What is the answer to losing weight? First, stop counting calories. You’re looking in the wrong place. Focus on the calorie to nutrient ratio.
Next, do a detox to get rid of all the toxins in your body that are slowing down your system. By the way, toxins are stored in fat cells, so getting rid of toxins and fat cells go hand-in-hand. By removing toxins from your system, it allows your internal organs to operate more efficiently.
Next, get rid of all the junk food in your house. If it’s in your cupboard, it’s more likely than not that you’re going to eat it in your hour of weakness.
Next, go to your farmers market and buy locally grown fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Next, get a high-quality vitamin/mineral supplement that has all (or most) of the items listed above. (I have a special Weight Management formula that I sell that expressly focuses on nutrients needed for weight loss.)
Next, exercise a little. Anything is better than nothing. Walk around the block a few times. Go to the gym. Bike, jog, rollerblade, dance. Whatever you can do, move your body!
Next, when eating, think about portion control and glycemic index. Don’t over-eat. Eat slowly to give your brain time to realize that you’ve had enough. If you eat too quickly, you’ll over-eat. Eat foods lower on the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks the amount of carbs in food. The lower the number, the better. Under 55 is considered good. The foods with a low glycemic index are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, and cause a lower rise in blood sugar.
There you have it. This is a brief and simple way for you to begin losing weight. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. I have workouts online if you want to workout at home. I have pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements if you need some. If you need a diet plan specifically for you, we can do that. If you want more information, I wrote a book on how to lose weight naturally. You can download it from my website. www.ulti-health.com.