In addition to the foundational aspects of weight loss that incorporate a holistically supportive lifestyle into your long- term nutritional regime, there are some particular actions that may be taken toward optimizing one’s metabolic health in as little time as possible. Some of these might be surprising, especially to those following more recent health advice from the mainstream with regard to weight loss, wherein broad generalizations have been made that risk the exclusion of some of the most important components of a diet intended for reaching weight loss and optimization of appearance.
One of the most important of these aspects, believe it or not, is getting plenty of the two specific kinds of essential fatty acids. Mainly, these include essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3. Contrary to what you might be used to hearing about these fats in more recent years, the “mother of nutrition”, Ann Louise Gittleman, accentuates the importance of rebalancing our view of what our fatty acid consumption profile should look like. From vast clinical research aimed toward weight loss, optimization of health and fat metabolism– the ideal ratio to consume is actually a 4:1 ratio of Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s. This is what makes it possible to reach optimal fat metabolism and inflammation control. Most of Ann Louise’s clients saw substantial weight loss doing this alone. She even recommended that they avoid coconut oil for the first few weeks until they built up their most essential and most commonly deficient omega 6 stores. Omega 3s are important as well, coming from sources like wild, cold and deep water fish, a high quality krill oil supplement, or flax and chia seeds. Hemp seeds offer a side benefit of bringing up your omega 3 stores at the same time so you can kill two proverbial birds with one stone. What’s more, Ann Louise even recommends “bathing” in hemp seed oil, for anti- aging, skin smoothing and elastacizing effects. This can help for those losing weight who are afraid how their skin will respond once their work is done. GLA found in omega 6’s can help accomplish this while also boasting consistent clinical success in reducing extra inches around the waist line in a matter of weeks. She recommends 360- 900 mg of CLA for weight loss, with the same dose being assistive in conditions like pms, 360 mg being helpful for diabetic neuropathy, and 900 being assistive for eczema and psoriasis. This is all because of the aforementioned inflammation control these omegas offer when in the proper form and balance. Little do many of even the most health- savvy nutritional authorities know, Omega 6’s have a thermogenic (fat- burning) effect in the body. This is because they contribute to something called brown fat, which is actually the greatest predictor of obesity regardless of exercise or age. declines with age and obesity, somewhat counterintuitive to what we’ve previously been taught. Brown fat is a unique type of fat that has a special ability to burn other, unhealthy stores of white fat in the body, similar to the way muscle does. This beneficial type of fat is needed to insulate our veins and arteries and keeps us warm in cold weather. It can also negate the appearance of thinning skin and even cellulite. It’s likely that you’ve never seen a baby with cellulite, or shivering– this is why– they have an abundance of this supple- appearing brown fat that also conserves body heat by using the less healthy remainder of the fat in the body for energy. This is also demonstrated by the fact that those with the leanest body fat percentages actually have the lowest amount of brown fat in their bodies. Since its production tends to decline with age, people, especially women around menopause, seem to face particularly challenging weight gain, more rapidly aging skin, and cellulite issues. Little do they know, this can be a big reason why, in addition to other issues like estrogen dominance. Cold thermogenesis, aka exposure to cold temperatures, has been shown to help increase this beneficial brown fat substantially and lead to weight loss (R). This might give you some encouragement to go ahead and enjoy that winter walk.
For achieving one’s sustained goal of weight loss, the primary mission should be mostly focused on including the ingredients that matter first as opposed to solely limiting and restricting yourself from eating a list of specific foods. This creates more doable, lasting change that can be integrated into one’s life despite inherently varying circumstances, without the stress of focusing solely on the negative.
Fortunately, when you know to include the right nutrient dense, fat burning, and metabolism boosting foods in your diet, it becomes easier and even automatic to leave out the bad things. This is because you’re likely going to be left so satiated and nutritionally sufficient that often, you won’t have very much room for the “bad” stuff. So what are the best foods to include? They are as follows:
- Omega 6 sources like hemp seed, walnut, sesame seed, unrefined safflower, evening primrose or black currant seed oil. Ann Louise recommends about 3 tablespoons of these high quality oils a day in order to get your share for omega 6s. Raw, sprouted nuts and seeds can help you reach your quota which needs to become a first priority for sustainable weight loss. Many of us are suffering from a long- standing deficiency of this necessary component to healing and optimization. Its no wonder that we’re seeing such a collective inflammatory state as these are a critical component for managing proper inflammation due to their integral role as an ingredient to the chemical messengers called prostaglandins. This leads to perfectly conducted inflammatory processes, ensuring that various kinds of pain and infection are managed. This proper handling of inflammation can help prevent unnecessary cravings that occur as a result of improperly fighting off infection. This can allow microbes to take hold and start to influence our decisions when it comes to food. Conversely, when we have a properly managed prostaglandin system, these microbes are addressed and taken care of by the body’s immune system. It’s important to know that infection, more than anything can lead to the inflammation that cause you has the potential to induce swelling, puffiness and congestion. This is due to the sensitivity of the liver and bile duct to such infection and the biotoxins they create, which brings us to the next point.
- CLA: found in organic, pasture raised dairy products, Ann Louise Gittleman has found this to be immensely beneficial in inducing weight loss and she recommends 3,000- 6,000 mg. This can also be derived from unrefined Safflower, and is what Ann Louise offers in the product she and her clients have seen a lot of success with (R).
- Hydrate: Much like calories from the food when we eat, when we ingest enough water regularly, this signals the body to be able to let go of excess weight and water weight, respectively. Try to aim for half your body weight (lbs) in ounces.
- Liver/ gallbladder and bile duct support: When the liver and bile duct aren’t working properly, fat doesn’t get emulsified and excreted (in the form of pounds shed) like it should. This leads to a buildup of fat first in the liver, then in the rest of the body. This also leads to excess hormonal and toxin buildup due to the fact that the bile duct is the body’s number one method of excreting toxins, and processing the fat which is made into hormones, cell membranes, and energy for the body in addition to a variety of other vital processes like creating prostaglandins for pain- killing properties. When the body is unable to properly assimilate fat due to congestion in the liver but rather stores it throughout the body, allowing it to back up in the lymph, hormones go awry. This can lead directly to weight gain and indirectly as this prolonged stagnation can lead to fatigue, depression and a lack of motivation. Good ways to support the liver include taking in choline, a necessary B vitamin for fat emulsification and utilization, relaxation, lowering blood pressure and normalizing heart function. This has massive benefits for the skin and motility as well. Gallbladder contraction controls bowel movements, allowing for the release of toxins and the appearance of being fat that comes as a result of the inflammation that results from these toxins. Lecithin can also help for this purpose. The gallbladder is vital in conjunction with the liver for getting rid of these toxins and processing fat for use in the body like synthesizing cell membranes, hormones and healthy skin. Milk thistle and consumption of green, sulfur, and brightly colored vegetables. can also help eradicate a fatty liver and in turn prevent fat buildup elsewhere. Often, when people have a “basket ball” type appearance around their abdomen, this is due to a swollen, inflamed fatty liver. Often, parasites are to blame and at the root of a congested biliary duct that prevents fat from being excreted like it should.
- Lymphatic System Support: The lymph is one of the most fundamental and widely ignored systems in the body. This at is the root of obesity, weight gain, and even cellulite. Stagnation here can be caused by sustained emotional distress and anxiety, inactivity, and the wrong foods like those that are refined, genetically modified or come in a package rather than those that are fresh and derived simply from produce or responsibly sourced animals. To offer additional support, incorporating herbs such as manjistha, prickly ash, red root, ginger, soursop, astragalus, milk thistle cleavers, burdock and sheep sorrel can be supportive as well as a homeopathic called lymph stim, and the supplement tudca. This can be aid in optimizing the lymph and moving pathogenic invaders out while bringing essential nutrients to cells that need it most. This helps to properly disperse energy throughout the body, inherently optimizing weight and how it is held.
- Address infection: This can take the form of lyme disease, parasites– more often a combination of the two, bacteria in the stomach and digestive tract, or viruses and retroviruses. As mentioned, inflammation and biliary blockages or dysfunction that can allow undigested fat to buildup in the system through first accumulation in the liver, followed by lymphatic stagnation and subsequent backup and an inflamed, puffy appearance everywhere else. People don’t understand that they’re not just “fat”, they’re inflamed, toxic, and likely a host. Candida as well as parasites, especially when together, have a tendency to control the mind, influencing the appetite. This is what makes it so hard to quit certain foods and keeps you going back to that toxic sugar, and maybe even alcohol, addiction. Roundworm is particularly infamous for leading to weight gain and making it seemingly impossible to shed pounds. Ways you can start to address these issues collectively is by attacking the most impactful pathogens first. Often, this is parasites. One of the best options I’ve found for this purpose is called Mimosa Pudica seed. Another option is oregano oil, a very wide- spectrum anti- microbial, addressing everything on the above list. Garlic has this same wide range of capabilities as do pau de arco clove, coconut oil as well as coconut meat. Diatomaceous earth is a fantastic broad- spectrum protectant against microbes like yeast, parasites, and bacteria as well. Generally, when you get rid of larger microbes like parasites and fungus, this allows the immune system to acknowledge the underlying infections it’s been ignoring for years and allowing to cause inflammation and fatigue in the body.
- Support the Adrenal Glands: Your adrenal glands can put out cortisol either in lack or excess depending on their stores and your stress level, the two are interdependent. This is why it’s so important to listen to your body– because if you exercise by overexerting yourself regularly, this can actually deplete your adrenal glands and lead to either an initial increase in cortisol or a drop in cortisol later down the road. This increase in cortisol can lead to weight gain as cortisol tends to increase blood sugar which affects and hinders the overall metabolism. The later drop in cortisol makes it hard to get motivated to work out, affects digestion and make it easier to get infections, all of which can lead to weight gain. To support the adrenal glands, make sure you heed to the little warnings your body gives you to let you know you’re tired and need rest. Also listen to whether or not you’re hungry, and what your innate intelligence–rather than your bad habits– is wanting you to feed it at the time as it’s always for a reason. For instance, the adrenals may oscillate between needing more potassium or sodium as you heal and improve. When you’re higher in cortisol, the stage before adrenal exhaustion, your body will be asking you to feed it potassium, and when you do so you may be able to save yourself from the full- on adrenal exhaustion that can leave you bedbound for weeks or even months. When allowed to advance and signals are ignored, you’ll crave salt as opposed to potassium after a certain point in order to replenish these stores and prevent it from being lost, which becomes the case with sodium upon adrenal exhaustion. Some of us can tell we run higher on cortisol by our stress levels– this is an indication that you may benefit from having some cream of tartar in your water in order to help calm down– it really works. Adaptogens can be very helpful in addressing the adrenals as well, and actually work in a way that can actually adjust according to your conditional circumstances, whether you need to calm down, or get your energy up. Some of my favorites of these include Rhodiola, Siberian Ginseng or Eleutheuro, Ashwaganda, Cordyceps or Reishi mushroom. B vitamins, however, are a fundamental and vital first step towards giving the adrenal glands what they need in addition to an abundance of minerals in the form of unrefined, natural salt and potassium.
- Mitochondrial Support: This can largely be done through sun exposure, which is fundamental for health overall and absolutely weight loss as well. The mitochonodria are the body’s energy factories that reside throughout all of our cells. Think of them as a Duracell battery to the body’s systemic metabolism. These cell powerers are largely affected by heavy metals and other toxins, therefore cellular detox can be very important for proper function. Something like Alpha lipoic acid can also be very important for this purpose. It binds heavy metals all throughout the body while also having a fat- metabolizing property. People have even seen positive results with regards to cellulite by taking this measure alone. There are also a lot more mitochondria in brown fat, which again makes the case for not being afraid of Omega 6s but using the right, unrefined kinds, as well as enjoying cold or heat thermogenesis (in other words, expose yourself to the natural rhythms of nature and elements as much as possible).
- Thyroid Support: This gland needs to be fed certain nutrients in order to make the rest of one’s body function by burning fat. The thyroid has been likened to the body’s thermostat because of the way it regulates energy. This is why things like iodine are so important to feed this process. The thyroid needs active T3 or thyroid hormone which is made up of 3 iodine molecules and 1 tyrosine. I like getting iodine from seaweed such as kelp for powerful synergistic nutrients as well as Lugol’s solution which provides a concentrated source of iodine which is needed with how severely depleted we are, in conjunction with a selenium supplement or brazil nuts in order to properly metabolize the iodine it offers, in addition to Real Salt. Amino acids are another powerful addition to a weight loss plan for this reason, as well as many others. The body needs and is often lacking the protein it needs and specific amino acids from it to build muscle as well as get the metabolism going. You can find tyrosine in meets and other animal proteins and a few other select foods like cacao, grass- fed meats, nuts, pastured eggs, and seeds.
- Cranberry Water: According to Ann Louise Gittleman, the acid compounds in cranberry have a unique way of flushing the liver and lymph, even being anti- parasitic in nature, allowing for a decrease in inflammation, and optimized metabolic processes inducing weight loss. Add lemon and raw organic apple cider vinegar for additional digestive, toxin clearing benefits, and cinnamon for blood sugar stabilization, which is fundamental for sustained weight loss. Find the recipe here.
- Stabilize Blood Sugar: Macronutrients including carbohydrates, protein, and fat must be balanced, generally in a ratio near 40-30-30 respectively to stabilize blood sugar. Try to aim for a majority of non- starchy vegetables in the diet as a source of carbohydrates. At the same time, though, various body types will do well with potentially differing quantities of carbohydrates throughout various periods in life.
- Eat seasonally: this can be surprisingly beneficial to the blood sugar and the mitochondria. In addition, eating seasonally can harmonize the body’s functional clocks and communication intracellularly.
- We can’t ignore the obvious– Exercise: No matter what your current level of strength and vitality, some form of exercise should certainly be used to support your metabolism, detoxification, longevity, and the immune system. This can be either a recreationally- paced or brisk walk. You can use a rebounder, do pilates, go swimming, lift weights, even stretching alone in the morning and doing cat- cows (a variation of stretches or yoga postures) before bed can optimize calorie burning while sleeping, believe it or not. Make sure you’re incorporating the right ratio of cardio and weight – bearing exercise according to your body type, and something to elongate the muscles afterwards (by stretching). One of my favorite relaxing stretching exercises is to sit with my legs up the wall. This helps the body to get into a parasympathetic state. This parasympathetic state is important for detoxification as well as digestion and recuperation– that is, the rebuilding of muscles and autophagy processes of the body. Going on walks regularly in nature, dancing, doing yoga, or pilates can help tone the body while encouraging a parasympathetic state.