The biggest factor that makes the body resistant to change when it comes to weight loss is the pH levels of how much acid is being dumped into it. The Standard America Diet is 90 percent acidic, consisting of primarily sugar and grains. “No matter what your age, you need to train your body to burn fat as your fuel source, not sugar,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, Founder of Alkamind and celebrity nutritionist, says.
This is one of the most common mistakes people need to avoid, Dr. Gioffre says. “Eating every two hours accomplished only one thing – fat storage!” When you eat every 2 hours, your insulin levels stay elevated, and again, you burn sugar instead of fat for fuel. Insulin turns sugar immediately into fat, he adds.
Later in life, bone and muscle mass tends to decrease, flexibility starts to diminish and balance and agility are sometimes compromised. People need to build muscles as they age to increase metabolism, which helps regulate weight and blood sugar levels. Studies have found that strength training can increase strength in older adults and, as a result, enables them to live more independently.
A 2007 study that involved adult women concluded that the average person will consume less food and fewer calories when sitting down to eat, Dr. Gioffre says. “When you look at this from a common-sense stand point, people who stand when they eat are usually doing so because they are stressed or in a hurry, and usually a combination of the two.” When you are emotionally stressed, your body will produce less hydrochloric acid (HCL) which is necessary forproper digestion of food. When you sit down to eat, you're more likely to eat slowly. “It takes about 15-20 minutes for your digestive system to let your brain know that it is full, so when you eat too fast, you tend to eat much more than your body actually needs.”
Another common mistake Dr. Gioffre sees is consuming moderate to high sugar acidic fruits such as bananas and berries. “They are high in sugar, and the bad kind which is fructose.” Fructose gets shuttled directly to your liver where it is stored as fat, he adds. “Low sugar alkaline fruits are fine, which are lemons, limes, grapefruit (they are citric acid, but alkaline-forming inside your body because they are low in sugar and high in minerals), avocados, tomatoes, coconut oil/meat/flakes/milk, and to some degree, watermelon.”
“It’s not about caloric QUANTITY, it’s about QUALITY,” Dr. Gioffre says. “Everybody is made up different biochemically, and should have different caloric needs based on many factors including age, weight, height, and exercise levels.” For example, a 50-year-old male who is active may need 2,400-2,800 calories, whereas a 50-year-old female who is inactive may need less, roughly 1,600. “The body doesn’t run on calories; it is electric and it runs on salt, specifically mineral salts.” So your goal is not to cut calories, but to increase foods that are high in minerals and phytonutrients, which are alkaline foods. Dr. Gioffre says.
If you get too restrictive, cut out food groups, or resist all of your favorite foods, you will likely overeat those items when temptation hits, and go overboard,” Monica Moore, owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Body by Monica, says. “Or you will do wonderfully losing weight in ‘diet mode’ but quickly gain it back after when you return to your old ways.”
They can help with losing weight at this age. However, you should take supplements not to promote weight, but rather to detoxify the body, and give it a nutrient that it is deficient in, Dr. Gioffre says. “For example, if a plant wilts, you give it water because it needs water, and our bodies are no different.” There are a few supplements that we are all deficient in, even children, but you still need to run these by your health care practitioner, he adds.
“Spices like ginseng, cayenne pepper, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and turmeric are a big part of my diet and cooking because they help you maintain a healthy weight by boosting metabolism and suppressing your appetite,” Dr. Gioffre says. These spices increase thermogenesis (your body burns fat to create heat), which also helps to boost metabolism and reduce your fat stores in your body. “In addition to their ability to help burn fat and balance blood sugar levels, these spices are some of your best sources of antioxidants,” he adds.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are even worse than sugar, Dr. Gioffre says. “They are in anything ‘diet’ like diet cola, or sugar free.” Asparatme is a neurotoxin that has sweetening properties to it. Many people drink diet sodas because they think they are losing weight, but research shows that it can contribute to more weight gain than refined sugar, he adds. “It increases your cravings for carbs, and increases the amount of fat your body stores. It does so by 2 amino acids – aspartic acid and phenylalanine which stimulate insulin and leptin and an adverse way.”
High-intensity interval training has been a trending fitness routine for several years. “HIIT is such a big hit because it's the quickest way to burn the most amount of calories you can in a short amount of time,” according to Famisha J-Millman, a Master Personal Trainer and owner of Glisten Girls Fitness, because this type of training can literally transform your body. Interval training has proven to burn more calories because of the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide by the body. Also, it takes longer to recover after an HIIT workout, which means you’re still burning calories even though you’re not exercising.
Sugar and grains spike your insulin levels, and make you store fat, Dr. Gioffre says. “The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you will burn as your primary source of fuel which is a very dirty burn, and then what will you crave more of? Sugar.” When your diet consists primarily of dark green leafy vegetables, and healthy alkaline fats, and you eliminate the carbs, your energy will increase and your body will turn into a fat burning machine, Dr. Gioffre adds.
Limit high intensity workouts like spinning and cross fit, Dr. Gioffre says. These exercises are fine in moderation. “But I can’t tell you how many times I have had clients who spin every day hoping to lose weight.” At first, they will lose some weight, as this happens when any change occurs. But as you continue, the body will hit a plateau, or even worse, add some weight, he adds. The reason is that high intensity exercises like these produce lactic acid as a byproduct of working out. “When you spin, for example, the body is working anaerobically (without oxygen), and in the absence of oxygen, to get energy, it burns sugar. The lactic acid that is produced is toxic, acidic, and if you don’t give your body minerals to neutralize the acid, the body will retain fat instead.”
Dark green leafy vegetables work well with most food combinations, Dr. Gioffre says. Salads typically combine very well with proteins or starches. “With that said, if I wanted to make my digestion as optimal as possible, the only food group I would want to eat the salad first is with heavy proteins like steaks.” Animal proteins tend to digest slowly in the stomach, and foods that are eaten afterwards that tend to digest more quickly (like high water content fruits and dark green leafy vegetables) will get backed up behind them and can ferment and literally rot while they wait, Dr. Gioffre adds. “Other than that, a big salad should ideally be combined with every meal.”
Your body needs fuel every day in the form of alkaline foods, high in Omega 3 fats and dark green leafy vegetables, Dr. Gioffre says. “When you focus on 3 meals a day, your insulin levels drop, and there is no sugar for you to burn. Your body needs energy, and so it turns to fat which is a very clean fuel.” It’s not about cutting back on foods, it’s about eating the right foods, he adds. “Cut out the sugar and the grains, and add the greens and the fats.”
Stress is your enemy to weight loss, Dr. Gioffre says. Emotional and mental stress produces a stress hormone, called cortisol, which puts your body into a state of “fight or flight.” When this happens, your body goes into survival mode, he adds. “In addition to storing fat, the digestive system will completely shut down. Both of these happen when your body gets stressed, because for all it knows, there is danger and it needs to hold onto everything (fat) for scarce times.”
Science has confirmed time and again that fewer hours of quality shut-eye affects your waistline. Sleep deprivation affects the brain in a way that makes you want to eat more and not process food efficiently. It sparks a vicious cycle where you are left feeling tired, slowing your metabolism and playing tricks with your hormones.
“Stay away from vinegar [dressings] because they are loaded with sugar and yeast and are acidic,” Dr. Gioffre says. Anything acidic that goes into the body will make you retain fat to neutralize the acid. “The one exception is apple cider vinegar as it is unpasteurized and unfiltered and does have an alkaline-forming effect inside your body.” With that said, the best option is fresh squeezed organic lemon juice or lime juice, with extra virgin olive oil. Dr. Gioffre’s favorite dressing is from the Alkamind 7-Day Alkaline Cleanse.
“Another great aerobic workout, swimming is low-impact and amazing for staying in shape,” Dr. Gioffre says. It also works wonders on your lungs. “Your body learns to use oxygen more efficiently, to breathe in more fresh air and breathe out more carbon dioxide.” And deep breathing is one of the best ways to fight acid. Many people find swimming to be a big-time stress reliever too, so you’re fighting acid on multiple fronts, he adds.
This is an easy, low-impact, simple, accessible and, for the most part, enjoyable aerobic activity that is actually very good for you and will help you get in shape no matter how old you are. The price of leading an inactive lifestyle is high and it comes in the form of physical pain and obesity. A study from the University of Utah basically proved that people are made to walk. The result was that walking – not running – was most efficient way to stay in shape and lose weight while being easiest on your body.
“You should be focusing on eating three meals a day, with the last meal being the lightest of the three, with at least 3 hours before going to sleep,” Dr. Gioffre says. Eating causes secretion of acid in the stomach which then goes to the esophagus. “The body has to be awake to get rid of it, Dr. Karl Doghramji, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, says. “That’s just how physiology works.”
While nutrition experts point out that drinking in moderation has been proven to have some health benefits, most agree it should be cut if you’re trying to lose weight. The empty calories add up. “A regular Pina Colada has 570 calories,” Malkoff says. “Add that with other drinks and you can end the day with extra 3,000 calories.” “If you want the best results possible, alcohol should not even be a thought,” Marcus Carter from New Beginnings Nutrition says.
“The rebounder is otherwise known as the min-trampoline, and is my favorite form of exercise,” Dr. Gioffre says. NASA did a study showing that it was 68 percent more effective than running at improving cardiovascular health and weight loss. “Plus, they are inexpensive, healthy for people dealing with back pain, requires very little time, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.” For 12 minutes, do a gentle bounce with the balls of your feet staying on the rebounder at all times, he adds. Then feel free to bounce up and down to alkalize your body and increase your heart rate.
Practicing yoga relieves stress that can build up acid in the body and also encourages deep breathing, a naturally detoxifying, alkalizing practice, Dr. Gioffre says. “At the same time, it builds strength without shifting muscles into the anaerobic exercise the workouts above do, which leads to acid buildup.” So less lactic acid in the muscles means less acid to fight after completing your workout, he adds.
The best substitutes forall unhealthy sweeteners are organic stevia, and Lo Han, otherwise known as monk fruit, Dr. Gioffre says. “It has a zero glycemic index which means it will have no effect on your insulin levels, and have sweetening properties more than sugar.”