Spring 2019 Newsletter Post
April 03, 2019

Hello and happy spring! The longer days are so lovely.

Did you build a new habit last month? I hope you found something to inspire and support you. My try at tapping did turn into a habit, but truth be told it is not a daily one. This month my challenge will be adding an extra veggie each day.

Now that spring is here you are most likely packing away your winter coats and possibly looking to lose a pound or two of winter weight. If so, you may be thinking about the dreaded calorie counting that generally goes with weight lost. Well, I have great news for you! NO calorie counting here. Lose weight and improve health by doing just one simple thing:

Improve the quality of the food you eat

The DIETFITS study set out to determine whether a low-fat or low-carb diet resulted in better weight loss. After a year neither diet was shown to be more effective than the other – both worked. But the key finding was that the participants were happy with the program because they did not have to count calories. According to an interview with Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, while quality was not a variable for the study it proved very important in the participants success.

The study participants were taught to not count calories but instead focus on the quality of the foods they ate and to eat enough so that they were not hungry. This meant as little white flour and sugar as possible; high quality fats and real carbs; moderate protein and lots of veggies. It worked.

If you focus on quality whole foods and if you listen to your body – eating until just full – you will naturally (in most cases) consume less calories, damaged fats and sugar; and more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. All of this will support your weight and your health*.

You cannot exercise yourself thin. This is true for most all of us and will probably be good news knowing that we would rather be doing something else or have little time for hours at the gym. That said, exercise is essential for general health and wellbeing as well as weight maintenance + It helps to keep your blood pressure, blood sugar and stress under control and it is essential for building muscle.

Here is the skinny on how your body burns calories:

Resting Energy Expenditure (REE, formally basal metabolic rate or BMR) comprises the bulk of your body’s energy use at 60-70%. This is what your body does to keep you alive 24/7. You do not have much control over this because it involves things like body size, gender, age, and hormonal status. Good news:

Fat Free Mass (FFM) or Lean Body Mass contributes to about 80% of REE variance – so the more muscle you have the better for burning fuel

Thermic effect of food uses about 10% of your daily energy – yes! Chewing, digesting and absorbing food all uses energy. Yet another reason to chew thoroughly. Good news:

Protein uses more energy than carbs or fat during digestion and is needed for building muscle
Spicy foods enhance and prolong an increased metabolic rate (you burn more calories)
Caffeine and various teas (green, white and oolong) may also increase energy expenditure

Exercise, Work, & Play make up the balance of our energy use (20-30%) but it is not a given. You need to work at this. Good news:

Exercise can help you build muscle to burn more fuel (see above)
NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) is what we do at work and play, and it can add up to a lot of movement throughout the day
Check out the book by the lead researcher on NEAT: Move A Little, Lose A Lot by James A. Levine, MD and make each day a little NEATer! (Your local library should have it – free is neat)

Well I hope you have a fantastic month!

*There are a number of studies that show a low-carb diet is best in the initial stages of a weight-loss plan but that in the long-run, either low-fat or low-carb may be used. The key is individual balance that sustains long-term goals and health.