Have you tried every diet known to man and still can’t lose weight?
Do you hit the gym, have a trainer, and exercise as much as you can?
Do you also eat healthy food, consume fewer calories, and yet the scale just…does not…budge?
Often weight loss resistance is at play. It’s not as simple anymore as just eating less and exercising more.
In fact, with all the modern health issues we are contending with, that old, worn out philosophy makes the situation worse and people actually continue to gain weight.
It takes such an emotional toll to put in so much effort without receiving any reward or desired effect.
That is when you have to look deeper, and hopefully, the silver lining will be discovering what your body actually needs so you can achieve not only sustainable weight loss but also true, vibrant health that allows you to lead a life full of energy and passion.
That’s why I brought my friend and integrative physician, Dr. Jade Teta, Founder of The Metabolic Effect and two-time author on the subject on “The Randy and Christa Show.”
In today’s show, Dr. Teta kicks down his exceptional knowledge on this topic with seven different explanations for weight loss resistance, and practical solutions to reverse it.
1. Heed the signs
According to Jade, there are two things required for weight loss: a calorie deficit and hormonal balance. He encourages weight loss seekers to heed the signs of an imbalanced metabolism: hunger, cravings, and unpredictable energy levels.
2. Avoid Metabolic Compensation
Taking the calorie approach of eating less and exercising more can result in a caloric deficit but can also make the hormonal system unbalanced. This is called metabolic compensation.
3. Good Riddance to Eating Less and Exercising More
Jade says there are two ways to balance the metabolism: eat less, exercise less, or eat more, exercise more. Finding what combination works for you is the key.
4. Check your carbs!
Eating low-carb all day can result in carbohydrate cravings at night. The goal is to find your carb “tipping point,” the amount that keeps your energy stable, and also curbs cravings. When you find the tipping point, your metabolism begins to rev and heal, and weight loss becomes possible.
5. Easy on The “Pill Popping”
There is no easy way out to take some pills and heal the metabolism. If the metabolism isn’t balanced, supplements will not be as effective and on occasion can even be harmful (especially ones that claim to “rev” your metabolism”). Supplements should be used as just that, supplements, not relied on for the results that proper self-care and nutrition should provide.
6. Rest Your Way Thin
Stress-based people should engage in more rest and recovery exercise, such as sauna therapy, massage, meditation, restorative yoga, or leisurely walking. We have to make time for rest and recovery to heal the body. When we do this, we train the body to leave fight or flight mode and to stop overproducing the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone, when overproduced will always thwart weight loss and put the body in fat storage mode. It’s okay to skip the gym for a light stroll in the park or on the beach.
7. Look Into Intermittent Fasting
We evolved going long periods of time without food, sometimes days (back in Paleolithic times). I am not a fan of intermittent fasting, but Jade says that it can give our body time to become more insulin sensitive and burn more fat.
He says the modern-day concept of eating breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner is not something we evolved on. He suggests looking at your HEC (more on this further down)– this is how you’ll know if intermittent fasting works for you.
An Unbalanced Metabolism
We are used to counting calories when it comes to weight loss, but from the metabolic perspective, Jades says we need to count hormones instead. The body is constantly giving biofeedback in the form of hunger, cravings, and energy levels.
There are two things required for weight loss: a calorie deficit and hormonal balance.
You know if your metabolism is imbalanced if you’re hungry all the time, suffering cravings, and energy levels are unpredictable and unsustainable, which Jade calls HEC: hunger, energy, and cravings. I love how he says, “if your HEC is out of check, you know your metabolism is not balanced.”
He says you don’t find the perfect diet; you create the perfect diet by understanding your unique psychology, metabolism, and appreciating personal preferences. There is no “one size fits all” solution. It’s not just about diet and exercise; it’s about lifestyle and mindset too.
I could not agree more.
Taking the calorie approach of eating less and exercising more can easily give you a calorie deficit, but it can also make the hormonal system unbalanced. As we mentioned, this is called metabolic compensation, and over time, it can lead to metabolic devastation.
Adaptive Thermogenesis or the Law of Metabolic Compensation
Going on a low-calorie diet can result in excess hunger and cravings, and metabolism slows down. This is stage one of metabolic damage. Our metabolism is like a thermostat. If you push hard on it, it pushes back harder, creating metabolic resistance. Metabolic resistance can result in chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, or thyroid issues.
Two ways to balance the metabolism:
- Eat less, exercise less
- Eat more, exercise more
So what should we eat exactly?
High quality organic protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients. Replacing some carbohydrates with protein can control hunger better, reduce cravings, create steady energy levels.
Focus on quality of food and quality and quantity of exercise. Increase protein, fiber, and water, and control starch intake. Eliminate processed carbs entirely.
Low Carb Diets Cause Cravings
Eating low-carb all day can result in craving carbohydrates at night. This is why it’s so important to find your own personal carbohydrate tipping point, not too much, not too little, but just the amount that keeps your energy stable, and curbs cravings.
This tipping point will change as your metabolism heals and you will likely need fewer carbohydrates over time when your body develops the ability to regulate glucose again.
What you eat in the morning is not independent of what you will end up eating at night. Remember, a low-calorie and healthy meal is neither low-calorie nor healthy if it leads to binging later. We are talking about finding what is healthy for YOU.
When you make the necessary changes in your diet and exercise to balance metabolism, it helps you learn a process, not a protocol.
Be a detective, not a dieter. Be your own best doctor!
What’s the Deal with Supplements?
If the metabolism isn’t balanced, supplements targeted to boost and balance the metabolism will not be as effective and can even be harmful. Supplements should be used as supplements, and again, not relied on for the results an appropriate diet and lifestyle can provide. Only when the metabolism has healed will supplements like green tea extract be effective.
However, I must pipe in and say that a few other underlying causes I often see for weight loss resistance are lack of sleep, food intolerances, toxicity, and dysbiosis or leaky gut syndrome. When lab work identifies these as root causes, I am a big fan of gentle cleansing supplements, as well as digestive enzymes, probiotics, and something to help heal the lining of the intestines as you find and eat the right diet and manage stress and sleep.
Digestion is the seat of our health and enzymes will help deliver the nutrients from our food, which can then feed the thyroid and the rest of the body. Probiotics can help us manufacture our own B vitamins, essential for energy production and metabolism so those are my two non-shiftable supplements I put everyone on who would like to lose weight.
The Stress Factor
I love how Jade points out that one more hour in bed can be better than one more hour on the treadmill because of the impact of cortisol. If you are a stress-based person, remember, you should engage in more rest and recovery exercise, such as sauna therapy, massage, meditation, restorative yoga, or leisurely walking. We have to make time for rest and recovery to heal the body.
We must train our minds not to rev up our excitatory neurotransmitters unnecessary when no danger is present.
For vegans or vegetarians who do not consume animal protein, incorporate sprouted nuts, seeds or legumes into the diet. If you want to balance your metabolism with food, look at protein, fiber, and water.
To learn more about Dr. Jade Teta, you can find him and his books at http://www.metaboliceffect.com/
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