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May 27, 2011

The Safest and Fastest Way To Lose Weight

Fastest way to lose weight and weighing scale
Image from juliagriggshavey via Flickr

Is There a Safest and Fastest Way to Lose Weight?

You’ve  =had enough. The time has come to do something about your weight.  You want to lose weight fast, yet safely.  You’ve read that most people who lose weight usually regain the weight within a year, and you don’t want to be in the group.  You ask, “What is the safest and fastest way to lose weight?”

Successful, safe, and long-term weight loss requires  plan that addresses nutrition, exercise, and methods to boost metabolism.  Let’s face it – most of us eat too much and what we do eat is high calories and low in nutrition.

Most Americans do not get enough physical activity as more of our time is spent in front of TVs, computers, or glued to our smart phones.  In addition, our metabolism naturally slows down as we age as critical hormones decline.

We don’t advocate fast weight loss but the fastest way to weight involves better nutrition, exercise that boosts metabolism, and hormonal optimization weight loss can occur quickly and safely.

Nutrition in a Nutshell

To lose weight it is necessary to keep insulin levels low.  In the presence of high insulin it is difficult to lose meaningful weight because insulin locks the door to the burning of calories from fat.  To keep insulin levels low it’s essential to consume “slow carbs”.  These are carbohydrates that take time to digest slowly releasing their sugar load into the bloodstream.  This slow release of sugar into the blood prevents excessive rise in insulin.

“Slow carbs” are low-glycemic and include most vegetables and fruits.  If you avoid carbohydrates in white bread, white rice, white pasta, and white potatoes, and avoid carbohydrates from packaged foods you will find yourself eating low glycemic carbohydrates.

Exercise with EPOC in Mind

EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or “after burn”.   Some exercises cause a better and longer “after burn” than others.  The better the “after burn” the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn after the exercise is over.  Since we spend more time not engaged in exercise, it’s more important that we burn calories at a higher rate when we are not exercising.

Guess what?  The typical cardiovascular or aerobic exercise that we’ve all been told to do does not create a great “after burn”.  In fact, usually within an hour of the typical cardio routine, metabolism returns to it’s baseline. Now, it’s true you will burn fat during aerobic exercises, but you will burn far more fat calories after exercise if you exercise at an intensity that creates a higher EPOC.

Anaerobic exercises in the form of high intensity interval training (perhaps better thought as supra-aerobic exercise) create higher EPOC, and in some studies metabolism has been shown to stay elevated up to 40 hours after the exercise.  Now that’s a real “after burn”.  What that means is you are burning up more fat even when you are at rest.  To learn more about anaerobic or high intensity interval training see “Exercises to Lose Weight” and “Natural Metabolism Boosters”.

Loss of muscle as we age also contributes to lower metabolism so be sure to include strength training in your exercise program.

Hormonal Help

Do you wonder why we typically gain weight as we get older even when there may not be any change in our eating or exercising habits?  Our metabolism slows down.  By age 40 we burn 100 to 140 fewer calories each day than we did when were 20.  That translates to 10 to 15 pounds worth the calories over a year.  By age 50 we’re burning 150 to 210 fewer calories each day.

Declining hormone levels are a major reason why our metabolism slows down.  High intensity interval training that raises EPOC can also raise testosterone and growth hormone levels making weight loss easier.  Strength training can temporarily raise testosterone and growth hormone levels, too.

Beginning around age 30 we see falling levels of our sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.  And, DHEA begins to decline in our 20s.  Declines in these hormones are virtually universal.  In some, thyroid levels decline, and thyroid is the main hormonal regulator of metabolism.

Be sure to have hormone levels measured and replaced if not optimal.  Optimal, not merely normal, levels are the key to achieving optimal health, and optimal weight and body composition.

Solid nutrition, exercise that boost metabolism, optimal hormone levels – these are the keys to the safest and fastest way to lose weight.

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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