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Hey Guys! In this video I walk you through 4 things I have learned in the course of losing 100 pounds (45 kg) over the course of a year and a half. I had to basically unlearn everything I thought I knew about weight loss in order to pull it off.
The key things I did were:
1. I adopted a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. (aka vegetarian, vegan)
I was an avid meat eater and very shocked to learn that there is a lot of researching linking adverse health outcomes like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, in developed nations to consumption of meat and dairy. While it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, eating way more fruits and veggies is a great idea to help you lose weight. This lifestyle is explained well in books like Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (the Nutritarian diet guy), Whole by T. Colin Campbell, the China Study, and How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. It’s also explained in the Netflix documentaries Forks over Knives and What the Health. As a person who’s paying attention, it’s hard to ignore the growing body of evidence that we need a lot more whole natural foods and a lot less processed foods and meat and dairy. I lost about 60 lbs by making this change alone. I did it gradually and incrementally.
2. I stopped eating processed sugar and flour completely.
I adopted an addiction theory of weight loss which is explained beautifully in the book Bright Line Eating by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson. This theory advocates that our brains evolved during a time before processed foods, and are mal-adapted at absorbing them and keeping us healthy in the era when food is no longer scarce and it’s not advantageous to store as much fat as we can. We process sugar and flour the same way we process other refined white powders like cocaine and heroin – the very same reward mechanisms light up in the brain, leading us to feel really good, crash, and reach for more. Eliminating these foods completely is much, much easier than trying to use moderation to have just a little bit. This approach is not necessary for everyone because people respond to addictive pulls differently, but for people who struggle with their weight – it’s a game changer.
3. I abandoned a calories in calories out (“CICO”) theory of weight loss in favor of a more nuanced HORMONAL theory of weight loss.
CICO states that if we just reduce consumption of calories and increase our output (by exercising) we will lose weight. While this is true, it’s not HELPFUL for overweight people, because we’ve tried it time and time again but can’t make it stick. CICO puts the burden of weight loss on willpower and makes people who struggle with their weight feel lazy and weak willed, when in fact their hormones are out of whack and causing them to stay heavy. The REASON we gain or lose weight is not as simple as consuming too many calories and moving too little – the foods that we eat trigger hormonal processes in our body which cause us to either store or use fat. The rapid increase of insulin after eating a processed meal leads us to feel great and then crash and reach for more. When our insulin stays high throughout the day and into the evening, we become insulin resistant and leptin (the hormone that makes us feel full and satiated) is released into the blood stream but blocked by insulin a the brain stem. This leads overweight people to never feel totally full and continue to overeat. By changing the inputs and timing of what and when we eat to best keep our weight gain/loss hormones under control and make sure that insulin and leptin work together in the way they should, we get to a much more gentle and easy way of losing weight.
4. I stopped exercising.
While exercise is extremely important and healthy for your long term health and well being, the evidence suggests that it is actually not super great for weight loss, because we overcompensate and consume more after we exercise and because our bodies hang on to fat when they are under stress and believe they are in a fight or flight/famine situation. Exercise is integral to long term health, but it’s much easier to focus on food alone during the weight loss period, because we all have limited willpower.
I go into the science as to why each of these works in this video. I hope you enjoy it! Please comment down below.
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