Nutritious Bytes

Dr. Debé's blog on metabolically tailored nutrition and wellness

Don't Count Calories, Just Burn Them

The New Science of Weight Loss

If you want to achieve a better and healthier body you need to take advantage of cutting-edge science. After resolving to lose weight, the important factors to be addressed are:
1. Appetite control and food craving
2. Body fat loss
3. Muscle preservation and growth

The best of intentions don't stand a chance when the body's powerful drive to eat is unbridled. If you don't have a scientifically-structured program, your chance of success is slashed. Low-calorie diets often lead to excessive hunger. Many factors within our control conspire to produce diet-busting cravings and appetite. For example, if you don't get enough sleep, levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin change to increase appetite. For more on this subject, watch the recording of my webinar,

Body Fat Loss
Although body fat loss is an obvious goal for any weight loss program, it is not automatic. Unfortunately, many weight loss programs result in a loss of a lot of lean healthy tissue with lesser amounts of fat loss. A metabolic state needs to be created that will allow your body to selectively burn fat while preserving muscle. One powerful determinant of your ability to burn fat is your insulin level. High levels of insulin favor fat building while inhibiting fat burning. Eat a muffin or a bowl of cereal for breakfast and you're setting the stage for a day of excessive insulin release and fat-building.

Muscle Preservation & Growth
Building muscle may not be your goal but it should be. Loss of muscle is possibly the most important change that occurs with aging. Muscle helps to give shape to your body. Importantly, muscle burns calories. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns 24 hours a day. If your weight loss program results in loss of muscle, your metabolism slows and you are more likely to regain the weight you lost (in the form of fat). I like to track my patients' body composition (fat and muscle weight) on a regular basis to see if their program needs fine-tuning. This is done with a non-invasive test called a bioimpedance analysis.

Appetite, fat burning, and muscle building are controlled by factors largely within our control. Lifestyle and environmental factors you are exposed to are critical to consider to maximize your metabolism for weight loss. The influences include:
           Environmental toxins
           Intestinal bacteria
           Insulin resistance
           Nutrient deficiencies
           Food sensitivities
           Hormone & Neurotransmitter balance
           Mitochondrial function
           pH balance

The above factors can all be analyzed and lead to a personalized therapeutic lifestyle program that incorporates diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, stress reduction, and other natural therapies to optimize metabolism and health.