General considerations for weight loss

weight loss by Dr Agnes Ryu
  •  For sustainable weight loss, we recommend a High Fat, Moderate amount of Protein and Low Carbohydrate diet.
  •  Only natural, wholefoods providing a high nutrient density should be consumed.
  • Industrial foods have a low nutritional value, lack the vitamins, minerals and enzymes necessary for assimilation and are manufactured to be highly addictive. This combination causes a ‘high-calorie, malnutrition’ state and wreaks havoc on the brain and on hormonal health. When these products, which do not have any affinity with human biology, are consumed regularly, cells lose proper regulatory function and fluctuate uncontrollably.
  • Calorie counting is unscientific and a waste of time. The workings of the human body are extremely different to the workings of a combustion chamber. An endless stream of misinformation and misconception exists, regarding the calorie counting of food and the value of exercise such as the burning of food calories by exercise, inducing weight reduction through calorie deficit, etc
  • Equal amounts of calories from fat, protein, carbohydrate will follow completely different biochemical pathways in the body and will result in differing biological effects.
  • Rather than calorie counting, pay close attention to the hormonal effects of different foods. Obesity is a neuro-endocrine metabolic disorder and should be approached as such, not as a calorific excess state.
  • Insulin is the fat-storage hormone and reducing blood insulin concentration is the initial priority for weight loss and the restoration of overall hormonal health.
  • Carbohydrates have the highest insulin response, protein- a moderate one and fat has minimal insulin response. The best food to dampen insulin response is saturated animal fat.
  • The top 3 foods to lower insulin and be beneficial for weight management are: butter, coconut fat, bone broth soup.
  • The 3 worst foods for insulin and weight gain are cereal grains (suitable for fattening cattle), bakery goods (or any beige food-like stuffs) and fructose (high fructose corn syrup)
  • The total body weight or BMI does not contribute much useful information. While losing visceral fat mass is desirable, especially around the tummy area, muscle (or organ), bone, fluid loss should be spared. Many diet plans incorporating exercise and a low food intake replicate the protein loss seen in concentration camp survivors. The percentage (ideally 21-23% of body fat in females) and distribution (waist to hip ratio) of body fat should be monitored once per month and optimization of body composition should be aimed for.
  • Recommended dietary fat sources: Saturated fat is the most stable, healthy fat and is the recommended dietary fat. Saturated fatty acid (SFA) such as butter, coconut oil, grass-fed animal fat (tallow, suet, lard) and mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) such as olive oil and avocado oil are safe to consume.
  • Fats to avoid: Seed oils such as canola oil,  soybean oil, rice bran oil, other vegetable oil are the equivalent of industrial waste material due to the manufacturing process they undergo and toxic effects resulting may cause peroxidation of the cell membrane, inflammation, cellular signalling problem and premature ageing. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are chemically unstable and readily become rancid. Similarly trans fats, partially hydrogenated fat such as margarine act like liquid plastic and should be strictly avoided.
  • There needs to be a metabolic shift from being a sugar burner to a fat burner: Fat could be utilized as the main fuel source when sugars and carbohydrates are restricted. This was the original human condition in the Paleolithic period when the human genome was established and is seen in newborn babies fed on breast milk full of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • It takes a 3-4 week transition period to shift the metabolism to fat-burning mode.
  • Everything starts with stabilizing the blood sugar level: If you run on fat, you do not suffer blood sugar peaks and lows and the appetite is controlled effortlessly. You do not suffer hunger rage, jitteriness, food comas or an afternoon energy crash caused by low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is a reaction to the insulin response to a challenge from high blood sugar.
  • You know you are on the right fuel if your meal provides you with 5-6 hours of clean, focused energy, no brain fog or food coma. You can perform with endurance, mentally and physically. You feel fine with two meals per day and even if you miss a meal, you do not fall into miserable hypoglycaemia as your cells have the ability to access and utilize your own body fat as a fuel source. You have achieved metabolic flexibility.
  • Intermittent fasting: for cellular health and long term maintenance of weight, it is recommended to have meals within an 8-hour feeding window leaving a 16 hour fasting period per day. During fasting, your cells optimize cellular function and clean up accumulated junk cells and keep the metabolism in tiptop condition. This process is called autophagy. It is an excellent anti-ageing, disease prevention measure.
  • If you have to exercise to maintain weight, you are on the wrong diet. Dietary and nutritional problems cannot be tackled or cancelled out by exercise.
  • The best diet is the one you stick to long term!
Agnes Ryu

Agnes Ryu

Dr. Ryu is a clinician and biochemist specializing in integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include fertility, hormones, metabolism, healthy ageing, menopause, and natural breast cancer care. As an integrative practitioner, Dr. Ryu aims to uncover the root causes of health issues and strives to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their own health.

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