Do you want to lose weight healthily and for the long long term?
Many people come into my clinic frustrated that they have tried everything to lose the last 5kg after having babies, to stop the slow spread of middle age, or even just to ask how best to eat to maintain a healthy skin.
The most important piece of advice I give is, throw away the generic one-size-fits-all mentality and realise you are unique!
The way your own body’s biochemistry controls your metabolism might be completely different even to members of your own family.
That means certain hormones control how fat is stored and burned in the body. Everybody reacts to specific foods differently.
Acid or alkaline?
Most of what we eat and drink is acid or alkaline. This has different effects on different people. So much so in fact, that it can have the opposite biochemical affect on different metabolic types.
Simply put, the body’s balance should be slightly alkaline – an acidic balance will decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients.
There will be a decrease in energy production within cells, and the ability to repair damaged cells. And an acid balance can make the body more susceptible to illness.
Something that acidifies one person’s system might alkalinise another person’s. It is largely your genes that determine your unique biochemical and biological characteristics. Therefore, you should know your metabolic type to determine a well-balanced diet for you.
How do I know what my metabolic type is?
The body’s biochemistry is reflected in your body type – and fat is a bit like real estate, location, location, location.
There are four broad categories – apple (round in the middle), a pear (bigger on the bottom), carrot (wider at the shoulders) or celery (narrow).
Of course, there are also blood and urine tests to back this up if needs be, but this is a general guideline to what your shape indicates about key biochemical reactions, and hormones. And importantly how you can use this information to shape-up for good.
[ I ]PEAR SHAPE
Pear-shaped women have larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies. If you are a pear, you will find your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and the tendency is to gain weight below your waist. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs.
This shape indicates an abundance, or over-abundance, of female hormones and oestrogen dominance. The hormone guides the fat to deposit on the hips and lower abdomen to prepare it for pregnancy, even after menopause. The contraceptive pill and non-organic meats heighten the problem.
EAT>>Organic food to avoid xenoestrogens, which are foreign substances that mimic the behaviour of oestrogen in the body.
They occur most commonly in foods treated or raised with use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and growth hormones – but also in soft plastics such as cling wrap and plastic food storage containers.
It is good to note that soy products, which contain natural oestrogen, does not act on fat in the same way.
EXERCISE>>Should include resistance training, targetting the muscles of the lower body. A work out programme should also include calming exercises such as yoga and meditation because oestrogen loves stress! The body releases fat in a non-stress situation. Stress prevents the body from releasing fat even with a lot of exercise. Balance is important.
SUPPLEMENT>>Nutrients that slow down or regulate the production of oestrogen are cruciferous plants like broccoli and cauliflower.
[ II ]APPLE SHAPE
Apples tend to be bigger on the top half than on the bottom half of their bodies. They commonly have slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside.
EAT>>Apples are more sensitive to insulin and they should avoid processed carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates regulate insulin release. They should actively choose food that has a low density of calories – eat to feel full, but the right kind of food.
EXERCISE>>Balance cardio with resistance training.
SUPPLEMENT>>Chromium and vanadium help to control insulin.
[ III ]CARROT SHAPE
Which is wider at the shoulders than the hips. This indicates an abundance of male sex hormones
EAT>>Don’t eat too much protein, and eat more soy products, which have natural oestrogen.
EXERCISE>>Focus on building up the lower body with resistance training and aerobic exercise.
SUPPLEMENT>>Mushroom, broccoli and cauliflower extracts are good to regulate oestrogen.
[IV] CELERY SHAPE
Women with this shape tend to be slim and straight up and down, indicating a lack of female sex hormones. There are no large differences between the size of their hips, waists, and shoulders. If they do put on weight, it is in their stomach and backside, while maintaining slender arms and legs.
EAT>>A balanced healthy diet with soy products for their natural oestrogen.
EXERCISE>>Should target resistance training in order to build up more muscle and create shape
SUPPLEMENT>>Supplement with whey protein.
It is important to establish if the problem is metabolic or plain over-eating.
If people have a problem controlling their calorie intake we work on craving and appetite control with meditation techniques.
Adding nutrition that your body lacks, also helps to speed up the metabolism – for example, L-carnitine is the protein that carries fat to the site of metabolism. People that lack this, cannot carry fat to the “fat-burning” factory.
Oral supplementation is not always effective in people who do not have a healthy gut, which will become apparent if there is no fat loss. We then bypass the stomach barrier through IV drip, liquid, or an injection – this we call a nutrition bypass. It kicks in faster and avoids the mal-absorption problem.
So the bottom line is that there are natural healthy solutions for those that want to lose weight long term. And it is nice to remember that you are an individual!