Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Overcome Overweight

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

According to Business Week Magazine, dieting in America is a $40 billion a year industry. For a majority of Americans, these diets don’t work and are a waste of money. People are looking for a quick fix, and when it comes to permanent weight loss, a quick fix won’t fix the problem of overweight. 

In fact, the quick fix diet can do more harm than good. When too few calories are eaten, muscle mass is reduced and much of the weight loss is water. Once off the diet, the body can go into a starvation response, leading to a weight gain of only fat. The American Psychological Association reviewed 31 diet studies and after two years, found up to a third of the dieters weighed more than when they began the diet.1 Repeated failure at weight loss gives us a sense of failure and little hope of successful weight loss.

Successful Weight Loss Tips

Weight loss is more complex than calories in - calories out. Here are some strategies that work:


1) Remove the Chemicals - Environmental toxins including pesticides, toxic metals, and solvents disrupt hormones that regulate our sex hormones, insulin, thyroid, stress, and appetite. Chemicals also create stress on the body, shifting metabolism to store fat rather than burn fat. Toxins are stored in fat cells. An assessment of toxins in the body can be done through urine testing, hair analysis, or whole blood samples. Eat organic foods whenever possible. Because toxins are stored in fat cells, losing weight will reduce toxins stored in our body. Alkalinizing foods including fruits, vegetables, miso, and cooked grains will help the body detoxify. Avoid fried foods and processed foods, and eat less acid-forming foods like meat and dairy.

2) Rebuild and Rebalance - Metabolism can be damaged by rapid weight loss, stress, too many refined carbohydrates, stimulants, or not enough sleep - slowing down metabolism. Hormones become imbalanced and cause stress to our body. Eating the proper ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats will “reset” damaged metabolism. Also, including plenty of water to eliminate toxins and booster foods to increase energy and antioxidants and aid with detoxification should be part of a healthy diet. Without proper nutrition, dieters will “plateau” and not be able to lose additional weight.

3) Exercise - It is difficult to lose weight without including exercise. Exercise increases metabolism, burns fat and builds muscle where most of our energy is burned. Interval training - switching from high intensity to low intensity then back to high intensity - burns fat. Resistance training increases lean body mass and increases insulin sensitivity. Find an activity you enjoy whether it be brisk walking, biking, tennis, basketball, jogging, or going to the gym, and do it for 45 minutes to one hour three to five times a week. If you have not exercised for a while, get approval first from your doctor. Start slow and build your way up.

4) Manage Stress - When under stress, the hormone cortisol is released. This can lead to muscle loss and insulin resistance. Weight becomes difficult to lose and often times weight gain occurs around the mid-section of your body. Absorption of nutrients is compromised, as is the making of enzymes. Remove yourself from stressful situations when possible. Get adequate sleep. Exercise releases stress. Eat foods that include B vitamins (crimini mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries), vitamin C (cantaloupe, parsley, lemon juice, kale, Brussels sprouts, papaya), magnesium (Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, spinach, summer squash), and potassium (Romaine lettuce, celery, Swiss chard, tomatoes, broccoli).

Nutrients Supporting Weight Loss


 Fiber - Fiber is found in all plant foods, which are low in calories and fat. Fiber will make you feel full without consuming large quantities of calorically-rich foods. Women should get 21-25 grams of fiber a day, men 30-38 grams of fiber a day at a minimum.

Green Tea - Green tea boosts metabolism and fat burning. Drink 12 oz. or more of green tea per day.

Chromium - A mineral that helps regulate insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism and storage of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Sources of chromium are broccoli, whole wheat English muffin, Romaine lettuce, and onions. There is not an Upper Tolerable Level of chromium, as it has few side effects. Those with liver or kidney disease do need to limit their intake of chromium.

 Calcium - Calcium helps break down fat rather than store fat. Tofu, soybeans, kale, and turnip greens are good sources of calcium.

CoQ10 - Required in all cells to convert fat, carbohydrates, and protein into energy. Sources of coQ10 are whole grains.

  Tryptophan - An amino acids that makes HTP-5, which converts to serotonin in the brain. If serotonin levels are low, people will have an increased appetite and sugar cravings. Tryptophan increases serotonin levels. It can be found in crimini mushrooms, spinach, tofu, and soybeans.

  Zinc - A mineral that helps regulate the rate our body uses up energy. Zinc can be found in spinach, crimini mushrooms, summer squash, collard greens, and pumpkin seeds.

  Lipoic Acid - Helps convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. Spinach, collard greens, and broccoli are sources of lipoic acid. It is difficult to get a toxic level of lipoic acid from foods.



Jody Perrecone is a corporate manager for the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). CHIP is an international wellness program focusing on lifestyle interventions to create a healthier workforce and reduce overall healthcare costs. Jody works with hospitals, corporations, and communities to offer CHIP programs throughout the U.S.

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Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

Reference:
Foxcroft, L.(2011). Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting over two thousand Years. London, England: Profile Books LTD.

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