Did you know?
Air retention is the new black!
Air retention, also known as the art of holding ones breath has become the newest weight loss trend for 2015. No seriously did you know that holding your breath for 2 minutes every 1.5 hours can cause you to lose weight? According to a study out of Disconous University in Coanga Visninda India there are certain blood cell markers that respond by attacking your fat cells when lack of air is present, sort of fight or flight response…o.k. busted, there is no such place and there is also no such study, I mean seriously who would believe that?
This is the problem, a percentage of you who just read that believed me and were already calculating how many seconds you could safely hold your breath without passing out. This is the problem with today’s online presence and fictional nutrition fads and google degree experts. What is worse is that the downside is not only what if it fails and you gain the weight back? It is worse than that, actually much worse. What if you start to mess with your hormones?
Let’s chat about the low carb or carb restricted diets. How wonderful if they do what they said they would do:
Reduce more fat than low-fat (fad) diets. Now that sounds great!
Lower blood pressure? lower blood sugar? (this is great for diabetics!), some say it can even increase your good cholesterol (that's the HDL).
But what about the not so great side effects? The longer you are on a diet the more results you are going to see right? This means negative results as well. They say 5-7 days is when the most results are seen, if this is the case with a low carb diet in particular let’s explore the bad side.
Suppressed thyroid output (meaning insufficient conversion of T4 to T3). Decreased testosterone production, while you may think this is aimed at men, it isn’t. Women need testosterone to burn fat.
How about our immune system, it can actually surprise it. What about slower metabolism? yup that too. Adrenal fatigue, this is a serious issue that most of us are dealing with in today’s hectic lifestyle.
Muscle loss, what am I 90? Who would want muscle loss? Slower weight loss, yes there will be a plateau of weight loss… nobody wants this.
Leptin resistance! yes 50% LESS fat burning hormone production… Umm no thank you.
So all the things you wanted to avoid are things you are going to run straight into – head first, by going on a low carb diet. Of course there are always proponents for each dietary theory who will swear up and down how amazing it is, yet those same people are on the chat boards chatting about these very health issues while still professing to love this style of eating, huh? Ya, no thanks. I think some people are more into the idea of their diet than the diet itself.
So what happens if you throw exercise into the mix? Well after 4-5 days it’s even more damaging than it would have been in 7 days without exercise… So should you be throwing in a high carb day? Sure why not mix it up. Carbs are not the bad guy, neither is fat (the healthy kind). Some of my clients who follow a paleo style diet have mentioned they do something called the cheater. It takes all those negative results I mentioned above and actually turns them around to the opposite (positive) effect). Here is the kicker… some of us just don’t tolerate this style of eating. It can still backfire. No one diet works for everyone, when are we going to realize this?
So what do I recommend? Instead of having this regime where on the 5th day you have some strange carb binge – I say decide the carbs you want, what are the sources? The ones that give you the most benefit (tubers like sweet potato, carrots – yes vegetables can be carbs, etc) and eat them at certain times in a fully balanced diet geared to exactly what you need. Following a diet designed perfectly for someone else’s needs isn’t going to do YOU any good.
Speaking of hormones, have your levels looked at, see where you are lacking. Eat the foods that are adrenal supporting, hormone boosting and of course if you are aging (I hope you are aging or you'd be dead) then you will eventually want to replace your depleting hormones. You can successfully do this with BHRT (bio identical hormone replacement therapy) this is very different from traditional synthetic therapies which are harmful, toxic and disease-causing. You want to make sure you go to someone who is specifically trained in this, your GP is not going to have a clue to be honest. The hormones in our body are like a song, if they are off then the song is off-key. This means much like a piano would need tuning your hormones will also need to be tuned.
Make sure to check out my follow-up articles in this 2 part series to see which lists of foods I recommend to keep those adrenals happy, hormones balanced and what is key for men vs women (nutritionally speaking).
Holly Warner, CHHC, CNP, RNCP
Holistic Health Practitioner