Many of us prioritize weight and size over every other health issue. Marketers have been exploiting this with diets and extreme exercise programs for over 50 years. But yo-yo weight loss is harmful.
Improving your health sets the stage for reducing your weight. Here’s the 4 requirements for losing excess fat.
Four Requirements for Losing Excess Fat
- Allow time and be patient
- Eliminate chronic stress to maintain your health
- Eat nutritious food to balance your metabolism
- Do whole-body exercises to increase circulation
When you follow these, you will lose weight without explicitly counting calories. Once your system is balanced, you can adjust your caloric intake if necessary.
Allow time and be patient
For most of us, it takes time to adjust our habits. And then it takes more time for our bodies to adapt and regain their metabolic balance. But it’s worth it.
This is for your whole life. It’s not a temporary diet or exercise plan. When you maintain your body’s balance, you are able to lose fat. And that’s better than just losing weight.
Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. When we under-eat or eat food that’s low in nutrients and low in calories, our bodies find nutrients somewhere else. The body has many backup measures to find nutrients. The easiest is to take muscle tissue and convert it into energy. So you stand on the scale and you’re lighter, but metabolically less efficient. And you still have fat deposited in unwanted places.
When we lose pounds, we want it to come from fat around our hips and belly, but realistically that fat is very hard to lose.
To lose fat, you must be metabolically balanced without nutritional deficits. So if you are following an extreme exercise program or a restrictive diet, reconsider them now. They may be working against you. Are they adding to your stress level or cutting out essential nutrients?
When you are nutritionally deprived or stressed, your self-regulating body feels it has to defend the fat you have accumulated.
There is a mechanism within your body called the “fat apistat” that works like an internal thermometer. When the body is producing enough energy to run all the systems in the body efficiently, then and only then will it stop defending and reset your apistat.
Eliminate Chronic Stress to Maintain Your Health
Stress can affect your metabolism and your health, even if you are eating perfectly.
Stress of ANY kind puts us into a state designed for emergencies. This is a normal and helpful response to seeing your child standing close to a cliff or to someone cutting in front of your car on the highway. You are primed for immediate action.
When we sense danger, our bodies shift into survival mode and energy is diverted away from many non-essential systems, like digestion, immunity and fertility.
The problem is our bodies have the same reaction to negative thoughts even when there is no immediate danger. Worrying about our work or our families. Obsessing about our weight, starving for more food or hating our workouts.
Continual stress undermines your health whether it’s provoked by external threats or your internal thoughts. Stress can make you fat and keep you fat.
All weight-loss diets add stress one way or another – whether it is under-eating, over-exercising, measuring or counting points – they all punish your body, rather then add to health and fat balance.
For success, allow for proper progressions that are compatible with your life style. Many people fail because they binge and quit, then binge and quit again, over and over. Deliberate small actions, implemented without stress, is more effective and lasting.
To support your new habits, journal the steps you take each day to be kind to your body and de-stress.
Eat Nutritious Whole Foods to Balance Your Metabolism
Focusing on weight loss at the expense of nutrition can compromise your health. To release the size or number of fat cells in your body, you must be metabolically balanced and robust.
Developing healthy eating habits as a top priority:
- Always have good food on hand. Grocery shopping is most important. Stock your kitchen with healthy food and get rid of junk food and processed oils. Freeze fresh food for later.
- Sit when you eat, relax and enjoy your meal. You can’t digest food properly on the run or at your desk.
- Prepare your own food, whenever possible, and bring it when you are away from home.
- Swap unhealthy eating habits for healthier ones, e.g. replace processed cookies for freshly baked ones with quality ingredients and freeze some for later.
- Log or journal your healthy actions each day, not what you eat or calories. We often focus on solely on results, e.g. weighting ourselves, rather than on our actions.
When you eat nutritionally dense whole foods, you provide all the raw materials your body needs to run efficiently. So your body can stop defending its stored fat and rely on you to eat high quality food consistently.
And when you improve the quality of your food, you don’t have to do aggressive workouts. Quality workouts plus quality food work well together to help you achieve your healthy body weight.
Do Whole-Body Workouts to Increase Your Circulation
With your metabolism functioning well, you can use whole-body exercise to restore circulation and move oxygen to all cells in your body. Note that this is not exercise to burn calories.
There are so many different approaches to fat loss and exercise – cardio camps, high intensity boot camps, interval camps and big muscle workouts. My favorite weight-loss workout heats you up from the inside and keeps you warm for hours after.
Current exercise science has found that doing fascial workouts increase energy circulation though out your body.
In addition to supporting fat loss, these workouts can reduce cellulite since it is dehydrated fascia. Full body movement that increases circulation and hydration can remove cellulite, no matter how long it has been there, just by exploring new ways to move.
Any workout could be adapted to become a full body fascia workout by applying the principles of developmental movement. Once we move more naturally, our bodies won’t feel the need to protect against stress, lack of nutrients and punishing workouts. Then they will release our stored fat.
In summary, the answer is – let’s stop punishing our bodies for having excess fat. Enjoy nutritious food and movement. And recognize the variability of body shapes that can move towards healthy circulation.