fat loss

3 Simple Tips To Lose Weight And Become Healthier When You're Too Busy

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3 Simple Tips To Lose Weight And Become Healthier When You're Too BusyLife in the 21st Century is speeding up. People are hyper-connected, over-scheduled and under-relaxed. It's quite the conundrum we're in. How can you lose weight, become healthier, develop a new eating routine, find time to exercise and have enough time to give love to your spouse and family? Oh, and don't forget about the work week.

It's no surprise that many of my clients are facing the same issues:

I don't have enough time to relax, I'm just too busy right now.

I want to eat healthier but I just can't stop my addiction to sugar, it's really worrying me.

I can't sleep at night, the stress is killing me.

These are just a few of the recent TOCs (Topics of Concern) that have surfaced. If you resonate with any of these, realize you're not alone.

You can assume that if you're struggling, so are thousands and thousands of other people.

So what do you do?

First, I want you to take an average size breath, inhaling through the nose, hold it, now exhale out of your mouth while parsing your lips like you are exhaling through a martini straw.

Repeat this a couple times.

You should feel a profound sense of awareness and relaxation beginning to take over. This is the parasympathetic state. Your nervous system enjoys being in this state.

This is the default state of our nervous system if we are living according to the laws of nature. Unfortunately our modern way of life and the natural laws set by our ancestors are very far apart. Don't give up hope yet, we have great potential.

Take a warm bath twice per week

How does taking a warm bath help you lose weight? By inducing relaxation. I encourage you to add 1 cup of epsom salt and bubble bath. It can be the extra detail that makes your bath THAT much more rejuvenating. It would also benefit you to use a bath water filter and/or Vitamin C dechlorination tablets. It takes a few investments, but your skin will feel much better. Clients with eczema and other skin related issues have seen a noticeable reduction in symptoms after filtering the toxins out of the contaminated tap water. Dr. Ford and I cover eczema in detail here if you need help.

Take a warm bath with epsom salts and bubble bath for 15-20 minutes twice per week.

This simple action will be a catalyst for reducing your stress hormone levels and enhancing detoxification. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) has the ability to pull out toxins from the body while leaving you relaxed and ready to cuddle with your loved one.

For the client who can't sleep at night, a prescription of warm baths was enough to shift her mindset towards relaxation at night. Instead of becoming depressed and stressed thinking about tomorrow's tasks, she was able to calm her mind and body down enough to settle into a slumber. This is the beauty of the natural world. Water has healing qualities both inside and out. Which leads us to the next key point..

Drink more spring water

While some may begin to reduce stress with baths, therefore inducing a lower stress response and giving the body the ability to burn fat, some people are just plain dehydrated. Drinking more spring water is an essential part of any weight loss and detoxification program.

Water makes up 55-60% of our total body mass. The body can produce 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes but the remaining 92% of our water intake must come from beverages we drink and foods we eat. Water is found in all tissues of the body. Water improves oxygen delivery to our cells and acts as a transporter vehicle for nutrients. Waste removal and digestive processes are a water-intensive process. To flush out toxins that may be stored in our fat cells, we need water.

As you've just learned, many bodily processes require water just as a car requires fuel for it's operation. You can think of adequate hydration as lubing up your engine and cleaning out the gunk that is preventing your engine from operating at full efficiency. After all, water improves cellular communication. If your body's cells can talk to each other, they can begin to increase their detoxification capability, leading to toxin (weight) loss.

Most people in the alternative health community are fans of herbal teas, coffee and other assortment of naturally-caffeinated beverages. I am much happier to see tea on someone's food journal than a soda, but they both act as diuretics. Consuming any of these beverages adds to daily requirement for water consumption. Add in the amount of sweating and natural water loss that occurs throughout the day from respiration and exercise and it's easy to see how dehydrated we can become.

Dr. Batmanghelidj, or Dr. Batman if you can't pronounce his full last name, wrote a book called Your Body's Many Cries For Water that should be on your bookshelf.

In this book, there are incredible stories from his patients and their incredible weight loss progress and health improvements achieved simply by drinking more water. 

He even goes as far as to claim that many diseases and hospital visits are actually just the result of chronic dehydration. After reading this book, you won't want to leave the house without your sacred thermos full of spring water.

Nutritional Therapists can make general recommendations about water consumption:

Take your body weight divided by 2. This is the minimum number of ounces you should drink each day. 

A 160 pound person should drink at least 80 ounces a day. That's a little over 3 of your 24 ounce sport bottles. Sip throughout the day, don't chug. Make sure the water is spring water. It not, make sure it's at least carbon filtered.

Eat more fat

If you find someone making blanket recommendations for the specific macronutrient percentage you should be eating, run away. People have widely different metabolic rates and should not follow the same protocol most of the time.

An 85% fat diet may work for some people, while switching to that same diet quickly may put a heavy burden on someone's gallbladder and liver and make them feel nauseous. If you experience this, lemon water before a meal may help.

Generally speaking, if you'll allow me to bend my own rule a little bit, we all could use more fat. After seeing a "healthy food journal" that contained nothing but chicken breasts and spinach, I was not surprised that this client couldn't lose a pound!

If you don't consume dietary fat, your body thinks you're in a famine, so it holds onto fat to keep you alive.

If you want to get up right now and go enjoy a tablespoon of almond butter, I'll be right here when you get back.

To start the weight loss process, increasing your fat intake will do it. Your body will think, "The famine is over! Let's dump some of this belly fat!" So enjoy some grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCT oil and grass-fed beef on your dinner plate each night.

If you really need help figuring out how diet relates to your mood, fat loss progress and sleep quality, my sleep program REM Rehab contains extensive coverage on it.

Don't be afraid of adding another tablespoon of grass-fed butter or coconut oil to your veggies. Avoid hydrogenated fats and oils at all costs. Coconut oil is your best friend for topical and internal use.

This is just part one

I wanted to really zoom in on some recurring issues from the newsletter community and there will be more zooming in to come.

Although I've covered dietary aspects of weight loss and health here and here, we can delve into these topics in the following weeks.

If you have specific concerns or topics you'd like covered here, please submit them here.

Use these simple but effective tips in your routine, along with anyone who will listen to you. They will be begging for your "secrets" when they see your results. These are habits of our ancestors that came with ease. Now we've got the chance to instill them once again.

Introduction to Stress Reduction through Deep Breathing

The benefits of deep breathing and the relaxation benefits that come along with it are essential. Deep breathing benefits are well known but highly under appreciated and executed.

This is not the first article on the importance of full breaths that you have read if you are even a slightly health-conscious person. I am focused today on the actual execution of taking deep breaths at least once a day.

Places that I personally take multiple deep breaths and benefits I receive from it:

  • In the car driving with or without traffic - I take at least a few deep breaths and look around at my surroundings, followed by being grateful and thinking how bad it would suck to walk or bike to get to my school (30 miles each way) One of my favorite songs "Love and Affection" by the Green talks about easing your mind when you take a drive. Don't let car rides or drives stress you out, it's a waste of stress and can start a negative thought pattern and give you road rage.
  • Before, during and after writing an article or working on anything that requires focus - It helps me to get in the mindset to connect with my inner thoughts and emotions. It's easier to express yourself and use your brain when you breathe deeply. An anxious mind is rarely a good one.
  • During running, jogging, lifting weights, climbing, longboarding, biking - You get the idea, exercise in almost every form feels great. If it doesn't feel good, you may be doing something wrong. Use correct form!
  • Before public speaking events - This could apply to many people before your meetings at work. No matter how many times you public speak, you will get butterflies. I have always been very confident and easy to speak to and listen to (so I've heard), but I still try to take a few deep breaths and loosen up my neck, shoulders and back before I begin speaking. People can pick up on your emotions through vocal tone, eye contact and body language; breathe, relax, focus and think positive.
  • While using a sauna or taking a bath - I can't think of many better ways to relax your mind and body than a sauna or bath. Deep breathing while doing these things can simulate a rebirth for me sometimes. Especially with some of my favorite essential oils sprayed onto the sauna rocks or dripped into my bath water.

There is no bad time to take deep breaths and loosen up your mind and body. Do it often, make it a habit.

Let's take 3 deep breaths together. In through your nose and force air out your mouth. Inhale.....1.....2.....3.....hold....exhale...1....2....3 (repeat 3x at least)

Hope you feel better now. Breathing deeply is an important part of your life that is not talked about enough. I have felt myself tensing up and causing stress and worry from simply not taking enough deep breaths. Start today and reap the benefits later. Don't let your emotions cause you to forget.

 

What is Paleo?

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Paleo is a lifestyle, not just a diet. Paleo is referring to the prehistoric period that our ancestors lived and thrived in. Since there are no longer Saber-Tooth tigers or extremely prevalent diseases wiping us out, we have the opportunity to live a lot longer with more enjoyment in between.

The foods that you need will come straight from the ground with minimal processing. Lets go over the basics.

Paleo diet comes from the term Paleolithic. A time period not long ago in terms of Earth and Human existence, but before our modern way of life was created.

Key points

Variations of the Paleo diet may include the autoimmune paleo protocol which excludes tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, certain spices and can limit or exclude chocolate, grains such as rice and especially gluten containing grains and foods.

Many of my patients need to follow an autoimmune approach to their nutrition until we can reduce the autoimmune attack in the case of diseases like Hashimotos thyroiditis.

The safest approach is to start with an autoimmune paleo diet and potentially reintroduce certain foods to see if you tolerate them.

What to avoid

  • No grains, breads, pastas or any product containing wheat or gluten
  • No hydrogenated oils such as canola, cottonseed, rapeseed, sunflower, vegetable, etc.
  • No margarine or fake butter spreads
  • Avoid raw salads. The body can't absorb enough minerals from salads. Lightly steaming or cooking your greens will allow much greater nutrient absorption for your body.
  • Eliminate all soda, diet soda, or any artificial or real sugar containing drinks
  • High-fructose Corn Syrup, Evaporated Cane Juice (Sugar), Aspartame, Nutrasweet and Splenda (Sucralose) in diet sodas are even worse.

What to eat

Consume anywhere from 8-16oz of pasture-raised meats such as:

  • beef
  • turkey
  • venison
  • lamb
  • bison
  • chicken
  • and pork per day

Consume your meats with 3-9 cups of steamed or lightly cooked organic vegetables per day such as:

    • Root vegetables (such as carrots, onions, turnips, rutabagas or parsnips).
    • Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or Brussels sprouts).
    • Greens (such as spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, mustard greens or kale).
    • Add dried herbs to your food. Not only does this add flavor, but it adds vitamins in large amounts. Among the best are parsley, garlic, ginger, rosemary, basil, cilantro or coriander, thyme, and marjoram.
    • Eat organic white rice and sweet potatoes occasionally. It's a personal choice that may help you with energy and fitness performance.

Consume as much as you want of these fat sources:

  • Organic or "grass-fed" labeled butter.
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil

Other key points

  • Minimize fruit consumption to organic berries.
  • Minimize usage of the microwave. Microwaves kill the phytonutrients (external site) in your food, rendering it useless to your body. Easy alternatives for fast cooking are toaster ovens, stovetop pan cooking, or grilling. Cooking any food for too long will naturally kill off some nutrients and digestive enzymes. This is inevitable.
  • Drink filtered or spring water as much as possible. Filtration methods hooked up to your tap are an efficient alternative to buying bottled water. Make sure the items filter fluoride. Most local water supply in the United States is fluoridated, which has been linked to many health problems such as thyroid damage. Spring water is best.
  • Think of your food in this sense, "does this food exist in this form naturally on Earth?" i.e. Oreo trees and Hot Pocket bushes don't exist! Choose fruits, vegetables and nuts in the most unprocessed form.
  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are much better than canned.
  • The healthiest snacks I enjoy are organic grapes, almonds, pistachios and some locally produced beef jerky. 
  • Unless you are an athlete or someone who is very active, you want to keep your carb intake low to moderate. If you want to count, a good number is around 150g/day for most. I require at least 1g/carbs per lb. of body weight.
  • Serious athletes or extremely high-need people need up to 3g/carbs per body weight pound. Test your own levels and see what results you get and how your body responds.
  • I don't count carbs and you may not need to either as long as you are eating vegetables, fruits and following the rest of the Paleo diet. This will help you burn fat and give yourself a more steady blood sugar, leptin and insulin level
  • Athletes may feel better eating low-gylcemic starches such as organic rice or sweet potatoes. Some agree with the concept or intermittent-fasting. I will have more tasty choices of low-glycemic foods on my personal grocery list.