TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Deedra Mason, N.D., Director of Clinical Education and Research
Many of us started 2019 determined to change our lives for the better. Here’s the right way to think about weight loss and health, two resolutions that really work as one. Around this time every year, millions of people spend time reflecting on the previous one, and plan their steps in moving forward, making positive changes in life and finding the right lifestyle for them. It usually sounds a little like this:
(A) Lose weight (B) Get healthy
The mistake most often made in the new year is failing to set a plan that takes into account the reality of your day-to-day life. Taking a personal inventory of your daily regimen and considering daily foibles is essential to your success. The second mistake people make is attempting to take on too much, too soon: By drawing up an unrealistic plan to achieve both maximum weight loss and optimum health, it’s far too easy to feel overwhelmed and give up.
What drives your weight up in the first place? It’s not the holidays per se; any successful lifestyle allows you to get through the holidays because restriction is no formula for success. The right formula is to get a good night’s sleep, eat a diet rich in nutrients, include healthy fats and take a step to manage stress.
The biggest mistake is to think of weight loss and health as separate goals. The truth is, they’re so closely related that, most often, taking a step toward one will naturally bring you closer to the other. This simple understanding is the first step toward making this your year of success in achieving these goals and following the guidelines below will bring you even closer.
Know the Basics
Eating smart and exercising regularly are the cornerstones for a slimmer, healthier you, but what is not so basic is what nutrients to prioritize. Results of a November 2018 study out of BMJ showed that those who increased healthy fat in their diets were able to burn more calories over a prolonged window when compared to those who ate higher amounts of healthy carbohydrates in lieu of fat.
“According to this model, the processed carbohydrates that flooded our diets during the low-fat era have raised insulin levels, driving fat cells to store excessive calories,” says Dr. David Ludwig. “With fewer calories available to the rest of the body, hunger increases, and metabolism slows — a recipe for weight gain. This is the largest and longest feeding study to test the ‘Carbohydrate-Insulin Model,’ which provides a new way to think about and treat obesity.”1
Become Heart Smart
No single health issue is more important to address than cardiovascular health, and many of the same practices that work for weight loss can also be applied here. You may be tempted to avoid fat if you are also concerned about heart health, but adding fats like avocado, coconut products and the omega-3 oils that you can get from fish will help you feel fuller and satisfied — while also enhancing your metabolism and energy. Enjoying a diet based in whole, natural, low-glycemic-impact foods like fish, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower also provides CoQ10 for mitochondrial energy and heart health. Functional ingredients like green tea, soluble fibers like inulin, and conjugated linoleic acid are all helpful to support body toward your goals and add nutritional support and breaking through plateaus.
Studies have shown that chronic stress is associated with a variety of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and the progression of brain aging concerns. Stress is also closely associated with hormone imbalance and weight gain. Stress in the brain is different than alarm in the body. Both need to be addressed. To discourage all these disorders, take time to decompress during the day, exercise regularly and consider nutritional support from foods rich in B vitamins, or from a B-complex supplement.
Practice Whole Body Health
The majority of health issues today — including obesity — can be linked to long-term, low-level inflammation brought on by free radical activity. This chronic condition is even associated with the aging process itself, making the issue of whole-body health through the management of these toxic byproducts even more important. While a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides some antioxidant support, additional support from both water and fat-soluble antioxidants, in higher concentrations like those found in supplements, can deliver natural antioxidant protection in amounts and concentrations that food simply cannot provide. By taking advantage of this nutraceutical support, you’ll be addressing one of the most important parts of whole-body health and moving toward any goal you might have related to health and wellness!
The goals of losing weight and becoming healthy aren’t nearly as separated as many make them out to be. By understanding them as two sides of the same coin, it’s much easier to treat them as one goal, which means you feel less overwhelmed, more in control and with a sharper focus to last throughout the year. Next year, your New Year’s resolution can be unbreakable.
Source: 1 Cara B Ebbeling, Henry A Feldman, Gloria L Klein, Julia M W Wong, Lisa Bielak, Sarah K Steltz, Patricia K Luoto, Robert R Wolfe, William W Wong, David S Ludwig. “Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial.” BMJ, 2018
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.