Is Your Diet Making you Fat?

Is Your Diet Making you FAT?

In my career, spanning over 20 years in the health and fitness industry, there is one thing I know for sure, dieting never works, at least long term.  In fact, long term, people who diet usually end up slowing their metabolism down and end up gaining weight and getting fat FATTER !   YIKES!

First, what do I mean by dieting?

When I reference “dieting”, I am referring to any food plan that is restrictive in one or all of the following area:

1. Calories.  The energy we get from food.

2. Micro-nutrients.  This could be vitamins, minerals or combination of both

3. Macro-nutrients.  This includes fat, protein, and/or carbs.

These diets include, but are not limited to low calorie diets, low carb diets, low fat diets, low protein diets, low salt diets, liquid diets, cleanses, fasts, juice diets, vegan diets, and low REAL food diets.

Can you lose weight on any of the above diets?  Yes, of course you will…short term.

Will you also feel hungry and deprived?  YES! Will also you become cranky and crave sweet or salty foods?  YES!  Will you be able to maintain this diet for a lifetime?  Most likely, NO!   You might be able to last for awhile or a restrictive diet, but eventually you will crack and eat the foods you are craving.

In fact, you have about  a 1-2% chance or maintaing a restrictive diet for over 2 years.  The only people I know that can maintain a calorie restrictive, nutrient deficient diet for any extended period of time are those that usually develop an eating disorder…and well, we all know how Unhealthy that is for you.

Will your metabolism slow down, allowing you to conserve ever bit of  energy on a calorie, nutrient restrictive diet?  For sure!

Will a slower metabolism HELP you live life filled with vitality, energy and health.  No WaY!

Basically, when you eat  a low calorie, nutrient deficient diet you are telling your metabolism to SLLLLLOOWWW down.  You put your body in a state of starvation and deprivation and it wants to conserve every bit of energy you give it.  Your body is smart, when you starve it, it begins to stop or slow down certain systems of your body to conserve energy.  These systems include your immune system, hormonal system, detox system, digestive system, nervous system, and your muscular and skeletal systems.  All the systems in your body are effected when you deprive them of energy and nutrients.

Once your body learns to use less energy and decreases the amount of energy it gives your body’s systems you get sick easier and more often, your libido decrease, you have trouble procreating, your digestion slows down and you become constipated, your reflexes are slower, you lose muscle and bone development and your body has a hard time removing toxins.  In addition a damaged metabolism leads to a lower body temperature (your body temperature should be around 98.6* degrees), decreased energy, poor sleep, weight gain, hormone imbalances, dry skin, forgetfulness, and a slew of other symptoms.

Yes, you may lose some weight (a combination of fat, muscle, tissue, bone and water) along the way, but at what cost…your health?

Metabolic slowing happens with constant dieting.   Ever time you “diet” and deprive yourself of energy and nutrients, your metabolism gets damaged.  Yes, every time!

The biggest problem with repeat dieting is people never take the time to repair their damaged metabolism before trying to lose weight and diet again.   It’s like trying to build a house on a cracked foundation.  You have to fix the foundation (your metabolism) before building the house (losing weight).

The best thing to do before trying go lose weight,  is repair the foundation (your metabolism) FIRST and then build the house (lose weight).  As Diane Schwarzbein says in her book  “The Schwarzbein Principle”, “you have got to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy”.

But Kate, don’t you have to eat less than you are burning, to lose FAT?   Yes, of course.  However, wouldn’t it be smarter to HEAL your metabolism FIRST so that you can burn more.  Once your body learns to consume more energy again, all while supplying energy and nutrients to all it’s systems, you will not have to work nearly as hard to lose fat.  Doesn’t that sound better…EAT MORE, WORKOUT LESS all so you can lose fat safer and more healthfully.

So what is the solution?!

I am so glad you asked.  You have to eat to lose weight!  The key is eating the right foods, in the right portions, combining the right amount of macro nutrients,  at the right times with the right exercises and of course the right amount of sleep…for you.  We are all different and are at different stages of health, so note there is no “one size fits all solution”, there is just you solution.

Yet, here are some general guidelines to live by:

1. Macronutrient ratios. All meals should contain a fat, a protein, and a carbohydrate.  Of course, the percentage of each is dependent on your metabolic type, your energy needs, your lifestyle, and the current state of your metabolism.

2. Eat the RIGHT FATS.  Organic coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, organic butter, RAW and/or organic dairy, cacao, grass fed meats and free range eggs.

3. Eat the RIGHT PROTEINS.  Organic grass fed meats, raw and/or organic dairy, eggs, white fish, shell fish, bone broth and gelatin

4. Eat the RIGHT CARBS.  Organic fresh-cooked veggies, tropical fruits, cooked fruits, fruit-vegetables (squashes), root vegetables, raw carrots, honey, and even sugar.

5. Drink water.  Drink water to thirst.  Drink more when its hot and you are working hard.  Consume minerals and sugar with water to replace needed nutrients.

6. Food Frequency. Find the number of meals that works for you to control your blood sugar and keep your body temperature high.  Some people may work well on 3 meals, while others need 8-9 meals.

7. Sleep. Try to sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am, or around those times.  Deep sleep is better than longer sleep.

8. Decrease Stress. Nothing suppresses thyroid function (the controller of your metabolism) more than stress.  Rest more, work less, smile more laugh more, love more.

9. Weight train. Weight training can increase muscle mass and allow your body to utilize more energy, thus help with fat burning.

10. Be patient.  Losing weight properly takes time.  Weight loss should be no more than 1 pound a week. If your metabolism is severely damaged, the concentration should be on healing and warming the body and not weight loss.  Once the body is in a healthier state, the focus can be placed back on weight loss.

Trying to lose fat does not have to be a constant state of deprivation.  YOU can eat.  YOU need to eat!  YOU can enjoy the foods you love.   To lose FAT, you MUST obtain an understanding as to what is going to fuel your metabolism so that your body can continue to work optimally, all the while you are losing fat.

Remember you have to build a strong foundation to build a strong body.  If your foundation is cracked (slow metabolism) then you have to fix it FIRST, before trying to build the house (lose the weight)!   You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy!

 

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

 

“Disclaimer: I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

Is Your Metabolism Broken?

Is Your Metabolism Broken?

Is your metabolism working at an optimal level? Do you know?

Lately, It has come to my attention that most people’s metabolisms are operating at a below optimal level of function. They’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, while their body’s internal system for weight loss is… well… broken.

Trying to lose weight with a low metabolism or broken system is like trying to run a race with a broken leg. You could do — but it will be much harder, and in the end you will most likely do more harm than good. Therefore, wouldn’t it make more sense to heal the leg first, and THEN run the race? I think so. The problem is most people don’t go through this healing process when trying to lose weight. They try running the race (try losing weight) with the broken leg (low functioning metabolism). And yes, with a lot of persistence, willpower, and food deprivation, some end up losing a little weight — only to find in time that they cannot live with this deprived lifestyle for long. So they put all the original weight back on — and then some.

I think Diane Schwarzbein, MD (author of The Schwarzbein Principle) said it best:

“You have to get healthy to lose weight — not lose weight to get healthy.”

Health is not defined by weight loss, how lean you are, or how fast you can run. True heath is defined as being free of illness, injury, pain, a warm body, good sleep, happiness, good digestion, and an ability to stay lean without countless hours of exercise.

If you have a damaged metabolism, then you are not healthy. If your metabolism is damaged, you need to focus on healing if first — then try to lose weight.

So, how do you know if your metabolism is running at a sub-optimal level?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Here is the abbreviated list:

  1. Weight. You have a hard time losing weight, and/or you gain weight easily. If you’re eating a low-calorie diet (1200- 1500 calories), you should lose weight easily if your metabolism is running at a high, optimal level. Unfortunately, most people who have been on a low-calorie diet are already metabolically damaged. So when they continue to diet further, they only lower the metabolic rate more. As to why highly calorie-restrictive diets never work long-term.
  2. Body temp. You have a chronically low body temperature. In the book, Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, the author (Broda Barnes, MD) explains how measuring body temperature is a fairly accurate way to judge optimal metabolic function.

Try this simple test:

Get a body thermometer. Digital is best — mercury is fine. First thing in the morning before you get out of bed, check your body temperature. Your morning body temperature should be between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees. Then check it again about 20 minutes after lunch — at this time your temperature should be around 98.6 degrees or higher. I will bet most of you will be below these temperatures. Before I started to heal my body, I was 96.5 to 97.0 in the morning and never above 97.5 mid day. It took me months and months of decreased activity and the proper diet to heal my metabolism. Honestly, healing and staying health are a  never-ending process.  In time, my body temperatures rose to a healthy 98.6 degrees…I still have my ups and downs…but Im far more UP, then years ago.

  1. Pulse. You have a low pulse. Broda Barnes, MD and Dr. Ray Peat both state that an optimal pulse is between 75 to 85 beats per minute (BPM). “Huh? I thought a low pulse was better? Don’t most athletes have a pulse rate below 60 BPM? I think super-fit Lance Armstrong has a pulse of like 45 BPM.” Yes, Lance is “super fit”, and yes he had a very low pulse rate. Yet, let’s remember, he had testicular cancer at the ripe age of 25. We must remember — “fit” does not equal “healthy”. A healthy metabolism induces a higher pulse rate and body temperature — two things you will frequently NOT see in endurance athletes.

Other symptoms that may occur with a sub-optimal metabolism are:

  1. Cold hands and feet
  2.  Anemia
  3.  Depression
  4.  Arthritis
  5.  Skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, and acne)
  6.  PMS
  7.  High cholesterol
  8.  High blood pressure
  9.  Low sex drive
  10.  Low energy
  11.  Edema (swelling/water weight)
  12.  Constipation or diarrhea
  13.  Diabetes
  14.  Muscle pain
  15.  Joint pain
  16.  Pale skin
  17. Brittle nails
  18.  Poor liver function
  19.  Digestive issues
  20.  Allergies
  21.  Food intolerances or sensitivities
  22.  Heart disease
  23.  Cancer
  24. …the list goes on and on

Whew! As you see, a lot can happen when you are running at a subpar metabolic level. I am sure many of you would admit that you have many of the above issues — right? I did. In fact, before my healing process, I had the following: Low body temperature, low pulse, cold hands and feet, anemia, high cholesterol, low energy, digestive issues, muscle pain, joint pain, allergies, and the “blahs” — good times. And yes, at the time, I considered myself VERY healthy. I had no idea the damage I had done (overtraining and under-nourishing), until all the things I was doing just were not working anymore.

I know many of you are identifying with what I’m saying. I know so many of you are depressed, getting sick, feeling like crap, and can’t seem to lose weight. And, I know how you feel when everything you are trying so hard to do (all the “right” things) and nothing seems to be working — right?

The good news is you can heal your broken metabolism. There are many things you can do now for healing your metabolism and getting back on track. And as always — don’t expect it to be instant. It’s a process and it takes some time.

Here is a basic list of how you can heal your metabolism:

  1.  Saturated fat. Eat more saturated fat (organic butter, coconut oil, ghee, cream).
  2.  The right proteins. Eat the right amount and right kind of protein for you. At least 80 grams, but could be upwards of 200 grams depending on your lifestyle, exercise, size, stress, and goals. This includes shellfish, white fish, eggs, dairy, grass-fed meats, gelatin, and broth.
  3.  Avoid PUFA. Remove polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) from your diet. This includes (but is not limited to) soybean oil, sesame oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, nut oils, and margarine. All PUFAs are anti-thyroid.
  4.  Root veggies. Eat more vegetables that are grown below the ground. Mainly root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc).
  5.  Avoid additives, processed foods, and grains. Remove all toxic food additives, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, food chemicals, processed foods, fast foods, alcohol, soy, and grains and grain-based foods.
  6.  Organic Dairy. Drink organic whole milk or lower fat diary. Raw if it is available
  7.  Sugar-fat-protein balance. Consume the right sugars with the right combination of fat and protein to help heal the pancreas and liver. This includes ripe and in-season, non-starch fruits, honey, organic dairy products, and orange juice.
  8.  Eat organic often. Eat quality organic food in small frequent meals.
  9.  You-tailored exercise. Do the right kind of exercise that’s tailored to your body to help it heal. For some, this may mean weight training, short intense interval training, yoga, or walking. For others this may mean doing nothing at all. Since exercise is stress, if your system is overburdened, then even the smallest amount of exercise can be too much. Remember, exercise is a prescription.
  10.  Smart supplementation. Take the right supplements, if any. Food is always best, but in some cases supplementation can be beneficial until your body can heal.

Now, I understand I am going to get some flak for some of my suggestions for healing the metabolism. Eat sugar? Drink juice? Consume whole-fat dairy? Don’t avoid saturated fat? Eat potatoes? What?! I can hear what you’re thinking, “This is the opposite of everything I have been told!”

Yes, I am very aware that many of these recommendations go against what is being taught today in terms of weight loss and health advice.  However, when you really start to understand the physiology of how the body works, my recommendations make perfect sense.  (I will fully explain this in each of my programs).  In addition, let’s remember — in today’s world we have the highest rate of obesity, metabolic issues, depression, pain, inflammatory disorders, and so on. Thus, is what we are doing really working?

I am certainly not here to convince you to go against what you believe in — especially if it is working for you. I am only here to share with you what I have been learning, what I have found that is working for me, and what I am using to help many of my clients. Only you can decide if you are ready for change and ready to try a new approach.

Sometimes to get better, we must unlearn so much of what has been hammered into our minds and become part of our belief systems. We must actually take a few steps back before we can move forward. Remember, obtaining optimal health is a journey — there is no clear path and it’s not instant. Yet it can be obtained if you are open to learning, growing, and being patient. A little confused? Good — this means your thoughts and beliefs are being challenged. And only then can you actually be open to learning something new.

Please understand the recommendations I have given here are VERY general. Every plan I develop is far more comprehensive, educational, and person-specific (customized to you and your body and lifestyle). If you are interested in learning more on how to heal your metabolism and get on the right track to optimal health, order my book, “How to Heal Your Metabolism”.

Your Optimal Health Coach,

Kate

“Disclaimer:  I am an exercise physiologist, personal trainer, nutritional and lifestyle coach, not a medical doctor.  I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease or physical problem. I do not provide diagnosis, care treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles.  I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them.  I provide physical and dietary suggestions to improve health and wellness and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body.  If you suspect any disease please consult your physician.”

___________________________________

References:

Hypo-thyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. Broda Barnes, MD

Hypothyroidism Type 2. Mark Starr, MD

www.Raypeat.com Dr Ray Peat

Eat Move and Be Healthy. Paul Chek

www.eastwesthealing.com Josh Rubin

The Schwarzbein Principle. Diane Schwarzbein, MD