Monday, February 14, 2011

So you want to loose some weight....

Here is a great article i found at

So you want to “lose some weight”? Here's what not to do.

  • Count calories. Your body's caloric demands are a function of your size, body composition, activity level, cellular metabolic rate, heat output, the amount of thinking you do... and so on. In a lab environment, researchers have a great deal of trouble measuring each of these factors, so there is no way you are going to sit down with a calculator, a tape measure, and a scale, and figure out how much you “should” be eating.

    The simple fact is your body tells you how much to eat through ghrelin and leptin and a complex medley of glands and other tissues. Feed it the good stuff (see here LINK) and it will tell you when to stop. Eat slowly and listen to it. Don't overeat, don't feel the need to finish your entire meal if you aren't hungry for it.

    Starve yourself. Maybe you think that you eat too much, and therefore are getting fat, and therefore if you eat less, you will lose fat. Try this: turn the first two around. You are getting fatter, therefore you eat too much.

    When a person puts on too much body fat, it is a pretty clear sign that something is wrong, metabolically. It is not a sign of overindulgence or weakness or lack of caring. Imagine you get paid once a month. You take 25% in cash to get you through the next week, and deposit the rest. But what if the bank insisted each month that you only take 20%, deposit the rest, and later refused to let you take out the 5% extra you deposited. You would have a hard time making the bills. In fact, in order to do so you would have to start making more money. And sure, your bank account would be getting bigger, but most of it would be useless to you since you couldn't access it.

    Your adipose tissue is that bank account. You take much of the food you eat and turn it into fat, and store it in your adipose tissue for later use. That is why we don't need to graze constantly, we have energy reserves. But when we eat the wrong stuff (easily digested carbohydrate and seed oils), our hunger and fat regulation becomes all screwy. The body starts to store more than it should of what is coming in, and it won't let it out again. That means that the energy isn't getting to the cells which need it and that our “bank account”, a.k.a. our waistlines, are getting bigger. The food we eat is our “income” and the cells which need the energy are out “bills”. The body is going to insist you pay your bills, so you are going to be hungry for more food. So, you aren't getting fat because you eat too much, you eat too much because you are getting fat.

    Use diet pills. These are just appetite suppressants. They interfere with those hormonal signals mentioned earlier. You are still storing too much of what you eat, you are now just not eating enough, and your cells are going to be starving even more than before. Since something is clearly wrong with fat storage and hunger regulation, do you really want to mess it up more with drugs?

    Engage in endless exercise. Exercise is good for you in many ways, but it isn't much of a weight loss tool. Walking and some high-intensity conditioning along with resistance training can improve insulin sensitivity, which can help with weight loss a little. But it isn't going to take thirty pounds off of most people, unless they happen to be 100 pounds overweight. Spending hours a day running or biking is going to destroy muscle tissue, and damage you metabolically, and make you really, really hungry. Exercise to feel better and to stay healthy, but don't overdo it.

    Eat “healthy whole grains”. Whole grains, especially gluten grains, can cause celiac disease and leaky gut syndrome, and all of the nasty auto-immune issues associated with that, including arthritis, lupus, Crone's, allergies, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and others, along with general systemic inflammation. Add to this grains' tendency to elevate insulin levels, which in turn promotes the storing of calories as fat... well, it just doesn't seem like a good idea.

    Replace fat with fruits and veggies. Fat is your friend. Despite what you heard, it will not give you heart disease or cancer, and it most certainly will not make you fat. Fat does not raise insulin levels, so it does not cause your body to fat-storage crazy. Fat promotes satiety, which means that you will feel more full on fewer calories, compared to easily digested carbs. Fat is a structural component of your body, and if your body doesn't get enough you will suffer from intense food cravings.

    Ultimately, fruits and vegetables are sugar. Sure, they are much more complex sugars than the kind used in almost every processed foodstuff you eat, but inside of you they are just sugars in the end. Especially fruits, which have been bred for centuries to be higher in sugar and lower in fiber than their wild forebears. Not that fiber is necessarily all that good for you, especially while trying to lose weight, but adding sugar to anything is a bad idea. While veggies are less egregious in this regard, they are not nearly as satisfying as fat or protein, are not needed for your body structure like fat and protein, do not have nearly the amount of micro-nutrients which fat and protein do. You get the picture. Replace the grains and the sugar with fat and protein. Replace the seed oils with butter or lard or olive oil or coconut oil. Your body will thank you.

    Use a, seriously. You want to lose, say, 20 pounds? Ask yourself this question: If I dropped 20 pounds tomorrow, but looked exactly the same as today, and my clothing fit exactly the same, will I be satisfied with the results? I'm betting you say “no”, because this isn't really about weight, it's about fat. The number on the scale only has meaning because we associate it with the way we look and feel.

    But that association is bogus. Fluctuations in water retention, the amount of food traversing our guts, even the time of day, all of this can affect the number on the scale, and none of them have to do with looking better naked. All the scale does for you is to give you a number to obsess over, and isn't this difficult enough without that? And so what if the number goes down, but you've lost muscle (due to starving tissue) instead of fat? That shape we all desire for ourselves, that shape is formed by our muscles and bones. Lose the muscle, keep the fat, and all we are is flabby, despite weighing less. Pay attention to how you look, how you feel, and how you perform when working out. Despite not necessarily having numbers attached to them, these observations will tell you much more about where you are at with your eating than the number on the scale.

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