So you are wanting to lose weight, huh? You head to the bookstore and become overwhelmed by the hundreds of books lining the shelves promising you a quick weight loss. Remember what your parents taught you? If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is! Perhaps you consider that new fad diet your friends are raving about. Sure, it’s near starvation, and you can only eat popcorn, or grapefruit, or foods that are yellow, or whatever the flavor of the day is, but it has to work…right? Wrong. Let me show you why your dieting may be making your weight issue a bigger problem.
In order to successfully lose and manage your weight you must eat. You must eat real foods. Metabolism is the process by which your body manufactures and expends energy. The more efficient this process, the healthier you are. That includes your energy, your mental function and your weight. The problem is that when most people are trying to lose weight they limit their calories to such a degree that they can’t drive a healthy metabolism. They avoid eating “real foods” that they should be eating to consume the latest health “food” created in a lab somewhere. The results are devastating.
Even those that have surgical bypass in order to lose weight are at a tremendous risk of micronutrient deficiency which will contribute to the weight management difficulties they are facing…even after a surgery. Fad diets, starvation diets, the Standard American Diet (SAD diet), and other techniques people use to lose weight actually disrupt your metabolism. In order to lose weight you must nourish your body. You actually need to eat more to weigh less. You just have to choose the right foods.
(1) Consume Adequate Protein
You need to consume enough protein to maintain your lean muscle mass. When you have too little muscle mass and too much body fat…even if not obese…you have a condition called sarcopenic obesity. Your lean muscle mass is failing and this is the primary indicator of accelerated aging. Most individuals wake up in the morning and consume a carbohydrate-rich “breakfast” of coffee and a donut. They then wait 4-6 hours for their next meal. This wreaks havoc on your blood sugar management in the body. Start your day with adequate protein (about 15-25 grams) and you will better manage your blood sugars the rest of the day, but also stave off cravings.
(2) Ensure Proper Micronutrients
Micronutrients are all the vitamins and minerals that keep your cellular machinery working. One small deficiency will be expounded when it affects the trillions of cells in your body. Your weight loss struggle could be due to something as simple as this. In order to have adequate micronutrients you need a well-balanced whole foods diet, a multivitamin/mineral supplement each day, and normal stomach acid production. If you fail in these three areas you are setting yourself up for failure with weight loss.
(3) Starve the Bad…Feed the Good
Your gut bacteria are extremely important in every area of your health. It has been found that imbalances in the bacteria in your gut can cause you to be fat. So you need to starve the bad bacteria by not giving them the things they need to thrive. If you are consuming a high-carbohydrate diet that is low in fiber, high in preservatives and artificial flavors and overall “junk” you are giving the bad bacteria exactly what they need to survive. When you eat a healthy diet full of unrefined carbohydrates, adequate protein, good fats, adequate fiber, and high phytonutrients, then you are giving the good bacteria what they need to thrive. You begin to feed the good and starve the bad.
So What Should You Do?
- Ensure you have adequate levels of stomach acid. You can do a simple challenge test with betaine HCl to measure this.
- Take a broad-spectrum multivitamin each day to cover all of your micronutrient bases, as well as protect your cell’s DNA.
- Eat frequently, don’t skip meals, and eat when hungry…just eat real foods.
- If a food has a health claim on the box, has ingredients you can’t understand, or promises to be “low-calorie”…avoid it!
- Eat for your good bacteria and take a broad-spectrum probiotic each day.
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