As a person struggling with weight management issues for decades, I want to share the most critical unlearning and relearning activity in my fitness and health improvement journey.
Despite many excessive workouts, mainly in cardio form and subtantial calorie-cutting, I suffered a lot and miserably failed.
Didn't they work?
Yes, they did. With calorie deficit and excessive cardio, I lost weight in this stressful process, but it was not what I needed and wanted.
I ended up losing something which was not supposed to be lost.
Let me highlight one critical factor. We need to distinguish between weight loss and fat loss. They are two different things. Rather than weight loss, my focus is on fat loss.
Calory deficit by cutting the amount of food and increasing exercise amount will undoubtedly result in weight loss but not necessarily fat loss. What does that mean? Well, we may end of losing our valuable muscles in extensive calory deficit.
Losing muscle is not a desirable situation. When we lose our muscle, we lose our strength and endurance. As we get older, this becomes even more critical. Without strong and healthy muscles, our fitness will suffer.
Considering this vital fact, the most sustainable solution for me is burning fat as a fuel. This approach helped me shed unwanted weight and gave me super energy leading to a joyful life.
The notion of fat adaptation is a piece of valuable knowledge.
To be able to achieve being fat-adapted, I had to focus on a critical hormone called insulin. It is the master hormone for our metabolism. Insulin is essential for health. It regulates blood glucose.
Too much glucose in our bloodstream is toxic, so insulin removes it naturally. It does its work well. But too much of this hormone triggered too frequently and a long period is the main culprit for not losing fat.
When I was younger, I struggled with weight gain even though traditionally I was doing everything right. I was running and swimming almost every day.
According to my professionals' advice, I was eating frequently and consuming low-calorie food to keep my calories more down than what I spent. It was touted the secret formula at the time.
This sounded logical to me. If I take 1000 calories and burn 1500 of them, I would be in 500 calory deficits and lose weight. My thinking was to burn the calories by excessive cardio and to eat low calory food.
I was running after lunch and dinner every day. Running gave me instant pleasure at the time, but my joints and ligaments started feeling the pain with severe inflammation.
I religiously counted calories taken and spent recorded in spreadsheets. I learned how much calory for each food type and used exercise monitors to count calories I consumed. I was burning the calories with my extensive cardio, but that was not my issue.
The issue was excessive glucose in my bloodstream caused by constant feeding and no fasting. My digestive system did not have a chance to rest and heal.
Constant and excessive glucose in the bloodstream was triggering insulin spikes. High and frequent insulin release to my bloodstream created the main issue. When insulin is high, our bodies do not burn fat. Insulin was taking the sugar from my bloodstream and converting them to fat molecules.
Insulin is an essential hormone for doing its job. But too much insulin can have metabolic issues such as diabetes two. As for carbs-intolerant people, my parents and relatives ended up being diabetic. I wanted to prevent it and achieved it successfully.
When I struggled with weight management, my problem was high-level glucose in my body, converting to fat with constantly spiking insulin releases. Excessive insulin, my bloodstream was causing fat accumulation, mainly in the abdominal area.
I was young with good metabolism and doing a lot of cardio, but my belly was growing. The issue was insulin was preventing my body to burn fat as fuel.
For many years, calories confused me a lot. I was calculating my calorie intake and outtake diligently. But not losing fat with calory deficient did not make sense to me. According to my calculation, I was supposed to be lean and no fat. But my fat ratio was increasing day by day.
The lower the calory food I eat, the more hunger I felt. The more I ate, the more glucose was in my bloodstream. The more glucose in the bloodstream, more insulin was created. With the more and frequent insulin releases the more fat I was accumulating.
When insulin removed the glucose from the bloodstream, I was starving and craving for more food. My will power was challenged. This was creating unnecessary stress for me. It was evident in my elevated cortisol. The higher my cortisol, the lower was my testosterone.
From my experience, two hormones played the most significant role in losing fat. They are insulin and cortisol. By learning the importance of these hormones and their weight management functions and fat loss, I made some lifestyle changes.
I revisited my habits. Every three to four hours, I replenished my fuel tank with low-calorie snacks, causing insulin spikes and keeping insulin active. These low calory snacks were adding garbage to my body. My body did not need excessive sugar. It needed more protein and healthy fat. T
he emotions were forcing me to eat more carbs and sugary food. The more stress I had, the more cortisol was released. When too much cortisol in the body, the stubborn belly fat would not start burning.
Finally, I decided to cut the snacks and frequent meals.
Eating more protein and healthy fat in my meals relieved the hunger and reducing food cravings. Whenever I feel like eating a snack, I asked: do I need more sugar in my bloodstream? Pausing and asking questions to myself became a habit.
After a while, I learned about intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. Fasting 16 to 18 hours, eating in the 6 to 8-hour windows, have significantly affected fat loss. Fasting with the ketogenic diet was a double whammy.
My body became fat-adapted and learned to burn fat naturally. I never felt hungry again. All my food cravings disappeared.
When I brook my fast at dinner time, the food was delicious. Food was for fuel, not for emotional numbing anymore. I stopped counting calories. I reduced cardio and increased resistance and weight training.
In a few months, I lost around ten pounds of fat. I shared my experience in an article on News Break titled: I Was Overweight When I Was Not Doing These Things. Losing solid fat, especially from the belly, was a remarkable achievement. I felt healthier and happier.
By learning the importance of insulin in weight management, I selected a new lifestyle which supports my goals. I am on one meal daily for a long time.
I keep my optimal weight and emotionally feel wonderful. Saying goodbye to frequent eating, calorie counting, and excessive cardio healed me. They optimised my hormones, insulin, cortisol, and testosterone.
I hope my story provided you with useful insights.
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