5 HEALTHY WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT [AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE FOR GOOD]

The reality is, when it comes to everything we pour, spoon and fork down our necks, it must, first and foremost, provide us with optimal nutritionand adequate energy. This alone will dictate not only our longevity, but how well we think, feel, respond and interact whilst we are alive…in essence, what we consume is critical when it comes to our ability to build our resilience for living.
 
Optimal nutrition means “giving yourself the best possible intake of nutrients to allow your body to be as healthy as it possibly can.” This requires focusing your diet ‘mostly’ on consuming nutrient-dense foods and clean hydration, or what I refer to as Intelligent Foods.

Intelligent foods and beverages not only provide the body with what it needs, but importantly, to create satiation – because without satiation, we will become a slave to incessant snacking, and an unbridled over-consumption of ‘cheap foods’; foods that are both of poor nutritional value and high in calories, or what I call unintelligent foods.

Unintelligent foods & beverages are hyper-palatable, highly processed and refined food & beverages that are engineered to trigger and over-stimulate both our taste buds and our emotional connection to those food-like products.
Attention also needs to be given to what is probably considered normal everyday products of convenience…these ‘packaged, ‘canned’ and ‘frozen’ products, that fill (probably) 80% of all the supermarket shelves, have been engineered to achieve two things.1) Optimal ‘flavour’ and, 2) Extended shelf-life – both of which are achieved with a composite of high levels of sugar (HFCS), hydrogenated and trans fats and salt.

Intelligent food & beverages = Satiation.
Other benefits include:
Optimal gut health,
Conducive to improving sleep,
Optimal Cognitive functioning,
Optimal hormonal and neurotransmitter production
Reduces tendency for compulsive/impulsive eating
Improves emotional stability
Improved and consistent energy levels
Increased motivation, mood, outlook
Vastly improved Immunity
Improves likely hood of exercise and self-care,
Reduces inflammation and is one of the best anti-ageing lifestyle strategies
creates resilient, strong physical and mental wellbeing.

Unintelligent foods & beverages = No Satiation.
Which can leads to:
Metabolic Syndrome
Increased body mass and obesity
Heart disease
Evaluated blood pressure
 High blood sugar levels
Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels
Cancer
Hyper-inflammation
Consistent elevated levels of insulin (weight gain)
Neurodegenerative diseases
Increased hunger and cravings for more of the same foods,
Disrupted sleep patterns
Ruined gut health
Disturbed hormonal and neurotransmitters production
Increased levels of anxiety and fluctuating moods
Higher, more frequent compulsive and impulsive behaviour
Reduced motivation
Lazy and unmotivated disregard to ones health-wealth choices.
Capacity to regularly over-indulge…annihilating ones resilience, and capacity to be physically and mentally strong.  

The term ‘everything in moderation’ is great advice if you want to feel average.
Nutrition (everything that goes into your mouth…yes, booze included) is a non-negotiable and has two be front and centre ‘if’ you’re wanting to vastly improve your health-resilience. 

My recommendation, aim for a 80/20 split between Intelligent and Unintelligent foods, and then improve from there.
Your body will thank you for it.
 

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The Healthiest Way To Lose Weight.
So, in my opinion, what causes us to unhinge our ability to exert self-control, cripples satiation and drives us towards not only hyper-palatable, high caloric/high energy, nutritionally-depraved foods and beverages, but behaviours and habits that are making us sick, tired and fat?
What is predetermining our ability to be exert the discipline to right choices for ourselves?
What is sabotaging our ability to exercise self-control?
And when it comes to weight loss/ fat loss, what is more important than exercise & training?

1. Consistent poor quality sleep. Sleep deprivation significantly decreases activity in appetitive evaluation regions within the human frontal cortex and insular cortex during food desirability choices, combined with a converse amplification of activity within the amygdala: 2013 Report ‘The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Food Desire in the Human Brain. – Greer, Goldstein & Matthew P. Walker

Critically the ‘hunger and satiation hormones’ Leptin & Ghrelin‘ are completely jeopardised via poor sleep…in effect, your weight gain becomes a neural-hormonal issue first and foremost, rather than simply consuming too many calories. Individuals who are overweight and suffering obesity are in effect eating themselves to death, because their hormone signalling (leptin & ghrelin) to the brain has ceased to communicate. Effectively the individual has no capacity to recognise when they’re satiated…so they keep eating.

If you’re keen to read a bullet-point snap-shot – click the link and read an overview of Professor Mathew Walker’s 2019 podcast Everything You Know About Sleep is Wrong

Short sleep duration was associated with decreased leptin and increased ghrelin,
changes that have also been observed in reaction to food restriction and weight 
loss and are typically associated with increased appetite.
These hormone alterations may contribute to the
BMI increase that occurs with sleep curtailment.

2. Insobriety. Being under the influence, or hungover, from alcohol (and many other drugs) will divest you of your reasoning & capacity to make the right choices for yourself…period. If you drink too much or too regularly, or a combination of both, your ability to A) choose Intelligent Foods sadly won’t be as intelligent as your body and brain needs them to be.
And B) you will tend to eat more 
 

Alcohol also severely compromises sleep quality and quantity

3. Stress. When we are stressed we are naturally drawn to behaviours that offers us “comfort”. Stress ‘triggers’ our impulsive, compulsive and habitual behaviours that ‘delivers-us’ to our ‘comfort-zone’, our psychological-homeostatic-happy-place.
And again sadly, it is this homeostatic-happy-place where we tend to over consume.
 
Alcohol and ‘Comfort Foods’ tend to go hand-in-hand when we find our lives under-pressure.  Which, these days, is most days, for most people. The current global Covid 19 pandemic for one is a perfect example, with most of us understandably feeling increasingly stressed, there has been alarming increase in emotional-stress eating and alcohol intake.
 

Consistent and elevated levels of stress also compromises sleep

4. Consumption of highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates aka Unintelligent foods – sure ‘enjoy’ these foods but be mindful that they’re a ‘treat’ and not a staple. Over-consumption of these ‘foods-like-products’ only make you hungrier, fatter, iller and dumber.

5. (De)Hydration. There are dozens of independent studies showing at even mild levels of dehydration our physical and emotional abilities can be significantly affected. In fact, the functionality of our body and our cognitive ability and our mood are hindered to an alarming degree if our body’s total water content drops by as little as 1%.
Dehydration, or ‘being thirsty”, is most often misinterpreted as a hunger signal. Dehydration causes you to eat when you only really need to increase your water intake.
Increasing your water intake may naturally suppress your appetite.
Drinking water can actually promote satiation because it passes through the system quickly, stretching the stomach.
Fresh filtered drinking water is best.

Self-Control is a Resilience Skill
Due to our innate default setting to want eat more and drink more when we’re stressed, emotional, hungover or fatigued, we need to identify and work on the ‘factors’ in our day to day that either triggers these behaviours, or ‘leads-us’ to subconsciously resorting to these habits.
We need to soberly identify the causes.
Without addressing the cause, our ability to exercise any sort or self-control will not only be futile, but exacerbating – something that we need to avoid, as it will more than likely only lead to the behaviours we’re attempting to quash, to be repeated.

If we can address the macro-issues that are triggering the our poorer behaviours and habits (such as poor sleep, unrest, distraction and insobriety) then we will be in a better position to not only enact the disciplines required, but have the physical and cognitive resilience to persevere and build a better lives for ourselves 

Till next time

Luke