Don’t Diet and Count Calories in 2016!


Don’t Diet and Count Calories in 2016!

Guest blog by Sara Vance, Nutritionist & Author of The Perfect Metabolism Planand Host of The Metabolism Summit.

The holidays are over, the decorations have all been packed away, and many of us are also ready to start the New Year fresh! At the top of many resolutions lists – is to lose weight.

But does the thought of dieting and calorie counting make you cringe?  Because no matter how strictly you cut calories – your holiday weight gain just won’t seem to budge? Or maybe you can drop a few pounds dieting, but it all comes right back on and then some?  You are not alone.  The majority of people that are able to lose weight by dieting will gain it all back and then some.

The truth is – dieting and cutting calories just doesn’t work.  In fact, it can even cause more hunger and cravings and make your metabolism slower.

recent study found that it’s harder to maintain the same weight than it was 20 to 30 years ago, despite eating the same amount of calories, and getting same amount of exercise.

That means there are other factors affecting our weight and health than just calories in vs calories out.

You might be thinking – but the calorie theory makes sense mathematically – if we just bring in less calories than we expend, and we create a calorie deficit and will lose weight. Makes perfect sense, right?

Sure – it would make sense – if our bodies were calculators.  But our bodies are not that simple!  We need to not just consider the amount of calories, but also the type of calories that we’re eating, and how our hormones are interacting with those calories to process them.

You see, a fat calorie impacts our metabolism and hunger hormones differently than a carbohydrate calorie.  Eating sugars and simple carbohydrate calories cause blood sugar spikes – which are followed by lows. So we reach for more to get the energy back up.  Overtime, this creates a situation that I call “The Sugar Rollercoaster.”  The short-term effects of being on the Sugar Rollercoaster include:

  • Fatigue. The spike in our blood sugar from the sugar and simple carbs is followed by a crash in energy, which leaves us feeling tired. So we reach for more sugar or carbs (and sometimes caffeine) to get another energy boost.  While foods with healthy fats, protein or fiber help to keep our blood sugar stable and give us longer lasting energy. So diets high in excess sugar and simple carb calories can steal our energy in the long run.
  • Mood Swings: Blood sugar crashes can also make us grumpy and moody. Have you ever noticed that the more sugar you eat, the more moody you can be?
  • Cravings: Have you ever noticed that the more sugar you eat, the more that you want? That is because studies show that sugar is as addictive as a drug and it causes us to crave more. Plus, the more we eat of it – the less sensitive our taste buds get to it – so we need more and more to satisfy.
  • Hunger:  Blood sugar drops lead to hunger – and so we often reach for more sugar and carbs to deliver a hit of quick energy.
  • Fat storage:  When we say we want to lose weight – we really mean is want to lose fat.  And the thing is, if we are relying on simple carbs for energy – our metabolism is in “sugar burning mode” – which means it is relying on sugars for energy, instead of being able to convert our fat stores to energy. This makes it very hard for the body to release fat, and puts our metabolism in fat-storage mode. When our body is less effective at converting fat to energy – we are also more likely to lose muscle when we diet and calorie count.

The long term effects of being on the Sugar Rollercoaster are concerning. When we are spiking our blood sugar over and over for a period of time – we can develop a resistance to sugar and carbs – called insulin resistance.  This makes the body less able to get the sugars out of the blood to convert it to energy, it raises our risk of many diseases, and make it very difficult to lose excess weight.

To get off the Sugar Rollercoaster, try following The Perfect Metabolism Rule of Three!

Basically – the rule is you should choose one or more of the following macronutrients every time you eat:

  1. Healthy fat (such as avocado, coconut, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and grass fed butter/ghee). Yes – I want you to eat your healthy fat!
  2. High quality protein (such as organic grass fed animal protein, nuts, seeds, hemp, and quinoa).
  3. Fiber (such as found in whole plant-based foods, seeds & non-gluten grains). Most Americans simply do not eat enough plants or fiber.

Each one of these macronutrients helps to keep our blood sugar stable, which means more balanced moods, energy, brain function, immunity, and less cravings & hunger…and no more rollercoaster!!

Other factors that affect our metabolism

Getting control of our blood sugar is just one key to fixing the metabolism. I wrote the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan – to outline 10 key factors that are impacting our weight and metabolism. These factors include toxins, digestive issues, blood sugar imbalances, exercise (too much and too little), stress, food intolerances, hydration, and more.  It is not a diet, but a plan to help you get the metabolism working for you instead of against you.

Also join me for the Metabolism Summit an online event featuring 30 of the top experts from around the world that can help you understand how to manage your metabolism and weight – for good (without counting calories)! The Metabolism Summit is free to attend from Feb 1-8th!   Register here.

So it is time to stop blaming ourselves or a lack of willpower. Because we didn’t fail – our diet failed us!  2016 is the year to take back control of your metabolism, cravings, and energy – and revitalize your health – for good!

Also in Blog

Body Peace & Personal Empowerment
Body Peace & Personal Empowerment

From the moment we’re born and take our first breath, we’re being socialized or learning what it means to be a member of the culture we were born into. We begin learning through both subtle and overt cues, messages, observations and images what the values and norms of that culture are in that time and place. We learn what is acceptable, desirable, worthy, valuable… and what isn’t.
Yoga for Swimmers: Poses for Strength and Mobility
Yoga for Swimmers: Poses for Strength and Mobility

Micha Shaw, former pro swimmer, walks us through five yoga poses that help athletes who perform repeated movements day in and day out, to not only increase flexibility, mobility and strength, but also bring awareness to movement patterns, enhance performance and stay injury-free.
Amanda Huggins: From Anxiety to Empowerment
Amanda Huggins: From Anxiety to Empowerment

Amanda Huggins, anxiety coach and Gaiam influencer, tells the story of how she transformed her anxiety into empowerment and offers journaling prompts to begin the process of understanding your relationship with anxiety.