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Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands people, right this minute, who desperately want to know how to lose weight fast? So often we feel completely alone in our weight loss journeys, but no. We’re not. Have you also noticed that when you’re looking to lose weight, people come out of the woodwork to give you advice?
Your coworker says the secret is to only eat one meal per day. Your best friend claims she knows exactly how to lose weight fast, and that the cabbage soup diet will have you looking great in time for swimsuit season. Your mother says you don’t need to shed a single pound and offers you cake instead. Your doctor has told you for years that all you need to do to lose weight is eat less and move more.
We’ve learned a lot since the days of counting calories and restricting ourselves to one meal or only one food. We know now that everything from toxins in our environment to food sensitivities, hormones, emotions, stress levels and more can change the size and number of our fat cells – and the size of our clothes. To help you fit into those pants you’ve been eying and keep the weight off, here is the research-based trick to lose weight that you can live with – without starving yourself, eating only at odd times of the day, or impacting your social life.
It’s the first day of your new, healthy lifestyle and instead of going for your usual microwave breakfast sandwich, you grab a piece of fruit and a granola bar with your morning coffee and head out the door. But, halfway through your morning, you feel a crash coming on and snack on crackers you found stashed in your desk. Noon comes and you’re starving. You make your way through that salad in record time, feeling hungry with a sense of accomplishment. Mid-afternoon comes and you’re so tired you can barely keep your head off your desk. You fight the sugar cravings and instead eat another piece of fruit. Dinner can’t come soon enough. Weeks go by like this and you feel tired, irritable, and haven’t lost a pound. What’s the deal?
When you eat a meal or snack high in sugar and carbs and low in fats and protein, your blood sugar goes up quickly. This stimulates the release of insulin, which is good, because it takes the sugar from the fruit, granola bar and crackers you ate out of the blood and into the cells where it can be burned for fuel. But, high insulin causes the sugar to be taken into the cells more rapidly, which causes a reactive low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Low blood sugar causes you to crave sugar; it’s a protective mechanism so your sugar doesn’t go dangerously low. It comes from the time in our ancestry when food was scarce and the body couldn’t be sure of its next real meal. When you restrict your calories in an effort to lose weight, then you eat low fat, low calorie, carb-rich foods, your blood sugar spikes, insulin rises, then blood sugar drops again, and this is the roller coaster ruling your cravings and slowing your weight loss efforts. This same cycle occurs when you skip a meal.
As blood sugar goes up and down, insulin gradually rises to a new, higher baseline. As insulin rises, inflammation and weight gain are triggered. Other hormones also come into play here, including leptin, which controls your hunger, and cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The caffeine in that coffee you drank also increases cortisol, which has an indirect effect on this cycle, worsening the blood sugar highs and lows. The longer you eat a low fat, carb-rich diet, the closer you get to developing insulin resistance, diabetes and adrenal fatigue. It isn’t long before you’re feeling sick, fat, and tired.
The key to getting off this dangerous ride is found in protein, healthy fats and fiber. Each of these slows gastric emptying, which slows the speed of sugars in the foods you eat turning into sugar (glucose) in the blood. If you start your day with something high in sugar and refined carbs like donuts, or even the natural sugars found in fruits, you set yourself up for a quick rise in blood sugar, followed by a sharp drop, which brings on a craving for more sugar to fix the problem. Instead, start your day with a healthy meal including protein, healthy fats and fiber, and you get a slow, steady release of sugar over time instead of a spike, so the highs and lows never come. Include this power trio in several small meals and snacks throughout your day and watch your insulin and inflammation levels go down while cravings disappear and weight starts to come off.
It’s not healthy to entirely eliminate any food group, including carbs, which seems to be a popular diet choice today. We all need to enjoy healthy carbs in our diets. If you don’t, you can’t make enough of the hormones your body needs for metabolism and your core body temperature will drop, which causes a whole host of problems. We need to wisely choose the carbs that will cause the least amount of increase in blood sugar. Instead of eliminating carbs, choose healthy carbs that take longer for your body to break down into sugars. The best guide for this is the Glycemic Index of Foods.
The Glycemic Index of Foods measures how much and how quickly a carbohydrate food raises your blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index of a food is, the faster and higher that food increases your blood sugar. The truth is, we all want an occasional treat, even when we are on the healthiest diet. The glycemic index can guide you to the best choice to keep blood sugars healthy when you do indulge.
When trying to lose weight, stick to leafy greens and other low glycemic vegetables as your main source of carbs and avoid grains whenever possible, including oatmeal. Grains are mostly carbs and sugars, with only a little protein and fat. Unless you are active enough to burn these calories right away, your body will store these sugars as fat in just a few hours after eating them, plus they’ll send you back on the blood sugar rollercoaster all over again.
Bitter foods beat sugar cravings, according to Ayurvedic medicine. Start your day with lemon water, and drink it before meals to stimulate gastric juices and proper digestion. Ann Louise Gittleman’s famous Fat Flush Cran-Water is another bitter that not only cuts cravings but helps melt cellulite away and balances cellular pH.
If you eat breakfast on-the-go, a power-packed smoothie made with a good quality protein powder will get your day off to a good start. Add in full fat coconut milk for the healthy fats, which help boost energy, curb cravings, balance blood sugars, and make you feel full faster. If you enjoy smoothies, consider our Smoothie Shakedown program to jumpstart your weight loss.
The truth is out and sugars, not fats, are the villains when it comes to weight gain. Eating protein and good fats are very important for weight loss and overall health. Healthy fats and oils curb cravings and increase feelings of satiety after a meal, so the desire for dessert disappears. Healthy fats and oils are found in foods like avocadoes, coconut, macadamia nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, grassfed meats, and extra virgin olive oil.
If you really want to know how to lose weight fast, look into supplementation. Consider supplementing with these two healthy fats:
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). This essential fat is often the most deficient fat in our diets. GLA stimulates metabolism by activating brown fat, which in turn boosts your fat-burning metabolism. GLA also increases serotonin levels, which can suppress appetite.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). This essential fat used to be abundant in our diets in beef and dairy, when cattle were grass-fed, Now that most cattle are grain fed, our CLA intake has dropped by 80%, on average. This essential fat sends the message to your body to burn stored fat as energy while preserving your precious lean muscle mass. When taken in doses of 3000mg, this fat can also help tighten up loose skin, especially useful after weight loss when sagging skin would normally be present.
A bonus trick to help you feel better and look better – as part of your daily exercise routine, practice walking meditation. Go for a walk and practice deep breathing as you move, imagine oxygen going in to the areas where you want to lose weight, holding the air there as long as you can before exhaling and releasing. As oxygen floods your fat tissues, toxins are more easily released, resulting in an easier, long lasting weight loss.