I’m sure everyone reading this has tried to lose weight at one point in their life. For me, it’s been many points in my life. I feel like I’ve heard about almost every fad diet out there and have been tempted to try most of them. However, when I heard on the news about people needing liver transplants in their late 20s due to taking weight loss supplements filled with random chemicals and exorbitant amounts of caffeine, it really scared me straight. We shouldn’t have to destroy our bodies on the inside for us to look good on the outside. Knowing what to eat, which supplements to take and what exercises are right for you will make it easy for you to lose weight the healthy way.
How many people have tried cutting carbs out of their diet? This is probably one of the worst ways to lose weight. Not only will you feel tired the entire day, because carbohydrates supply the body with energy, but your body will develop a high level of ketones, which can then lead to serious metabolic disorders such as diabetes. If you deprive your body of carbohydrates, your body’s metabolism will eventually be shot, and as soon as you start having carbs again you will gain all the weight back, if not more. People need to distinguish the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs, also known as complex carbs, are generally high in fiber and are easier for the body to breakdown and expel. Complex carbs, such as wheat bread and granola, do not cause large spikes in blood sugar as simple carbs, such as white bread and candy, do. Complex carbs also keep you full longer and give you sustained energy to keep you going throughout the day. So, as you can see, not all carbs are bad.
Starving yourself is also a horrible way to lose weight. Your body needs food for energy and to carry out its normal bodily functions. If you don’t eat regularly, not only are you depriving your body of energy, but also of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Your metabolism will become so slow that whenever you do decide to eat, your body will hang on to that meal very tightly because it knows it won’t be fed again for a while. Instead, eating 5 small meals a day will rev your metabolism up so that you can lose weight more quickly and get the proper nutrition your body needs. Here is a link to some foods that are good for you and will help speed up your metabolism as well: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/9-foods-that-increase-metabolism.html.
Stress is also a major player when it comes to losing weight. When your body is under stress, the cortisol levels in your body are high. High cortisol levels suppress normal thyroid functioning, which is important in regulating your body’s metabolism. Also, high cortisol levels lead to increased fat storage, especially in the abdominal area. This is because when your body is under stress, it feels as though it is under attack (a response that stems from the body’s natural “fight or flight” mechanism). So, to prepare itself for the effects of the “attack,” your body wants to store excess fat in case it needs it for more energy to “defend” itself down the line. Also, high cortisol levels trigger a hunger response in the brain so you tend to eat more, and I know we have all experienced that in times of stress! Being aware of when you are under stress and countering it with relaxation techniques, such as heavy breathing or meditation, can prevent you from gaining unnecessary weight and destroying your metabolism in the long run.
There are also some natural and safe supplements that you can take to help you lose weight. White kidney bean extract prevents your body from breaking carbs down into simple sugars, so the calories cannot be absorbed. However, this should only be taken before large meals filled with simple carbs because remember, you don’t want to block the absorption of all carbs since they supply the body with energy. Vitamin B12 is also good because it helps speed up your metabolism and give you long lasting energy. Fish oil is another great supplement because it helps lower cholesterol as well as triglycerides, which are the building blocks of fat. L-carnitine is an amino acid that also helps lower triglycerides by actually transporting them into the cells of our body and converting them into energy. Green tea or green coffee extract are both safe and natural sources of caffeine and antioxidants that can help elevate your metabolism without making you feel jittery as other artificial weight loss supplements that are packed with ridiculous amounts of caffeine tend to do. Last but not least, chromium picolinate helps regulate blood sugar by increasing the efficiency of insulin in our bodies, thus preventing the conversion of excess sugar into fat.
Above all, exercise is the most important factor in losing weight. Not only does exercise help you burn fat and boost your metabolism, but it helps keep your cortisol levels low as well. This is because exercising reduces stress by causing the body to release natural endorphins. As cliche as it is to say, eating healthy and exercising is the only way to maintain long term weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle, not a one week starvation diet. For those of you who are thinking, “how am I supposed to resist those donuts I see at the office next to the coffee machine everyday,” well, it takes about 4 to 5 days to get rid of a craving. After resisting those donuts for about a week, I promise you won’t even look at them twice thereafter.Thanks for reading! This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.