by Don Ellsworth, M.D.
3 Keys to Weight Loss:
1) Eat the right foods.
2) Eat at the right time.
3) Optimize your metabolism with exercise and peptides.
Eat the Right Foods
- Eat only real food. Shop on the outside of the grocery store where real, unprocessed foods are found. Be wary of packaged products with names you cannot pronounce.
- Avoid white foods: sugar, flour, milk, and alcohol. Limit rice, potato, and fruit. Stay away from artificial sweeteners which cause weight gain by altering the microbiome.
- Consider going “keto” to enhance fat burning. A ketogenic diet is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate, with the goal of using fat (ketones) for fuel.
Eat at the Right Time
Two key principles: Finish eating by 7 PM and keep your “eating window” (time from the first to last bite of the day) to 6-8 hours, i.e., a 6-hour eating window could run from 9 AM – 3 PM or 12 Noon – 6 PM. Eating within a time window is referred to as “intermittent fasting” and has been shown to improve weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and inflammation. If you need to break a weight plateau or lower your insulin, try eating within a 4-hour window or even once a day (known as OMAD or one meal a day). The less frequently you eat, the greater the need to eat nutrient dense foods like greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds.
In addition to intermittent fasting, consider a 1-4 day water fast (water primarily with calorie free tea or coffee allowed); however, before water fasting, consult with your medical provider to see if it is appropriate for you. Many find it as easy to fast for 4 days as for 1-2 due to the natural energy boost and appetite suppression you experience as you go into ketosis on days 3-4. A 4-day fast can be repeated every 1-4 months. As a rule, you should feel well when you fast. Stay on your hormones, but hold off on vitamins the days you completely avoid food. Adding 1/4 tsp of sea salt to a glass of water 1-3x/day helps replace electrolytes, If you have muscle cramping, add potassium, 99 mg, 2 caps 2-3x/day.
Another option is caloric restriction: Studies have shown when calories are dropped every other day, health improves. In the studies, men eat 600/women eat 500 calories every other day. The non-calorie restricted days do not have any specific limits as to how much is eaten or when, yet weight drops and labs improve. Benefits can even be seen if calories are restricted to just 2x/week, the so-called 5:2 plan.
The Right Metabolism: Exercise and Peptides
Many benefit by adding peptides. For example, the Physician’s Preference Optimizer peptide improves muscle mass and has a mild fat-burning effect.
Last but not least: Exercise! I recommend high intensity interval training (HIIT) with resistance training to build up muscle. Think of muscle as your metabolic currency for health and fat loss. On the days you are not doing intense workouts, keep moving, i.e., go for a walk or spend some time on an elliptical machine.