Starvation diets are deceptively bad for you because, at first, they work. You lose water weight, then some protein mass, and often some fat mass. But then you lose your good mood, your energy, your digestive power, and your will to keep starving yourself. Go back to a normal dietary intake and *poof* magically regain the weight, often with interest added.
Your body has a weight it prefers right now. That weight is called a “set-point.” Because your metabolism has your health, not your “bikini body,” as its priority, your goal weight and your metabolic set-point weight may be very different.
Hitting the Reset Button
The good news is that you can stop restricting your food and give your body permission to reduce your set-point. When you do this, you lose weight you can keep off. Here’s how:
- Stop counting calories. In a world with perfect metabolic balance, count calories. In this real world, women hack their metabolism more effectively by understanding hormones.
- Balance your blood sugar. Reducing spikes in blood sugar (and insulin) will help you feel better physically and emotionally as your energy levels become more steady and stable. The lower your fasting blood sugar, the lower your fasting insulin can be, and the more likely you are to be in fat-burning mode. Weight loss follows if your blood sugar started on the high side.
- Train your body to use fat for energy. Eat protein, fat, and fiber most of the day. A ketogenic diet promotes this very concept within our bodies.
- Train your body to burn fat steadily for long periods of time. Intermittent fasting and/or extending your regular overnight fast are great ways to train your fat-burning metabolism to take the reigns for longer periods. An ideal fasting period is 16 hours and should not create distress if you work up to it with patience.
Why do we suffer when we starve? The mental and physical challenges women and men face on very low-calorie diets are why most eventually abandon them. Most of these issues arise from not getting enough protein, fat, or both.
· Anxiety and/or Depression. Your happy brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are made from amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Not enough tyrosine? Can’t focus. Not enough tryptophan? Can’t calm down. You don’t need to be happy to survive, but it sure is nice.
· Muscle Pain. Without enough protein to repair muscle damage, damage accumulates. Autophagy can repair and recycle what is there, but it can’t create protein from there air.
· Liver Challenges. Your liver is a master metabolic maestro, coordinating your metabolism of sugar, fat, protein, and other nutrients. In order to help your body detoxify- to get rid of toxins and bad stuff- you need protein, plant nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and some fats. Without diversity and balance in your diet, your toxic load can increase, and your liver can get bogged down. Also, its cells can become insulin resistant.
· Difficult Digestion and Skin Troubles. The cells you repair and replace the most often are skin cells covering your body and digestive tract. You can see when you are not replacing them quickly enough to keep up with damage. Skin tends to get nutrition last, and poor skin health is a sign that internally you aren’t meeting your maintenance needs.
· Psychological Challenges. Fasting for many is liberating because it builds discipline and character to exercise self-control. But overly restricting food may make you feel more anxious than willful after a long enough period of time. Overly restricting food can become an unhealthy form of self-control and lead to a feeling of not being deserving. In other words, temporary “success” with stubborn starving may be more damaging to your headspace than you think!
I wrote Glow15 because it is easy to do and it works. Starving doesn’t work.
- Intermittent fasting means you don’t have to fast every day.
- You don’t have to exercise every day.
- You can eat high fat, ketogenic diet that leaves you satisfied.
- Since you avoid protein loss, your brain is happy and your constitution is strong.
- You eat just enough protein and stress your body out in ways that boost autophagy, so your muscles repair more quickly.
- Your liver helps regulate energy and take care of toxins without much trouble.
- Your digestion runs smoothly because you eat enough to make new cells and give your digestive tract time to heal.
- You choose more healing fats in your diet, which helps every cell membrane in your body, reduces inflammation, improves your energy levels, nourishes your brain, and more.
- You are not afraid of fat. You are not afraid of carbohydrates. You are not afraid of food. You just use fasting to train your self-control around food.
Eat Smarter, Not Harder
The best solution that I know of in current nutrition science for changing your body’s set point is to use intermittent fasting with protein cycling. Both methods restrict food in different ways. Neither limits you every day.
Intermittent Fasting can refer to many patterns of eating and fasting. I advocate a 16 hour fast and 8-hour feeding window because science supports 16 hours as the ideal fasting time. What is ideal about 16 hours? You get into true nutritional ketosis after about 12 hours and get a few hours to burn almost entirely fat. After 16 hours of fasting, you will start to bring more protein on board to serve as an energy source. This ideal window of optimal fat-burning reduces carbohydrate burning and insulin levels while sparing muscle.
Protein Cycling has been scientifically shown to promote autophagy on days you restrict protein. While fasting, in general, will raise glucagon and boost autophagy, low protein can as well. Because your body cannot make most amino acids you need to build protein, it has an incentive to reuse what it has during times of lower protein intake.
Let us now consider how combining these methods can affect your set-point weight. Both methods turn on autophagy. Autophagy helps improve insulin sensitivity, reducing fat mass as you burn more and store less. Fasting gives space and time for your body to heal. Cycling your protein provides enough protein to encourage your thyroid to maintain or increase your metabolic rate. If your metabolic rate goes up, your set point weight goes down, because the body perceives it as safe to kick you into a higher gear with less energy reserves.
There is far more to consider than just your set-point weight. Although I have seen individuals achieve far more than weight loss with Glow15 and a ketogenic diet, this rollercoaster ride is your primary health concern. I understand you may not believe it is possible to get to the other side of the weight wall but you can, and I am here to support you.
I invite you to join me in the 9-Week Switch Course and see for yourself. With this personalized program:
- You’ll start wherever you are now and learn the important pieces for your total well-being step-by-step.
- Harness the power of autophagy for vitality, and create youth with energy-promoting stem cells (all without expensive injections and doctors visits).
- Get more KETONES! This fourth macronutrient is the #1 energy source for everlasting energy, mental focus, ideal body weight, and crushed cravings.
- Your body will work like it was meant to… You’ll feel amazing, look great, and weight loss is a beautiful side effect.
- You will never be alone! Live weekly calls, unending online resources, Facebook ‘office hours’ and more will keep you on track like never before.
- Lose up to 6 inches from your waist, lose up to 13 inches from your hips and look up to 10 years younger!