The old concept that weight loss is simply a matter of calories in and calories out is wrong. Learn how the quality of the food you choose is more important than the amount you eat.
Eat more, weigh less: Eat real food
Unfortunately most of us have been brainwashed to believe that weight loss is simple math. Burn more than you eat and you will lose weight. Right?
In fact, you can eat much more food and lose weight. But here’s the catch. You have to eat real food. Just imagine what your great-great-grandmother had to eat. Everything came from a farmer’s field and nothing from a food chemist’s laboratory. Nothing was homogenized, refined or processed. There was no need for “nutrition labels” because nothing had labels.
The bottom line is that quality is MUCH more important than quantity. Eating only whole, fresh, real food completely eliminates the need for calorie counting, or measuring fat grams or counting carbs.
This works for one simple reason — you eat not only calories but also information. Eat the wrong information and you give your genes instructions to make you fat. Eat the right information and you give your genes instructions to lose weight. This is based on an exciting new understanding of how food talks to your genes called nutrigenomics.
And it doesn’t work slowly over years, but literally in minutes. Just try it for a few weeks. Don’t eat anything with a label. You are probably wondering what is left for you to eat.
It’s simple: real food. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains (no flour because a bag of flour has a label), poultry, fish and eggs. That’s it. No counting calories, carbs or fat grams! Eat as much as you want and enjoy. Here are some examples of healthy and unhealthy snacks.
Foods to lose: Food allergies, inflammation and weight loss
Exciting new research helps pinpoint why some people just can’t lose weight. They are puffy. Puffy eyes, puffy ankles, puffy hands — and puffy bellies! Why do people get puffy? Allergies!
But I am not talking about pollen or dust allergies, nor am I talking about serious life-threatening food allergies from peanuts or shellfish (also known as IgE allergies). I am referring to low-grade, delayed reactions to food, that until recently have been completely ignored by conventional medicine.
A recent study broke incredible ground in our understanding of our obesity epidemic. Researchers examined two groups of children — obese and normal weight. They found the obese children had three problems (all related) that the thin children didn’t have.
First they were much more inflamed (as measured through a special blood test called C-reactive protein). Second, they had the beginnings of cholesterol plaques in their arteries. And third, they had 2½ times the level of delayed or IgG food allergies.
So what’s happening? These hidden, low-grade food sensitivities trigger a chronic immune reaction and inflammation. And anything that causes inflammation interferes with your metabolism, leading to weight gain.
But the solution is simple: Try a one- or two-week holiday from the foods that most commonly cause these low-grade allergies. Not only will you lose weight, but also a whole host of other chronic health problems like headaches, fatigue, joint pain, sinus problems and more might go away.
Just try this: For one to two weeks, leave these foods out of your diet: gluten (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats, kamut), dairy, eggs, corn, yeast and citrus. Think of it as a cheap experiment. The side effect will be not only weight loss, but also relief from many food cravings.
Cutting cravings: Balance your blood sugar
There are many reasons for cravings. But the main one is that your blood sugar is swinging up and down, putting you on a seesaw of hunger and craving. We are genetically programmed to eat sugar (and anything that quickly turns to sugar, like white flour, white rice and white starchy potatoes).
Whenever we down that sugary drink or “low-fat” muffin, we have a spike of blood sugar. That kicks our pancreas to squirt out a jolt of insulin to keep our blood sugar even. That creates two problems.
First, insulin is a fat storage hormone. The more you have running around, the more round you get.
Second, the spike of insulin sends your blood sugar plummeting. And a falling blood sugar is a life-threatening emergency. You will find the closest thing to eat — preferably something sweet or starchy. And the vicious cycle begins again.
Here are a few reminders to help you cut cravings:
- Eat protein every morning and with every meal
- Eat only whole, real, fresh food
- Eat food with plenty of fiber like beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables and fruit
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals (three meals and two snacks) to prevent your blood sugar from ever getting too high or too low
Trade energy blockers for energy burners (HFCS and trans fats)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a simple trick or two that would magically help you lose weight? Well there is. One woman stopped me on the street that had read my book, "UltraMetabolism," and followed only two suggestions. She told me lost 75 pounds doing nothing else.
What did she do? She stopped two toxic metabolism blockers.
Trans fats (also known as hydrogenated fats), and high-fructose corn syrup.
Neither of these is a “real food,” but was been created in the laboratory to make processed food cheap and last forever on grocery store shelves.
Trans fat, also known as shortening, is a funny fat that mimics regular fat in some ways, but doesn’t fool your metabolism. This oddly shaped fat binds to a spot on your cells and flips a switch that slows fat burning, makes you more insulin resistant, and increases inflammation — all of which promote weight gain and prevent weight loss.
But don’t think that seeing “zero trans fat” on the label gives you a free pass. A government loophole in the labeling laws allows manufacturers to put in half a gram of trans fat per serving and still say “zero trans fats.” And the average packaged food has two to four servings, giving you a significant load of trans fats. Who shares that bag of chips anyway?
The other toxic food was introduced about 30 years ago as a replacement for regular sugar. It is sweeter and cheaper and comes from corn, known as high-fructose corn syrup. Now it is the major sweetener in our food supply. The problem is that it isn’t controlled by the same feedback systems like regular sugar. That means you don’t feel full and it leads to more fat production in your cells. Bottom line — you eat more and get fatter.
So do yourself a favor and cut out these two metabolism blockers forever and watch the pounds melt away. Look on the label for trans fat (also known as hydrogenated fat) and high-fructose corn syrup.
Eat fat for weight loss
Given that we have been brainwashed to think that fat makes you fat, it might be hard to believe that eating MORE fat can make you lose weight. But it does.
In fact, researchers at Harvard have shown that amount of dietary fat is not related to body fat. Eating the right fat makes you lose weight. Eating the wrong fat (trans fats) makes you gain weight. But what is the right fat? Omega-3 fats.
These are the fats we evolved to eat. They were originally in everything we ate — wild plants, wild fish and wild animals. Now the only wild food we eat is fish, and most of that is farmed these days. These special fats, known as EPA and DHA, work directly on the cells to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity, lowering insulin levels, both of which promote weight loss. There are also omega-3 fats in some plant foods like seaweed, nuts and flax seeds.
So eating the right fats can help you lose weight. Here is what I recommend:
- Eat small wild fish at least two to three times a week — wild salmon, sardines and herring are the best
- Add two tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your food daily
- Include one to two servings (10-12 nuts) walnuts and other nuts (other than peanuts, which are really a bean) as a daily snack
- Try adding seaweed like nori, hijiki, arame, wakame and kombu to your diet occasionally.
- Protein to power your metabolism
Not all calories are equal, especially when it comes to carbs and protein. A recent study found that eating protein for breakfast improves all the hormones that control weight, reduces the hunger hormone, grehlin, and slows emptying of the stomach. The exact same calories from carbohydrate increase the hunger hormones and make your stomach empty faster. Remember, it is not only the calories you eat, it is the information you eat that is so important.
Remember protein can be nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, omega-3 eggs, wild fish and lean poultry or other meats, but is by no means a steak and cheese diet!
Protein, it seems, is also more thermogenic. Protein burns hotter than other food sources, so at the end of the day you have burned off more calories when you eat protein rather than storing them. In one study, the participants burned 71 more calories a day than those who ate low-protein diets (36 percent vs. 15 percent protein). It may not seem like much — but over a year it is equivalent to an extra 7.4 pounds of weight loss.
It also seems that amino acids, the building blocks that form protein, send messages to areas in the brain to signal that you are full.
Eating more good-quality protein can help you not only lose weight, but lose it in the right places. Higher-protein diets help people lower their waist circumference, their waist-to-hip ratio (one of the most important measurements in your body that predicts heart disease, cancer and death better than almost anything), and intra-abdominal adipose tissue (otherwise known as belly fat!).
So include protein, preferably plant proteins like beans, nuts and seeds, with every meal. (Note: Those with kidney failure have to be cautious with increasing their protein intake. And those with concerns about osteoporosis should focus on plant sources of protein — nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains — because the high acid content of animal protein may cause bone loss.)