For years, losing weight meant reducing calories and increasing energy expenditure, sometimes to extremes. While the basic math (1 lb. = 3500 calories) is a good starting point, studies are showing us there is far more to successful fat loss than the math. Like a lot of western medicine, the calorie deficit formula to lose weight targets the symptoms vs. the root cause or underlying problem. When calories are restricted in the wrong manner, with the wrong foods, the body feels tired, deprived…just plain HANGRY! After that, it’s a matter of time fore we give in to temptation and then the weight comes right back –often making us heavier than we were pre-diet! What’s great about research, science, and discovery is that in time, we discover new methods or bust previously held beliefs.
By now you’ve probably heard about the studies that measured brain activity after ingesting fast digesting food (high glycemic foods like breads, pastas, rice, crackers, processed foods) and the part of the brain that is impacted by cravings, rewards, and addictions…lit up like a Christmas tree. The same way that alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine do. So you see, activating this part of the brain totally erodes willpower and highly processed carbs somehow turn on the reward part of the brain causing a direct impact on our metabolism. What’s all this mean?
All calories are not created equal in that the different TYPES of calories affect us differently. And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. J But first, we have to learn how to conquer the cravings. We do this by eliminating processed carbs from our diets.
And Virginia, the low-fat diet is not the way to the North Pole. A low-fat diet does NOT protect us against chronic diseases (in spite of what we’ve been erroneously told for years). Two recent and very large studies proved diets high with a lot of olive oil or nuts (think Mediterranean!) reduced cardiovascular disease by more than 30% (wow). Couple the Mediterranean type of diet with weight loss and you will be #WINNING with huge health benefits, increased lifespan & more.
- Add fat to your diets. ENJOY the fat you add, just make sure it’s not trans-fat (partially hydrogenated oils). Think avocados, nuts, nut butters, cheese – or even steak.
- Reduce highly processed foods as much as possible as they are directly linked to the majority of diet related diseases and contribute to weight gain.
- The faster-acting (digested more quickly) the carbs, the worse off you & esp. your kids will be. (If you know someone with ADD diagnosis, help them clean up their diet.)
- Last, quality sleep & good hydration are two of the best things you can do for your metabolism & health.
Until next time, choose fit, laugh often, and take 5. Because you can.