It’s the time of the year again, that frustrating time when you realize you haven’t made as much progress with your weight loss goals as you had hoped. Maybe your plan was flawed. Or maybe you’re realizing that your weight loss strategies were too rigid and you just can’t sustain that level of discipline.
There’s no doubt that losing weight is one of the biggest health struggles most of us face. That’s why, this year, I’m making it my goal to demystify weight loss for you. I want you to see that holding onto weight is a sign of underlying malfunctions in your body. And once you identify and reset these malfunctions, you’ll start dropping weight with ease.
In my Resetter tribe, we just completed a 21-Day Ketobiotic Reset where hundreds of people released weight, regained their energy, ended their sugar cravings, and improved their mental clarity.
My Resetters were able to achieve these results in such a short period of time because they applied four key principles their bodies needed to burn fat:
- periods without food,
- low carbohydrate and protein intake,
- high consumption of good fats,
- deliberate feeding of the good bacteria in your gut.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing each of these principles and the science behind them. Today, I’m going to start with GOOD FATS and where they fit into the weight loss picture.
To understand weight loss, it’s important to understand two hormones called leptin and insulin. Insulin is the fat-storing hormone. Leptin is the fat-burning hormone. That said, both of these hormones need to be functioning well in order for you to burn fat.
If you take a closer look at these hormones on a cellular level, you’ll see that just like every cell in your body, a healthy outer cell membrane is critical. This outer membrane acts like a gate that allows toxins to exit out of the cell and nutrients to get into the cell. If this membrane is malfunctioning, your cells can’t do their job.
Remember that insulin and leptin have jobs to do, which are store and burn fat, respectively. So you need the cell membranes of these hormones to be healthy so they can do their jobs!
So what are the nutritional requirements of the membranes of these critically important hormones?
It’s simple: omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and protein.
If your diet has the proper ratio of these three nutrients, your insulin and leptin hormones are likely to be in balance, which means you are able to burn fat.
Seems easy, right?
Well, here’s the tricky part. The nutritional needs of the cell membrane are like a finely-tuned instrument. If you get the wrong balance of nutrients, it can cause the cell membrane to inflame and decrease the functioning of these key fat-burning hormones.
But before you rush out and start mega-dosing fish oils to lose weight, you need to understand what dosage to take and what your best sources are. As you will see below, many studies are telling us that too much of a good thing can cause damaging effects to your cells, which can lead to more sickness and disease.
Let’s look a little closer at these nutrients…
Most people know that omega-3 fatty acids come from fish, but what you may not know is that the type of fish oil and the amount of omega-3 play a huge part in the health of your cell membranes.
How much omega-3 do you need?
Like many of the nutritional fads that Americans jump onto, we’ve been over supplementing with fish oil. Your cell membrane requires a very small amount of omega-3. When you megadose with an omega-3 supplement, you actually do more harm than good.
In fact, many professionals recommend between 250-300mg of omega-3 daily for optimal cell health. Here’s the interesting part. New research is proving to us that if you overdo your omega-3 load, you can actually damage your cells.
High doses of fish oil are now being linked to:
- an increased risk for colon cancer
- high blood sugar, which worsens diabetes
- damaging your mitochondrial function and accelerating aging
- increasing atherosclerosis, rather than preventing it
Because of this new research, I am highly recommending to my patients that they get their omega-3s from food.
What are the best food sources of omega-3
Unless you have been tested for an omega-3 deficiency (blood spot test) your best source of omega-3s will come from diet. So which foods should you include in your diet?
When most people think about omega-3s, they think of salmon. The only source of salmon that I recommend is wild salmon. Now, having said that, most of us know that our waters are polluted so there’s no guarantee that your wild salmon will be served to you toxin-free. This is why I recommend you rely on plant sources for your daily intake of omega-3s.
Your best options for plant-based sources of omega-3s are:
- chia seeds
- flax seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- raw walnuts
Best animal sources of omega-3 include
- wild caught Alaskan salmon
- cod liver oil
- raw egg yolks
If you are eating the typical American diet of processed foods and inflammatory oils, you’re already getting a mega dose of omega-6 fatty acids. So if your cell membrane requires omega-6 to function well, shouldn’t this be a good thing?
Sadly, it’s not. This is a key point to understand.
There are helpful omega-6s (called unadultered omega-6s) and harmful omega-6s (adultered omega-6s). Harmful omega-6s will kill you. They will also contribute to weight loss resistance. These are your canola, vegetable, sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils.
Here’s the missing piece for most people when it comes to their health…
Your cell membrane needs healthy, unadulterated omega-6s. And it needs more of these fats than it does omega-3s. In fact, as a culture we would be much healthier if we were megadosing on unadulterated omega-6s than fish oils.
Omega-6s also act like a magnet for carrying oxygen into the cell. The more unadulterated omega-6s you eat, the more oxygen gets to your mitochondria, and the more energy your cells will produce for you.
What foods have helpful omega-6s?
Unadulterated omega-6s are found in seeds, nuts, and oils. Many of you are not getting enough of these health fatty acids on a daily basis.
Great sources of omega-6s are…
- Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal
- Hempseed oil, hempseeds
- Grapeseed oil
- Seeds such pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds
- Nuts, including pignolia (pine) nuts and pistachios
- Borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil
We have just started using in our family Andrea’s Seed Oils. I make sure I get two tablespoons a day, often just pouring the seed oils into my spoon and drinking it straight.
We all know many Americans are eating too many carbohydrates, but I’m here to tell you that we’re also overindulging in the protein category.
One key to losing weight is making sure you don’t eat too much protein. I can’t tell you how many patients I work with who maintain a low carb, high fat diet, but don’t moderate their protein. Too much protein can damage your cells and will turn to sugar, causing you to hold on to weight.
If you are trying to get into ketosis or looking to lose weight, I highly recommend that you keep your protein intake to no more than 50 grams a day. I use Carb Manager with my patients to have them track their food daily and see just how much protein they are consuming. You may be surprised when you see how much protein you’re taking in!
In addition, the type of protein you eat is critical. You want to make sure that you’re eating protein from animals that are:
- Grass fed
- Not injected with hormones
- Antibiotic free
- Wild or cage free
Meat can be incredibly toxic, especially the meat you are served at restaurants. Make sure that you are eating high quality, toxin-free meat.
If you want to release weight for good, these four principles need to followed.
Cutting calories, counting points, or exercising for long hours won’t fix the cell membranes of your fat-burning hormones. They may have a temporary fat loss effect, but if you want lasting weight loss results, you need to look at balancing your omega-3, omega-6, and protein levels.
As always, reach out if you have any questions.
Cheers to healthy cell membranes!