That’s it, I’ve gained some extra poundage. It’s to time to get serious about losing the added baggage. We work hard day after day, vacation time arrives, and we forget our work. We also forget about our healthy eating habits. It’s a vacation so we eat whatever we want. While on my one week vacation, I did eat and drink whatever I wanted. I gained almost 10 pounds which I can’t seem to get rid of. This must be an age thing, because it’s really a first for me, that is not being able to drop the excess weight I’ve put on. So I’m challenging myself to lose 10 pounds in the next 2 weeks. I’ll be using The Slow Carb diet. Tim Ferriss wrote about in his book The 4 Hour Body. Since carbs are always accessible around my home, which feeds a family of six, it won’t be easy avoiding the carbs. Another challenge will be cutting down on the sugar, which I tend to crave at least once a day. But I have a secret weapon, coconut oil, which is suppose to help control those sugar cravings. Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Indeed, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of MCTs. These fatty acids produce a host of health benefits which you can read about here. But here’s the bit I like: your body sends medium-chain fatty acids straight to your liver to use as energy. This means coconut oil is a source of instant energy. Much like sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Both deliver quick energy to your body. Unlike the carbohydrates, coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Coconut oil or MCT oil are the secret ingredient in Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee recipe. I’ve tried it several times and I have to say it seems to lengthen that caffeine buzz. Keeping the metabolism burning a little longer is never a bad thing. Well at least not a bad thing for me. If you’re not a fan of coffee, the mct oil itself is still a great diet resource.
I usually make a smoothie every morning, which I’ll drink on my first break at work. The smoothie contains kale, carrots, yogurt, frozen berries, flax seeds and some powdered fiber. I work seven days a week most weeks so I’m consuming a daily smoothie most days. Tim Ferriss states that he’s had better results when you cut out fruit completely while on the diet. What I plan on doing is cut back on my daily fruit intake, but not cut fruit out completely. Here are some reasons that to much fructose is definitely not a good thing.
10 reasons to limit fructose consumption
- Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and can’t be used for energy by your body’s cells. So it’s useless for the body. It’s also a toxin in high enough amount. The job of the liver is to get rid of it, by transforming it into fat and sending that fat to our fat cells.
- Excess fructose damages the liver. It leads to insulin resistance in the liver as well as fatty liver disease. Fructose has the same effects on the liver as alcohol (ethanol). Well known as a liver toxin.
- Fructose reacts with proteins and polyunsaturated fats 7 times more than glucose. This reaction creates AGEs (advanced glycation end-products). Compounds that create oxidative damage in our cells. Which leads or contributes to inflammation and a host of chronic diseases.
- Fructose increases uric acid production. In excess, can cause gout, kidney stones, and precipitate or aggravate hypertension.
- Most of your body’s cells can’t use fructose as a source of energy. The bacteria in your gut can and excess fructose can create gut flora imbalances. Also, promote bacterial overgrowth and promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
- The damage done to the liver, chronic excess fructose causes dyslipidemia. This means that your blood lipid markers tend to shift towards numbers that indicate a risk for heart disease.
- Fructose rapidly causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite and metabolism to maintain a normal weight. Leptin resistant people tend to gain fat and become obese really easily.
- Excess fructose can cause all the problems associated with the metabolic syndrome. Also known as obesity and diabetes.
- Cancer cells thrive and proliferate well with fructose as their energy source.
- Excess fructose also affects brain functioning, especially as it relates to appetite regulation. It has also been shown to impair memory in rats.
Of course, most of those facts above are consuming fructose in foods and drinks, not fruit. Most fruit contains an ample amount of fiber which helps the liver better process the fructose. The nutrients in fruit are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age.
Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate. Folate helps prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Eating a diet rich in fruit may reduce risk for stroke.
Yes, fruits contain fructose. But most fruits also contain a significant amount of fiber which helps the liver process the fructose more efficiently.
Whenever I do gain weight it’s always in the same place the gut. As we get older, our body changes how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate. The number of calories the body needs to function. On top of that, women have to deal with menopause. “If women gain weight after menopause, it’s more likely to be in their bellies,” says Michael Jensen, MD, professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic’s endocrinology division. In menopause, production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slows down. Meanwhile, testosterone levels also start to drop, but at a slower rate.
If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you’re not alone. But this is one case where following the crowd isn’t a good idea. Carrying extra weight — especially belly fat — can be risky.
Learn why belly fat is harmful and what you can do to reduce your waist size.
Belly fat is a more dangerous fat
The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat. Which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.
Regardless of your weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Premature death from any cause
- High blood pressure
Age and genetics may contribute to gaining belly fat
Our weight is determined by how you balance the calories you eat with the energy you burn. If you eat too much and exercise too little. You’re likely to pack on excess pounds — including belly fat.
Aging does play a role too. As you age, you lose muscle — especially if you’re not active. Loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which your body uses calories. This can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Men in their 50s need about 200 fewer calories daily than they do in their 30s due to this muscle loss.
Our genes also can contribute to your chances of being overweight or obese. They also play a role in where you store fat. Balancing the calories you consume with activity can help prevent weight gain. Despite your age and genetics.
So here I go, low carbs and high protein.
Today (Sunday) I’ve brought a leftover piece of steak and broccoli for lunch. I drank my smoothie a few hours ago. I will be trying to keep my carb intake below 100 grams during this diet. Check out The 4 hour Body and even if you don’t feel you need to diet, you will pick up some great tips including how to be a better lover. Yeah it’s in there.
Of course I’ll still be sticking with my 20 minute workouts and 20 minute daily meditation. The workouts are not everyday but at least 4 times weekly. Again I’ve been doing these workouts for over 20 years, and they manage to keep me in pretty good shape, but there’s always been that belly flab. At times the belly has been bigger than previous years and now is one of those times. I’ve always been a terrible dieter. This time I’ll do my best to stick to my guns with limited carbs and little sugar. I forgot to mention in the slow carb diet, you are allowed one cheat day per week. Most of my cheat days will include pizza. Pizza makes up most of that belly fab. By restricting carb and sugar intake, I’ll be able to enjoy that pizza even more on my cheat day.
Join me and leave a comment on how you’re doing in our quest to be the best we can be.