The key to lasting weight loss has nothing to do with depriving yourself of food and everything to do with the fire in your digestive system. I’m going to let you in on a weight loss secret… are you ready? The key to lasting weight loss is mastering your metabolism or rather your digestive fire.
You may be one of the many of millions of people that believe that in order to lose weight you have to deprive yourself of food, you have to go on a fad diet or a juice fast or sign up for a weight loss program that you see on television. In fact, the weight loss industry is a booming business because no matter what it markets, it sets people up for continual failure resulting in repeat business for them. In fact, once you stop doing the program, you quickly begin to regain the weight you lost and many times you gain more weight than you lost. Does this sound familiar?
You may be someone that is working to maintain your weight and have had some success but you are constantly working hard to do this. Let me tell you my friend, it does not have to be this way. In order to be successful with losing weight and keeping it off or maintaining your weight with little or no effort, you need to know that just as your size shrinks after dropping pounds, so does your ability to burn the calories you take in. As you shed pounds, your body enters what scientist call a “starvation state,” slowing down your metabolism and decreasing your digestive fire, which actually encourages your body to regain weight. After we lose pounds, changes occur in our endocrine, nervous and muscular systems to make us burn fewer calories for the same amount of effort while our brains are telling us to eat more. Your body may be working against you but by engaging in a few new habits, you can reignite your digestive fire and increase your metabolism.
Here are some things that you can do to fuel the fire within you.
Get moving, standing, stretching and walking throughout the day is crucial to keeping your system revved up. Each time you get up, your muscles activate and within 90 seconds your cellular engines turn on.
Exercise less but make it count by doing it harder. Amp up your workouts with high intensity interval training. Shorter bursts of intensity can increase the energy burn in the muscles, making it easier for the body to generate energy by metabolizing fat for fuel.
Time your coffee intake. Drinking a cup of coffee an hour before your workout will help you burn 15 percent more calories afterward. Caffeine seems to raise the adrenaline levels in the body and that causes you to expend more energy to blast calories, which in turn revs up your metabolism.
Get up and get outdoors. People who are exposed to bright light from morning to noon have healthier BMIs than those who get more light exposure at other times of the day. Blue light, which is greater in the morning helps to synchronize our circadian rhythms, keeping our appetite in check and our digestive fire burning.
Exposure to light in the evening may alter the hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism so that we eat more and burn fewer calories.
Turn off your brain. Stress slows the digestive fire. Research is suggesting that stress alters the functions within our cells in a way that lowers our metabolic rate. Everyday be sure to schedule some down time that allows you to focus on something you enjoy like meditation, spending time in nature or spending time with those that you love and care about.
Drink lots of water, preferably at room temperature or warmer. By drinking just 17 ounces of water you’ll boost your digestive fire by 30 percent. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of room temperature or warm water each hour.
Lastly, eat plenty of protein. By eating more protein you’ll be more likely to store any excess calories you eat as fat. Protein takes more energy for the body to digest than carbohydrates, so eat the proper amount of protein for your dosha and you’ll fuel your digestive fire and burn more of the calories that you consume overall.
Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
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Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect