Friday, June 12, 2015

How to avoid fat regain....

Today’s post:  Friday, 6-12-2015

Have you lost fat and want to avoid getting any back?

Have you lost fat and begun getting it back and want to reverse it?

Or you are considering beginning a program for fat loss but will only do so if you will keep it off?

Have you lost fat before only to gain it back and very much want to avoid it this time?

There are several causes of fat regain.  The good news is that there are solutions to them.

Here are some of the causes and their solutions:

1.  Many if not most of you as readers to our blog in English are descended from the survivors of multiple generations of people who survived famines.  I’m certainly in that group. This has resulted in a failsafe famine response.  If you once trigger that, it will make you hungrier and hungrier for sweets and fats and slow your metabolism and cause you to have less energy.

Everyone is actually hungry sometimes.  But if you are always extra hungry it can be because you are consuming sugary or super high glycemic foods and drinks or artificial sweeteners that cause rebound hunger. 

Or, you have lost fat or tried to by eating enough less for long enough time periods that your body goes into full famine recovery mode! Once you trigger the failsafe famine response, it is set to stay on for as long as a few months. It makes you hungrier and hungrier for sugary foods and tired and cranky and forces you to move less!

And, no surprise people who are trying to lose fat or keep it off who are hungry all the time almost always fail.

The solution is to lose fat and keep it off with methods your body perceives as other than famine conditions. 

It may surprise you; but there are many ways to do this!  They DO work.  Once you know them the more of them you do and the better you do them, the more successful you will be at losing fat and keeping it off.

2.  There are two ways to lose fat: 

a)  One is to upgrade your health habits and lifestyle to one that:

No longer includes unusually fattening foods and, by including more organic vegetables than most people eat, has fewer calories in it and has a moderately high level to high level of health OK protein and a moderate level of health OK fats and oils –

AND does contain both progressive slow rep strength training and higher intensity cardio for short times with rests or a much easier pace in between the intense or fast parts – and does this most days of every week.  (The great news is that this can be done in sessions as short as 8 to 20 minutes each! You do have to start at a very easy level and build up gradually for safety; but this also makes it a cinch to start doing if you haven’t been before.)

Doing this has massive health benefits from preventing Alzheimer’s disease to preventing heart disease and strokes and it even sharply slows aging! 

In fact, once you lose fat doing this, focusing on the health benefits you want most, is a great help to continuing it which then gives you the foundation to keep off the fat you lost.

b)  The other way to lose fat is the temporary deprivation method. 

This is what most people think of and use.  They call it “dieting” or “going on a diet.” 

The thought is that I’ll eat less than I’m hungry for and by doing it long enough I’ll lose fat and then I can eat more again and the fat will stay off.

Oops!  This tends to trigger the famine response. 

The two biggest problems are that

*People using this approach cut back on food every day with no breaks and even cut back to levels with too little nutrition for health.

**People using this method thinking that it is a temporary situation and the once the goal is reached they can go back to eating as they were but have the fat stay off are always disappointed.  The food intake and kinds of food that made them fat will do it again if repeated.  And, it always does unless something else major happens to prevent it!

The first thing tends to ensure they are too hungry most of the time for days on end and that after two to four weeks their famine response comes on full strength!

And, the second thing almost always ensures that they gain the fat back as soon as they think they are done with the deprivation.

3.  To avoid gaining the fat back, it’s important to use the first method or switch to it within two weeks of beginning.

Here are some essential components that either prevent the famine response or force the fat to stay off.

a) Studies of people eating very low calorie diets show that cutting calories while eating little protein always slams on the famine response and makes the people doing it feel bad.

Surprisingly, people eating a moderately high to high protein diet with the same calories may be hungrier than they’d like; but the famine response is apparently keyed to protein levels and though it may come on somewhat, eating this much protein boosts extra hunger far less and more importantly it cuts energy and mood far less.

It also helps that eating protein causes no rebound hunger and takes longer to turn on normal hunger compared to high carb foods and drinks.

b)  Eating a lot of organic vegetables also is extremely helpful.  Like protein, even at low calorie levels doing this ensures excellent nutrition.

This helps prevent the famine response and eating that many vegetables also helps you feel full and less hungry. 

c)  By using the health habit upgrade model you can begin to eat and drink at a level per week that will support the lean weight you want to arrive at. 

Once you manage that and get used to it and learn to like many of the foods in it and get used to the rest, when you do arrive at the weight and leanness you wanted, it’s normal and will tend to avoid going up.  You are already eating low enough calories by habit at that point!

d)  People who only cut back two or three days a week to a low carb, high protein  and nonstarchy vegetables and low moderate health OK fats and oils but eat a bit more starchy vegetables and OK fats and oils and even a few sugary treats with real sugar or maple syrup the other days lose MORE fat up front and find it dramatically easier to continue thane people who cut back 7 days a week! 

So eat hardly any carbs even health OK ones some days each week; but DO allow yourself some the other days each week

Two very desirable things happen: 

It’s as if the “famine response evaluator” says to itself, “You know, we’re getting enough protein and nutrition every single day and we’re getting some carbs a few days a week so there can’t be a famine right now. So we’ll just think of the other days as unusual but safe and let the trigger for the famine response stay off.”

Instead of facing extra hunger and low energy day after day with zero breaks, on the days you only eat protein foods or nonstarchy vegetables you can say to yourself, “Hey!  This is just today. Tomorrow I’ll have some sweet potatoes and some dark chocolate.  So, I can pass on them today because I will have them tomorrow.”

e)  People who only eat less not only lose fat, they lose bone and muscle too!  And, bone and muscle use far less calories than fat does.  So once that happens it cuts how much you can eat without getting fat again.

If you want to stay healthy and keep the fat off you want to ensure that does NOT happen to you.

In addition to that, one cause of people getting fatter as they get older is that since most people today are sedentary they tend to lose muscle and bone which burn more calories than fat.  It’s just a bit every year; but once you multiply that little bit by 20 or 30 or 40 years, it’s a huge effect.

If they keep eating the same instead of gradually eating less, the increasing extra calories not needed gradually feed more and more fat.

One way to ensure this does not happen is to eat a high level of protein foods.

The other is to use slow rep strength training which strengthens and adds to muscle AND bone.

If you do slow rep strength training well and eat enough protein and get enough sleep in fact , you can ADD to your muscle and bone and can eat MORE and still lose fat and keep it off.

This is critically important to be able to lose fat you keep off for BOTH men and women.

And, since after menopause, bone loss in women can help cause osteoporosis, women losing fat MUST do strength training to prevent it if they want to stay healthy. 

(By the way, this was tested long ago and slow rep strength training tested to begin to reverse osteoporosis in its early stages!)

4.  Having an improvement orientation towards eating right, strength training, and protecting your health so you are gradually getting better at each one helps keep fat off!

Just continuing to do the things that removed the fat because you don’t want it back does help!

But forcing improvements is a sure way to avoid getting worse at these things and having the fat come back.

5.  Finding ways to eat more that do NOT make you fatter also helps!

Here are several:

a) People who are NOT allergic who eat a half a handful of raw unsalted, nuts or so each day get enormous benefits.  They get less heart disease and cancer for one thing.  Nuts taste good enough and are filling enough they make it much easier to pass on really fattening treats.

And, that’s not all.  It’s as if the calories in them self destruct as far as adding fat to you is concerned.  People who eat nuts take in MORE calories than people who do not BUT they are less fat, weigh less, and have smaller waist measurements than people who do not.
b)  Are there any more things like that? There is one.

b) People who always eat breakfast also eat more calories but are less fat, weigh less, and have smaller waist measurements than people who don’t.

You can even upgrade that!  If you eat a quality protein food and some kind of nonstarchy organic vegetable and a piece of organic fruit for breakfast instead of having a starchy or sugary one, this works even better!

c)  Eating abundantly of nonstarchy vegetables also fits here.  You can eat a LOT of them, feel full and take in very few calories.

And, if you aren’t fond of vegetables or lack the time to do that much extra chewing, you can bypass that by tossing them into a Vitamix and drinking the smooth drink that results.  You can even add a piece of organic fresh fruit or ginger if you like it and can make Vitamix drinks that taste decent or even good!

Best of all with the new Vitamix 750 it’s MUCH quieter and cleans completely in seconds.

d)  For men particularly the slow rep strength training plus eating enough protein plus have a few higher carb days each week and gradually using more and more  weight will add pound of muscle and you can then eat more and feed the muscle without slowing your fat loss or gaining any back.  You scale may stay the same or even go up a bit buy your waist measurement will stay the same or go down!

For women they may gain far less muscle; but because the strength training plus protein helps them at least keep the muscle they have, they can eat the same instead of having to eat less to maintain their fat loss

5.  Because your body tends to like to stay the same and avoid having too little fat, it also helps to keep track of your weight and waist measurement either once a week or once a month.

Then if there is a holiday or special event feast you go to or you drift into eating a few too many treats, when that shows up on the scale or your waist measurement, take corrective action. 

Have an extra no treat day for two weeks.  Add a five mile hike on the next weekend or increase your Vitamix vegetable drinks a bit for two weeks.

Sometimes the best you can do is to stop the increase.  But if you keep doing it, you will gain back far less than if you don’t.

Surprisingly, by using these strategies people have lost fat and kept it off.
People who eat badly and get no exercise and then eat the same thing but far less can lose fat and HAVE done so.  But 99% of them gain it all back!  

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