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Slow and Steady is NOT Always the Winner

Outdoors - older coupleFor years, experts believed losing weight slowly was not only the most effective way, but the only way, to keep it off long-term.

But a recent study in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine turned that theory on its head when it concluded the best way to get and stay lean involved losing fat quickly. The study divided women into three groups to lose weight slowly, moderately, or quickly. 18 months later, researchers discovered women in the “fast” group were five times more likely to have achieved and maintained 10 percent more of a weight loss than the slow group.

Quick fat loss provides you motivation to meet your goal. When the scales move, your jeans fit looser, and people compliment your loss, you feel encouragement to stay the course and meet your goal.

You need a strategy to burn fat fast and wisely. Here’s how.

Fast results first. You have an important party to attend in two weeks, and getting those 10 pounds off is mandatory. Employ these strategies and you’ll own that little black dress come party night.

  • Remove problematic foods. Dairy, gluten, soy, and even eggs can trigger inflammation, which stalls fat loss. An IgG food sensitivity test or a rotation diet can help you determine problematic foods. Most people find symptoms, including weight loss resistance, subside once they cut out these trigger foods.
  • Replace one or two meals with a smoothie. A rice/pea protein shake blended with fiber in coconut milk makes a filling and fat-burning meal replacement. My favorite option is Thorne’s Vegalyte protein and Medibulk fiber.
  • Follow the clean-plate rule for dinner. Dinner should include lean protein, tons of non-starchy vegetables, good carbohydrates (beans, lentils, quinoa) along with good fat like avocado or coconut.
  • Drink plenty of water and green tea between meals. Put your glass down while you eat. Too much liquid dilutes your stomach acid, which can prevent protein breakdown and fat loss.
  • Healthy snacking. Every time you eat, you raise insulin levels. For optimal fat burning, eat a substantial meal every four to six hours.  If you’re still hungry, add non-starchy, low-glycemic vegetables as snacks.
  • Burst to blast fat. Burst training is the most efficient way to burn fat. A study in the journal Metabolism, for instance, showed burst training is more effective than low to moderate intensity exercise and promotes fat burning. Another study in the Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that two weeks of burst training increased fat burning in moderately active women.
  • Replace core nutrients. Even one nutrient deficiency can stall fat loss. A high quality multivitamin & mineral provides insurance for the nutrients you might not get in food.

Customize for compliance. Fat loss is not a one-size-fits-all effort. Figuring out a customized fat-burning plan that works for you will help you make the fat loss fast and permanent.

  • Re-challenge problematic foods. Once you’ve achieved fat loss, you’ll want to reintroduce potentially healthy foods like eggs and dairy.
  • Customize. Determining how to eat, move, supplement, and live right for your genotype can help you tremendously. A study at Stanford University showed people who created a plan based on their genotype lost an average of two and a half times more weight and decreased waist circumference twice as much compared to people who didn’t use a genotype-specific diet.
  • Beware of fat-loss thieves. Hunger, snacking, and cravings can all derail your efforts.
  • Be mindful. You know the scenario. It’s 11 p.m., you’re half-asleep, and you tell yourself you’ll have just two bites of that Haagen-Dazs… Before you know it, you’ve devoured half a pint. Mindless eating sucks the enjoyment out of food while piling on the calories. Being mindful is a skill that takes work, but is necessary for success.
  • Un-supersize it. People who use smaller dishware and glasses eat less food. Serve your food on small, attractive plates and put the rest away. If the leftovers sit on your dinner table, chances are you’ll eat them.
  • Slow down. Eat with chopsticks or have meaningful conversations with meals.
  • Avoid the halo effect. Just because something has 67 percent less fat or only five grams of carbs per serving does not give you permission to devour the whole box.

Plan for maintenance. Fat loss is the easy part. Keeping it off permanently requires persistence and planning. Employ these five tips to guarantee the pounds don’t come creeping back.

  • Protein at every meal. Choose lean, clean protein at every meal including organic poultry or (if you can tolerate them) eggs, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, or pea/rice protein powder.
  • Follow a consistent exercise program. Lack of time is the number one reason people don’t exercise. Burst training can help you burn fat in just minutes a day. If you want to find out what that is all about, we have JJ Virgin’s Burst Training workout DVD’s in our office.
  • Build in non-food rewards for staying on track. Stop making that Starbucks low-fat blueberry muffin your reward every time you lose 10 pounds. Instead, visit a day spa or buy a new pair of jeans.
  • Keep a long-term perspective on why you want to maintain your results. Maybe you want vital health to enjoy your grandkids. Maybe you want to boost your confidence or your libido. Remind yourself of these pleasures, and how going face down in the Krispy Kreme’s will derail you.
  • Incorporate strategies for hunger. Don’t let yourself hit the starving point. For instance, keep a bag of raw almonds with you at work and plan your meals ahead, don’t let yourself get in a situation where you have to resort to a bag of chips or a greasy burger.

Measure and track. Fat loss isn’t a guessing game. You can take tangible measures to track your progress. Remember: what you can measure, you can improve.

  • Weight, body fat and measurements. Invest in a Tanita scale that measures lean muscle and fat. These measurements will give you a far more accurate assessment about whether you’re burning fat (good) or muscle (bad).
  • Water intake. Carry a one-liter water bottle with you filled with filtered water. Drink two of these a day, and you’re close to your quota.
  • Food journals. Write down every bite that goes into your mouth. You might be amazed at what you actually eat (as opposed to what you think you eat).
  • Wear a pedometer. People who wear a pedometer lose an additional pound each week compared to people who didn’t measure their movement.
  • Get 7 to 9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. Too little sleep knocks your fat-regulating hormones like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin completely out of whack.

Accountability and support. Fat loss and maintenance doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need the right tools to guarantee your success.

  • Get a coach. A nutritionist or nutrition-minded fitness coach can hold you accountable for meeting your goals and troubleshoot any issues that come up along the way.
  • Find a group or good friend. A fat loss buddy or group can support you when you hit a plateau and boost your confidence to succeed. They can also talk you out of devouring that gooey cheesecake brownie.
  • Get the FIT Genetics Test. This test can take the guesswork out of fat burning. You know exactly what foods, nutrients, exercise, and lifestyle factors work for you.  Have you ever wondered why diet plans can range from vegan to Atkins?  It is because people have different genetic needs.  With today’s technology you can skip lots of trial and error and just find out.
  • Join a forum. Programs like our Fresh Start Fat Loss provide an online forum where you can get support and ask questions.

The most important part of all: You really can do it.  Every day we’re seeing success stories from people just like you. It is absolutely amazing how profound a change weight loss can be. For many of us, it is so much more than inches and pounds. Imagine how good you’ll feel about yourself when you achieve your target weight.  Imagine how many other areas of your life that confidence can improve. Now quit imagining and make it happen!

In Good Health,

Dr. Chrisitanson

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