By Les Cole, MD, St. Petersburg Health & Wellness
How would you like to finally lose weight this year and keep it off? Skeptical? Understandable! You’ve probably dieted (no matter the diet) and exercised (no matter the exercise) and wound up hitting a plateau that you couldn’t get through. Or you’ve lost the weight and hit your goal, only to turn around and gain it all back or worse – wind up heavier than when you started. The Biggest Loser finally proved that you cannot lose weight and keep it off by dieting, exercising, or both. Once you get to maintenance, it’s over. Why? Because, when you finish your diet, your resting metabolic rate is lower than when you started. This is now undisputed. So, the key to successfully keeping weight off once you’ve lost it is to keep your metabolic rate higher. This is not only necessary but thankfully possible.
What about losing the weight to begin with? For those of you who thought the reason you couldn’t lose weight was that you have a hormone imbalance, you were absolutely right! The hormones (signaling molecules) in your body are more important to your health than previously realized. So, what is the imbalanced hormone that keeps you from losing weight? Insulin!
Insulin is an anabolic (growth and building) hormone. When insulin is high, it pushes nutrients into your cells – sugar into your liver and muscle for short term energy storage (24 hrs worth) and into all your cells for immediate energy, excess sugar that’s not immediately used or stored into your liver to be converted to fat, fat into your fat cells to be stored for longer (> 24 hrs) term energy (which can only be later accessed when insulin is low and after the 24 hrs of stored sugar is used) and amino acids (the building blocks of all proteins – the machinery of all cells) into all your cells and especially your muscles.
What stimulates your insulin higher? Sugars, processed (foods) carbs, refined grains, and sweet fruits and vegetables stimulate it the most! Also, protein (animal & vegetable) stimulates it by about half of what sugars, etc. do. That’s it!
But what about fat? Fat does not stimulate insulin at all! So if you want to release fat from your fat cells to be burned and thus lose weight, avoid sugars, processed carbs (foods), refined grains and sweet fruits and vegetables.
Eating a Ketogenic Diet (high fat, moderate protein, and low sugar) provides the best foods to eat to lower insulin AND to help increase your resting metabolic rate. Ketones are produced when insulin is low causing you to release and burn fat. Their production indicates your insulin is low enough to release fat to be burnt and are produced only when your fat is being burnt. Ketones are also critical for increasing your resting metabolic rate. Ketones increase “uncoupling protein” that causes more fat to be burned to produce the same amount of energy: higher resting metabolic rate = more fat burning due to Ketones!
But so far we haven’t suggested anything that people aren’t already doing! Yes, that’s correct. So here’s the secrete sauce: Fasting! Fasting causes your 24 hours of stored sugar to be used up. With your sugar storage gone, and no new sugar coming in, your insulin drops very quickly, which allows your fat to be released from your fat cells to be burned and your ketones and thus your metabolic rate to be increased.
There are multiple ways of fasting:
- intermittent fasting
- prolonged fasting
- 5-day Fasting Mimicking Diet
Fasting supercharges any diet by using up your stored sugar, quickly and profoundly reducing your insulin, releasing more of your fat for burning, and increasing your ketones for raising your resting metabolic rate even further.
Call our office for questions, to learn more about fasting, for help losing weight with our guaranteed weight loss program, or purchasing the Fasting Mimicking Diet. Do not do a prolonged fast without a doctor’s supervision as there can be risks, especially if you have a low BMI already or health issues.