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Lose Weight Here: The Metabolic Secret to Target Stubborn Fat and Fix Your Problem Areas Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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About the Author
Jade and Keoni Teta have 20 years of experience as trainers and have practiced integrative and complementary medicine for 10 years. They are cofounders of the international health, fitness, and weight-loss company Metabolic Effect (ME). Both have contributed to the Textbook of Natural Medicine, and they have certified thousands of health professionals. They live in Winston-Salem, NC.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
LETTING GO OF TRADITIONAL DIET MODELS:
The Law of Metabolic Compensation
Remember playing tug-of-war as a child against an equally matched team? You pulled as hard as you could and the other side pulled back just as hard. You dug your heels in deeper, and they responded in kind. The battle continued until both sides became so tired they fell to the ground exhausted, with no clear winner. This is the game your metabolism is playing with you when you decide to diet using the traditional, status quo method: Eating Less, Exercising More.
We call it the Law of Metabolic Compensation, and it is the single most important element to understand about your metabolism. As you diet using the flawed Eat Less, Exercise More model, you set in motion a host of metabolic adjustments that lead to greater hunger, lower energy, increased cravings, and decreased metabolic rate. All of these changes are the way your metabolic thermostat tries to protect you from the stress of dieting.
Your body does this as a defense against what it perceives as starvation. Eat less, and you will have hormonal and brain chemistry changes that increase hunger and cravings. The body is intelligent, and its primary concern is defending its fat stores because it knows that once your body fat is gone, it can't survive. So it first increases hunger and cravings so you will eat more, then slows the metabolic rate so you will burn less. But remember the tug-of-war battle? Your metabolism is just as strong, if not stronger, than your willpower, and it becomes even more resistant the harder you work--to the point where it can halt or even reverse your dieting efforts.
You can certainly continue this tug-of-war game, but you likely won't win. Eventually, you will end up on the gym floor, a heap of exhausted rubble with a host of metabolic issues. This is metabolic damage, a state in which your metabolism inhibits weight loss and you also experience chronic fatigue, lack of motivation, mood changes, and digestive distress.
What happens when you let go of the rope in a tug-of-war battle? The other team goes tumbling helplessly to the ground. Letting go of the Eat Less, Exercise More dieting model is the first and most critical step in getting your metabolism back on track so you can attack stubborn body fat and trim down your shape. By working with the Law of Metabolic Compensation, you win the game of tug-of-war with your diet every time.
Letting go of the Eat Less, Exercise More dieting model is the first and most critical step in getting your metabolism back on track so you can attack stubborn body fat and trim your shape.
Once you let go of traditional dieting, what do you do? There are two ways to create a calorie deficit and balance hormones for sustained fat loss. You can either Eat Less, Exercise Less (ELEL) or you can Eat More, Exercise More (EMEM). On this plan you'll do both, but at strategic and proven- effective intervals.
First, though, we're going to ask you to forget everything you know about weight loss and diets and start over. Let go of the rope. We want to reprogram your thinking. The way you've been addressing it so far, overall, is wrong. Reprogram your thinking and approach, and you will reprogram your lifestyle and see astonishing results. You won't gain back the weight you lose, and you'll be able to take off the really stubborn weight you've struggled with. You will reshape your body.
We're going to say it over and over: This isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. The science applies to everybody, sure, but the exact formula you'll use to lose is very individual. Our science and plans will allow you to be a diet detective and tweak what we're offering you for optimum results. We are aware that this can be challenging because we all like black-and-white rules and certainty, but understanding that gray is everywhere will make you excel at doing the detective work. We call it structured flexibility. We'll provide the structure, you be flexible as you find the correct approach. We're not urging you to think like a "dieter"-- we want you to think like a detective, sleuthing to create a path to the happiest, healthiest you. Before you lose any weight, you have to learn how to balance your metabolism. That's what we'll do first in this book.
Can You Burn and Build at the Same Time?
The Myth of Metabolic Multitasking
To reshape your body, you have to both burn fat and develop muscle. The problem? Your metabolism isn't good at burning fat and building muscle at the same time. These two processes require completely different metabolic actions. They also require different hormonal signals. Building muscle requires insulin, while releasing fat for burning requires lower insulin. Burning fat and building muscle at the same time is the metabolic equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time-- it's not an easy task.
We call this the myth of metabolic multi tasking. In reality, the body divvies up resources between burning fat (catabolism) and building muscle (anabolism). Your body wants to burn or build, but not both at the same time.
Understanding this aspect of metabolism allows you to fully harness its power. It's like trying to talk on the phone, cook dinner, and keep your kids from fighting with each other at the same time. You won't accomplish any of them well. Your phone conversation will be constantly interrupted. You'll burn dinner--or yourself. Your kids may take it into the other room, but they'll continue fighting. To succeed, you have to give each task your full attention.
When you buy in to the myth of metabolic multitasking, you think that as you burn fat, you can simultaneously build muscle, but in reality, you'll be burning muscle too, and can wind up "skinny fat"--smaller than you were, but still flabby because you lost so much muscle. Likewise, if you try to build muscle in order to lose fat, you will add fat along with muscle and just look bulky. To burn fat and build muscle, the Lose Weight Here plan harnesses your metabolism's strengths at key times, so you'll alternate periods of burning fat and reducing your body mass with periods of muscle building and contouring.
Once you understand that metabolic multitasking is a myth and you begin to honor the Law of Metabolic Compensation, you'll start to burn fat from all over your body. The stubborn fat in troublesome areas will be burned off more quickly, too. Then, you can speed up the process even more by using the specific diet, exercise, and lifestyle techniques we'll be teaching you.
Balancing your metabolism will:
Curb hunger so you can naturally cut calories
Control cravings for unhealthy foods
The end result: You'll finally achieve sustainable weight loss. We're busting the dieting myth here, and the proof will be the reshaping of your body.
Throughout this book, we're going to remind you to check in with yourself in a couple of ways.
You may feel like checking out when we talk about hormones, but understanding this information is vital to your success. To help you keep track of your hormones and their effects on your body, we break it down into the AIM process. Using it, you will Assess, Investigate, and Modify what you're doing until you find the key to losing weight. We'll arm you in the coming pages with the know-how to do just that, but you, as our partner in this, have to do the detective work.
Get Your HEC in Check
If your HEC--your hunger, energy, and cravings--is in check and balanced, you know your hormones and your metabolism are balanced, too--and no calorie counting is required. Hormones like insulin, cortisol, leptin, thyroid, and others have direct and indirect influence on your levels of hunger, energy, and cravings. When you are optimally producing and reacting to these hormones, HEC stays in check. If you do not produce the right amounts of hormones or lose the ability to respond to them (a condition called hormone resistance), HEC goes out of check.
MAJOR EFFECTS OF METABOLIC SLOWDOWN
Scientists have a pretty good handle on what might be happening when your metabolism slows down. There are many potential issues here, but we are going to cover what appear to be the three major effects that lead to this issue of weight-loss resistance and weight gain. One of them is probably going to surprise you.
Loss of Muscle Mass
Research shows that the basal metabolic rate (BMR)--the amount of energy you would burn in a day if you just sat around and did nothing--accounts for more than two-thirds of the calories burned in a day. Muscle tissues use more than half of the energy we burn at rest, so one of the best ways to offset the Law of Metabolic Compensation is to do everything in your power to gain or at least maintain muscle. To do that, protein and weight training are your best tools.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in April 1999 showed this effect. This study looked at a group of obese individuals who were put on a very-low-calorie diet and assigned to one of two exercise regimens. One group did aerobic exercise (walking, biking, or jogging four times per week), while the second group did resistance training three times per week and no aerobic exercise.
At the end of the 12-week study, both groups had lost weight, but the difference in the amount of muscle loss versus fat loss was telling. The aerobic group lost 37 £ds over the course of the study. Ten of those £ds came from muscle. In contrast, the resistance-training group lost 32 £ds. None of the weight they lost came from muscle. When the average BMR for each group was calculated, the aerobic group was shown to be burning 210 fewer calories per day. The resistance-training group was instead burning 63 more calories per day.
Hormonal Changes: Leptin and Thyroid
Whether you reduce calories or lower carbs, one of the first things that occurs in dieters is a beneficial change in the amount and/or sensitivity of the hormone insulin. Insulin also acts as a hunger hormone, so this change, while beneficial in the short run, is one of the first and earliest changes resulting in metabolic compensation. This causes increased hunger. Other hormones are also impacted. Cortisol, which is released when you're under stress, and ghrelin, which controls your appetite, are both elevated in spurts. This too causes increased hunger and cravings.
Along with the increased hunger and cravings comes the metabolic slowdown. This is most impacted by the metabolic hormone leptin. When a fat cell is shrinking and exposed to less insulin, leptin is also reduced. Low leptin excretion means increased hunger. Low leptin also means decreased activity of the body's two major metabolic engines, the thyroid and the adrenal glands. So as leptin decreases, your metabolism gets the signal to stop burning energy and instead start storing it.
Signs You Might Have Metabolic Damage
Waist measurement of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
An inability to control hunger and cravings
High blood pressure (above 140/90 without medication)
High-normal fasting blood sugar (higher than 95 to 100)
Lipid abnormalities (high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and low HDL)
If you do indeed have metabolic damage, the first step is to avoid the Eat Less, Exercise More approach. First you need to "fix the glitch" by avoiding the dieting mentality. Next you need to cycle the diet in a way that makes your metabolism more flexible and balanced and attacks stubborn fat, especially around the belly. Finally, you may require special supplements that aid insulin signaling and manage some of the symptoms. These might include alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, B vitamins, berberine, and green tea extract. Talk with your doctor about the best approach to reversing your damage.
Leptin is considered by many to be the most important metabolic hormone in terms of setting metabolic output and weight regain. If you want to keep your metabolic rate up, you have to make sure your leptin level doesn't fall too fast, which we'll address later. The Lose Weight Here plan balances your leptin level and increases your metabolic rate. This effect varies substantially from person to person, with some people showing no effect from the brief period of overfeeding and others seeing a jump in resting calorie burn of several hundred calories per day.
Persistent Organic Pollutants
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a group of hormone-disrupting chemicals that have a huge impact on metabolic compensation during dieting. These com£ds have accumulated in your fat cells, and when fat is burned, they are released into your bloodstream in significant concentrations. The shocking thing about these com£ds is that they do not come from your body. They are man-made chemicals that you eat, put on your skin, drink in your water, and inhale in the air; some examples are pesticides like DDT; com£ds leached from plastics, such as bisphenol A, or BPA; and other industrial chemicals, like phthalates, and by-products of their breakdown, such as dioxins. Until very recently, no one understood how these com£ds were involved in weight-loss resistance.
POPs are fat soluble, and thus become concentrated in fat. This means they're stored in the fat of animals that you eat, and also in your fat after you consume that animal fat. You can almost see this as a protective mechanism: If the POPs are in your fat cells, they can't do as much damage as when they're in your blood. So when they get in your body, you store them away in fat, where they biodegrade only very slowly. When you lose fat, however, they are released in significant amounts that can do more damage and slow the metabolism.
The bottom line is that when you lose fat, you will release more POPs-- there is no way of getting around that, even though losing fat is a primary goal on the Lose Weight Here plan. But because this plan is very high in fiber (which binds to and helps remove toxins) and protein (which is required to make detoxifying enzymes) and is lower in fat (which means less POPs are coming in), it is the best tool we have to deal with this. We also try to do things in a way that mitigates the other two major causes of metabolic compensation: loss of muscle and hormonal changes.
POPs primarily impact the thyroid gland by decreasing its ability to make thyroid hormone, disrupting thyroid hormones once they are made, and speeding up the excretion of thyroid hormones. In other words, POPs damage thyroid function and drastically suppress metabolic function.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
We realize that this new information about metabolic compensation can be both exciting and confusing. Exciting because you finally have answers for why you regained all the weight and more from your last diet and why weight loss has been so difficult since then. Confusing, because what the hell do you do about it now?