Weight loss can seem confusing and tricky most of the time. It can be hard to know which diet to follow, which foods to eat, which foods to avoid and/or how many calories to eat. Dieting right is not about following fads, but rather, it’s about consistently making healthier choices. If you have been struggling to see results, perhaps its time to try something new? Consider these three healthy weight loss tricks to help get you on a better track to weight loss success.
Trick #1: Avoid Diet Deprivation
If you want to prevent metabolic damage, you absolutely want to avoid over dieting at all costs!
Over dieting, using a low calorie diet for extended periods of time, can lead to deprivation, a state of starvation, which can diminish your metabolism. And when that happens, your body’s metabolic rate comes to a screeching halt, along with your fat burning. Instead of burning off fat, your body holds on to every last bit and turns to your hard-earned muscle for nourishment, since your energy reserves have become depleted. Researchers call this ‘adaptive thermogenesis,’ where a decline in your energy expenditure, or metabolism, can favor weight regain and metabolic slow down.
It’s been shown that prolonged under-eating can result in low T3 and leptin levels, two hormones involved in metabolism and hunger. The trick to avoiding a state of adaptive thermogenesis is to limit your ‘restrictive’ dieting and opt for a ‘caloric cycling’ approach instead.
Just by fluctuating calorie intake every three to four days, you can spark the metabolism and help to reset leptin levels, which will keep your body burning fat and halt weight loss plateaus for good! A calorie cycling type of diet calls for higher calorie levels on days where you train more and lower calorie levels on days where you train less.
Trick #2: Eat Fruit You Enjoy For Fat Burning
That’s right! Imagine being able to still enjoy the fruit you love while dieting! I know most of us tend to avoid fruit at all costs, because we believe that the high sugar content will only lead to weight gain. But fruit has one amazing property and for this reason alone it shouldn’t be given up!
Fruits are rich in anti-estrogenic compounds that can help decrease excess estrogen, which will help promote fat burning. The environment we live in is full of estrogenic like compounds, from the air we breathe and the food we eat to even the soaps and creams we use on our skin.
As a woman, most of us already have plenty of estrogen running through our bodies—more isn’t necessary. In high levels, estrogen can block your body’s ability to burn off fat that’s been sticking to your hips, thighs, glutes and abs!
Adding some organic fruit to your diet can not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but it can help reduce and control excess estrogen so you can unlock and continue to burn off fat on those stubborn areas.
Organic fruit such as berries are high in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals and fiber, all of which are beneficial to reducing estrogen load. Also, citrus fruits provide limonene, a natural estrogen detox agent, and apples provide insoluble fiber that can bind to estrogen in your intestines, reducing re-absorption and helping with removal.
Trick #3: Timing Your Carbs for Weight Loss
You probably already know you need to limit your carbohydrates from your diet if you want to lose weight. But, do you know why? The more carbs you eat, the higher your estrogen levels will be. Eating a diet that is low in fiber and high in refined sugar can increase estrogen production in the body.
If that weren’t enough reason to manage carb consumption, a woman’s unique biochemistry makes it’s harder to burn off carbs. The key is to eat your carbs ‘strategically,’ using a nutrient timing approach. That means eating specific carbohydrates at specific times of the day to ensure you make the most of the carbs you are putting in your body without storing them as fat.
Specifically, eat them when your blood glucose and muscle glycogen (that’s the stored form of carbohydrate) are at their lowest – first thing in the morning and soon after your workout, provided your workout was completed at a high enough intensity to allow for carbohydrate depletion to occur. If you are just going through the motions, you’re more than likely not going to make a dent in your carbohydrate stores.
It may take some time to determine the exact amount of carbs that is right for your body type, metabolism and activity level. Most diets focused on weight loss have carbs set at 30-40% of total daily calories. This allows just enough to feed the energy systems that need it, while allowing you to access stored fat the rest of the time.
Follow a diet that is high in fiber, including a variety of organic whole grains, fruits, plenty of greens and non-starchy vegetables. Choose foods like oatmeal, berries, sweet potato, broccoli and kale.
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Major GC, et al. Clinical significance of adaptive thermogenesis. Int J Obes. 2007. 31(2): 204-12.
Muler MJ, Bosy-Westphal A. Adaptive thermogenesis with weight loss in humans. Obesity. 2013. 21(2): 218-28.
Rosenbaum M, et al. Long-term persistence of adaptive thermogenesis in subjects who have maintained a reduced body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008. 88(4): 906-12.
Wismann J, Willoughby D. Gender differences in carbohydrate metabolism and carbohydrate loading. JISSN. 2006. 3: 28-34.