She was surprised when I told her the reason her weight loss came to a screeching halt was her 1,200 calorie diet.
Here’s why—let’s start by taking a look at…
How we’ve gotten fat
Over the past 50 years or so, we have been very efficient at creating overweight and obesity.
Our belief that high-carb, low-fat diets are “healthy” and saturated fat is the devil has created a population of people whose bodies are brimming with glucose, suffering from insulin resistance, storing massive amounts of fat and living their days in cycles of sugar spikes and crashes.
In addition, since sugar is an abrasive, inflammation-stirring substance, inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis and autoimmune diseases also continue to be our companions and are affecting us at younger and younger ages.
The chemicals in processed, refined foods play a role too. Chemicals increase food cravings, lead to water retention and actually cause weight gain.
At the same time, our bodies have lacked the fats that they so desperately need, which impairs our brain and nervous system function, compromises the integrity of our cell walls, creates hormonal imbalances and leads to nutritional deficiencies, especially in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
And of course during all of this, the drug industry has been more than happy to make an array of products available to mask your pain, reduce your blood pressure or blood sugar, lull you to sleep, perk you up, stop your heartburn, make you happy and shut down your immune system.
So we have become a society of sick, over-drugged, overweight, undernourished people.
Why cutting calories doesn’t work
When you drastically reduce calories, at first you will most assuredly lose weight. It’s a matter of simple math—taking fewer calories in means your body will resort to its own stores for energy.
But then the game changes.
Your body eventually goes into starvation mode, thinking that food has become scarce. It tries to conserve energy for you so you don’t keel over. In its efforts to save calories, it increases your hunger and S-L-O-W-S your metabolism.
And that eventually results in many a “frozen scale.”
Now when this happens, what do many people do?
Cut calories even MORE, that’s what!
But that merely perpetuates the starvation cycle and makes the situation even worse.
Don’t cut calories—nourish your body instead!
What matters far more than cutting calories is nourishing your body with wholesome real foods. This will help reduce your insulin levels, even out your blood sugar and keep you satisfied longer.
Go organic as much as possible to avoid the chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics used in traditionally raised foods, as well as to steer clear of genetically modified foods.
Avoid all highly processed carbohydrates (including soda!) as much as possible—let beans, fresh vegetables and fruits be your primary carb sources instead.
Get healthy sources of proteins--organic meats and poultry and wild-caught fish are your best bets.
And most importantly, DO NOT shun fats. About 30 percent of your daily calorie intake should be fats, with a fair representation of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Here are some wise fat choices to make sure your body is getting what it needs:
- Good for cooking: Real butter (both salted and unsalted), lard, tallow, coconut oil, peanut oil, palm oil and olive oil. These are stable fats that won’t oxidize when heated.
- Good for salads, cold dishes: Olive oil, organic nut oils.
- Food sources of fats: Red meat, eggs, butter, avocado, nuts, olives and wild-caught fish.
- Consider supplementing: Omega-3 essential fatty acids (fish oil)—because our food supply does not contain the levels of these natural anti-inflammatories like it used to.
- Avoid at all cost: Trans-fats (commonly referred to as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils), highly processed vegetable oils, margarine.
Another key to weight loss—sound digestion
Another key to successful weight loss is to have efficient digestion, because if your body is not digesting your foods properly, you are not deriving the full nutritional benefit from them and not eliminating wastes like you should.
Keep your meals simple and make your stomach’s job easier. Avoid eating animal proteins and starches together, because combinations like that are very taxing on your system. Strive to make most of your meals proteins, vegetables and fats.
If you’re prone to constipation, probiotics can help by repopulating your supply of beneficial intestinal bacteria. These helpful good guys help you digest carbs and fiber and keep your BMs running along more like they should.
Digestive enzyme supplements can also help, especially if you’re an acid reducer disciple, are elderly or have had gastric surgery.
See what a difference it can in reaching your weight loss goals when you nourish your body and support better digestion!
To your health,