Life has a way of stealing your focus. If you’ve lost your focus on healthy habits, you may be looking to get your weight loss back on track. In this post, I’ll share how to exercise, fast, and eat to effectively and sanely reboot your weight loss.
Reboot Weight Loss – At-A-Glance
- Use exercise as a motivator, not as a punishment. Choose an exercise that matches your current physical state, leaving you feeling refreshed, not exhausted.
- Utilize intermittent fasting, but don’t rush into it too fast. Start with a 12-hour fast overnight and take an Eat-Stop-Eat approach to your meals, avoiding snacks in between.
- Make food choices that have a calming effect. Focus on healthy fats, proteins, and non-starchy vegetables. These foods digest slowly, satisfying hunger, so you can move away from the junk foods that keep you stuck in yo-yo dieting cycles.
Need to Reboot Your Weight Loss? Do This Today (Not This) [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Three things that will help you reboot your weight loss!
- Things to avoid in the process.
- Additional resources to help you lose weight.
Do Use Exercise as a Motivator. Don’t Use It as a Punishment
Whenever you reach a point where you know you need to recommit to weight loss, the first thing you want to do is something. You want to take action. So for many of us, increasing exercise seems like the logical thing to do.
After all, we’ve been brought up with the weight-loss equation that states that you lose weight when you burn more calories than you take in. We know that exercise burns calories, so why doesn’t your body say, “Thanks for the exercise, here’s your weight loss?”
The challenge that we are up against is that heavy exercise can leave you feeling hungry, particularly if you are overweight. According to a study published in Science Daily, a lean, fit body and an obese body are not created equal when it comes to exercise and appetite control.
When lean and in-shape individuals exercise, they feel less hungry. The opposite is true for most overweight individuals; when they exercise, their appetite is not diminished and may even increase (1).
The study pointed to leptin resistance as the culprit, which is a common condition in overweight people. Leptin is a hormone that curbs your appetite. It’s made by fat cells, so overweight people have a lot of it. However, overweight people tend to become resistant to the actions of hormones.
In other words, leptin doesn’t do its job very well when you are overweight. So, the brain of an overweight person never gets the message to curb hunger.
With this disadvantage, it’s easy to see that jumping into heavy and exhausting workouts can increase hunger to a point where you are taking in more calories than your body needs.
And, it is not just hunger that increases. Cravings for quick-digesting foods like bread, cookies, and candy increase because these are quick energy sources that your body desires to replenish energy fast.
Consider this: Four Oreo cookies contain 214 calories. According to Harvard Health, it takes 30 minutes of jogging for a 155-pound person to burn off 216 calories (2).
So if you’ve ramped up your exercise, but it’s caused your body to ramp up cravings, you could find yourself feeling tired and hungry with no weight-loss results to show for it.
The takeaway is this. Exercise has a lot of benefits, making it an important part of your weight loss plan. However, there is a difference between exercising for better health and exercising as a penalty for gaining weight.
The solution is to use exercise as a motivator, not as a punishment. To do this, choose an exercise that matches your current physical state. If you are currently sedentary, begin with a light exercise like a 10-minute walk.
If you had been a jogger, swimmer, or weightlifter in the past but stepped away from the activity. Start back up with a short workout that leaves you feeling refreshed and motivated to do more.
Do Fast. Don’t Start Too Fast
Intermittent fasting is an effective way to get your weight loss success back on track. So, you do want to fast, but you don’t want to rush into the practice too fast.
This is especially true if you have been splurging on refined carbs and junk foods, like pizza, burgers, fries, desserts, and candies. These quick-digesting foods put your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride, with high peaks and deep crashes.
When blood sugar crashes, it can drop to a level where you are hypoglycemic, meaning your blood sugar level is below normal. Your cells use sugar from your blood for energy, so when your blood sugar is low, you can think of it as your body’s battery running low. When this happens, you feel slow, weak, and mentally foggy.
This is an unfavorable state, so your body does what it needs to do to get your blood sugar up in a hurry. A quick way to do this is to turn on hunger and cravings, making it extremely uncomfortable to complete a long fast, such as a one-meal-a-day (OMAD) fast, or even work into a moderate length, such as a 16-hour fast.
The takeaway concerning fasting is much like the takeaway concerning exercise. Fasting is beneficial for weight loss, but push your body too hard, too quickly, and you’ll get a rebound effect.
The solution is to do a 12-hour fast overnight and take an Eat-Stop-Eat approach during the day. You can begin this strategy today. Here is what your day of eating will look like. After dinner tonight, stop eating. Tomorrow morning, after 12 hours have passed, eat breakfast, and then stop eating until lunch. After lunch, stop eating until dinner.
By allowing time between meals, you allow your blood sugar to stabilize, leaving you feeling in control of hunger. At that point, you can take the next step by increasing your fasting period to 14 or 16 hours, reaping more of the weight loss benefits fasting has to offer.
Do Eat for a Sane Brain. Don’t Feed Your Addictive Brain
You can build on your intermittent fasting benefits even more by tweaking your food choices once your eating window opens up. This brings us to the next thing on our list of Do’s and Don’ts. To reboot your weight loss, you want to eat for a sane brain and not feed your addictive brain.
You know, they call them comfort foods for a reason. We feel good when we eat them. This feel-good effect is partly due to how quick-digesting refined and sugary foods impact your brain chemistry. Have you ever noticed that the more you eat junk food, the more you crave it?
Your brain has a reward center called the nucleus accumbens. We call it the reward center because it is associated with feelings of pleasure. That pleasurable feeling is generated by the release of a feel-good chemical called dopamine.
When you do something you enjoy, like eating sugar, your brain gives your nucleus accumbens a little hit of dopamine, and you feel good. Eating refined or sugary foods multiple times a day chronically stimulates this area of the brain, causing it to downregulate or become less sensitive to sugar (3).
So you now need more sugar to get the same sugar high that you used to get, essentially feeding your addictive brain.
The takeaway is this. To get your weight loss back on track, food choices matter. If junk food remains in your diet, even in smaller amounts, it keeps your dependence on junk food alive, making it hard for you to stick with your plan long term.
The solution is to choose foods that digest slowly, satisfying hunger, so you can move away from the junk foods that keep you stuck in yo-yo dieting cycles. The best food choices for hunger satisfaction include healthy fats, protein, and non-starchy vegetables. This could look like eggs in the morning, a large salad at lunch that is topped with chicken or salmon, and a dinner made up of meat and vegetables.
You can start this way of eating today by following my blog post that outlines a full day of eating for those beginning a low carb diet.
When you combine a sensible exercise routine, fold in fasting, and fill up with hunger-satisfying meals, you will feel calm and in control within a few days. At that time, you can increase your efforts, reaping more results. If you’d like more inspiration, I invite you to watch the free video series on my website that shares how to get started the right way and avoid common mistakes.
You’ll also be walked through my 0,1,2,3 strategy that helps you make the right food choices. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your day!
(1) The Endocrine Society. “Exercise Reduces Hunger In Lean Women But Not Obese Women.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2008.
(2) Lee, T. H. “Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights.” Harvard Heart Letter 14 (2004).
(3) Rada, Pedro, Nicole M. Avena, and Bartley G. Hoebel. “Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell.” Neuroscience 134.3 (2005): 737-744.