How to Lose Weight Fast - Your Questions Answered

Yuri Elkaim Interviewed by Bruce Townsend

 

by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy

 

...Continued from Page 1

Bruce Townsend: Excellent. In terms of diet then, maybe it is a little less frustrating to focus on what they should be eating instead of focusing on what they “can’t” eat. When people focus on what they cannot have, they start obsessing and feeling deprived. That stress makes it more difficult to control their food intake. Maybe they should focus on how they can get some healthy foods into their diet. Is gradual transition your advice?

Yuri Elkaim: Definitely. Actually, we have iphones in our house and a simple notepad application that we use. Just yesterday my girlfriend was putting in some of the foods to which she is sensitive. There is a whole list of foods based on a sensitivity test that she had done. When you look at that list of foods that you cannot eat such as sugar, wheat, milk, caffeine, and think about that list, you wonder what is left to eat? It is very defeating.

But when she showed me the list of foods that she could eat, there were tons of foods there and it illuminated the possibilities. Just looking at all the fruits and vegetables she could eat, you realize that what you focus on expands. If you focus on the fact that you cannot eat this and you cannot eat that, you are going to feel like it is impossible. But if you make a list of the foods you can eat and focus on that, you are looking at the solution rather than the problem. Where attention goes, energy goes, and results show. Focus on what you can eat and it becomes a lot easier.

Bruce Townsend: That is great advice. Our next question says, “After years of yo-yo dieting I have a flab of skin on my stomach. I read that a whole foods diet will help get rid of that skin. Do you have any suggestions about how to get rid of it? Even after losing 50 pounds I still have a flabby roll. I exercise 2 hours a day doing all kinds of exercises.” When I read that I wonder what they are doing for 2 hours. As you mentioned, if they are on the elliptical of treadmill and reading a magazine, if they are not breathing hard or increasing their heart rate, that is not the type of exercise that is going to help in terms of toning and losing weight. What is your take on this Yuri? Would a whole foods diet help with the excess skin that is hanging there?

Yuri Elkaim: It is tough for me to say without knowing exactly what is going on with that person physiologically, but I have spoken with a few people who have gone through this. They were doing fairly well in exercise and diet but still had that extra pouch of skin and fat in that abdominal area. When you are going on and off of diets, you sort of mess up your metabolism. You make it difficult for your body to work properly.

Studies have shown that yo-yo dieters have a tough time maintaining a healthy weight, obviously, in the long run. From a physiological perspective, when you lose a lot of weight and gain it back, and then lose a lot of weight again and gain it back, you can alter your fat cells. Generally the number of fat cells in our body is set by the time we reach puberty, but if you gain a lot of weigh in your adulthood, you can actually increase the number of fat cells in your body.

I am not saying that this is what is happening with this person in particular, but when you are going back and forth between losing and gaining weight, there is a tendency to potentially add on more of these fat cells and make it tough to lose weight in the abdominal area. Specifically, the abdominals and the hips are the last places that weight comes off. If you are a female, there are hormonal reasons why fat will stay in the hips and thighs.

It is the first place that weight is going to be put on and the last place that it is going to leave. In men, the abdomen is the first place that fat is going to lack on and the last place it is going to leave. You cannot spot reduce. You can’t do sit-ups and crunches and all sorts of abdominal movements and get rid of that area. The goal is to perform full body movements in order to get a lot of calories burned.

Boost your metabolism by putting on a lot of lean muscle and then following as healthy of an eating plan as possible. You may want to verify with your physician that there is not some other problem going on as well, such as a thyroid problem, but that is my take on things. Really stay focused on the fact that this is a long-term goal. Take into consideration that if you are a little bit older that it will take a little more time to lose that weight. Metabolism slows down with age and there are changes in muscle mass and hormones as well. Keep a long-term vision and in most cases things will work out as they should.

Bruce Townsend: They talk about raw foods helping too. With a raw foods diet making the body more alkaline, is that going to help those problem areas such as the pooch area and the thighs and hips?

Yuri Elkaim: In general, fat is not going to release just from those areas. When you are looking at losing fat, you are going to start losing it from your neck and chin and upper body first. If you are expecting to lose fat in the problem areas first, that is not going to happen. From an overall fat loss perspective, raw foods are incredible. As you mentioned, alkalinity is a big thing.

If you alkalize your body, your body will not need to hold onto fat as tightly. Fat stores acid and toxins. If you diet is acidic from eating lots of grains and animal products, fat stores are needed to store that acid as a protective mechanism. Once you start to alkalize your diet your body starts to get rid of the fat because it gets rid of the acid and the fat cells shrink in size.

I don’t know anyone who is following a raw food diet that is overweight. If you do it properly and don’t go crazy on the nuts and seeds and high fat foods, your weight will normalize. It does take time, but raw foods will definitely help you lose weight. From an overall health perspective, raw foods will add years to your life. They will take years off of how you look and make you so energetic and healthy.

Bruce Townsend: When most people think about adding more raw foods to their diet, probably the only thing they can think of is eating a salad. You have a book specifically on eating raw foods called Eating for Energy and you have quite a few recipes and a lot of great ideas.

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