Nutrition

Jillian Michaels shares easy ways to improve your metabolism

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

Jillian Michaels shares easy ways to improve your metabolism

This diet is not about counting calories. When you restore nutritious foods to your diet, nature will take care of portion control for you. While you're still in the process of adopting these practices, though, consider the merits of rebalancing your "energy in."

Eat until you're full ...
You need to eat enough to fuel your metabolism. When you eat too few calories, you overtax your thyroid and train your body to do more with less. And while economizing might be a good strategy for your financial health, it sucks as a dietary strategy.

That said, eating until you're full of fast food is not allowed. When you eat healthy, fresh, whole foods until you're full, you will find that your calories are within a perfect range. Not too little and not too much. For girls this is anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800. For boys this is anywhere from 1,800 to 3,000. The difference in calorie allowances has to do with age and activity level. 

Severe diets make your body start eating its own muscle. Drastically reducing your calorie levels for just four days can reduce blood levels of leptin by almost 40 per cent; do it for a month and leptin plummets 54 per cent. When you cut calories to lose weight, the lower your leptin levels go, the more hungry you become—a recipe for yo-yo dieting.

Eating nutrient-dense, high-fiber/high-water-content foods will also help you fill up without any fear of overeating calories. As you eat these high-volume foods, your stomach starts to stretch a bit. This "distension" triggers the release of satiety peptides.

Translation: You'll feel full faster, with fewer calories, and the fiber will help you stay satisfied longer. When you give your body the foods it recognizes, it eagerly absorbs the nutrients critical to optimal hormone production and puts them to work right away.

Hormone homework
: Check out the recommended calorie range for your size and activity level. If the range is 1,200–1,400 calories, don't go down to 800—you'll damage your metabolism and inhibit your thyroid. On the other hand, don't do what some of my clients do when they hear that eating often ups their metabolism by 10 per cent—they go out and order a pizza! The problem is that 10 percent for most people is about 200 calories—not 3,000! Know your range and stick close to it.

... But not until you're stuffed
Now for the bad news: If you've been eating at least one large meal a day, you probably stretched out your stomach, making it difficult to feel full and trigger your satiety hormones. You may even have leptin resistance—your body could be releasing leptin to let you know it's full, but you ignore the hormone and continue eating.

Good news: You can return to a state of balance and get your appetite back in check, but you have to follow these rules. Eating smaller meals four times a day will help shrink it back to normal size. When it does, you'll be equally satisfied but faster, with less food.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find out what foods you should be limiting and what foods you can eat without limit on page 2.


Excerpted from Master Your Metabolism, copyright 2009 by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst. Used by permission of Random House. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

To train yourself to eat smaller portions, use a salad plate or a small bowl instead of a bigger dinner plate. Many dieting studies have proven that this advice works, possibly because of what marketing researchers at Washington University call the "partitioning effect." When people are given a hundred dollars to spend, those who receive it in ten envelopes of ten dollars each spend fifty dollars; those who are given one envelope with one hundred dollars blow the whole thing. The same effect works with food, because when you reach one partition—finishing the food on a smaller plate, say—you have to make a conscious choice to reach for more.

Compare that scenario with the mindless shoveling of food from a bigger dinner plate. We've seen how those large meals send insulin levels soaring and overtax all the systems responsible for digestion. When you take the calories eaten during one large meal and spread them throughout the day, all your cells, organs, glands, and hormones can do their jobs so much easier.

If you have been overeating, perhaps it would help to know that cutting your daily calorie intake by just 15 per cent—from 2,000 to 1,700, for example—could reduce your risk of cancer. University of Texas researchers found that mice given 15 to 30 percent fewer calories inhibited the signaling power of IGF-1, diminishing excess cell growth and the development of papillomas, precancerous lesions on the skin. Researchers believe the same mechanism may be at work in as many as 80 per cent of other cancers as well.

Yes, as complex as the whole picture of hormones and weight loss is, one undeniable maxim of weight loss still applies: Calories are important. Of the five thousand people in the National Weight Control Registry who've successfully maintained weight loss of at least 30 pounds, 99 per cent of them had cut calories.

Okay, I had to say it. But that's the last time we'll mention it.

Hormone homework
: The only portion sizes that really count are animal products, processed foods, starchy vegetables, and high-sugar fruits. I truly don't care how many nonstarchy vegetables you eat. I'd love it if you would eat plates and plates full of them! Start your meal with veggies and you'll give your gut-based satiety hormones more time to kick in.

Junk food without the junk
I know you're human. You're going to have sugar. You're going to have chocolate. (Some argue that chocolate is a health food.) But here's the deal: Instead of a processed, artificially flavored peanut butter cup with trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup, have a Newman's Own organic peanut butter cup. Instead of a huge bowl of sugar-free, nonfat frozen yogurt, loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners, have half a cup of organic full-fat ice cream. If you're going to have foods that are less healthy, eat real food and not chemicals.

Page 2 of 2


Excerpted from Master Your Metabolism, copyright 2009 by Jillian Michaels and Mariska van Aalst. Used by permission of Random House. All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.
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Nutrition

Jillian Michaels shares easy ways to improve your metabolism

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