Are you such an expert on weight loss that you have forgotten the basics? In this video, doctor Kennedy talks about the 8 fundamentals that everyone trying to lose weight needs to know.
To get your free “Weight Loss – Basics” handout, would you please give us your email below?
(You will be brought directly to your gift.)
We are at Nature’s Goods health food store and Unionville, Connecticut where Barbara Phil has been gracious enough to let us give another free talk. Here’s Barbara Phil, owner of Nature’s Goods.
My name is Dr. Mitch Kennedy. I’m a Naturopathic Physician here in Farmington Valley. And I see people of all ages, families, women, men, elderly. My specialties are in Environmental Medicine, chronic disease, allergies and women’s health.
Tonight we’re going to talk about weight loss, what’s effective and what works and some of the best approaches to make sure that you’re going to meet your goals.
So 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 and can anybody named some of them? Possibly medications, anything else? Hormones? Yup. Any other hormones besides menopause can get in the way of weight loss. Thyroid can get in the way. Yep. Also adrenal glands. So 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, female or male hormones. Because believe it or not, men actually go through andropause, just like women go through menopause. And so there are specific ranges you want to look for in each of these situations.
In the case of the thyroid, you check the TSH and in my book, you want that to be less than 2.0. And the reason is once you hit 2.0, most people start to exhibit at least one symptom of hypothyroidism and find that predominantly that losing weight despite exercise being that main symptom.
As far as the adrenal is go, the best thing to do is a salivary hormone test where you’re checking the adrenal gland over four periods throughout the night and the day. So over 24 hour period, you get four samples, and you map out the curve of the thyroid. And 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, esterdiol, DHEA, pregnalone… And you can check the values of those.
Next thing – Can anybody guess what the next thing is, doesn’t have anything to do with what comes in actually has to do with the other end – bowel movements. Yep. Can anybody tell me the perfect bowel movement?
This is 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 ball. You want it to come out without any pain, mucus or blood. And you want it to be free of gas bloating and reflux during and after meals. And of course should be 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 exceeding the hormones and other waste products of youe 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 and affect the body movement. So first thing to do is to make sure you’re doing good bowel movement, add fiber and water if you’re not. And then if that still doesn’t resolve it, then you need to look further up line to the small intestine to the pancreas, to the gallbladder, to the liver, to the stomach.
The best kind of fiber to add is bulking fiber, which is insoluble so that’s 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.
Now, once we get the backend working, we want good quality things coming in the front end right. So everybody in my opinion 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.
So vitamins particularly the B vitamins help us to metabolize things and break down these chemicals and toxins and get them out of the body and to keep the liver functioning well. 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.
You should start a new routine of drinking more water. How much water Did you drink today? So far? Yeah. 48 ounces, that’s excellent. So that means you’re on your way 96 pounds?
You want to basically look at your weight that you’d like to be and divide it in half. And that number is the number of ounces you should be drinking every day. So if you weigh 130 than 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 being thirsty. So if you keep the body well hydrated, your desired eat will go down and then you’ll consume less.
Now 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 and seeds, other sources of protein.
You want to stay away from fried food, processed food, white sugar, white flour,
You want low salt, right? Why? Yes, exactly retains water and increases blood pressure. Also, there’s a relationship between salt and sweet body. So the more salt you have, the more craving for sweets you’ll have later on. And if you balance out both of these, then you will have neither craving and it’ll help you eat more. relatively modest portions.
What are the foods that you definitely not have? The foods you definitely want to cut out are fried foods, processed foods, including white sugar, which is a 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. And eating out tends to be most problematic because of that.
What’s wrong with fried food? What’s wrong with fried chicken and greasy wings?
Well, there’s a couple things.
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 you get fat calories and carbohydrate calories but you really don’t get any vitamins. You don’t get any minerals, you know, get the things that the body really craves.
Which brings us to eating raw.
The more raw you can eat, the better you’ll off you’ll be because you’ll you’ll have the natural enzymes in the food and vegetables and fruit. You’ll have all the vitamins intact and that includes juices and raw fruits and even the dehydrated, or dried fruits like that are made on a food dryer.
It said that if you expose foods to greater than 140 degrees, you start breaking down the enzymes that your body uses to help digest that food. And I know for certain that boiling and baking and even sometimes 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 the some kinds a protein you can have throughout the day that are easy?
Nuts and seeds, protein bars, protein shakes.
Someone is making a face over here; well if you can find one you like. There are some great things like hemp seeds are great raw protein source, legumes, yeah, so it has protein, legumes, peas, lentils, some complex grains and complex carbohydrates when they’re paired well with legumes are complete proteins.
Soy you need to kind of be careful with one most of its genetically modified. We don’t know that much about that yet, but we’re pretty sure it’s not a good thing. You know, because we’re tinkering with a plants 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’s it doesn’t necessary certainly benefit us in terms of losing weight.
Healthy Fats – 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 6 and 3. These are fatty acids that your body needs to make hormones and body needs to make skin and brain tissue and other things like that. And then the omega 3s are like fish oils, algae, krill. Some some complete flax oils have a little bit of nines and sixes and threes together
Those all got are good fats because they’re unsaturated. Some of them are called polyunsaturated fats. And so 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 beneficial and easily utilize and, unfortunately very short in our diet.
How do you use those cold oils, like Flax and Olive oil?
Salad dressings, you can add them to soups after you make the soup. You can mix them into protein shakes. You can stir them into yogurts, you can stir into oatmeal after you make the oatmeal.
The idea is that they’re fragile, so you don’t expose them to high heat, because if you do, they break down and they become trans fats. So you have to be very careful with them.
There’s 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 kernal oil. Those are all high heat, meaning they can withstand sauteeing, and you can also do avocado, I almost forgot that one.
And those four, we can, saute, bake, boil, but we’re not going to doing that because we’re eating raw right?
But if you need to cook with oil, you know line of a pan or something so things don’t stick, then those would be the one else you want to use. You don’t want to cook with olive oil. That’s a fragile oil. You don’t want to use borage oil, evening primrose oil. aren’t any of those even soil is suspect.
So you should not cook with Olic Oil?
No. Everybody cooks with olive oil, but it’s really not the best oil to use because it will break down. There’s something called a smoke point. And that’s the temperature at which when you put the oil in the pan, it will start to burn. And as soon as it starts burning, it’s oxidizing. That’s why the smoke creates. 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, apricots, sunflower and almonds.
Are eggs. Okay?
For what? so concerned about protein or concerned about cholesterol? Both?
Eggs are good. Eggs have gotten a bad rap.
Anything done in excess is probably not good. But if you do a couple eggs a week, for example, no problem, you know, eggs 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 eggs. So you can hard boil it, take it to work, scramble it quickly in the morning. You can eat it raw if you want, if you’re getting into the raw thing, so very good.
So what’s the next most common thing people tell you to do when you want to lose weight?
Aside from eat less, eat less exercise more, right?
Well, exercising is of course key, but there’s also a heart rate, right? There’s a 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 these charts and you look at your age, and it’ll, it’ll tell you what rate you should be at for each type of exercise.
So 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.
You can get pulse monitors or you can take your pulse. It’s easy to take your pulse to get a watch with a second timer on it. Do 15 seconds and count heart beats, then you multiply by four.
Now the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. Anybody know why? Your glycogen levels are at their lowest glycogen is a very simple fat that’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 (fat) tissue, from your the middle the thighs, whatever. And so 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.
If any of you heard of that? It’s all the rage within Celebrities you you take growth hormone injections and you’d be all your wrinkles disappear and everything perks up and you you know you look beautiful forever kind of thing. 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 that helps do is burn fat, increasing muscle mass.
Yes, exercise before breakfast very important 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, until after you exercise is 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 metabolic rate that’s suitable for burning fat. And then what you want to do is wait as long as possible afterwards before you eat.
And then after you you eat, that metabolic rate starts to decline again.
So we’ve covered everything except what happens when you’re not awake, right? And we talked about sleep. Okay, so what’s important about sleep?
Rejuenates you; time to rest, right? It’s when you heal. 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 system 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 resting, we’re relaxed or unconscious, our parasympathetic nervous system is in gauged and that’s when we are healing.
What else is important about sleep? It’s fun!
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, 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 very light sleep, you’re you’re not going to feel rested. You will feel more tired in the morning when you wake up, and you won’t be able to get going.
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.
How much Sleep do you need?
Just about everybody, across the board, needs 8 hours as a human being, that’s what we’re structured to have. Some people say I get by on 6, you know, and I’ve been getting by for so many years that it doesn’t matter now I can get by at 6.
It’s not actually true. studies on sleep quality has shown that people who are only sleeping 6 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 in supporting to get high quality sleep. So, you can sleep 12 hours, but if it’s very shallow and broken up, you’re not gonna feel as good as if you get a shorter period of time, like hours and it’s very good quality sleep.
Question: What about drinking water? Doesn’t that affect sleeping?
Yes, it certainly interrupts it. And 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, and give yourself 3 hours beforehand to stop drinking water. So you’d stop drinking at 7.
Okay, so you’re now you’re going to go to bed at 10, eight hours is 6am. So you’re going to get up at 6, have your day and stop drinking water at 7.
So now you’ve got a timetable basically to work through and say, okay, if I gotta have eight glasses of water, in my 12 hour period, I gotta have a, you know, every hour and 15 minutes or something like that. I gotta have a glass of water. Okay. And then, if that’s still not enough time, you back it up even further and give yourself 4 hours, or say, okay, we need dinner at 5 or 6 and if anything after that.
Most drinking in the morning. In fact, if you drink in the morning, you actually feel less hungry. And you can also use that as a way to treat something called a hiatal hernia where the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm, and you filled the stomach with water and then you walk downstairs in the morning, it tractions the stomach and pulls it down out of diaphragm and you do that consistently enough and get rid of the hernia.
That doesn’t have anything to do with weight loss.
Sleep is really important because you need to be rested. You need to be energized, 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 like extra nutritional supplements that you can take to burn fat. Okay, I’ll give you some, the easiest one 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 and their muscles – become more 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, 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 which accelerates like lipolysis which is the actual metabolic process where the fat so opens up and releases its energy. And that one only works or works the best when it’s taken about an hour prior to working out.
So you wake up, take your Carnitine, drink your water, hop on the treadmill, hit your pulse rate, start your day.
And that is a concise overview of the best, most proven ways to lose weight.
Statistically it really does boil down to eat less and exercise more because it has to do with calories in and calories out.
Some of the some of the diets that are out there that I’ve seen work the best are like the South Beach diet, which is a not a complete, but it’s almost a complete elimination of carbohydrates, and an increase in protein as a compensation.
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, 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!” So 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 as a more full, long lasting lifestyle change.
I’ll take questions. Now, I covered everything on my two pieces of paper here.
Okay, so 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. come in all different kinds of protein. You’ve got soy protein, whey, which is a dairy product, pea based protein, hemp based protein rice protein, I’m probably leaving at least one out.
People have allergies to all those things. 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. And 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, laxatives or, because there’s a lot of different things out there. And even 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. And, you know, you don’t need that. You can add your own stuff. To make it taste better.
Does way have a benefit over something else? Not particularly, no.
What is the best alternative to a sweetener? Sweeteners other than white sugars would include stevia. Possibly agave, maple syrup, maybe there’s one more. What was the raw sweetener? Yacon root is South American plant that is very sweet much sweeter in a different way than stevia is. So stevia doesn’t raise blood sugar doesn’t add calories. Yacon also doesn’t raise blood sugar Add calories, but they they taste totally different. The biggest complaint my patients have with stevia is it has a bitter aftertaste tastes like artificial sweetener. Yeah, it does. It’s very hard to measure. Right?
Yacon is much easier that way, I think comes in a larger containers much more like molasses in a sense. So I would choose from those. And I’d stay away from honey, stay away from even agave because those are very high glycemic foods.
If you need something sweet you’re you’re better off maybe adding some applesauce or, you know looking at mashing up a pair or banana or getting something in there that’s going to give you additional things besides just the sweetness. So you can do it with fruit syrup also, but you’re better off eating the actual fruit because then you’re going to eat less because you’ll you’ll have the fruit inside you.
What about artificial sweeteners?
We’ve gotten they’ve gotten rid of the saccharin, which was you know, causes cancer in laboratory rats, and then they came out with aspartame, which is still out there. There’s it’s in a lot of different products, and in kids products. I’ve read a number of studies showing that it’s linked with brain cancers, which is a very strange cancer to be caused by a sweetener, you think it’d be more related to like pancreas or intestinal cancers. And then you have the fact that many artificial sweeteners will actually cause you to gain weight.
It becomes a cycle where you add more dieting foods in that have no sugar, and yet you’re still gaining weight. I can’t explain the mechanism but I’ve seen it a number of times in the clinic.