Great news if you want to manage your weight and improve your swimsuit physique! There are two popular diets that don’t require counting calories. You also don’t need to weigh your food or weigh yourself everyday. We’ll cover these two diets and reveal other tips to slim your physique, including a traditional Chinese medicine that helps support appetite control and weight management. Let’s dive in!
Improve Your Summer Body Tip #1: Try Intermittent Fasting
You’ve no doubt heard the term “intermittent fasting.” It’s become one of the most popular weight loss trends. There’s a few different ways to do intermittent fasting. Generally speaking, intermittent fasting, or “time-restricted feeding” as it’s also known, involves abstaining from any food or drink with calories for at least 12 hours a day.
You can also practice the more traditional way of intermittent fasting: occasionally not eating anything for 24 hours. But by far the most popular method of time-restricted feeding is eating during a window of only 8 hours a day and fasting for the other 16 hours.
How does intermittent fasting (IF) help with weight management?
As Monique Tello, M.D., contributing editor to Harvard Health Publishing writes, “The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.”
When you wake up early in the morning and have your first calories shortly after, and then proceed to eat throughout the day and late into the night, here’s why you gain weight: The carbohydrates we eat (grains, sugars, fruits) turn into sugar. Our cells use sugar for cellular communication, and for energy. But the sugar that isn’t used up gets stored in fat cells as body fat.
Depriving the body of calories for 12-16 or longer better allows for fat cells to release stored body fat for energy. Dr. Tello references this study, which demonstrated that fasting for 16 hours per day lowers insulin levels much more effectively than fasting for only 12 hours a day. In addition, the 16-hour fasting group experienced better insulin sensitivity (requiring the pancreas to make less of the hormone to escort blood sugar into the cells), lower blood pressure and decreased appetite.
Fasting For 23 Hours Made Easier With Chinese Herbs
If you really want to maximize your weight loss potential, try fasting for 23 hours a day and taking Chinese tonic herbs. Even if you fast for 23 hours a day just once or twice a week, you may notice a positive effect on weight management.
Summer Slim-Down Tip #2: Eliminate Snacking
One of the benefits of intermittent fasting is a reduction in overall calories throughout the day. Many people who fast for 16 hours a day eat only twice a day, with no snacks.
Snacking between meals poses two problems. First, this creates a gut health problem. Most people are aware that there’s bacteria in the gut. But few people know exactly where gut bacteria should reside. The answer: the large intestines. Snacking interferes with the migration of gut bacteria from the small intestine to the large intestine. Consequently, this can cause bloating, gas and sluggish detoxification, which ultimately interferes with weight loss potential.
The second problem is at the cellular level. Snacking does not allow insulin levels to plummet; more unused sugar gets stored as body fat.
Depriving the body of calories for 12-16 or longer better allows for fat cells to burned for energy.
So how do you eliminate snacking? By eating larger meals. Granted, after fasting for 16 hours, your stomach will shrink a bit, and you won’t be able to eat as much as you normally would. That’s a good thing. But to increase your chances of sticking with intermittent fasting and not snacking, make the most of your meals. Eat until you are full (but not bloated).
If you do feel a craving for a snack, drink a tall glass of water with lemon or some herbal tea. Every once in a while, try eating a really big late lunch and not eating anything until noon the following day.
(In the morning, before breaking your fast, drink water and add some Himalayan sea salt to it; the electrolytes will help keep your energy levels up.)
Get Leaner For Summer Tip #3: Burn Your Body’s Stored Fat For Energy
Along with intermittent fasting, the other top weight loss trend of the past couple years has been the ketogenic diet.
The big benefit of the “keto” diet is that, like intermittent fasting, it taps into your body’s stored energy (fat). Instead of burning your body’s immediate energy (glucose), when your body is in a state of ketosis, your brain and body uses your stored body fat for fuel.
So how do you get into ketosis? By eating an ultra-low carbohydrate diet. It’s not easy for people at first to eat a keto diet. Most Americans eat diets that predominantly consist of carbohydrates; the average American consumes approximately 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day.
In comparison, the ketogenic diet limits the daily amount of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus grams of fiber) to 50.
Keto-friendly foods include healthy dietary fats such as avocado, eggs, olives, nuts, seeds, and monounsaturated-rich oils such as olive oil.
But wait … aren’t low-fat diets better for weight loss? On the contrary, a recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing the long-term effects (greater than one year) of dietary interventions on weight loss showed low-carbohydrate diets led to significantly greater weight loss compared to low-fat interventions.
And what about heart disease? Don’t high-fat diets cause coronary blockages? Recent epidemiological studies do not show a link between high-fat diets and cardiovascular problems.
In addition to drastically lowering carbohydrates, the ketogenic diet limits dietary protein, although not as much as carbs. Eating a high protein meal like a steak can result in your body releasing a lot of insulin, which can knock some people out of ketosis.
But one of the problems many people who transition into ketosis face is lack of energy. This is because the body (including the brain) is not used to using fat for energy. To remedy this problem, Chinese herbal formulas such as AllTonic may help.
Summer Slim-Down Tip #4: Exercise Before Breakfast
To maximize your weight loss potential, exercise in the morning, before you break your fast. By combining intermittent fasting with pre-breakfast exercise, you can quickly get into ketosis and burn your body’s stored body fat.
Weight Management Tip #5: Get Slimmer With Slimin™
Perhaps most ancient Chinese culture wasn’t as body-image obsessed as our modern one. But that doesn’t mean ancient Chinese medicine doctors weren’t aware of internal conditions that lead to excess body weight, such as Dampness, Stagnation and Phlegm.
You can have the healthiest diet and exercise everyday. But if your body has these excess internal conditions, you may not be able to achieve the physique you desire.
Slimin is our time-tested formula that removes the metabolic debris that promotes Dampness and Phlegm. The six herbs in the formula help support water metabolism.
In conclusion, the best way to manage your weight is to reduce your calorie-consuming hours, don’t snack, eat less sugar and refined carbohydrates, exercise before breakfast and take Chinese herbs for supporting weight management.
Got any weight loss tips to share? Or have any questions? Leave a comment.
Recommended reading from the ActiveHerb blog:
Meet Turk: One Meal A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
New Year’s Health Resolutions Achievable with Chinese Medicine
Manage Weight the Natural Herbal Way: Easier Than Counting Calories
Intermittent Fasting: The Choice for a Healthier Lifestyle
Exercising in the Fasted State Reduced 24-Hour Energy Intake in Active Male Adults