And the solutions that work
When it comes to weight loss, sadly most try so so hard and in the process get it all wrong.
Most people attempt to lose weight doing what seems logical – (more exercise, less food, cutting carbs), and sadly for many this only makes weight loss even more difficult.…and they set themselves up for even more weight gain in the future
Weight gain is most often about an underactive thyroid and a slow metabolic rate. I see too often weight loss attempts that only serve to further reduce metabolism, which then makes weight loss even harder. Approach it the right way, by supporting health and hormones and results can be effortless.
I know it’s not always easy. So many who try so hard never realise that the so called quick weight loss “solutions” only serve to damage thyroid health, slow metabolism, slow down fat burning and set you up for rebound weight gain.
WEIGHT LOSS MISTAKE #1. NOT EATING ENOUGH
I’m constantly being messaged by people who tell me they are eating soooo little, yet they are putting on weight. Most fitness magazines tell us we need to eat less. It’s a logical assumption. I get it. I’ve been there I’ve done it. Calories in vs calories out right? But sadly, it’s not that simple.
If you have been trying to lose weight for a while you will know that this doesn’t work, especially in the long run. You will just end up reducing your body’s set point to a crazy low amount of calorie’s a day and forever having to eat next-to-nothing just to sustain you. Then one day you eat a slice of bread and boom!
Think about this…. why can so many burn more calories on the treadmill then they will eat in a single day, yet still put on weight?
With long-term low-calorie dieting not only does fat loss come to a screeching halt but resting metabolic rate drastically slows down, metabolism plummets, muscle tissue atrophies, cortisol increases and estrogen sky rockets. This results in a sluggish, overweight, exhausted, food intolerant, cellulite laden, miserable body that gains weight easily.
The longer one has maintained an extreme low calorie diet the more likely the adaption to low calories as a maintenance set point.
The actual facts here are that the longer one diets the more likely they are to gain weight in the long term. Healthy, fast, sustained weight loss IS NOT about eating less, its actually about eating more…of the right food.
SOLUTION #1. EAT MORE (OF THE RIGHT FOOD)
Quite simply, fat loss favours a higher calorie range, and a fast metabolism.
As a coach I no longer starve anyone, cut calories or carbs to get results. It may work for one or even a few weeks but it just does not work In the long run. As you often hear me say, it works until it doesn’t. My 12 Week Boost and Shred Pro-Metabolic meal plan program is all about GRADUALLY increasing calories to eat MORE food and consume more thyroid friendly nutrients.
Most fitness coaches starve and stress people to shred fat, instead I get lasting results by recommending MORE food (pro-thyroid food in the right combinations) from a greater variety of sources. Food that is nourishing, healing and restores health and hormones so that fat loss becomes supported not forced
WEIGH LOSS MISTAKE #2: LOW CARB-DIETING
“I’ll just cut carbs until I lose a bit”
The reality: Carbs are NOT your problem. Your slow metabolism is. A healthy metabolism should be able to efficiently convert carbs into energy. Fullstop.
Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source and are essential for thyroid hormone conversion. (if the liver doesn’t get enough sugar from glycogen its unable to convert T4 to T3, which is required for a speedy metabolism). Cells need a constant supply of glucose (from carbs) for metabolism, energy and life. If not enough carbs are consumed the body catabolises its own tissues/muscles to convert to glucose, and this is not a good thing.
And for the record, It’s not biochemically possible to be unable to tolerate carbs. Sugars don’t work for some and not others. Glucose (carbs) is the primary fuel for every cell in the body and is used for thyroid hormone production. BUT for many with a damaged metabolic rate, their body does not convert thyroid hormone or carbs as efficiently as those with a faster metabolism. The answer is NOT to cut carbs but to improve thyroid health.
There is an abundance of research showing that low carb diets result in
- A fall in active T3 thyroid hormone
- A rise in thyroid blocking reverse T3 hormone
- A fall in metabolic rate and energy production.
All which suppress thyroid functioning, downregulates metabolism and slows fat burning.
Carbs play an integral role in regulating thyroid functioning – of course the right carbs at the right times.
A landmark study known as the Vermont study found that T3 (active thyroid hormone) is very sensitive to calorie AND carb intake. When calories and carbs are too low T3 drops.
There are other studies that also show ketogenic diets reduce T3 levels as rapidly as starvation!!. Without healthy T3 levels fat loss can be very difficult if at all possible.
Low-carb diets are well known by metabolic researchers and nutritionists for suppressing thyroid health, reducing energy, causing hormonal havoc, slowing down metabolism and setting you up for future weight gain.
SOLUTION #2: EAT THE RIGHT PRO-THYROID CARBS
Eat to increase metabolism. Fuel cells with pro-thyroid carbs. Fat loss favours a fast metabolism.
The right carbs (simple sugars from fruits, honey, juices, root vegetables) can help improve digestion, immune function, balance hormones, reduce cravings, provide energy and boost metabolic rate which is essential for healthy fat loss.
Pro-Metabolic nutrition is all about pro-thyroid food to increase metabolic rate. It’s is based on the research of endocrinologists to ensure healthy thyroid functioning. Carbs such as simple sugars (tropical fruit, raw honey, and pulp free orange juice) are eaten in combination with quality proteins such as seafood, dairy (cheese, milk) eggs, gelatin and saturated fats such as coconut oil and butter.
SOME OF THE RESEARCH
And ofcourse if you want to know how you can eat carbs and simple sugars with all your meals, Ive done the work for you and put it all together in my Pro-Metabolic Meal Plan series
WEIGH LOSS MISTAKE #3: TOO MUCH EXCERCISE
Not only are we told to eat less, but we are told to exercise more.
Think about it like this for a moment. Excessive and exhausting cardio is stressful to the body. Stress increase cortisol production Excess cortisol results in fat storage Elevated cortisol increases estrogen production and even high levels of estrogen are directly related to fat storage
Further compounding this, thyroid hormone drops after 30 minutes of cardio. When thyroid hormone drops, metabolism slows down and we now a slow metabolism results in slow or zero fat burning.
Cardio is catabolic and results in muscle loss. Mouth breathing as a result of exhausting cardio increases lactic acid that reduces carbon dioxide. This is not optimal and does not encourage good health or consistent fat burning.
When cardio intensity increases, our muscles start using glycogen or carbohydrates as fuel due to the lack of oxygen. As a basic rule of thumb, if you can still breathe through your nose or maintain a conversation then you will be still be burning fat.
The truth is that you’re our bodies are not designed to burn fat by killing ourselves on treadmills. The healthiest and most sustainable fat loss occurs when our body is at rest and energy demands are low. This allows your body to release small amounts of fatty acids that won’t compromise your thyroid health in the process. Otherwise, you’re simply pushing yourself further into a stressful survival state that promotes long term weight gain.
The best solution is to prioritise weight training over cardio as it builds muscle which increases metabolism. Cardio breaks down muscle whilst weight training increases it. One activity is catabolic the other anabolic
Cardio damages mitochondrial cells. Resistance training restores the health of mitochondrial cells.
My preference is for low intensity steady state cardio (walking, cycling etc.) as it is not stressful to the body. When adequate oxygen is delivered to muscles, (i.e. when you can still do cardio and either talk or breath through your nose) fat is the predominant fuel source burned
WEIGH LOSS MISTAKE #4: EATING FOOD THAT SLOWS METABOLISM
Food will either work FOR you or AGAINST you. The Sages were correct. Food is medicine. Nutritional science is still a new evolving field and if you really want to get the most from your weight loss efforts than its imperative to understand how what you eat (or don’t eat) impacts your weight loss goals.
Ironically I see all too often, the very food being eaten in a “diet” is the very food that downregulates metabolic rate and fat burning.
A fine example is the consumption of PUFA’s. PUFA’S are polyunsaturated fatty acids and they SUPPRESS THYROID FUNCTION on every level (therefore drastically slowing metabolic rate and bringing fat loss to a halt), they can lead to free radical damage, premature aging and degenerative conditions.
Yet because food high in PUFA’s are often also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals they are constantly being marketed as ideal nutrition for someone wanting to lose weight. There could be nothing further from the truth. It is my personal opinion that it is the high intake of PUFA’s in todays fitness and health diets that are responsible for so much metabolic and hormonal damage.
Reduce PUFA’s and thyroid health improves. Improve thyroid health and metabolism improves. Improve metabolism and fat burning increases
All of my Pro-Metabolic Meal plans have been carefully constructed to avoid PUFA intake as due to the disastrous impact they have on metabolism, fat loss and health.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE PUFA’S
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are liquid oils where the fatty acids have more than one (poly) double bond in the carbon chain. They are unsaturated because they are missing out on what saturated fatty acids have – hydrogen atoms. This makes the bond chemically incomplete. This is important to understand as it results in the chain becoming unstable and prone to degradation, oxidation and free radicals. This is bad. Very bad.
PUFAs are found in oily plants, nuts and seeds. They include sunflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil, soybean oil, fish oils, avocado’s and all nuts and seeds (macadamia nuts though as the lowest in PUFA’s). PUFA’s are also found in fatty fish who swim in icy cold artic waters (such as Salmon, sardines and deep sea fish).
HOW DO PUFAS IMPACT METABOLISM AND FAT BURNING
PUFA’s have a devastating effect ono the body’s metabolism due to its direct interference with the functioning of the thyroid gland. PUFA’s suppress your thyroids functioning on just about every level. Hence why I have gone to great lengths in my Pro-Metabolic meal plans to keep PUFA intake as low as possible.
- They block the secretion of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland itself,
- They also block the transportation of the thyroid hormone within your bloodstream.
- They block your cells from properly utilizing the hormone once it has been received.
- This therefore down-regulates metabolism. Resulting in slower fat burning decreased protein synthesis and fat storage
- Excess PUFA’s are linked to high levels of inflammation in the body https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26397837
- Oxidized PUFA’s lead to free radical damage which leads to premature aging, increased risk of cancers and degenerative conditions https://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fats-degeneration3.shtml
- PUFA’s tend to become oxidised when exposed to heat, oxygen or moisture. They are then characterized as free radicals, and attach cell membranes and red blood cells , causing damage to DNA strands New research links free radical damage to premature aging https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-015-0537-7
- Eat REAL natural food that does not contain artificial additives or high levels of PUFA’s. This becomes confusing as many “healthy” food loaded in PUFA’s are labelled “heart healthy” or “muscle building” (ie protein bars protein shakes, etc)
- When cooking, only cook in healthy saturated cooking fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or natural butter from grass fed cows.
- Avoid muscle meat that are factory farmed or fed on cheap fattening grains or seeds. Grass fed meat and organic food really are worth the extra dollars – otherwise you are simply transferring he harmful components directly from the food source to your body.
- Finally avoid all processed foods containing hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oil
If you feel you need help understanding what a diet low in PUFAs looks like you have a look at my Pro-Metabolic meal plans – because their purpose is to increase metabolic rate, create optimal health and expedite fat burning – they are carefully constructed to be void of dangerous PUFA’s https://www.prometaboliclife.com/12-week-metabolic-thrive-meal-plan/
Pro-Metabolic food is delicious, nourishing, restorative and healthy. When you eat to improve health, metabolism and hormones everything else easily falls into place.
So, What Is the Best Way to Lose Weight?
Unfortunately the whole idea of eating less and exercising more just doesn’t work. At least not in the long run.
Approach it the right way, focus on improving metabolism and thyroid health conversion, which often requires you to eat more not less. When metabolism and thyroid heath is prioritised weight loss is effortless and natural.
A fast metabolism favours fat loss and this is undoubtedly a long term sustainable, enjoyable, effortless approach to weight loss.