The BeMedique Podcast Series: Episode 1
Most of us want to be healthy, skinny, and fit. Don’t we? And we think that dieting is the key. From a young age, we start testing different diets, unknowingly beginning the weight gain cycle. This diet experimentation has lead to various misunderstandings about food, which can ultimately cause multiple long-term problems with weight. Today, Dr. Villanueva (Dr. V.) will explain why the most popular diets don´t work and cause more problems than benefits.
Talking with Dr. Villanueva (Dr. V)
Dr. V has done amazing work helping people lose weight, get in shape, and solving various health problems. She educates people about scientifically proven insights, especially regarding neurotransmitters and epigenetics as well as using innovative scientific ideas to inform and help her clients with their diets. Like many of us, Dr. V has struggled with weight issues and started her first diet in high school beginning the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, a cyclical loss and gain cycle that is widely considered to be very unhealthy. After each diet, she ultimately gained the weight back, plus some, which is an unfortunate but common occurrence for many of us. So, why does this happen?
Don´t Sabotage Your Metabolism!
Dr. V. attributes the mistakes of many of her clients, as well as her younger self, to a lack of mindful eating, not putting the right foods into your body, as well as a lack of understanding of body chemistry. Many people are unaware that yo-yo dieting sabotages the metabolism. Understanding how to make your metabolism work optimally is a key to sustained weight loss.
The 3 Biggest Diet Mistakes
So what are the primary factors that cause weight gain or the inability to lose weight? According to Dr. V., we need to look at the consistency of food and food types. This is one of the 3 biggest mistakes dieters make. What kinds of food are you putting in your body? How much are you putting in? When? At what frequency? We are repeatedly told that a “diet” means restricting calories, but more often than not people are eating too few calories. Restricting calories can be just as detrimental to your weight loss goals as overeating.
Continuing our look at consistency is the second most common mistake in weight loss, restricting the variety of foods. People often eat a lot of calories with little nutrient value to the body. The body can’t do anything with them except turn them into fat. We need to look at our micronutrients and consume dense foods that the body can use to make your metabolism burn, as Dr. V. said, “like a hot fire.”
We also need to be consistent with when we eat. In our culture, we go too many hours between meals. We too many hours without food, and we’ll go all day without drinking water. Eating more frequently and consistently, and drinking more water is a huge factor in weight loss success.
Fad-Diets Don´t Work!
Fad-diets often neglect these success factors for long-term weight loss. Not only do they ignore these factors but they’re often incredibly dangerous. The HCG diet, which included injections of HCG and restricted the dieter to 500 calories or less per day; the lemon juice/cayenne pepper/maple syrup diet; and diet pills such as Fen-Phen, pharmaceutically known as fenfluramine/phentermine, have all caused serious side-effects in their practitioners including muscle deterioration, cardio-vascular issues, and hallucination.
Fad-diets like the lemon-juice/cayenne pepper/maple syrup show the effect of not completely understanding your body chemistry or the difference in fasting, or cleansing, and dieting for weight-loss. Fasting to quickly rid the body of toxins and inflammation can be safe but should never be used as a long-term weight loss technique. How long you can fast is dependent on your personal body chemistry. Some people can fast for 10 days before they need to add micro-nutrients back into their diet while others can only handle a fast for 2-3 days, and some shouldn’t fast at all. Fasting for longer than your body can handle could help you lose weight in the short term. However, not only is it not sustainable weight loss, it is dangerous.
Avoid Losing Muscle Mass!
Our bodies store sugar or glycogen, and that is stored in all tissue. It takes about 4-5 days for our bodies to run out of this glycogen if we don’t replenish it. When this happens, our bodies have two other sources of energy it can use: fat and muscle. Unfortunately, the body won’t go after fat first, it will go after muscle. Muscle is easier for the body to break down and use for energy than fat. So by fasting, or having an extreme caloric deficit, you will lose weight but you will lose the wrong kind of weight. You’ll lose muscle not fat, completely altering your metabolism. Your metabolic rate will slow because you’ve decreased your muscle mass which leads to putting on more weight when you start eating again. Furthermore, long-term fasting can do some serious physiological damage. Understanding your body chemistry, consulting a professional for help, and learning more can help you determine if fasting is a safe choice for your body.
Diet and positive lifestyle choices are so important because trying to lose weight for the short-term will never yield a long-term result. We need to change our habits for the long term in order to lose the weight and not only feel skinny but healthy as well.
Listen to Episode 2 for a continued discussion with Dr. V. on mindful eating, micro-nutrients, and more!
Editor: Andrea Holloway
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