It is my belief you should not exercise specifically for weight loss. Let me be clear, I am not saying you should not exercise. Exercise without a proper eating plan will only lead to failure. They are the Yin and Yang of wellness. But when it comes to weight loss, what, when, and how you eat is most important. You can't out exercise the supersize. Follow these 8 tips by implementing them all at once for faster results, or add one tip a week to your eating regimen to make it easier on yourself. Either way, changing your eating habits by adding all 8 of these steps is crucial to your well being!
The main problem with weight gain (and loss) is a hormonal issue, and the hormone is insulin. When we eat carbs, we release insulin. But when we eat protein we also release insulin, just not as much. Eating fat, however, has very little to no effect on insulin release. So in general, and studies show, you should be eating a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat diet! Here are the steps for successful long term weight loss.
Tip 1: Remove added sugar
You knew this was going to be number 1, didn’t you? Sugar is the number 1 obstacle to health. It’s 8x more addictive than cocaine, causes cancer, increases insulin (which is the main cause of obesity), and causes brain fog, Alzheimer's and dementia. There is a book titled “Pure, White, and Deadly”, and it’s accurate. Remove all added sugar from your diet, and limit those sugary fruits while you’re at it.
Tip 2: Eat Real Whole Foods
Next to sugar, processed foods are the biggest issue. Eat only real whole foods. Remove all processed foods from your diet. If it lived, eat it, if it didn’t, don’t. Whole unprocessed plant and animal products should be all that is on your diet. If the food has an ingredient list and comes in a box, can, bottle, or any other container, it’s probably a processed food. Eat the WHOLE food, not just the juice! More on that coming up.
Tip 3: Proper Plate Proportions
You’ve heard a lot about what your plate should look like, but here is the truth. Your plate should be ¾ vegetables with half of that being dark leafy greens and ¼ protein. You’ll notice I didn’t say carbs. All your carbs should primarily come from vegetables. Most other carbs come from processed foods which you are avoiding.
Tip 4: Increase Your Healthy Fat Intake
The low-fat diet craze caused more issues with the heart, brain, and health in general than probably any other guideline. Even the government recognized their failure and now does not limit your healthy fat intake. Fat doesn’t raise insulin levels, both carbs and protein do (carbs the most). Notice I said healthy. But what is healthy? Olive oil, butter, lard, nuts (not peanut), avocado oil, coconut oil, and others. Do NOT use any vegetable oils, canola, corn, etc. Most are toxic. You may be surprised to learn that butter is on the healthy list. You like butter don’t you? Fat also helps to curb your appetite. Bonus! Make sure your vegetables (salads) have plenty of healthy fat. No more low-fat dressing. Vegetables contain many fat-soluble vitamins, that means your body needs the fat to absorb the vitamins! But make your own dressings or at least read the ingredients label as most, even those that say they contain olive oil, contain bad fats like canola oil. Plus most have too much added sugar. Choose a dressing with vinegar and healthy oil along with spices.
Tip 5: Lower Your Carb Intake
While increasing your fat intake, lower your carbs to less than 50 grams a day if you’re sedentary, 75 if active, and 100 grams if you are very physically active. Even less if possible. By removing added sugar and eating real whole foods, eliminating processed foods, you are well on your way to staying low carb. All your carbs should come from non-starchy vegetables and maybe some fruits but be careful with the fruits. This will dramatically lower your insulin levels. BTW, there is nothing essential to life about carbs. All carbs should come from vegetables or a little from fruit.
Tip 6: Moderate Your Protein Intake to 4-6 oz a Meal
Moderate your protein intake. The flaw in the old Atkins diet was two-fold. The extreme limits on any carbs, even from some vegetables (making it hard for most to stick to), and the ability to eat tons of protein. The problem is, protein also raises insulin levels, just not as much as carbs. We need protein, it has many essential vitamins and some we can not get from carbs. Some we can only get from animal protein. Protein also helps to build muscle. So eat protein, but limit to 4-6 oz per meal. No more 16 oz steaks! Follow the plate guideline above and you’ll be safe!
Tip 7: Your eating window should be smaller than your fasting window
Studies show that eating 6 small meals a day actually causes you to eat more! Though we aren’t counting calories, that’s still a problem. The issue with eating all day is our insulin levels rise and stay high all day rather than rise and lower as needed after meals. Make sure you leave at least 12 hours a night without eating anything (except water or other 0 calories drinks like tea and coffee, no diet anything). Leaving 14 to 16 hours is even better. Then eat just 2 to 3 meals until you are full but only within your remaining eating window. Don’t worry about the fasting hours, just focus on having an 8 to 10 (or even 6) hour eating window where you eat all your food within that window.
Tip 8: Don’t Stress
While our main goal is to not cause a release of the hormone insulin, we also don’t want to release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes weight gain. Have you ever taken prednisone (artificial cortisol)? What’s the number one side effect? Weight gain, and lots of it! Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it’s caused by chronic stress. Reducing stress includes getting lots of sleep, daily light exercise like walking, maybe meditation or yoga, and other means which may even include getting rid of those toxic people in your life!
Copyright (c) 2019 - John Vercelletto and Sensei of Wellness