Posted On 22 Mar 2018
There’s no single, one-size-fits-all answer to the question about how to lose weight. Individual differences do matter.
Furthermore, our bodies change over time. What worked yesterday may not work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.
The goal is not actually to lose weight. The goal is to improve body composition by losing fat. Body weight doesn’t matter; our percentage of body fat does matter.
As we age, we tend to move less. We tend to get less and less exercise. This by itself results in a lower metabolic rate, which makes it more difficult to improve our percentage of body fat.
Furthermore, we tend to become attached to certain ways of eating that we have picked, often haphazardly, from our families and culture. Improving deeply engrained habits is never easy.
Loss of Health
We’re all aging. Sooner or later we’ll all become ill and die. So, the goal is not to avoid the inevitable. The goal is to flourish physically for as long as possible.
Eating well is a chief component of flourishing physically.
What motivates eating well?
Excellent question! There’s precious little knowledge about human motivation. What can motivate us to break any long-standing pattern of conditioned behavior?
An important loss or other serious dissatisfaction is a great motivator. When we detect a loss of health, that can provide sufficient motivation. If you survive your first heart attack, you may decide to begin eating well and stick to that decision.
Ask yourself: “Have I become overweight or obese? Have I become diabetic? Do I suffer from heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, or other popular epidemic diseases? Have I become unfit or physically weak?” And so on.
A “yes” answer to these or similar questions can be an opportunity to reduce your percentage of body fat.
This of it this way: Life is inviting you to improve.
You may not get another invitation. So, let’s take this as an opportunity to improve.
The three macronutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates [carbs].
Here’s a critically important point about eating well: when we ingest all three in sufficient quantities, our bodies will burn carbohydrates first, fats second, and proteins last.
When our bodies burn carbohydrates, it breaks them down into sugars. Always. (It’s helpful to visualize a potato or a loaf of bread as blocks of sugar.)
Therefore, when we ingest all three in sufficient quantities, our bodies will run on sugars rather than fats. Any excess energy (calories) ingested will get stored as fat. That goes a long way towards explaining why we tend to get fatter as we age.
What can be done about it?
The basic ideas is this: switch from sugar burning to fat burning.
Reduce carbohydrate intake sufficiently. On most days, keep carb intake to 25 grams or less.
Is this unhealthy? Not at all. The truth is that we need to ingest 0 grams of carbs daily to be in excellent health. There’s no minimum daily requirement for carb intake.
How to lose weight transition
If you have permitted yourself to become overweight or obese, it’s rational to switch deliberately from burning sugars to burning fats.
If you do that abruptly, you’ll likely to experience some unpleasant side effects that are often called the “keto flu.” (When we switch to burning fats, ketones appear in urine, which is a perfectly normal, natural process – hence ‘keto.’)
Even if you’re willing to switch abruptly, it’ll likely take your body 2 or 3 months fully to adjust from sugar burning to fat burning. Meanwhile, unless you simply overeat, it’s quite likely that you’ll lose weight as your body begins to utilize your fat reserves.
There are plenty of low carb and keto diet plans available. They have become popular for good reason.
One way to begin the transition to a diet that is relatively high in fats, moderate in proteins, and low in carbs is with breakfast.
Fat Bomb Breakfast
Instead of skipping breakfast or overloading with proteins, here’s one way to fuel yourself for your first 5 or so waking hours that I’ve been using recently with good results.
2 cups (16 ounces) or so of your favorite freshly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon unsalted butter from grass-fed cows
1 tablespoon organic, extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
¼ teaspoon or so of powdered cinnamon
[optional but recommended: 2 teaspoons fiber supplement]
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend thoroughly including for 10 seconds on high speed. Pour into a large mug and drink immediately. Enjoy!
It’s frothy and delicious. It has no carbs, no protein, and about 26 grams of fat — hence the name “fat bomb.” Since you are not ingesting carbs or proteins, it forces your body to burn fat. [Thanks to the Fit2Fat2Fit Keto program for the basic recipe.]
Will it work to reduce your percentage of body fat? We’re all different, but there’s obviously a simple way to find out.
It won’t work if your other daily meals are way out of whack. Keep them relatively high in fats, moderate in proteins, and low in carbs, too.
It’ll work better if you also exercise. Strength training is important for more than just developing stronger bones, connective tissues, and muscles. The greater your lean muscle mass, the more calories you’ll burn even at rest.
I happen to believe that it’s possible to get all the strength training needed in less than 10 minutes weekly. How? Click here to discover more.
For a broader perspective on eating well, click here for a relevant blog post.
If you’ve never eaten in a low carb way before and try it seriously for even just a week or two, you may be amazed at how quickly your percentage of body fat will begin to improve.
In fact, I caution you not to lose more than 3 pounds of weight weekly. Be kind to yourself by giving your body the time it needs to adjust. Work with it rather than against it.
3 pounds of body weight loss weekly is equivalent to about 1 or 1 1/2 pounds of fat loss weekly. Do that for just a month or two and your body composition will significantly improve. You’ll actually be eating your way to better health.
Whenever you’re contemplating serious changes to your dietary or exercise habits, please consult your personal physician or another certified healthcare provider in advance. If you ask, “May I lose a pound or 1 1/2 pounds of fat weekly?” any answer you receive other than ‘yes’ would be astounding.