What are the essential ingredients to successful weight loss?
What factors must be addressed to safely and permanently lose weight?
Isn’t there just a pill I can take?
Get REAL answers
What are Essential Ingredients for successful weight loss?
Truly successful weight loss combines several factors. Nutrition plays the largest role in outcomes with regards to weight loss. So much has been written about diet and weight loss many find the topic bewildering. But what works?
Eat fat? Don’t eat fat? Low-Carb? Calorie-counting? Starvation?
Successful weight loss requires adherence to sound physiologic principles. Fat gain comes from the action of one particular hormone in the body–Insulin. Insulin triggers the storage of fat typically by helping move glucose (sugar) from the blood stream into individual cells. This process fluctuates depending on many factors but chiefly diet.
If you consume a high percentage of carbohydrates (Simple sugars) you will require higher insulin levels to reduce blood sugar in the body. Higher insulin = More Fat storage = weight gain.
The first, and probably most important weight loss factor centers around understanding the role of insulin in our body.
Fighting physiology doesn’t work.
The common food-barriers for many patients include: sodas, alcohols, pastries, and processed starches (french fries, tortillas, packaged noodles, breading)
This may not come as a surprise but regular physical activity clearly helps with obtaining ideal body weight. However, exercise can encompass many activities including walking, running, aerobics, weight training, etc. I like my patients to understand physical activity also includes yard work, gardening, housework, and a variety of activities that keep one moving.
A very interesting book, Brain Rules, by John Medina has a great section detailing the benefits of exercise beyond weight loss. Research suggests that our body was built to move 12-14 miles daily. Our brains work optimally when we are active, and kids learn better (upwards of 20-40% better) with routine physical activity.
The point? Just move and incorporate an attitude of physical fitness into your life. The NRGTRIBE has long been a great resource for ideas on this behavior. Don’t think exercise requires huge amounts of time. Basic fitness, especially cross-fit type activities require neither equipment nor extensive time.
See prior links for refresher.
For more challenging work-out ideas check out Brian Mackenzie’s book Cross Fit Endurance. This book and site gives the framework for building flexibility, strength, and endurance in a time-conscious physiologically correct approach. (Plus it’s fun)
What Factors Must Be Addressed to Safely and Permanently Lose Weight?
Several years ago I wrote a nutritional plan called the NRG DIET. The diet emphasized basic nutritional truths I learned from my years in practice helping people achieve better health. We had wonderful success stories in our research using the diet with small groups of patients. But as time went by, I realized about 50% of my patients fell by the wayside and failed to achieve success.
That experience led me to explore reasons why people don’t achieve success, especially with weight loss and ultimately led to the NRG Diet & Lifestyle Compass.
The difference between the NRG DIET and the NRG Diet & Lifestyle Compass stems from the inclusion of nutritional supplementation and addressing of the lifestyle related issues which contribute largely to health and weight loss.
The Case For Supplementation
The typical modern diet is void of quality nutrition. I have written about this at length in articles such as Home Grown is Better. In summary, the modern diet offers lots of caloric content of low value.
We have calorie consumption which can lead to obesity BUT develop nutritional deficiencies simultaneously!
The brain craves proper nutrients. Without quality minerals, electrolytes, proteins, and essential fats, our brains become irritable and we experience ravenous cravings especially for simple sugars. Eating quality, REAL FOOD, leads to calm, centered, balanced brains.
Balanced brains = Balanced hormones=Better energy (Hence eNeRGy)=Improved Health=Weight loss if necessary
The final section of the NRG Diet & Lifestyle Compass addresses the role lifestyle, stress, emotional baggage, and spiritual voids play in effective health and weight loss.
I’ve discussed this numerous times, but true health comes from the balancing of mind, body and spirit. Deficiencies in one of the triad will draw upon the resources of the other two.
Stress from various forms plays a huge factor in weight loss success due to the hormonal action of the primary stress hormone cortisol.
You can diet and exercise perfectly but if stress and strife plague each day, you will NOT achieve maximal health (or weight).
Many hit roadblocks in their weight loss attempts failing to address this core truth. Check out my prior explanations and discussions about stress.
Isn’t there just a pill I can take?
The short answer is no. There is no long term health in a bottle. I routinely advise patients to stay clear of weight loss pills for various reasons. Many herbal, amphetamine, or caffeine based supplements simply rev our metabolism faster. This is like trying to get better gas mileage by gunning your car’s engine while sitting the driveway. Wear and tear occurs but your not traveling anywhere….think on that awhile….
Stimulant weight loss products “Stress” our hormonal system….see above stress defined.
Other weight loss products decrease absorption of fat as the mechanism for weight loss. This often leads to diarrhea and bloating as prominent side effects….yikes….No thanks on the “Diarrhea Weight Loss Plan” (Keep that up for the next 20-30 years)
Time changes everything including technology and medications. I suspect we’ll ultimately develop pills and brain stimulation devices that “Magically” and without fore-thought (or effort) effectively reduce weight. A pill however will never fully replace the requirement for vital nutrients our bodies were meant to use for maximal efficiency.
I welcome questions and look forward to exploring this topic more with interested readers.
I hope you will like and share this with friends, family and co-workers.
Real knowledge about weight loss is hard to find.