Whenever we engage in any type of weight loss/body modification plan, we have to be realistic with our goals. The trendy ‘lose 30 in 30’ programs rarely yield results that last because the programs are quite abusive to your body and not many people have the will to continue on such a tough voyage.
Before I go any further, I will touch on the difference between weight loss and body modification. Weight loss is just that: losing weight. You will lose fat and muscle weight. This is not a good thing. We want to be lean and muscular, not lean and soft. Most all programs on the market can only address total weight loss and this is not what you want. Body modification is achieved through losing fat weight while maintaining or gaining muscle percentage/weight. This should be the goal of all diet programs but virtually none on the market can achieve this goal because they do not employ the proper system. Dieting is not about cutting calories. It’s about working with your body to get it leaner and stronger and using validated science to achieve this. Going forward, I will only refer to dieting programs as body modification as this is really the goal of anyone who is trying to get leaner and healthier.
The key to any successful body modification program is sustainability. In other words, can you continue this program into the future or will you eventually fall off the tracks and go back to your old ways? In the overwhelming number of cases, people try a program for a while and then back off of it as it is too hard to maintain. They end up where they were before they started. This time, though, they tend to be more frustrated and their bodies are more resistant to future change. We should not have to endure these failures.
Each time we ‘shock’ our bodies into trying to lose weight, it takes a toll. Our bodies don’t like to ‘yo-yo’ with weight changes and attempts to lower our weight are viewed by the body as an attempt at starvation and deprivation of bodily functions. When the body starts feeling this way, it will slow metabolism and other cellular processes in an attempt to stave off what it thinks is bad. This is why many times it is hard to lose weight when we have either a medical condition (usually endocrine) or when we have tried to lose weight repeatedly in the past only to fail.
The stickiness of the body to drop below a certain weight it deems necessary to hold at is called the ‘Set Point.’ It is a bear to overcome with traditional dieting and aggressive exercise programs. Remember, the body has been conditioned to think you are damaging it, so it really will resist any change.
The way to defeat and change your ‘Set Point’ is actually rather simple. If you can stick to a reasonable program for an extended period of time, your body will change. If you’re nodding your head back and forth thinking this rule of function does not apply to you, you are wrong. This is how the body works.
The notion of trying to lose weight quickly is both unrealistic and foolish. You shock your body and it then wants to shock you back. Slow and continual body modification techniques are vastly superior and research supports this. Let’s look at two methods that have an excellent reputation in the medical literature.
Caloric Restriction is generally considered to be about a reduction in caloric intake of between 12-30% of what you ‘need’. How do you determine what you need as a starting point? I use electrical impedance in my office as it’s quite accurate. There are other methods. Caloric Restriction has been shown to not only be successful with weight loss but also with stimulating your immune system, increasing your physical performance, improving/protecting your brain function, anti-aging through Sirtuin activity, and more. As our society approaches almost 50% overweight/obese, it becomes obvious that we eat too much and perhaps reducing what we eat might help us be healthier. The studies substantiate this. One has to remember that when practicing Caloric Restriction you need to increase your protein so as to not lose muscle weight and also eat plenty of fruits/vegetables or supplement to get your vitamins and minerals. Try to follow a body modification system that incorporates Caloric Restriction so that there is already a proven track record. Caloric Restriction (and our next topic, Intermittent Fasting) is safe for those with most all medical conditions, but as is usually the case with any dietary change, please be sure to consult with your physician before you begin.
Intermittent Fasting can be defined in a few different ways. Examples include eating your food over a course of 8 hours and fasting the other 16, fasting for a full 24 hours, or drinking a detoxification liquid (adaptogens) for 24-36 hours and eating only small portions of fruit to best allow your stomach and liver to clean themselves out. Of course, Intermittent Fasting leads to weight loss and is a bit more restrictive than Caloric Restriction. You would perhaps try Intermittent Fasting one day a week or once every other week in conjunction with a Caloric Restriction diet. Some people try back-to-back days of Fasting to get quick results, and for some this is great, but I tend to steer my patients away from this as I believe in slow and steady vs. fast and too much shock. Remember who won the race between the tortoise and the hare? The same goes for any type of body modification program.
These two methods, in conjunction, create a powerful system to successfully lose weight/modify your body. In fact, it is likely that you will gain muscle while losing fat and again, this is the objective of any diet program. I know of only one system that can achieve this type of success. I have seen the results with my own body.
As far as exercise goes, on a Caloric Restriction/Intermittent Fasting program, you are going to lose weight even if you don’t exercise. Now, I would NEVER advise you NOT to exercise. Exercise has so many other benefits than just weight loss/muscle gain. However, many people think you have to kill yourself in a gym 5-7 days a week to get desired results. That, simply, is not the case…and this is a good thing. Remember that point I made about being able to stick to a program? Well, exercise as you are able. Don’t get stressed about exercise…it should be enjoyable.
For those of you who have had success with a Caloric Restriction/Intermittent Fasting program, you should eagerly share your successes with your friends who have been unsuccessful with other diet programs or who are looking to engage in an improvement in overall health. Life is short and we should do all we can to maximize our health. Thankfully, research has led the way and shown us two methods that are successful and safe. Pair them together and you have the best system available to achieve optimal results of body modification.
If you are interested in having a better quality of life, please contact us or the person who sent you this blog. Don’t wait until it’s too late to improve your health!