Last Updated on July 18, 2009 by Hanna Trafford
A good friend of mine sent me this yesterday and after reading it, I decided to share it. Not sure if I agree 100% with absolutely everything, but on that note, absolutely everything Dr. Ferril writes about makes sense. So – if you are fighting that famous battle of the bulge sometimes – or all the time like me – I do hope this will help!
10 Proven Weight-Loss Secrets You Probably Haven’t Tried
By Dr. William B. Ferril on 06/15/2009
I see them in my office every week…patients who are overweight and suffering the consequences, but who feel totally helpless to do anything about it. They all say the same thing-“But, doc, I’ve tried everything!”
Usually, they have tried quite a bit. They’ve been on every diet from Zone to Grapefruit, and maybe added a little exercise into the mix. The problem is, there’s so much terrible diet advice out there, most folks who follow it end up spinning their wheels.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight, let me share with you 10 things you might not have tried. I’ve seen my patients use these methods to drop serious weight and enjoy their best health in years.
1) Dust off your apron-and watch the pounds melt away!
If you’re dependent on ready-made meals and fast food, your waistline is in big trouble. Mass-produced food is loaded with flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and hundreds of other ingredients that make us fat. Cooking your food from scratch, with natural ingredients, is a highly effective way to boost your emotional and physical health. People who cook for themselves tend to weigh less and enjoy more energy, better sleep, and improved mood.
2) Take the 2-week microwave challenge
You need to be sitting down for this piece of advice…I want you to toss your microwave in the trash. Yes, really. That might seem like heresy-but once you’re cooking for yourself, you won’t need your microwave any more. I find that a microwave tempts many people to buy frozen, pre-prepared, supermarket junk, which contributes to their obesity problem. Plus, there’s an interesting debate going on right now about the long-term effects of radiation from microwaves. You might not be ready to toss your microwave in the trash yet, but give this a try-don’t use your microwave for two weeks, and make sure you don’t eat out as a substitute. I guarantee you’ll find yourself eating much healthier.
3) Don’t make food your cure for the blues
I see it often. In order to boost serotonin levels, individuals suffering from depression are drawn to heavily-processed sugar- and flour-rich carbs. Of course, these folks end up putting on weight, releasing a bunch of damaging hormones, and their depression only gets worse. You’re better off addressing the actual depression-try 5 HTP Saint Johns Wort, exercise, B vitamins and healthy fats, all of which have proven useful in the fight against depression.
4) Never count another calorie-it’s pointless!
The problem with calorie counting is that people start to believe that as long as they stay within a certain limit, they won’t put on weight. But does anyone honestly think a thousand calories of soda pop, French fries and snack food behaves the same way in your body as a piece of fish cooked in olive oil, a large salad, a piece of fruit and a small piece of full-fat cheese? Different types of fats, proteins and carbs trigger powerful hormonal signals that play a major role in what your body burns up as energy…and what it stores as fat. Many of the overweight people I meet are consuming a fairly normal amount of calories per day…it’s where those calories come from that is causing the problem.
5) Stop pretending to exercise-and embrace the real thing
I treat patients all the time who claim to be on a regular exercise program. In reality, they’re hitting the gym a few times a week, walking lazily on some treadmill while they watch TV. Or maybe they wave around a few light dumbbells a couple times a week and call that strength training. If that’s your exercise routine, all you’re doing is wasting time. Up your program to 30 minutes, five times a week. Get a trainer to arrange a more demanding routine that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. Have him design a strength program that works your core torso muscles as well as the large muscles of the legs and back.
6) Quit your carb addiction, and start loading up on fat
Most people continue to be terrified of fats. The result? They load up on processed carbs that bring on a host of problems, such as weight gain, fatigue, depression, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and premature death. Let’s keep this simple. The omega 3 fats found in fatty fish, walnuts and flax are healthy. Mono-saturated fats found in nuts and olive oil, for example, are healthy. The omega 6 fats that ride along in unprocessed whole foods are healthy. And moderate amounts of saturated fats from dairy and animal foods (from healthy organic sources) are healthy.
Avoid like the plague the trans fats found in processed foods. Once they get into your body, they unleash havoc on your organs and heighten your chances of an early demise. Also avoid those clear cooking oils that line store shelves. They’re free-radical factories that promote disease and death.
7) Discover how that “artificial” sweetener causes very real weight gain
Artificial sweeteners are counter-productive, plain and simple. Take aspartame, for example. There is all sorts of scientific research that strongly implicates aspartame in dozens of health problems, including weight gain! Research shows that many folks figure that, because they use low-calorie sweeteners, they can eat extra. They take the calories they save by drinking diet soda and put them “in the bank,” so to speak. Once they do this, they end up taking in more calories than they would have in the first place.
8) One diet does not fit all-so learn which eating plan works for you
When it comes to diets, one size definitely does not fit all. Some people do fine on a higher-carb diet (quality, unprocessed carbs, of course) and others flourish on a higher-fat, lower-carb diet. This is influenced by genetics and even your cultural background. You may already know, based on trial and error, what kind of diet works best for you. If not, a good place for you to start is The Metabolic Typing Diet.
A simple paper and pencil test can help characterize your own preferences and show you which diet plan works best for you.
9) Know what triggers your eating-and stop shooting yourself in the foot
Most the time a weight problem is driven by an emotional problem, eating healthier and exercising more are unlikely to work. Dysfunctional eating can result from people turning to food during times of stress, as a substitute for love or a strategy for dealing with abuse. If you’re doing this, you need to be honest with yourself and recognize that food isn’t going to solve your problems. Get a referral for a therapist and get the emotional help you need.
10) Unleash the power of snacking!
Here’s a practical tip you can try. Eat something healthy that includes both fat and protein-such as a piece of cheese or nuts-every two to three hours. So in addition to your three meals, add these snacks at 11 AM and 4 PM, and maybe even bedtime. This will help balance your metabolism, reduce strain on your adrenals, which have to work to maintain blood glucose levels in the absence of food, and may keep you from overeating during your meals.