UPDATE: I realize this is a WELLNESS WEDNESDAY post, but I made a small update this morning with one of the tips, and wanted to repost it. There was a question in the comments last night about the whole grain tip. I decided to re-write that tip, and add a bit of clarity.
Here is the original article:
Everyone, it seems, is trying to lose weight. This is understandable, when you consider that 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight. (1) However, in this modern age of computers, smart phones and even self-driving cars, we have yet to master the best diet for losing weight and gaining perfect health.
Some people insist that you should be low fat, while others insist it is low carb. But, there is one thing upon which both sides agree, you need a healthy metabolism.
I’ve done some research and found common habits, people think are “healthy” that actually harm metabolism. These so called “health” habits, are actually causing you to store fat, instead of burn it.
- “Dieting” – QUIT IT! It’s natural right? You want to lose weight, so you go on a diet. You cut calories, sometimes drastically. You lose weight, go off the diet, only to regain what you lost, plus more. How many diets have you started over the years, only to have them fail in the end? This constant up and down pattern, calorie restriction and food deprivation is killing your metabolism.
- Skipping meals – We do this as part of the dieting in #1. It seems logical, cutting meals = fewer calories = weight loss, right? Maybe in the short term, but, long term you’re killing your metabolism. Think of it this way, how has skipping meals worked for you so far?
- Cutting out entire food groups – LOW EATING = SLOW METABOLISM. (5) Whether you are high carb/low fat or low carb/high fat, both are just as destructive to your metabolism. Low carb eating may result in extreme weight loss, but this is unsustainable. Some studies show much of the weight loss from this type of eating is actually from muscle loss, at least in part. (5) You need muscle to rev up your metabolism (5) The human body was designed to use ALL 3 MACRONUTRIENT groups. Cutting one out completely, ANY ONE, will be harmful to your health and will kill your metabolism.
- Doing TOO MUCH cardiovascular exercise (8)- Is this possible? Yes, according to my research, some cardiovascular exercise is obviously helpful and recommended, but too much can be harmful. Cardiovascular exercise puts stress on the body, and results in high cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that increases concentrations of blood sugar, and which will eventually inhibit your ability to burn fat, and result in muscle LOSS. Experts recommend “metabolic” resistance training, which will build muscle and increase your ability to burn fat.
- Cooking with canola oil – Despite the government recommendation on this oil, calling it “healthy”, these vegetable oils are not healthy. They have been highly processed to the point where they have become “hydrogenated” AKA trans-fats. Using them will result in excess inflammation, a slow metabolism and hormone problems (3).
- Consuming “diet” food – These foods are filled with artificial sweeteners which can lead to carb craving and excess eating, leading to HIGHER caloric intake, not less (3).
- Too many “whole grains” – (UPDATED 8/3/2017)
- I tend to disagree with this particular tip to some degree. However, I saw it on a few different lists, so I felt compelled to share it. I personally believe that certain whole food sources of “grains”, such as “ancient grains” (quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet) have their place in a healthy diet, providing much needed fiber, minerals and vitamins.
- Too many, OF THE WRONG KIND, WHEN NOT PROPERLY PREPARED, can harm your metabolism. Gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley) can be very harmful to the digestive system, which in turn slows the metabolism. Try to stay away from commercially prepared whole wheat products, such as bread, bagels, etc. These are the types of grains spoken of in my research, which harm metabolism. (3)
- Properly prepared homemade sour dough bread, made with whole grain rye or wheat, is a wonderful and health addition to any diet. I have a sourdough starter, which I use to make bread for my family. Being gluten free, I am unable to enjoy this wonderful homemade bread. (I did try some for a few days, with bad consequences. 😦 )
- There are 3 substances in grains that can be harmful to health GLUTEN, PHYTIC ACID, and STARCH. Gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley, can be highly inflammatory, starch (without the fiber-IE-processed food) is directly converted to sugar and phytic acid binds certain vitamin and minerals, making them unabsorbable (3). You are fine as long as your grains come with lots of fiber, like in oatmeal for example.
- Eat your grains with a healthy fat and good quality protein. For example-put chopped walnuts in your oatmeal, and have a hard boiled egg on the side. This will slow down the digestive process and give your metabolism a boost in the process.
- The key to whole grains is choosing the right ones and preparing them properly. Grains, such as oats, quinoa or amaranth, are gluten free, and FILLED with fiber, nutrients and protein. Simply soaking them for a few hours prior to cooking, will eliminate the phytic acid (7).
- Juicing – I’m guilty of this one. I love juicing and believe it has it’s place in any healthy diet. That said, you can juice too much, or the wrong things. The most common mistake beginning juicers make is adding too many fruits into the juice. While this may make for a tasty juice, it also make for a juice very high in sugar (3).
I hope these little tips help. Even though people across the nutrition and scientific world may not yet agree on which is best FAT or SUGAR, the one thing they do agree upon, is a whole food diet. All of my research turned up the same thing: AVOID PROCESSED FOOD AND EAT MORE WHOLE FOOD.
At the end of the day, you need to approach your weight from a stand point of health first, not weight first. In other words, don’t lose weight to get healthy…get healthy to lose weight. Extreme dieting, such as the high fat or high carb diets, may result in extreme weight loss, fast, but it comes at a cost- your health. On the other hand, when you eat for health, the weight may come off slower, but you’ll be healthier in the long run, AND, the weight will be more likely to STAY off. No more yo-yo dieting. EAT FOR HEALTH FIRST, NOT WEIGHT LOSS.