Happy New Year!
Let's talk about your obligatory New Year's resolutions. And what better timing to do so. That's because we've just kicked off our #LonoChallenge ... it's a 30-day social media contest with weekly giveaways and a grand prize of a year's supply of free bone broth. And all you have to do is consume one serving of LonoLife bone broth or collagen protein a day and post about it. Your first post should include your health goal for the month.
And if your goal is weight loss, let's talk about some of the best ways to lose weight. Obviously, exercise is great for weight loss. But what type of exercise yields the most weight loss, especially body fat?
First, let's talk about best diets for weight loss....
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
There are a couple different ways to incorporate intermittent fasting. Some people take a couple days a week and restrict their calorie intake on those fast days. For example, you could have one or two servings of LonoLife bone broth on intermittent fast days along with a nutrient-dense veggie soup for lunch or dinner.
The conventional calorie-restricted intermittent fast day is about 500 calories or so. Thus, if you normally eat about 2,000 calories a day, taking two days to do a calorie-restricted intermittent fast will result in 3,000 fewer calories a week. Which amounts to 12,000 fewer calories a month. Controlling for all other variables (nothing else about your lifestyle changes), you will likely lose weight by taking two days a week and restricting your calories to bone broth, veggies and perhaps a serving or two of lean protein and healthy fat.
The problem with intermittent fasting is the calorie restriction. If you have an active life or a job that requires critical thinking for several hours, it might be too difficult for you to restrict your calorie intake to 500.
But there is another way to fast intermittently that does not require calorie restriction. You simply finish your dinner early, say by 6 pm, and don't eat anything at all until at least 14 hours later (8 a.m.).
Going this long without calories can help give your digestive system a rest and aid in detoxification.
And in between meals, if you can go at least 5-6 hours with no snacks, that's another way to reset your metabolism. If you're a nibbler and eat small meals throughout the day, you're not giving your digestive system a chance to sweep bacteria out of the small intestine. In fact, frequent eaters may be more at risk for developing what's called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). You really aren't supposed to have any bacteria in the small intestine. But frequent eating interferes with your digestive system's migrating motor complex (MMC). This mechanism sweeps bacteria further along the digestive tract into the large intestine. But if you have SIBO, this MMC becomes disabled and bacteria takes root in the small intestine, leading to bloating and difficulty losing weight.
If you train your body to subsist on three balanced meals per day without snacks, and go 5-6 hours in between breakfast/lunch and lunch/dinner, and 14 hours in between dinner and breakfast, you just might have weight loss success.
Ultra-Low Carb Diets
If you're a carb junkie, following a low-carb diet will take a radical lifestyle transformation. Especially if you're going to go all the way and get into ketosis. Getting into ketosis is the ultimate goal of the ketogenic diet (aka "keto diet"). When you're in ketosis it means that you are burning your own body fat for energy instead of the pasta, bread, rice or other high-carb entree you just ate.
Ketones are fatty acids in your cells. And when you get into ketosis you are literally altering your metabolism. You are essentially telling your body to burn its own body fat for energy.
But it's not easy to adapt to a keto diet. Especially if you're used to eating carbs, even supposedly healthy carbs like quinoa or brown rice. That's because, in general, when you're in ketosis, you won't be able to have more than about 50 grams of net carbs per day. (Net carbs = total carbs minus grams of fiber.)
In fact, carbs make up only about 5-10 percent of total calories on the keto diet, the majority of them coming from low-starch veggies. The bulk of your calories will come from fat, about 70-75%.
It's hard for some people to wrap their head around the fact that such a high fat diet can help you lose weight, but it's true. Dietary fat is the only macro nutrient (protein, carbs are the other two macros) that does not produce an insulin response. What this means is that healthy, natural fats (avocado, lean meats and fish, nuts, olives, olive oil) does not increase blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are one of the main culprits for weight gain.
Be careful if you're going to try the keto diet. Especially if you've been eating mostly carbs. Suddenly restricting your body carbs can lead to what's called "Keto Flu" symptoms.
The keto diet isn't a trendy health fad. In fact, it's been around for almost 100 years. Although the diet was created to combat seizures and neurological disorders, the ketogenic diet has been used for decades to manage diabetes.
If you want to transform your metabolism into a fat-burning machine, give the keto diet a try. If you love eating healthy fats, it might be relatively easy to do.
By the way, LonoLife bone broth is a keto-friendly food. Per serving, there's only 3 grams of carbs. But there's 3 grams of fiber. This means that LonoLife Bone Broth has zero (0) net carbs!
The One-3-One Diet Non Diet
Literally as this post is being written, we just found out about an incredible non-diet diet. Let us explain. You see, Chalene Johnson, a New York Times best-selling author, fitness expert and business coaching entrepreneur, and one of LonoLife's top advocates, just launched the One3One Diet. The One3One Diet is like your own holistic health university at your fingertips. With Chalene's "non-diet" diet, you get access to coaching and advice from leading industry experts, on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
To learn more about this amazing program, visit http://mailchi.mp/lonolife/one3one-giveaway.
Best Exercise for Weight Loss
Now that you have some nutritional tips to consider for the New Year, what about exercise?
We prefer the approach, less is more.
Here's what we mean by that....
You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking. Well, even if you hit the gym for 60-90 minutes several days a week, if you're sedentary the other 23 hours, you might not be doing your body that much good. The antidote to this is doing a few short rounds of high intensity interval exercise every day.
Doesn't it sound better to exercise for just 10 minutes than 90? Just like you eat three meals a day, try to get three short workouts a day. Pick exercises that tax your whole body. For example, do push ups and when you push yourself back up into plank, go into a downward dog. This not only uses your whole body, but you get a great stretch as well. Try doing push ups to downward dog for just 5 minutes to start. There's a good chance you'll get winded. (And if you don't have the strength, modify it by doing push ups on the knees; allow your bodyweight to rock forward to compensate.)
Bring a jump rope to work. Skip some rope for a few minutes. Then do some pushups. Or bodyweight squats. Keep it short and simple. And most importantly, do a few rounds of this type of workout. You'll keep your metabolism active and your circulation fresh.
Some research studies (like this one) suggest that shorter, high-intensity interval workouts are better for weight loss.
The other New Year's exercise philosophy we'd like to dispense to you is to try and pick an exercise that balances you. For example, if you're a type-A personality and always on the go with your sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, don't do exercise that exacerbates your stress hormone overload. For example, if you're type A, perhaps a CrossFit workout every day isn't best. Instead, try a mid-level hatha yoga class that focuses on the link between movement and your breathing to better engage your parasympathetic nervous system.
When Exercise & Diet Won't Budge The Scale
But what to do if you've tried every diet under the sun and are even hitting the gym on a regular basis but still can't lose stubborn belly fat? It could be that due to several factors, your hormones are either low or imbalanced. If you have the money, spend it on a few sessions with a functional medicine expert who can properly analyze your hormone levels. If you've ever traveled to a developing country, even if it was years ago, perhaps the reason you're frequently bloated has to do with a parasite you picked up that's never been properly eradicated. A naturopathic doctor or functional medicine professional can help you find the root causes that are blocking your weight loss potential.