With the multitude of choices on how to lose weight, choosing one can be overwhelming. I have many patients who try many different plans and some work for awhile then fail..why?
Most diets fail because they are not sustainable. Weight loss in and of itself requires that you burn more calories than you need. Notice the word need is not consume. Simply stated we each need an average amount of calories to maintain ourselves in good balance. The amount can vary by individuals with the same parameters meaning for instance two people the same height, weight and age can have different Basal Metabolic Rates aka BMR. BMR is an estimated calorie count for people to maintain themselves at rest, consume less and you should lose weight, consume more and you should gain weight. Below I will explain some basic concepts and you will understand that weight loss requires a lifestyle change. I also will introduce you to the role of probiotics in addition to caloric awareness and exercise.
The most important thing for you to understand is that you can achieve your goals, it will require work and lifestyle changes as well as commitment to the process. If you accept this you will succeed. If you want to succeed then please proceed onto the information below. Good luck!
WHAT ARE BASAL & RESTING METABOLIC RATES (RMR)?
These two terms are used interchangeably, although they are not technically the same. Resting metabolic rate is really what most lay people mean when they say basal metabolic rate, and I talk here only about resting metabolic rate (RMR). Basal metabolic rate is a precise calculation with a precise definition; RMR is close enough for practical purposes.
YOUR METABOLIC RATE = YOUR RESTING METABOLIC RATE (EASY TO CALCULATE REASONABLY ACCURATELY) + ENERGY CONSUMED BY YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES (MUST GUESTIMATE).
Resting metabolic rate is the energy required by an animal to stay alive with no activity. Therefore, your real metabolic rate is always significantly higher than your RMR. Calculating RMR is a very useful first step in calculating your real metabolic rate.
Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is one of the main contributing components of energy expenditure (around 70%).
WHAT DETERMINES RESTING METABOLIC RATE?
A very small number of people have physical conditions that give them strange resting metabolic rates.
However, for the vast majority of people, resting metabolic rate can be calculated knowing a few key variables. They are age, sex, weight, height, and fat-free body mass. Fat-free mass is a very important variable. Weight and height are used in one formula to determine body surface area.
THINGS THAT AFFECT YOUR METABOLIC RATE
MUSCLE: More muscle increases your RMR.
AGE: Your RMR decreases with age.
GENETICS: A decrease in your RMR can be due to genetics.
THE WEATHER: Living in a cold environment can increase your RMR. I know this sounds strange, but you expend more energy while moving around in cold weather. It’s a lot easier to move around in summer but more of an effort to “get going” in winter.
MEALS: Small regular meals will increase your RMR.
PREGNANCY: It can increase your RMR.
CRASH-DIETING: It will decrease your RMR.
SUPPLEMENTS: Some supplements can raise your RMR.
WHEN DOES THE BODY CHANGE ITS RESTING METABOLIC RATE? DOES CUTTING YOUR FOOD INTAKE REDUCE RESTING METABOLIC RATE?
The body cannot change its resting metabolic rate per unit of fat-free body mass. Studies have shown this.
Your resting metabolic rate will decrease as you lose muscle. Losing fat alone will not lower your RMR (and note that you will need to follow a very sensible program to lose fat without losing muscle). You have probably heard that people who go on crash diets end up lowering their metabolic rate, which means when they go off the diet, they put on fat more easily than before they started. This is because they have lost muscle, so they have lowered their metabolic rate.
However, the amount of energy burnt per unit of fat-free weight does not change; poor dieters end up with fewer units of fat-free weight, and that’s where their vicious cycle comes from.
ARE SOME PEOPLE’S DIGESTIVE SYSTEMS MORE EFFICIENT THAN OTHERS?
No. And your system does not become more or less efficient in response to changing food intake. Even obese people rarely have more efficient bodies. Researchers inspect the energy value of feces to determine this.
GIVEN THE SAME VALUES FOR THE VARIABLES, HOW MUCH DOES RESTING METABOLIC RATE VARY BETWEEN PEOPLE?
In other words, what is the error in the formulas used to calculate RMR?
The latest research indicates there is a low variance in resting metabolic rate (RMR) between individuals who have the same values for the key variables. That is, given someone’s age, their fat-free mass, their height, and their sex, the formulas are accurate.
“Recent evidence thus supports the conclusion that within-subject variations in BMR [more or less the same as RMR] are small and insignificant, even when energy intake and physical activity are uncontrolled (Shetty & Soares, 1988). This effectively refutes the Sukhatme-Margen hypothesis.”
You Are Burning More Than Your BMR
Since BMR is the amount of daily calories you need to sustain your essential bodily functions, unless you are bed bound, in reality you are burning more calories than BMR on a daily basis. The amount of calories you are burning beyond your BMR depends mainly on your activity level.
This is called the Active Metabolic Rate (AMR). Your AMR is your BMR plus the calories you need to support your activities throughout the day like walking, jogging, reading, or cooking. AMR is the actual TOTAL calories you burn per day.
To calculate AMR, simply multiply BMR by:
- 2 if you are sedentary (little or no exercise)
- 375 if you are lightly active (light exercise/work 1-3 days per week)
- 55 if you are moderately active (moderate exercise/work 3-5 days per week)
- 725 if you are very active (hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week)
- 9 if you are extra active (very hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week)
In order to lose weight, you need to consume less than your AMR.
Work On Increasing Your BMR
Increasing your BMR (=metabolism) is a smart way of losing/maintaining weight, simply because you can reap the benefits of increased metabolism over and over again every day without doing anything.
For example, once you’ve added the extra pounds of muscle, you will be burning more calories each day just by being alive.
For this reason, improving metabolism should be an added goal of any diet plan!
I have implemented a diet plan for many patients which is below. As you can see, no diet plan will work with out YOU DOING SOME WORK! That means you must exercise, yes the E word!
Here it is;
- Low, low carbohydrate diet for 6 of 7 days per week then eat carbohydrates day 7.
- Exercise three times per week, any form you like for 45 minutes each session.
- Calculate your BMR and use that as a guide to how many calories you need. Stay under that number and you should lose weight.
- Take the Probiotic Ancoraflor Daily Health every day.
There are many sources online for recipes and guidance to a low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate diet. I suggest you find one that works for your food preferences and as an example I have listed some basic guidelines below:
HOW TO START A LOW CARB DIET
SO WHAT CAN YOU EAT?
Take a look at the Low Carb Starter Pack which has 25 easy recipes for beginners, meal plan, shopping list, a progress tracker and simple guides.
- Meat– all types of beef, pork, chicken, lamb etc. Do not trim the fat or the skin off the chicken – yay –
- Fish– all types especially those high in Omega 3 such as salmon, mussels, tuna, sardines …
- Chicken– skin on, free range
- Vegetables– all types that grown above the ground. Leafy greens, spinach, silver beet, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, avocados, courgettes, aubergines, capsicums, mushrooms, lettuce …..
- Cheese– choose the full fat varieties.
- Cream– full fat, double, whipping.
- Full fat milk– avoid all flavored milks and avoid any milk in large quantities because even though it may only contain 5% carbs, it is easy to drink a 250ml serving which equates to 12.5g carbs.
- Nuts and seeds– a great snack but just watch not to overindulge, especially on cashews which have a higher carb content and many nuts are high in omega 6 and we need to watch our 3/6 ration.
- Eggs– choose free range if you can
- Fruit– best to eat the low carb, nutrient dense berries such as blueberries, blackberries etc. Serve with double cream to ensure you are satiated for longer.
- Fats– use butter, olive oil, coconut oil (high in oleic acid), lard
WHAT TO AVOID?
- All processed sugar drinks – this includes fizzy drinks, flavoured milks, sports drinks, energy drinks and especially fruit juices which are incredibly high in carbs.
- All cakes, biscuits, jams, sweets.
- Seed Oils – stop using any seed oils such as sunflower, canola, corn, grapes or margarines. They are all high in inflammatory Omega 6
- All cereals– if you look at most cereal packets, they contain anywhere from 50%-80% carbs. No wonder they are known as CEREAL KILLERS!!!
- Bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar etc. – There is no nutritional value in these foods. You may argue that there is fibre and B group vitamins, true, but you by gain so much more fibre and vitamins by increasing your vegetable intake and stopping the leaky gut that wheat creates which also reduces your vitamin/nutrient absorption. There is no known bread or pasta deficiency in medicine!
- Fruit – is something that should be limited because of the high fructose content. It is natures candy. Yes fruit has vitamins and healthy nutrients, but you will be getting far more nutrients from your increase veggie intake. Choose nutrient dense, low carb fruits such as berries. Fruit such as pineapple, mango, and especially dried fruits, should be avoided. Also avoid ALL fruit juices. They have an incredibly high glycaemic index, which will make your insulin spike (and start storing fat again). “If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend”.
- All wheat products – have a high GI, raise your blood sugar and increase appetite
- Grains – avoid all grains including wheat, oats, barley, spelt, sorghum
- Pasta – high in carbohydrates and almost no nutritional value
- Potatoes –as above
- Starchy vegetables – if you can tolerate some carbs, choose highly coloured starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, beetroot or sweet potato for their wonderful phytonutrients and vitamins.
- Rice – very little nutritional value. Generally used to bulk out a meal. Try substituting rice for more vegetables.
- Rice crackers – these are almost 80% carbs and incredibly processed, especially the flavored ones. Avoid.
- Diet or low fat products – check the labels and you will see how processed they are and how much higher in carbs they are compared to their regular version e.g, low fat cream cheese can be up to 15% carbs, whereas the regular is only 4%