Eat less and exercise more? Is that right?

The “Calories In, Calories Out” model has been the dominant paradigm for several decades.  This model asserts that if you decrease “calories in” by eating less and increase “calories out” by exercising more you will lose weight.  Many, many people have not had this experience.  They will eat a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, fish with steamed veggies and brown rice for dinner and throw in a piece of fruit or handful of whole grain crackers for snacks throughout the day and have no change in weight.  They will go to the gym and do cardio on the treadmill or elliptical for countless hours each week with no results.  Many studies have looked at severe calorie restriction diets for weight loss and though people do accomplish weight loss while restricting calories, it is not sustainable and results in regaining the weight plus more once a more sustainable diet is reintroduced.

So what gives?  The reality is that fat burning and fat storage have more to do with the hormonal and biochemical state of your body than the number of calories that you are eating.  If your insulin and cortisol levels are high then all of your biochemical pathways will be in fat storage mode and all that fat will typically be stored around your waist.  So it is not about how many calories you eat but how the food you eat impacts your insulin levels and how stress impacts your cortisol levels.  By choosing the right foods and adopting coping strategies for stress you can flip your biochemical switch to fat burning and not have to worry about counting calories ever again! 

Optimizing insulin levels is all about keeping blood sugar stable throughout the day.  Follow these three simple rules to flip the biochemical switch to fat burning mode! 

Three rules for balancing blood sugar:

  • INCLUDE A SOURCE OF HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL AND SNACK
  • LIMIT SUGAR AND EASILY DIGESTED CARBS
  • EAT AS FREQUENTLY AS NECESSARY TO AVOID HYPOGLYCEMIA (ie, low blood sugar)

These three simple rules will be discussed in detail in my next few posts.  Please share your experiences or include any questions in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them!

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