The following 3 steps to improve your overall health represent the most powerful changes you can make to improve your overall health and address your #1 health concern. But change takes time, and we can only focus on so many things at once. So in this tutorial I’m going to tell you the 3 most important things to focus on in order to lose weight and fix your metabolism. All have worked wonders for thousands of people worldwide.
Focusing on these three areas will give you the biggest bang for your buck, and once you’re feeling better, it will be much easier to incorporate the remaining steps.
Eat Real Food
For decades we’ve been focused on quantity: how many calories you eat or how much fat or carbohydrate. Most diets are either low-calorie, low-fat, or low-carb. But the latest research suggests that it’s the quality of food we eat—not the quantity of calories or macronutrients—that makes the difference.
Studies have found that even low calorie diets can lead to weight gain and poor health if the quality of those calories is poor (processed and refined foods). Low-fat diets have directly contributed to the epidemics of obesity, metabolic, and cardiovascular disease because people who follow them eat more flour and sugar. Low-carb diets like Atkins permit highly processed foods like “low-carb tortillas” and “low-carb energy bars” that are harmful.
The key is to eat the high-quality, nutrient-dense, whole foods our bodies are designed for. When you do this, you naturally eat less and lose weight without trying. Not only that, you give your body the nutrients it needs to prevent and reverse disease, and to make you feel and look your best.
Here’s how to “eat real food”:
- If it comes in a bag or a box, don’t eat it. (Of course there are exceptions, like butter or almond milk.)
- Don’t eat flour.
- Don’t eat sugar.
- Don’t eat industrial seed oils (soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, canola oil)
- Eat nutrient-dense, whole foods in their natural state.
Eat More Protein
A mountain of evidence suggests that high protein diets are effective for fat loss. Protein is more satiating than fat and carbohydrate, which means we feel more satisfied when we eat it. When we feel more satisfied, we naturally eat less—and lose weight without trying.
In fact, some recent research suggests that the reason low-carb diets are effective for weight loss is not because they are low in carbohydrate, but because they are high in protein.
I recommend eating at least 30 percent of your total calories as protein for weight loss and optimal metabolic function. For a moderately active woman consuming 2,000 calories a day, this amounts to 150 grams of protein a day. For a moderately active male consuming 2,600 calories a day, this amounts to 195 grams of protein a day.
Sit Less And Increase Your “Non-Exercise Physical Activity”
One of the biggest differences between people who live in industrialised societies (where obesity and diabetes are common), and people who live in traditional societies (where obesity and diabetes are almost unheard of) is the overall level of physical activity.
I’m not talking about how often you go to the gym and “exercise”, but the total amount of time your body is moving vs. how often you are sitting or sedentary. We’ve become a nation of sitters. Many of us sit for long periods at work, and we increasingly sit during our leisure time (watching TV, browsing the internet and social media, playing video games). Studies have found that too much sedentary time is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
With this in mind, one of the most important things you can do to improve your metabolism is to sit less and stand and move more. This isn’t the same as “exercising” more. You could go to the gym 3–4 times a week, and if you sit for the majority of your time outside of the gym, you’re still at higher risk for obesity and metabolic problems.
Here are a few tips for sitting less and moving more:
• Work at a standing desk (or a treadmill desk, if you’re really ambitious).
• Take a two-minute standing break every 45 minutes.
• Walk or bicycle to work. If you live far from work, drive or take public transport part of the way and walk the rest.
• Take walking meetings.
• Do your own housework, gardening, and other physically active chores.
If you follow these 3 steps to improve your overall health for the next couple of weeks, I’m confident that you’ll see some positive changes.