Relax and Eat
The first and most surprising weight loss strategy is as simple as changing how you eat.
While doing things like eating quickly, mindlessly, in the car, standing up, or distracted by the TV may seem benign, new research may make you think twice before you pull into your next drive-thru.
The trillions of microbes that live inside of your gut are extremely sensitive to stress and halt their activity when under threat. The beneficial microbes under-populate, leaving the body vulnerable to poor digestion, anxiety and weight gain. (1,2,3)
Relaxing while you eat activates the rest-and-digest parasympathetic nervous system activity. (5)
At your meals, try your best to take a seat away from technology or other distractions, relax, chew slowly, dine and enjoy.
Three Meals a Day
If this is what your day looks like: breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – supper – snack, when does the body get a chance to burn its own fat? Burning fat is a very slow, cumbersome process.
With six meals a day, your body is being fed constantly. Why would it bother to metabolize its fat?
One study compared the effect of eating the same number of calories at six small meals or two meals a day, breakfast and lunch.
Two meals a day showed significant improvements in body weight, liver fat content, insulin resistance, and pancreatic blood sugar regulation. (7)
If you want to burn fat, you must give your body a reason. Eat breakfast, a big lunch, and a small supper—with no snacks in between. Your body will be forced to burn fat between your meals and throughout the night.
Have a Big Lunch
Ayurveda teaches that the body is best able to digest a large amount of food during the middle of the day when the sun was the highest in the sky.
Eating big at lunchtime will curb afternoon sugar cravings and reduce the risk of overeating at dinner.
Studies show that eating more calories at night will predispose the body to greater risk of obesity. (8)
Newly published circadian medicine research has now confirmed that our biological clocks are tuned to digest best at breakfast and lunch, not supper. (7,8)
We RecommendThe Benefits of a Large Lunch
Soup for Supper
The word, “supper,” comes from the words, “soup” and “supplemental.”
Traditionally all over the world, supper was a light, small meal often called “sup,” indicating it was just a light evening meal, such as soup.
The later in the day you eat, the less efficiently you will digest the food and more easily pack on those undigested pounds by morning. (8)
For more aggressive weight loss, have a big lunch and skip supper 3-7 nights a week. Do this for 2-4 weeks.
One study found that students who ate late carried more weight and disturbed early onset melatonin production, which attempts to initiate sleep around 8pm. (9)
Monitor your Blood Sugar
With one-third of the American population pre-diabetic, it is no wonder we are the fattest country in the world. The fat around the belly is four times more sensitive to insulin and stress (cortisol) compared to fat in other areas of the body, making belly fat a marker for high blood sugar levels.
New research tells us that morning fasting blood sugar levels should be between 70-85mg/dL, (4) not just below 100mg/dL, which is the current standard.
To prevent a host of serious blood sugar-related problems, the least of which is obesity, begin to take your own blood sugar with a home glucometer every morning.
Within just a couple of weeks, you will begin to recognize the foods, sweets, lifestyle, diet, and exercise habits that raise your blood sugar—those that are adding to weight gain and unhealthy fat storage. (10)
Get your Fiber
Ancient humans ate 5 times as much fiber as we do! Fiber is crucial to escorting your bile, which carries bad fats and toxins, to the toilet.
If you do not have enough fiber in your diet, up to 94% of the toxic bile and bad fats are reabsorbed back into the liver, lacing the body with unwanted toxic fat. (5)
Try to eat 50 grams of a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber per day.
Bad Fat, Good Fat
Ancient humans gleaned most of their endurance from a diet rich in good fats.
The American public was told for 30 years that fats were bad for us, but packaged foods—commonly preserved with highly processed indigestible fats—are the real culprit.
The government also subsidized the production of wheat and corn, which fed America with sugar for the past 30 years. So, the need for fat as an energy supply was replaced with sugar. Sugar hits the bloodstream much faster than we can metabolize it, and we quickly store it as fat.
Without adequate amounts of good fat in the diet, the liver cannot make enough bile and, as a result, many Americans have a difficult time eating fats.
Without enough dietary fat and bile production, the body will be forced to re-use the bile up to 17 times. This is akin to washing your dishes for 17 days in a row before you get new dishwater! (6)
Eliminate sugar, increase good fats (coconut, olive oil, nuts, and seeds), and avoid cooked oils.
Reconsider Wheat and Dairy and Strengthen Digestion
Wheat and dairy may have been found guilty without a fair trial. While there are plenty of issues with the way wheat and dairy are processed these days, gluten and casein are nothing more than just hard-to-digest proteins.
Before we toss these food groups out the window, we should make sure that it is actually wheat and dairy that are causing all the indigestion and weight gain.
The bigger epidemic in America is a weakness in the stomach’s ability to properly digest proteins like gluten, casein, soy, and others.
To help boost digestive strength, drink a large glass of lemon water 15-30 minutes before meals. Add a little salt and ginger to boost the gluten-busting effects!
We RecommendThe Dangers of a Gluten-Free Diet
Less is More
The body burns fat more efficiently when you engage in long, slow, moderate exercise.
It burns more sugar when you exercise vigorously. Open mouth, gasping breathing triggers an emergency, fat-storing, sugar-burning response.
To ensure the body stays in a fat-burning, calm state during exercise, breathe only through the nose.
Let nose breathing determine whether you are burning sugar or fat during your next workout. (11)
Proper exercise is an amazing tool for dealing with blood sugar-related belly fat. When the body builds excess sugar in the blood, the muscles are the first to resist using that sugar. This is called insulin resistance, which leaves excess sugar in the blood to store quickly as fat.
Short bursts or mini sprints of exercise that use the fast twitch muscles fibers force the muscle to once again burn sugar, breaking the insulin resistance.
Try four 1-minute sprints (jumping jacks, running or stair-stepping) breathing through the nose, followed by four 1-minute easy recoveries while breathing through the nose.