Dr. Andy Fine discusses some sustainable life changes to curb the inevitable slowing metabolism. As one gets older our metabolisms slow down and there is a decreased need for total calories and total portion size. In order to maintain your current weight as we get older, you have to eat less. The problem is if you eat too much less your metabolism slows down to accommodate decreased calorie intake if you have too few calories. Then you run into the vicious cycle of slow metabolism, can’t lose weight, try to eat less, slower metabolism. So that’s why exercise is important and you can’t get around it. There’s no magic pill. Getting just two days a week – 10 minutes of hard exercise is better than nothing.
Changing your diet to one that includes more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins – predominately with minimal carbohydrates will not only help your metabolism stay better but it will help you stay fuller longer and help you get the weight done. This is all new science – we used to think in the 70’s and 80’s that carbohydrates were the solution and you should have a low-fat diet. Turns out the opposite now has been proven, because what the carbohydrates all do is they cause a massive spike in blood sugar and then a massive release in insulin. The insulin takes the sugar out of your blood stream and puts it into your muscles for immediate storage and that’s where you put on the weight. Once the sugar is out of your blood stream you get hungry again after a quick drop in sugar. So there is a vicious cycle.
This also happens with diet soft drinks. We don’t understand why yet. Diet soft drinks are not recommended because they actually increase the hunger response and cause people to gain weight – it slows the metabolism. Water or an artificially sweetened iced tea would be better than a soda.
There is nothing wrong with going for a month or two on some hardcore diet that’s very low-calorie and very restrictive but you want something more sustainable. We all need something we can continue forever that’s healthy. This is why people try to perceive these changes as more of a permanent lifestyle change that they can keep going. It doesn’t feel so restrictive that they have to go eat an entire pie or whole pizza three weeks later because they feel so deprived or they lost too much too quickly. It is reasonable to train for a pound-a-week weight loss.
There is also been change to how we perceive weight loss by medication. There have been a few found unsafe and taken off the market in the last 15 years or so. There are now at least five medications that are used for other things in medicine that are prescription drugs – considered both safe and effective for weight loss and can be used long term. Go see your doctor if you are having trouble and you feel like you have maximized the diet and exercise part. You can loose up to 5% with each drug and those are additives so you could potentially loose up to 25% of your body weight with weight loss drugs.