Weight gain in most people is now believed by some health care professionals to be caused by an insulin-adrenal gland hormonal imbalance caused primarily by what we eat and how often we eat. Conclusive evidence demonstrates that a calorie is NOT a calorie as far as weight gain is concerned.
Humans were genetically designed with two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT energy systems [metaphorically referred to as the gas and diesel engines discussed below.]. This was because we spent the vast majority of time on earth as hunters and gatherers with cyclic periods of feasting and fasting depending on the availability of food sources.
The “gasoline engine” depends on consuming calories for energy; the “diesel engine” relies entirely on stored fat and can operate for days, weeks even a year without the need for food. Of course water minerals and vitamins are necessary for life, but not a single calorie from outside sources is necessary until most of the diesel fuel [stored fat] is used up. The diesel engine kicks into gear when the body has used up all of its stored glucose and glycogen. Because the adrenal hormone norepinephrine is highly involved with this transformational process, the metabolic rate actually rises during ketosis, and many people report a calm, focused mind with lowered appetite. Norepinephrine is the body’s natural “diet pill.” The ideal nutritional guide is to eat only when you are truly hungry [not stressed, fatigued or irritable], and to eat food that is not processed in any way, and to eat food that you like. Ideal nutrition favors healthy fats, real protein, complex carbohydrates found in most vegetables, some fruits and whole grain pastas or breads in moderation.
The Paleo Diet is most representative of these dietary sources. We were NOT designed to eat three square meals a day with snacks in between and certainly not for a steady diet of junk food, sweets, cold drinks, or processed food of any kind. All of these eating behaviors increase insulin substantially causing the body to preferentially store food as fat and limit its availability to our brain and muscles. Furthermore elevated insulin levels lock the fat cell down making it very difficult to use one’s own fat as energy.
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Dr. Jason Fung. The definitive “textbook” on the insulin hormonal theory of obesity and its treatment.
FASTING & THE KETO DIET : Why they work so well together as explained by Dr. Jason Fung. Brief summary book of The Obesity Code.
365 Days of Ketogenic Diet Recipes by Emma Katie. Excellent examples of delicious “low insulin” meals along with their times of preparation.
We were designed to periodically FAST
Mini fasts [24 hrs] simply requires one to skip breakfast and lunch, typically two to three times a week. Once a month, however we recommend a “keto fast” which takes 48 hours or more of true fasting, or up to a week of zero carbs. The diesel engine kicks in when you are producing ketones in the urine. This happens when a ketone test strip [available at drug stores or on line] turns purple when you dip it in urine. We do not favor continuous keto diets because they are not physiologically sound, do not taste good for long and most importantly do not conform to our genetic design which invariably means they are not good for us in the long term. Substantial evidence exists to support other health benefits from fasting besides weight loss.
We prescribe medicines to help decrease appetite when necessary, until natural appetite suppression returns when your energy systems are restored to balance. Instead of taking medicine daily we recommend using it only on fast days to train yourself back to your natural state. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND COUNTING CALORIES.
We DO recommend that you eat the right foods most of the time and eat only when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. The rest will take care of itself.
A great smart phone app that we recommend for tracking your intermittent fasting is the Life App, available on iOS and Android Devices.
Delay, Don’t Deny Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle by Gin Stevens. An excellent easy to understand introduction to intermittent fasting.
EXERCISE is a key component to weight loss
A personal exercise trainer, faithfully followed, is the best way to reach your exercise goal. For those on a limited budget of time and money, we recommend two highly efficient exercise routines with sound scientific backing to meet the aerobic and resistance [weight lifting] goals of a well balanced exercise program:
RESISTANCE EXERCISE RECOMMENDATION:
The once a week 18 minute ‘Body by Science” or “10 Second” workout routines exercises the 5 major muscle groups in one setting with the following exercises performed in this order:
The Bench Press, The Seated Row, the Leg Press, The Military Press, The Lat Pull Downs.
The goal is to perform one set of each of these in sequential order with no more than a 45 second break between exercises. Use super slow out and in motions [ten seconds out and ten seconds in] keeping the muscles under constant tension for at least 90 seconds but no more than two minutes. Select a weight that allows you accomplish this task.
So far sounds easy right? Well, here is they key, and why an encouraging partner who can help you time your progress is most helpful: You must reach a point of muscle exhaustion where you can’t move the bar one more inch, then keep trying with all your focus and might to push or pull for ten more seconds. Then move promptly on to the next exercise. This program has several advantages. It takes only 18 minutes to perform and should be done just one time a week. The weight necessary to meet the goals described above and the super slow motions make injury very unlikely, and preclude the need for stretching or warming up.
If you give it your all, you will feel spent for an hour or two! But the beauty of the routine is this: your aerobic, anaerobic and general metabolic systems are so heavily engaged that it takes the body an entire week of to put things back in order. Because of this you burn extra calories for a much longer time than the exercise period. If done properly, you will notice increased strength and endurance on a weekly basis. You can vary the exercises; with creativity, they can be done at home with bands or a home gym etc; however a Professional Gym is ideal. There are many excellent fitness centers in the Hammond area, but if affordability is the determining factor, Planet Fitness only costs 10.00 a month.
Body By Science: A Researched-Based Program for Strength training, Body Building and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week by Doug McGuff MD and John Little, PhD. This is of medical textbook but readable quality for those who are interested in the research; it also demonstrates the exercises and schedules in detail along with a section on nutritional supplements. Dr. McGuff presents a 7 part YouTube video series on the subject.
Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution by Adam Zickerman. This book gives many more variations on the same theme.
AEROBIC Exercise Recommendation
HIIT [High Intensity Interval Training] is a remarkably efficient way to maintain aerobic fitness. In addition to burning calories, aerobic exercise reduces stress, improves sleep, decreases fatigue, improves mood and helps lower the risks of numerous other medical problems. It takes only 15 minutes to accomplish same results a more moderate 45 minute or 1 hour routine. Ideally it should be done at least three times a week. The type of exercise [walking, running, elliptical, swimming rowing cycling etc.] does not matter. It’s all in the technique:
Lets use walking as an example:
Warm up at a brisk pace for 5 minutes until you “work up a lather” but can still carry on a conversation.
Then for 30 seconds, walk as fast as you can.
Then walk at a regular pace for 1 minute.
Repeat the hi intensity 30 second burst followed by the 1 minute regular walk.
Continue this cycle until you have done 7-10 30 second bursts.
Cool down for 5 minutes and you are done! Maximum time 15 minutes.
Be sure you are cleared by your PCP for this type of exercise, and start slow with only a few bursts at less than full out until you are sure you can handle it. If you have knee or foot problems, the elliptical is an excellent alternative. Swimming can be used for any weight bearing exercise handicaps.
Quality Sleep is the third major component of a successful weight loss program. The mental and physical restorative functions of sleep are grossly underestimated. Poor sleep causes weight gain, depression, fatigue degrades work performance, increases accident rates and worsens the course of virtual every malady. According to Stanford sleep researcher, Dr. Craig Heller, sleep apnea is the most common, and certainly the most under-diagnosed medical disorder in America. It can be fatal. If you snore or gasp, have undiagnosed fatigue, are overweight, especially if you have a thick neck or weak chin, please be evaluated for sleep apnea by your PCP.
A third of patients with sleep apnea do not complain of insomnia.
Sleep hygiene and education about good sleep can make a big difference in weight loss AND how you feel and function. For more information on sleep hygiene click here
CBT-i Coach is an EXCELLENT free app by Stanford researchers that brings the power of CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to bear on patients with insomnia. CBT is just as effective as and certainly safer than long the term use of sleeping pills which can be habit forming and increase risk of memory loss and cognitive (thinking, reasoning attributes) decline.
Tracking your sleep is very important, one option that makes tracking sleep a breeze is a sleep tracking device like a Fitbit or similar wearable device.