So why are there four steps to losing weight?
The answer to this is that obesity and weight gain is really a multifactorial disease that is, lots of different factors play into gaining weight, so therefore you have to address all of those factors just like there’s no single cause of weight gain, there’s no single cause of other diseases either like heart disease. So in heart disease for example, smoking, exercise, age, your sex. Those are all important and play a role same for weight gain step one to losing weight, reduce added sugars.So added sugars are different from the natural sugars that you find in foods in several different ways. One is that you can’t artificially increase the amount of sugar, so if you eat a bowl of cherries, there is sugar in them but you can’t keep making them sweeter and sweeter as opposed to say sugary cereal where you can just keep adding sugar and it will get sweeter and sweeter, and the problem is that a lot of times that sugar is hidden from us.
If you read the food labels you’ll find many different names by which sugar comes under, so some people will say sucrose, glucose, fructose, invert sugar, hydrolyzed starch, corn sweetener, high fructose, corn syrup. All of those are synonyms for basic sugar, and the reason they do that is because when you read the label, you don’t realize quite how much sugar is contained in those foods. The main foods you want to avoid are fairly logical, so things like sweets, candies, chocolates, cakes, pies and donuts, but also in things like jams and jellies, sometimes in things like peanut butter. There are certain peanut butters that add sugar to it.
1. Sauces are also very high in sugar so spaghetti, sauces, ketchup, barbecue sauces, sweet and sour sauces, they can have a lot of sugar and you may not realize it. Snacks and desserts obviously are going to be very high in sugar most of the time. So those entire sorts of things to eat are ones that you want to limit if you’re trying to lose weight. Now there’s nothing really wrong with breakfast, however it’s the meal where we’re often rushing to get to school, rushing to get to work, so we wind up grabbing something that is highly refined and highly processed and that often needs added sugars. Think of things such as sugary cereals, muffins, danishes, fruit flavored yogurts, instant oatmeal with flavoring granola bars, fruit juices all of those things are one highly prepared, highly refined, highly processed, but typically add a lot of sugar to the diet.Other things such as steel cut oats for example or eggs, those are more traditional breakfast foods and they typically are much lower in sugar if you don’t add any yourself.So those might be good choices or the alternative would be to skip it completely, which is always an option other than the foods. The other big sort of danger area for added sugars is drinks, so stop drinking your sugar. So again, think of things such as juices sodas, but also things that you might not think about iced teas, iced coffees, smoothies, shakes mixed drinks, so you mix it with alcohol but nowadays they often mix it with a lot of sugary syrups and so on to give it extra flavor. The best things to go with of course is water, teas are great but again look for the extra sugar, coffee is also good but be careful of the extra sugar, but what about the sweeteners.So it sounds like a great idea to replace sugar with one of the non-caloric sweeteners of which there are many and while it seems logical, unfortunately the clinical experience is that these sweeteners don’t do a lot in terms of weight loss. If they did, then we really wouldn’t be having an obesity epidemic, we’d simply replace all our sugar with fake sugar, we’d be able to cut hundreds of calories out of our diet and that’s it.
There’d be no obesity epidemic but of course that didn’t happen they may in fact make you feel like you’re taking sweetness and make you crave it make you want the sweet things so it may also increase your insulin levels and perhaps may increase your hunger levels by stimulating your appetite because of the sweetness contained in these chemicals it’s unclear why it doesn’t work as well as it should but the bottom line is that the artificial sweeteners are not really much better than the regular sweeteners, so try to cut them out entirely.
2. Reduce refined grains, what we’re talking about here is predominantly the things such as white flour but also white potatoes and white rice. The problem with a lot of these grains is that they are highly processed and highly refined. So in order to make flour, what they have to do is reduce a lot of the other constituents that you would normally get, so they take out the protein, they take out the fat, they take out like the most of the bulk from going from wheat to flour and what you’re left with is very very purified carbohydrate but more than that.As they grind it into flour which is a very very fine dust, it increases the speed of absorption, so therefore you get this really quick rise in your blood glucose and that may cause a problem because your insulin levels may rise and fall very quickly, it may stimulate you to eat other things. So the things made with white flour for example cakes and cookies, muffins, donuts but also a lot of bread. Those are things that you may want to reduce and I think that most people have recognized that people can become very addicted to these sorts of foods and may find it very hard to stop eating these foods.
3. Eat moderate protein. Protein is really important to help rebuild your body, your body needs protein. So there are certain amino acids which are the breakdown products of protein that we need, if we don’t get it we’re not going to be healthy. So it’s very important that we get enough protein.Protein also increases the satiety, that is when you eat foods that are high in protein, you tend to feel more full just like if you were to eat eggs and bacon in the morning versus a slice of toast and jam, the difference is all that protein and all that fat is going to make you feel full for longer. So protein is very important, but it’s hard to get too much protein because it’s hard to eat on its own along the same lines, make sure that you are not afraid of eating natural fats. So for years, we told people to avoid eating dietary fat because it was going to cause heart disease.
Over the last 30-40 years turns out that advice probably wasn’t entirely true by the 2010s, a lot of people were starting to realize that a lot of natural fats can be very healthy for you. So the term healthy fats became reintroduced, so things like nuts, avocados, olive oil and fatty fish we recognize that these are very healthy foods for you.
Full fat dairy for example may also be quite important to make us feel full so that when we eat, we’re not hungry 20 minutes later.
4. Eat natural unprocessed food. So you want to eat food as close as to what it appears in nature, things that come in a box or things that are packaged or things that need a nutrition label for example are probably better avoided, instead try to eat foods that you could recognize. So meat, seafood, vegetables, those kinds of things are the way they appear in nature. Nuts for example, whereas you don’t see a package of granola bars growing on a tree and the reason for this is that a lot of the foods that we evolve to eat, we have natural ways to deal with them. So we know how much we should eat and when we should stop eating. So there are signals that when we eat certain foods will tell us to stop eating those foods, however for a lot of the processed foods we take out a lot of these natural satiety signals so that it’s much easier to overeat these foods compared to natural foods so think of apples versus apple juice for example it would be very hard to eat six or ten apples yet if you juice those six or ten apples into juice by taking away all the pulp all the fiber for example then it’s very easy to overeat it but what you’re getting is mostly the sugar and the water that comes out of that juice so it’s not the apple that’s inherently fattening it’s the processing of that and it goes the same whether you’re talking about processed carbohydrates or Processed oils for example so we know that trans fats are a type of processed oil turns out that they’re very unhealthy for us but also processed proteins may not be good for us because simply they’re not the foods that we evolve to eat step balance feeding and fasting so all the previous steps you talked about really deal with the foods that we eat so we’re really answering the question of what to eat but there’s an equally important question in weight loss that is when when should i eat and for many years we told people that they should eat constantly throughout the day however if you eat constantly you’re not allowing your body any time to use those calories that you’ve taken in sort’s important not only to talk about what to eat but also when to eat and when not to eat so remember when you’re eating your body is going to want to store calories and one of the ways that the body stores calories is as body fat when you’re not eating or when you’re fasting your body wants to use those calories it takes the calories from storage and uses them so that you have a source of energy that’s why you don’t die in your sleep every single night so if you’re looking to lose weight then what you need to do is you may need to extend the period that your body is using those calories and that can be increasing it to 14 hours 16 hours 24 hours.