Are you such an expert on weight loss that you have forgotten the basics? In this video, doctor Kennedy talks about the 8 surprising fundamentals that everyone trying to lose weight needs to know.
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Weight Loss Basics – Transcript:
Welcome to HealwithNature.com, where we provide you with no-nonsense ways to live a long healthy life and help you understand how your body works. We took notes for you too! Just follow the link below to download your free checklist.
If you have any questions, please leave us a comment. My name is Dr. Mitch Kennedy. I’m a naturopathic physician. We’re going to talk about weight loss, what’s effective, what works and some of the best approaches to make sure that you’re going to meet your goals.
Where to Start
The first thing you want to do is you want to check in with your physician. And the reason for that is there are many obstacles to weight loss. Can anybody name some of them? Medications, possibly medications, anything else? Hormones, yes, hormones can get in the way of weight loss. The thyroid can get in the way. Also adrenal glands.
If you’re chronically fatigued, if you’re under constant stress, not sleeping, well, all those things, create hormone imbalances in the body and can get in the way of weight loss. So the first thing you want to do is get a blood test, check your thyroid, your adrenals, and female or male hormones.
Because believe it or not, men actually go through andropause, just like women go through menopause. There are specific ranges you want to look for. In each of these situations. In the case of the thyroid, you check the TSH. In my opinion, you want that to be less than 2.0. And the reason is, that once you hit 2.0, most people start to exhibit at least one symptom of hypothyroidism and find that inability to lose weight, despite exercising, is the main symptom.
As far as adrenals go, the best thing to do is a salivary hormone test, where you’re checking the adrenal gland throughout the day and night. Over a 24-hour period, you collect at least four samples, which gives you a chart of the curve of the thyroid output.
That’s a salivary test, meaning that you’re going to be spitting into little tubes. And then you can also add on female hormones like progesterone, estrogen, estradiol, DHEA, and pregnenolone to the same test to check the values of those too.
The second thing to check
Next thing, can anybody guess what the next thing is? It doesn’t have anything to do with what comes in? Actually, has to do with the other end? Bowel movements.
Can anybody tell me about the perfect bowel movement? This is the gold nugget of the evening right here! The perfect bowel movement is eight to 10 inches long. And you want it to be medium-brown, well-formed, you want it to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
You want it to come out without any pain, mucus, or blood. And you want it to be free of gas bloating and reflux. And of course, one a day more is the better as long as they’re still well-formed.
If you’re not having good bowel movements, you’re not excreting the hormones and other waste products in your body that you need to get out. And obviously, if you’re eating a lot of food that’s inappropriate, that will get in the way also, it affect the bowel movements.
So the first thing to do is to make sure you’re doing good bowel movements, and add fiber and water if you’re not. And then if that still doesn’t resolve it, then you need to look further up the line to the small intestine to the pancreas to the gallbladder to the liver or to the stomach.
The best kind of fiber to add is bulking fiber, which is insoluble, like ground flax cellulose powder. I tend to stay away from things like Metamucil because they tend to have sweeteners and artificial colorings or flavorings, which most people don’t need, and may disrupt your hormones and cause you to hold onto excess weight.
Once we get the backend working, we want good quality things coming in the front end right? In my opinion, everybody needs to be on a daily multivitamin. And this is just basic good nutrition because most of us are not eating properly. Most of us are under increased stress during the day. We’re exposed to chemicals and pollution, both emotional pollution as well as air pollution, water pollution, and other types of things that enter our bodies.
Vitamins, particularly B vitamins help us to metabolize things, break down these chemicals and toxins and get them out of the body. And to keep the liver functioning since the liver is one of the key organs in the cycle of storing energy for use later on, and releasing energy when we need it.
To keep your bowels moving and your liver and kidneys working for weight loss you need a new routine of drinking more water. How much water did you drink today? So far? About 48 ounces? That’s excellent. So that means you’re, you weigh only 96 pounds?
You want to basically look at the weight that you’d like to be and divided it in half. And that number is the number of ounces you should be drinking every day. So if you want to weigh 130, then 65 would be the magic number. You want to drink 65 ounces of water a day. Another rule of thumb is eight eight-ounce glasses of fluid a day and you want that to be water, juice, tea, or soup, but not coffee or soda because those have diuretics.
Many times the signal of being hungry is actually a signal of being thirsty. So if you keep the body well hydrated, your desire to eat will go down and then you’ll consume less.
What should we be eating? Most people know this but you know veggies right veggies and fruit, lean meats. You want fish, poultry and lean beef, pork, nuts, other sources of protein. You want to stay away from fried food processed food with white sugar, white flour, and low salt, right? Why? Yes, salt retains water and increases blood pressure.
Also, there’s a relationship between salt and sweet craving. So the more salt you have, the more craving for sweetness you’ll have later on. And if you balance out both of these, then you will have neither cravings and it will help you eat more relatively modest portions.
That list again is: no high-sugar foods, and you definitely want to cut out all fried foods. Processed foods, including white sugar, which is processed food, and white flour, which is a processed carbohydrate that has very little nutritional value. And those four things are the biggest things in the American diet.
Eating out tends to be most problematic because of that. What’s wrong with fried food? Well, there are a couple of things. In fried food, the process of cooking with oil at high heat tends to make something called trans fats, which are cancer-causing, they tend to create heart disease because they are the fats that irritate the arteries and the body and can cause high cholesterol and fried food, while very dense in terms of calories is very shallow in nutrition. So you get fat calories and carbohydrate calories but you really don’t get any vitamins. You don’t get any minerals, you don’t get the things that the body really craves.
This brings us to eating raw. The more raw food you can eat, the better you’ll off you’ll be because you’ll have the natural enzymes in the food and the vegetables and fruit. You’ll have all the vitamins intact, and that includes juices and raw fruits, and even dehydrated or dried fruits made on a food dryer.
It said that if you expose foods to greater than 140 degrees, you start breaking down the enzymes that you’re body uses to help digest that food. And I know for certain that boiling and baking and even sometimes frying or pan-frying can break down all the B vitamins.
Protein, most of us are not eating enough protein, we tend to eat heavily on the carb side of the equation. So what are proteins you can have throughout the day that are easy?
Nuts, protein bars, protein shakes if you can find one you like. There are some great things like hemp seeds are a great raw protein source. Legumes, yeah, so it has protein, legumes, peas, lentils, all sorts of complex grains, and complex carbohydrates when they’re paired well with legumes are complete proteins.
Soy you need to be careful with because most of it is genetically modified. We don’t know that much about GMOs yet, but we’re pretty sure it’s not a good thing. Because we’re tinkering with a plant’s genes and we don’t know what the ultimate end product will be once it’s in our body.
Soy is also estrogenic meaning that it can stimulate or block estrogen receptors. And estrogen is a hormone that tends to allow people to retain or create some weight. So it doesn’t necessarily benefit us in terms of losing weight.
What are some good healthy fats? Coconut oil is a saturated vegetable fat. So instead of a saturated animal fat like lard, saturated coconut oil might be a good substitute. Low-temperature oils like flax and borage are good sources of Omega 3. These are fatty acids that your body needs to make hormones the body needs to make skin and brain tissue and other things like that. And then the threes of course are omega threes are fish oils, algae, krill.
Some complete flax oils have a little bit of nines and sixes and threes together. Those are all good fats because they’re unsaturated. Some of them are called polyunsaturated fats. And so they have processes when they’re processed in the body, they can very easily be broken down. They don’t irritate arteries, they don’t create inflammation in the body. And so they are beneficial and easily utilize and unfortunately very short in our diet.
Flax oil can be added to meal replacement shakes like protein shakes, added to salad dressings, you can add it to soups after you make the soup, after it cools down a bit. You can mix it into yogurt. You can stir it into oatmeal after you make the oatmeal.
The idea is that it is fragile so you don’t expose it to high heat. Because if you do, the flax oil will break down and they become trans fats. So you have to be very careful with it.
There are very few oils that are vegetable oils that you can use for cooking. You can use almond oil, you can use sunflower oil, you can use apricot kernel oil. Those are all high heat meaning they can withstand sauteing and you can also do avocado I almost forgot that one. And those four we can saute and bake. So if you need to cook with oil, so things don’t stick to the pan, then those fours would be the oils you want to use.
You don’t want to use olive oil. That’s a fragile oil. You don’t want to use borage oil, or evening primrose oil, you don’t want any of those. Even soy oil is suspect. Everybody cooks with olive oil, but it’s really not the best oil to use because it will break down.
There’s something called smoke point. And that’s the point the temperature at which when you put the oil in a pan, it will start to burn. And as soon as it starts burning, that’s it – it’s oxidizing! That’s what creates the smoke. So you want something with the highest smoke point possible. And those are the four that I listed, which I’ll try to remember again, avocado, apricot, sunflower, and almonds.
Are eggs, okay? Are you concerned about protein or concerned about cholesterol? Both? Okay, eggs are good. Eggs have gotten a bad rap. Anything done in excess is probably not good. But if you do a couple of eggs a week, for example, no problem, you know, they are a complete protein. Absolutely one of the best sources of protein, easy to transport and store and you can do a lot of things with them. You can hard boil them and take them to work, scramble them quickly in the morning, you can eat them raw if you want if you’re getting into the raw thing.
What’s the next most common thing people tell you to do when you want to lose weight? Aside from eating less, exercise more right? Well, exercising is of course key. But there’s also a heart rate. You got to hit a certain heart rate in order to exercise optimally because you can exercise to build your heart strength and endurance or you can exercise to burn calories. So if you go on to the web, and you look up “heart rate” and “exercise”, you’ll see charts where you can look up your age, and it’ll tell you what rate you should be at for each type of exercise.
So on some days, you might do a cardio exercise, some you might do a fat burn exercise. And in that case, you do the pulse rate for as long as you can at that rate. And you can get pulse monitors or you can take your pulse, it’s easy to take a pulse. Get a watch with a second timer on it, do 15 seconds or do 10 seconds, then you multiply by either six or four to get your 60-second number. Now the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. Does anybody know why?
Your glycogen levels are at their lowest. Glycogen is a very simple fat, it’s stored around the liver. Remember I said the liver is a store of quick energy. So it’s this kind of yellow layer around the liver. It quickly breaks down into sugars to keep blood sugar normal. But over the eight hours or 10 hours or how many hours you sleep, it’s using that up. And so when you use that up, that’s when you’re ready to start burning adipose tissue, from your middle or your thighs, or wherever.
If you exercise then you’ll be increasing your metabolic rate and burning fat because you don’t have any more glycogen left. The other thing that is produced in the morning when you exercise is growth hormone. Have any of you heard of that? It’s all the rage with the celebrities.
They take growth hormone injections and it’s supposed to make all your wrinkles disappear and everything perks up. But your body does stop creating it at high levels as you get older and so like many things it starts to decrease with age and if you consistently exercise in the morning you can help raise those levels of growth hormone and yes it does help reduce wrinkles and sagging and increases mental alertness but the other thing it helps do is burn fat and create lean muscle mass so exercising before breakfast, boosts growth hormone.
If you eat breakfast and then go exercise doesn’t work. When you eat you release insulin and insulin gets in the way of burning fat. So waiting to eat breakfast until after you exercise is the best way to do it. When you exercise your metabolic rate increases and it stays increased for a while.
Okay, so you can take advantage of that by exercising at the cardio or not cardio rate, but the metabolic rate that’s suitable for burning fat. And then what you want to do is wait as long as possible afterward before you eat. And then after you eat, that metabolic rate starts to decline again.
So we’ve covered everything except what happens when you’re not awake, right? Okay, so what’s important about sleep? Rejuvenate to time to rest, right? It’s when you heal, right? It’s the only time you heal really, it’s when you heal the quickest and the most thoroughly.
Because healing has to do with the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems interacting with one another. During the day, we’re mostly engaged in the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight nervous system. During the night, or when resting or relaxed, or when we’re unconscious, our parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and that’s when we are healing. So what else is important about sleep? When you sleep, we talked about how you’re burning glycogen, right? You’re establishing a rhythm, you have the melatonin rhythm in your body. And if your melatonin rhythm gets thrown off, then you’re not going to have good metabolism again, because the idea for sleeping is that you have high levels of melatonin, and low levels of cortisol.
If those get reversed, and you have high levels of cortisol at night when you’re trying to sleep, you’re going to be agitated, you’re going to have a very light sleep, you’re not going to feel rested, you feel more tired in the morning when you wake up and won’t be able to get going. And, and in terms of how that affects your ability to burn fat, you’re basically in the opposite mode. You know, you can kind of think of it as like trying to get really active when you’re really really tired. Just extremely difficult, hard to do.
Do you know, how much sleep you need? Just about everybody, across the board, needs eight hours as a human being. That’s what we’re structured to have. Some people say I get by on six. Yeah, and I’ve been getting by for so many years that it doesn’t matter. Now, I think by six, it’s not actually true. Studies on sleep quality have shown that people who are only sleeping six hours have very limited deep cycles of sleep.
And that affects long-term memory consolidation and regeneration of tissues. So it’s important to get eight hours and it’s important to get high-quality sleep. You can sleep 12 hours, but if it’s very shallow and broken, you’re not gonna feel as good as if you get a shorter period of time, like eight hours, and it’s very good quality sleep.
Here’s a question for you, those of us that are drinking our water… what if I have to get up to pee? Yes. Get up. How does that affect the depth of sleep? It certainly interrupts it. The best thing to do would be to pick the point at which you’re going to go to bed. Let’s say that it’s 10 o’clock. Give yourself three hours beforehand to stop drinking water. So you would stop drinking at seven.
Okay, so now you’re going to go to bed at 10 pm. Eight hours of sleep means up at 6 am. If you get up at six, have your day, and stop drinking water at seven, you’ve got a timetable basically to work through and say “okay, well I gotta have eight glasses of water in my 12 hour period, which means I got to have a glass every hour and 15 minutes.
It is best to drink most of your water in the morning. In fact, if you drink in the morning, you actually feel less hungry.
So sleep is really important because you need to be rested, you need to be energized, and you need to be healed. You need to have that melatonin rhythm in the right place at the right time, you need to have the cortisol rhythm in the right place at the right time.
Aside from that, the next level of weight loss deals with supplementation to help burn fat. Can you name some of those extra nutritional supplements that you can take to burn fat? I’ll give you the easiest one that has been around for a long long time is chromium. Chromium has been used by bodybuilders and weightlifters to get the cut in definition in their muscles to have more lean body mass. And so you can take it to get more well defined, or you can take it to just help accelerate fat burning. Chromium does that by sensitizing insulin, and sensitizing muscle tissue to insulin. And to get the sugars in the blood into the muscle tissue more effectively.
Carnitine is another one. carnitine is an amino acid that accelerates lipolysis, which is the actual metabolic process where the fat cell opens up and releases its energy. And that only works or it works the best when it’s taken about an hour prior to working out. So you wake up to take a Carnitine, hop on the treadmill, hit your pulse rate, drink your water start your day.
That is a concise overview of the best and most proven ways to lose weight. The most common problem with dieting per se is that you’re depriving yourself for a period of time to reach a goal. And then you get that goal and you think you’re done. And so then you’re like okay, now I can go back to what I like to eat, the ice cream and the fried chicken and french fries. And I could sit on the couch with my potato chips and watch my football game. And then and people hit this point where they’re like okay, I lost 25 pounds I’m where I want to be, but then it comes right back. Really what needs to be done is a more full long-lasting lifestyle change.
I’ll take questions.
The question was, Is it okay to drink water first thing when I get up as opposed to exercising and then drinking water? Yes, you can drink water right away. In fact, you probably ought to because you are dehydrated.
Protein shakes are great and come in all different kinds of protein. You’ve got soy protein whey which is a dairy product. Plant-based protein, hemp-based protein rice protein, probably leaving at least one out. People have allergies to all those things a lot. A lot of people that I treat, have very strange allergies. Some people are allergic to rice, some people are allergic to peas and legumes. Some people are allergic to soy. Some people are allergic to dairy.
So you need to find something that you’re not allergic to, and you want it to be a protein powder that has a lot of protein in it. So if you take two scoops, you want it to be mostly protein, and not so much fillers and sugars and, you know, even laxatives! If you go to one of those centers where they’re selling muscle building and weight loss supplements, there’s a lot of junk in those things, all sorts of flavors and colors and different kinds of preservatives and sweeteners. But you don’t need that since you can add your own stuff to make it taste better. So, does whey have a benefit over something else? Not particularly, No.
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