On July 20th, I did a Facebook Live post on which I made the commitment to work on dropping a few pounds. In fact, I made a proclamation that my goal was to lose 45 pounds by mid-October. That equates to 15 pounds per month. I’m approximately 2 weeks into my challenge, and after I divulge my entire plan to you, I will give you an update on how it is going.
To begin, there are 3 strategies to my plan: meal planning, fasting, and exercise. All 3 were used in 2016 when I dropped 90 pounds.
It is no secret that I follow a ketogenic diet. With every meal I think: How can I keep my carbs low (approx. 5% of dietary calories) and my fats high (75%), while keeping my protein at a moderate level (20%). The low carb part is easy for me; I avoid sugar as much as possible so that means no: pastry, cookies, candy, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and anything else that is high in carbs. What helps me here is the knowledge that sugar, especially excess sugar, kills. It causes obesity, diabetes, cancer, skin conditions, and weakens our immune system. Although I did say that excess sugar is the culprit, the truth is that sugar and carbs are everywhere. It is the thing they add to Low Fat processed food to make them taste better. Read your labels to find out the carbohydrate levels… better yet, avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods are invariably rich in carbs.
I use a wonderful app to keep track of my meals called My Fitness Pal. With this app you can enter your weight loss goals and keep track of what you are eating. On a meal to meal basis it will track your individual macros in order to track how much carbs, fats and protein you are consuming. You can also find recipes on this app so your meals won’t be so boring.
My typical day would begin with a blended coffee in the morning with ghee and MCT oil. It comes out like a frappuccino and is very tasty. For lunch I have a piece of protein (chicken, fish, beef or pork), along with a large mixed greens salad with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some Himalayan salt. I will frequently substitute chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad for the piece of protein. Dinner is much the same as lunch, although I will typically substitute a vegetable for the salad.
Mid-afternoon or evening snacks might include some cheese, a few nuts, or possibly a half pickle.
Other favorite recipes include sausage, pepper and onion. I make up a batch and freeze individual servings. I also like to grill a big batch of vegetables in coconut oil. Mostly, peppers, onions, zucchini, Brussel sprouts, carrots, and garlic. Once again, I then freeze them in individual servings for later use.
Fasting, Intermittent Daily Fasting, and Diet Variation Days are additional strategies I utilize to produce extraordinary results. The hunger control and appetite suppression that are benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle, makes fasting easier. Intermittent Daily Fasting (IF) is a daily 12-18 hour fast. To do this I stop eating after 7 or 8pm and, except for a cup of coffee in the morning with MCT oil and/or a pad of butter or ghee, do not eat again until 1 or 2pm. I do this IF 3 to 4 days per week, while one or two days do a full fast. I also drink plenty of water! It isn’t nearly as impossible as it sounds. Being in ketosis allows me to fast quite easily with little to no hunger. Additional benefits of fasting include:
|• Reduced chronic inflammation||• Improved brain function||• Improved insulin sensitivity|
|• Reduced autoimmune disease||• Improved hormone balance||• Spikes HGH; linked to anti-aging|
|• Dramatic increased energy||• Reduced PKA Enzyme; linked to aging and cancer prevention|
Diet Variation is an adaptive technique that takes advantage of our body’s innate desire to survive.
We have found that when we vary our diet, the hormonal shifts that occur re-establish and trigger the body’s ability to burn fat as energy. Our bodies were set up to survive and thrive in times of feast and famine. The Diet Variation day is a day, or simply just a meal, one day a week or twice a month, an entire weekend, or your entire vacation where you indulge. Diet Variation can also work into your daily sequence.
Try: 5 days of IF, 1 day of total fasting (TF), and 1 Diet Variation day (DV).
Or: 4 IF, 2 TF, 1 DV
Or: 5 IF, 2 TF followed up with 6 IF, 1 TF, then 6 IF and 1 DV.
Not just any exercise, Burst exercise (also known as intermittent or Tabata exercise). The truth is that for many, exercise is a 4-letter word. Today, we seem to be all about efficient, effective exercise that limits the negative stress on our body. Unless you truly enjoy bicycle riding or doing cardio for hours, it is not necessary to burn fat. With Burst Exercise you workout doing something that raises your heart rate to a point where it makes it difficult to carry on a conversation. It could be sit ups, push-ups, marching (with the knees high) in place, running in place, squats or the ever-popular planking.
Do your workout for 1 minute. Then rest for 3-4 minutes.
Repeat this, 1 minute on and 3-4 minutes off, a minimum of 3 times.
When you do, you will raise your human growth hormone and increase fat-burn for up to three days.
Those are my 3 strategies for weight loss: Ketogenic Diet, Fasting/Diet Variation, and Burst Exercise.
How am I doing?
At the time I made the proclamation, it seemed like a modest challenge for me since I have done it in the past. Well, here I am approximately 2 weeks in, and I can say that it seems to be a bit more challenging this time around. I believe I need to become a little more committed to my plans. The two of the hardest strategies for me to implement has been the exercise and the TF, this is where I have fallen short. However, since I am expecting to achieve my goal, I vow to be more diligent.
Who else is with me?
Solutions for Better Health, Naturally!
Peter A Holst, DC