There is no quick or easy solution to weight loss. Weight loss is only accomplished and maintained through an ongoing routine of adequate rest, moderate exercise, controlled stress and intuitive, moderate and healthy eating. We are genetically protected from underweight status and programmed to achieve a certain weight. We are not genetically protected from obesity. In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, we must understand the role of two specific hormones. Ghrelin and Leptin, ghrelin, which tells us we are hungry and leptin, which tells us our nutritional status. By connecting to and listening to these signals, we are able to get back in rhythm with our innate metabolic cycle.
The number one risk factor negatively affecting our body’s response to ghrelin and leptin is skipping breakfast. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and travels to the brain where it signals that we are hungry and leptin is produced by fat cells and travels to the brain where it tells us we are full. Any time of insulin hyperactivity, such as that when we do not eat, causes both ghrelin and leptin to become insensitive and hypersensitive to hunger and fullness. When this happens, as when we skip breakfast, our body interprets this as starvation and turns our metabolism down.
In order to balance and keep our hormonal levels of leptin and ghrelin working properly we must follow a few simple rules. These simple rules, if followed over the course of time, will healthily and naturally control and maintain a desired weight.
1. Eat three balanced meals evenly spaced throughout your day with nothing eaten between. Kitchen closed after each meal and no snacking. You should have a minimum of four hours between each meal and at least 3 to 4 hours after a meal before resting for the night. Eating late at night affects the hormonal mechanisms within your body allowing for recuperative rest and for metabolic re-charging. Do not eat late in the evening or at night time.
2. Evenly Space calories throughout the day and do not exceed what is required for your Basal Metabolic Rate. You can calculate your BMR on many better health websites or with a health care provider.
3. Listen to your body. Pay strict attention to your hunger, emotions, and feelings. Write your feelings and emotions out. Only eat to nourish your body, not to soothe or comfort it. Food is medicine, but not a drug to abuse. If you have any issues with food including addiction, seek help.
4. Exercise and sleep a minimum of eight hours a night. All exercise is beneficial to your body and mind. Exercise does not mean you get to eat extra calories or eat unhealthy food; it is simply an added bonus. Sleep is essential to proper metabolic functioning and to the regulation of all your hormones and metabolic pathways.
5. Reduce stress. Stress reduction is paramount for weight loss. Stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, which promotes weight gain and fat around the belly. Start actively reducing your stress levels with every breath you take. Learn to slow down, breathe deeply, live with intention and clarity and remove the clutter from your life. Practice the activities that make you smile and stay as engaged socially as you can.
6. Seek help for all emotional and mental health problems. This is of top importance for your complete wellbeing. Without proper help or treatment, your body will not have a healthy baseline to start weight loss from. Please seek immediate attention for any issues that you have been struggling with.
Integrating these simple rules into your daily life will provide healthy and effective weight loss. These rules are lifestyle changes that are to be carried out every day over the course of your life. These rules are not a quick fix nor do they offer overnight success. These rules require patience, perseverance, and complete dedication. You can do it, start today!
For healthy weight loss it is important to obtain the micronutrients your body needs. The best possible sources of micronutrients are found in the food you eat, especially in fruits and vegetables. Many circumstances may prevent you from eating healthily every day and taking nutritional supplements is an excellent way to improve your health and weight loss success.
- NHANES http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm
- Burstain, Todd, MD. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa: Balancing Hunger Hormones