The burden that is excess weight
Obesity and excess weight are occurring in epidemic proportions in many parts of the world. Not only does excess weight impact on cardiovascular health, carrying extra weight often comes with self-esteem issues which affect quality of life.
Did you know that there is an often overlooked crucial factor to losing weight and keeping it off?
It’s time to see what science has been up to and personalise as well as optimise your weight loss with cutting edge science!
Your body weight set-point –time for a re-set using cutting edge science!
All individuals have a unique metabolic ‘set-point’, a weight range that your body fights to maintain. To stay in its ‘happy place’, your body will resist weight loss attempts and cause you to regain weight after successful weight loss. The set-point is raised by several factors – sedentary lifestyle; lack of exercise; frequent consumption of sugar combined with saturated fats; inadequate protein; poor sleep; stress or anxiety; poor gut health; and high toxin exposure.
Lowering your set-point is key to losing weight and keeping it off. This can be achieved by following CUTTING EDGE PRINCIPLES briefly described below. Tailoring a weight loss programme for the individual makes adhering to a weight loss program simple and prevents the rebound weight gain that often occurs with diets that aren’t designed for safe and sustainable weight loss.
Today’s food sets you up to fail
Highly processed foods can be a roadblock on your weight loss journey. They are specifically designed with ingredients such as poor-quality fat and sugar to hijack your brain, making it harder to stop eating them. Described by obesity researchers as ‘hyperpalatable’, these often highly processed foods confuse your brain’s fullness threshold, so you continually want more. In contrast, ‘clean’ wholefoods have minimal fat and sugar, and contain fibre which naturally allows your appetite to normalise. Wholefoods are a cornerstone of any good weight loss programme, making it easier for you to eat fewer calories yet feel more satisfied.
Using cutting edge science to help you lose weight
- Apart from consuming a low to moderate palatability/caloric diet, avoiding highly-processed, calorie-dense, addictive foods (which can set off ‘reward eating’, increase sodium levels and inflammation), it is important to consume adequate protein with each meal to stabilise your blood sugar levels.
- I help you identify what type of diet is best for you: could it be a ketogenic diet, or a low-fat diet? It may not always be a ketogenic diet that is best; a low-fat diet can be equally effective. However, for insulin-resistant individuals, a ketogenic diet is more effective.
- Diet breaks: new evidence show diet breaks can help to re-balance the set point.
- Ensure you get adequate sleep, preferably 8 hours per night, retiring about 10pm
- Physical activity is a must, exercise a minimum of 3 times a week. Even if it’s Zach Bush’s 4 minute workout, it’s something! Remember, humans were designed to walk over 40 km a day!
- Balance hormones: thyroid hormone imbalances, in particular, need to be addressed. It is not unusual to see an increase in Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) with weight gain. TSH is increased to stimulate the basal metabolic rate (BMR) to lose weight. What’s more, hormones follow the fat, so if we can decrease fat mass, we can reduce other metabolic markers such as insulin, leptin and reverse T3.
- Genome and microbiome considerations: what we call the ‘omics’ revolution! Could your DNA dictate what body type you are and the best diet for weight loss? We already know there are over 100 different genes linked with adiposity traits and within those about 500 different alleles. These are also linked to behaviour processes in the brain: reward eating, food preferences etc. So, what extend do our genes (which have been expressed) play a role in our ability to maintain a healthy weight?
- Dysbiotic bacteria and inflammation can lead to obesity so optimising the microbiome and reducing inflammation is key. A particular strain of probiotic, Lactobacillus LGG, dosed at 10 billion per day has shown significant weight loss without any other changes! So, adding in a targeted probiotic to your weight loss regime may make all the difference!
- Circadian rhythms have a major effect on weight and health which I posted on my Facebook page last week. The sleep/wake cycle is only one part of it. Every hormone, organ, tissue, gene switch on and off according to diurnal rhythms. We can train and leverage our circadian rhythms/body clock. 3 key factors include the ambient light/dark cycle; activity/rest cycle; and the fasting/feeding cycle. Most of us eat within a 15-16-hour period, yet if we can condense this period, avoid eating up to 2 hours after waking and 2-3 hours prior to bed, this can have significant ramifications on the waist line and insulin sensitivity. Also try front-loading your calories at breakfast and opt for a lower calorie evening meal to further lose weight. Refer to my chronobiology blog for more.
- Lastly toxic exposure: toxins are stored in fat, and so as we liberate fat, our toxic load increases significantly. It is known in people who have had gastric bad surgery (with subsequent fat loss) their toxic load can increase by 80% or more. Therefore, detoxification is key to prevent rebound weight gain.
To begin successfully achieving your weight loss goals and extinguish all the confusion surrounding which ‘diet’ works for you – is it high fat, low fat, high carb, low carb, high protein, vegan, vegetarian, seek professional guidance to optimise your weight loss.