Being overweight is probably the easiest way to destroy your self-esteem, health and well being. What makes it worse is that society has made it such, that overweight people are shamed and accused of being greedy, gluttonous, lazy and irresponsible.
That is not always the case though.
In this article, I will discuss several methods of losing weight by correcting your metabolism, balancing your hormones, and getting the proper nutrition.
Apart from overeating and lack of activity, weight gain can be caused by a wide range of problems like:
-Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome & Estrogen Dominance
-Depression & several other conditions.
Sometimes, you may just be more prone to gaining weight due to your body type. You may not necessarily have any of these conditions, but if you have gained weight without any excessive food intake, you might want to get checked by a doctor.
So I’m going break this down for you very simply:
Number one! We want to lose FAT, not “weight”, simply because when the numbers go down on your scale, it isn’t always FAT that’s being lost. Many times it’s water weight and muscle tissue that’s being lost. If you lose muscle and water, you will end up being “skinny fat” which is a condition of excessive LOOSE SKIN.
Number two! Realize that weight loss is predominantly a HORMONAL function. By regulating your hormones, you can get your body to easily shed the excess fat.
Number three! Majority of the diets out there are completely ineffective, will give you short term results, and will do more damage to your body than good. The only good diets I have come across are the “Slow Carb Diet” by Tim Ferris and the “Bullet Proof Diet” by Dave Asprey. These guys actually know what they’re talking about.
Weight Loss Tools
1. Control Insulin
(If you’re diabetic, contact your doctor before trying this)
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that can store fat, so we don’t want this hormone to raise. Insulin raises when blood sugar raises.
So keep blood sugar down by:
–Avoid refined carbs – anything white & sugary: breads, cookies, cakes, pastries, etc.
–Gymnema Sylvestre -Ayurvedic herb known as to reduce blood sugar, can be taken daily
–Limes & lemons, can be taken 30 minutes before meals to prevent blood sugar from rising after the meals
–Cinnamon lowers blood sugar as well.
–Bitter gourd, another Ayurvedic herb which is available world wide, can be taken raw, juiced, or in capsule form.
2. Control Estrogen
(If you are post-menopausal, contact your doctor before trying this)
Estrogen causes fat gain. This hormone can truly destroy your health if out of control. When estrogen is too high, is causes weight gain, and it can reduce Testosterone. Testosterone is also very important for weight loss. This is why in men, when Testosterone goes down later in life, they get a pot belly or a “dad bod”
– Avoid Soy. Most vegetable oils are soybean oil. Soy contains phyto-estrogens and has been linked to several diseases.
– Cruciferous vegetables reduce estrogen. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, etc.
– Flax seeds contain compounds called “lignans” which has been seen in research to be “Anti-estrogenic”.
– Foods rich in Sulfur, such as garlic and onions, also reduce estrogen.
– High fiber foods. According to Dr. Ronald Hoffman, estrogen leaves the body via the bowel, so keeping the bowel clear prevents estrogen from being re-absorbed.
– Limit your use of plastic. Drinking from plastic bottles, using plastic bags, even plastic utensils and toys should be avoided. Plastic, releases Estrogenic chemicals.
3. Boost Thyroid
The Thyroid gland is responsible for regulating your metabolism. If you want to burn fat, you need a proper metabolism.
– Brazil nuts contain Selenium which is needed to produce the Thyroid Hormone called Thyroxine.
– Iodine rich foods like Seafood, Eggs, and parsley do the same
– Zinc rich foods like Pumpkin seeds, garlic & oysters causes TRH (Thyroid Releasing Hormone) to be secreted from the Hypothalamus. TRH causes the pituitary to release Thyroid stimulating hormone which then triggers the thyroid to produce thyroxin.
– Coconut oil, is by far the best thyroid booster. This is due to its medium chain triglycerides which have been proven to boost thyroid function and fat loss. Pure butter contains the same.
-For more info on boosting the thyroid, click here.
(Cruciferous vegetables (Mentioned under “estrogen”) are believed to hamper thyroid function, this is counteracted by cooking them. However, with the use of these tips, the thyroid function will be maintained as well)
4. Regulate Testosterone
If you have a testosterone issue. It needs to be solved. Low testosterone can cause fat gain. More so in men. Women just need to maintain normal testosterone levels by regulating estrogen.
– High fat & High cholesterol foods increase testosterone.(NO THEY DON’T MAKE YOU FAT, excessive carbs make you fat)
– Foods like Almonds, nuts, eggs, butter, coconut oil, avocados.
– Weight lifting increases testosterone dramatically.
– Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium are also essential for converting free cholesterol to testosterone.
5. Increase Protein.
Protein is thermogenic, and hard to break down. You body has to burn 4 calories of energy to break down 1 gram of protein. Every time you eat a protein rich meal, you burn calories. Protein also does not increase blood sugar or spike insulin levels. There are certain types of whey protein supplements that are good to use. AVOID SOY PROTEIN.
6. Increase raw fruits and vegetable.
I’m not saying go vegan, just have more raw foods. Have an apple, and the fiber will help cleanse your intestines. Remember, even though an apple is sweet, it is not refined and it has fiber which means it keeps your full for longer and helps to clear your intestines and improve the function of your digestion.
7. Drink Lots of Water
By giving your body an adequate amount of water, you will prevent your body from holding on to water. Why? When your body feels that its not getting enough of something, it holds on to as much of it as it can. Most people, are quite dehydrated on a daily basis. Dehydration causes weight gain and can effect several organs including hormone producing organs. Eight glasses a day is enough.
8. Avoid Stress
Stress causes the hormone “Cortisol” to rise and this is horrible for weight. Cortisol, when constantly raised, is associated with increased abdominal fat. Reduce your stress by engaging in fun activities. The best way to to reduce Cortisol is to take a walk, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Go for a massage, play a sport, play with a pet, have sex, meditate. For more info on reducing Cortisol and stress, click here.
9. Improve Liver Function
In order for anything to be broken down in the body, it has to be “Catabolized”. Catabolism is one half of the function of “Metabolism”. So in order for your metabolism to function well, the organs responsible for the main metabolic functions, must function well.
Certain herbs like Dandelion Root can be taken as a tea to detoxify the liver and improve its function.
A good supplement that works effectively, has great reviews, and is backed by research is “LiverCare” by a company called “Himalaya Herbal Healthcare”. This is also known as “Liv52” in some countries. This herbal formulation is hepato-protective, detoxifying and improves the liver’s overall function. If you have any doubts about this product, go and look up the research on it. Even western medical doctors are prescribing it nowadays.
10. Increase your activity
It doesn’t matter if its serious exercise, playing with a puppy, having sex, dancing, riding a bicycle, or playing football with your kids, any increase in activity improves brain function, burns calories, improves health and regulates the functions of the body. Stagnation, results in disease. It is true that your diet is more responsible for weight loss more than exercise is, but, exercise still plays a vital role and as far as your body can tell, all physical activities are exercise! So get up and get moving.
Most of my patients get amazing fat loss results with yoga. Specifically, the practice known as “Sun Salutation” or “Surya Namaskar” is known to give amazing results.
A few more tips
-Try not to eat after 7 pm, except for high protein foods or raw veggies.
-Intermittent Fasting has been shown to enhance weight loss. This type of fasting involves a prolonged period of fasting, followed by a small eating gap in which all meals are consumed. For example, fasting for 16 hours (including sleep time) and then eating during an 8 hour gap, then back to fasting. Some people fast for 24 hours 2 or more times a week and get results. Most of my patients find this to be inconvenient, however, it is very effective,
-In Yogic Science a breathing exercise known as “Kapalbhati” or “Skull shining breath” is extremely beneficial in fat loss, to learn more about it, click here.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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