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Have you paid attention to your LEPTIN today?

Leptin. Have you heard of it?

Leptin

It is an extremely important hormone that is key to regulating metabolism and hunger, and therefore weight management. 

If you have extra weight than you are producing more leptin than you need because this hormone is ONLY produced by fat tissue. And as we know, too much of a good thing can be bad.

What happens is that over-production of leptin floods the brain (hypothalamus) with too much “signal” and the brain begins to “ignore” it’s presence after awhile. And that’s not good because when leptin becomes elevated the brain does the work to reduce hunger and therefore we eat less (something we want for weight loss usually).

When leptin is low the brain starts telling us to eat. But when the brain is inundated with this signal for an extended period it becomes desensitized resulting in a functional leptin deficiency. In other words, even though there might be large amounts of leptin floating around, the brain perceives a state of LOW leptin! And this makes us perceive that we are hungry!

Not good.

How do we control leptin? First there is a great book on leptin called Mastering Leptin by Byron J. Richards.

The key takeaways from this book and my recommendations are:

1. Eat only 3 meals per day. Do not snack. If your meals are satisfying then this will be easy to do. However, there might be a period of adjustment as your leptin levels normalize. Move slowly to this goal if you are struggling. Eat only healthy snacks. Drink lots of water.

2. Do not eat eat after dinner (which should be before 8 pm or so)

3. Eat a balanced diet that is satisfying to you, do not overeat but definitely do not starve yourself (this actually worsens the state of leptin resistance and makes us eat more when we get off the diet, sound familiar?)

4.  Focus on fresh, whole foods. Avoid sugar, poor quality fats, and junk food.

5. Take in essential fatty acids, probiotics, and a good multi every day.

6. If you are stuck some additional supplementation might be necessary such as: B5 (1,000 mg/day), Carnitine (helps the body burn fat, 1,000 mg at night before bed), anti-inflammatories, and blood sugar regulation.

7. Be happy and don’t stress! Get lots of sleep and sufficient exercise.

8. If you are going to eat grains, focus on whole grains, 1 serving per day (a real serving size, ie: 1/2 cup of rice, 1 slice of bread).

9. Eat foods low in glycemic index and rich in fiber.

10. If you are stuck and cannot lose weight consider hormonal issues, gut issues, or stress.

With this approach weight loss will be gradual but the process is not as painful as some weight loss strategies. This approach is great for people who have done yo-yo dieting, are concerned about maintaining weight lost, or do not want to be highly restricted.

Yes, you can reign in that LEPTIN!

 

 

 


To Cut Calories or Cut Carbs....That is the Question

Measure waist lineThe Switch has been transforming as I have seen a certain subset of clients not losing weight with carb restriction. Or more importantly, not losing weight and not enjoying eating all that fat!

So, I am introducing a more sophisticated version of The Switch, which involves first choosing the “dietary style” that is right for you. In other words, the best foods for weight loss really depend on the person!

Read on to find out how to lose weight quickly!

BWFS-Image-Foods rich in protein

BWFS-Image-Vegetables

What this means is that I broadly categorize people into 3 groups: “Fat/Protein Burners”, “Veggie Burners”, and “Variety Burners”.

  • Fat/Protein Burners will love the original Switch and do very well on it. They will not only enjoy eating lots of healthy fats and moderate to high protein, they will also lose weight quickly and easily eating this way.  Fat/Protein Burners will rely more on low carb and taking in lots of fat (ketogenic diet to start) and will not really have to count calories to lose weight.  Here is a great place to look up carb and fat content of foods.
  • Veggie Burners will be turned off by the idea of eating lots of fat and protein and will crave veggies above all foods. These are people who say they LOVE KALE and some eat a vegetarian diet. For these people vegetables are their top fat burning foods and should be featured in every meal in ample amounts. These people will have to focus on calorie restriction to lose weight. This is not so bad for them because the will enjoy eating lots of veggies and smaller amounts of fat! They will enjoy the diet and will lose weight quickly and easily eating this way.
  • Variety Burners are somewhere in the middle. They will need a bit more protein and fat than the Veggie Burners. These are the people that thrive on variety and can’t bear the thought of restricting certain foods. They want it all! And that’s fine but they will have to rely on counting calories to lose weight. These people will enjoy eating a wider variety of foods and will lose weight quickly and easily eating this way.

For all types here is a quick way to determine your BMI

Your BMI is your starting point. Record this number and you can come back periodically to check on weight loss progress. 

For those that need to count calories it is best to estimate BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is how many calories you need to just stay alive. This doesn’t include eating (which ironically does require calories), walking around, or all of the other things we do all day. For caloric restriction weight loss you should be around your BMR or even lower. It really depends on your activity level.

Go here to calculate BMR.

There are some great apps out there to keep track of caloric intake. Lose It is one that seems to work pretty well.

Soon I will be releasing my detailed guide on how to do each of these style of dieting. And I will be putting a quiz up on the site to help you determine which type of “burner” you are!


A Day In The Life of The Switch

One of my favorite parts about The Switch is that the food you eat on a daily basis is so tasty and appealing!

Here is a typical day for me in the first phase of The Switch

Breakfast:

IMG_56602 Scrambled Eggs
3 Pieces of Bacon
1/2 cup Sliced Cucumber
1 tbsp. Coconut Oil in 1/4 cup Bone Broth with Sea Salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Calories 305
  • Protein 18 grams
  • Fat 25 grams
  • Net Carbs 2 grams
  • Servings of Vegetables 1

 

Lunch:

IMG_56522 Pieces of Leftover Butter Chicken (thigh)
Large Salad (1 cup Romaine, 1 cup Arugula, 1/2 cup Shredded Collard Greens, 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, 1 tbsp. Fermented Sauerkraut, 2 tbsp. Go Raw Simple Seed Mix (sprouted), 2 tbsp. Olive Oil, 1 tbsp. Flora Sunflower Oil, 1 tsp. Flora Flaxseed Oil, 1 tsp. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt)
Dessert: 1/2 cup of raspberries

 

 

 

 

  • Calories 620
  • Protein 18 grams
  • Fat 63 grams
  • Net Carbs 6.7 grams
  • Servings of Vegetables 3.5
  • Servings of Fruit 1

 

Dinner:

IMG_56756 Turkey Meatballs in 2 tbsp. Tomato Sauce
1 cup Kale Satay (butter, garlic, sea salt, black pepper)
8 oz. Fresh Vegetable Juice (2 cups diced celery, 1 cup red bell pepper, 1 cup kale, 2 cups parsley)
Dessert: 22 Almonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Calories 388
  • Protein 21 grams
  • Fat 28 grams
  • Net Carbs 12 grams
  • Servings of Vegetables 8

Total Nutrition

  • Calories 1313
  • Protein 57 grams
  • Fat 116 grams
  • Net Carbs 20.7 grams
  • Servings of Vegetables 12.5
  • Servings of Fruit 1

To the novice of low-carbing this way of eating may seem impossible.

However, it’s very satisfying and enjoyable!

Review of the Day

In hindsight, I see I should have had more protein at breakfast. Another piece of bacon would have been good. I was hungry about 4 hours after breakfast and usually go at least 5 hours between meals.

I figure my protein needs by taking my weight (137 lbs), dividing it by 2.2 to get my weight in Kilos (=62), and figuring 1 gram of protein per kilogram. So my basic need for protein at this weight is 62 grams per day. I was a little below that. Protein intake should be just right for each person’s needs or a little over, not under.

Overall calories were a little on the low side for me today. But I am trying to lose 2 lbs since I was quite indulgent for the past few weeks. Two days of eating like this and I will lose those 2 lbs and I can then increase the calories to my maintenance level by eating more fat and carbs (ie: fun stuff).

 


The Switch Basics

Image-Olive OIlWelcome to The Switch Blog!

The Switch is an amazing way to lose weight, maximize workouts, reduce inflammation, and overall improve health.

The basic plan of The Switch is to begin with an introduction phase of about 7-10 days of very low-carb (20 grams per day) combined with high-fat and moderate protein.

After that the idea is to phase in more carbs gradually until you are at the carb consumption level that is right for you. For most people looking for sustained, gradual weight loss the range of carbs is about 30-50 grams of carbs per day.

For those looking to simply tone up then the 7-10-day very low-carb period can be followed by higher levels of carbs but that is up to the individual and their activity level.

Either way, The Switch is very dynamic and it is a skill that can used to maintain or lose weight for life!

Food on The Switch plan involves eating just the right amount of animal-based protein, plenty of healthy oils and fats, and good amounts of veggies, herbs, and spices. Nuts, seeds, and fruits are more like treats during the initial period but then become staples after the first 10 days when carbs are increased a bit. 

Dark_Almonds_DSC_0944Treats  are also an option. Coco Polo Stevia Chocolate (Dark Almond) is a nice way to satisfy any desire for chocolate. Berries with whipped cream or raw chocolate mouse are also other options. As carb intake allowance is increased then there is more room for “treats” such as Skinny Crisp crackers with cheese or homemade paleo muffins.

The Switch is really a way of eating that is sustainable and enjoyable. Once you get the hang of it you may find yourself wanting to continue eating this way always.

And feeling great is pretty much guaranteed! Anyone doing this diet correctly has reported feeling increased energy and improved fitness level, as well as reduced inflammation.  And many ailments such as achey joints, gas, bloating, skin eruptions, nerve pain, and fatigue have been alleviated from eating this way.


© 2014 - The Switch for Life. (The Switch is part of Health Is Freedom, LLC.) All Rights Reserved.