Dr. Natasha Turner ND
Why “Summerize” your body and your metabolism right after spring cleaning your home, decluttering your space and shaping up your finances? Well, it makes good sense and I suggest that you think of it as a required “metabolic wake-up” after transitioning from winter, the season where our metabolism is naturally the slowest.
Yes, it’s true, we are physiologically and mentally set-up for weight gain and lethargy in the winter due to a drop in thyroid hormone, your metabolic master, and mood hormones, which control your cravings for comfort food.
At 47, I have learned that the same Hormone Diet tricks that worked at 30 years old, need some adjustments now. So, over the past year, I have made it my mission to find a solution! And as a result of my research and clinical experience, I’ve come up with an overview of the perfect “Hormone Diet Day for Fat Loss”. In real simple terms these are the benefits you can expect:
- More Energy – which inspires you to do more and start to move more.
- Better Brain Power – for increased motivation, focus, drive, energy.
- Shedding of Excess Winter Weight – without a subsequent decrease in metabolism or energy, while only losing fat and maintaining muscle. You’ll also keep your hunger, energy, and cravings in check – to stay on track.
Here are my top five tips for a metabolic boost and fat loss reset. Aim to adopt at least one of these habits at certain times of the day – but it’s even better if you can achieve them all!
Morning: It’s ALL about the tracking!
After my own research, experimentation and clinical experience, my patients have been taught to become metabolic detectives and fat loss experts by measuring ketones along with their weight. Ketones present in the urine indicate that your body is burning fat. We can cause our body to burn fat by restricting carbohydrates and sugar, reducing calories, moving more and fasting (when done correctly). Measuring ketones does not mean following “The Keto Diet”, which I do not recommend, especially for women and we can discuss at another time.
My own new personal approach and that used with my patients is still based on balancing hormones but is now also based on a philosophy that is simple: when you exercise less, I want to help you to eat less; and when you exercise more, I will help you chose the right foods to eat more. According to the latest research, about 96 percent of people tend to gain weight back—plus more— with the typical approach of cutting calories/exercising more. Clearly, this does not work and only leads to future weight gain, to say nothing of metabolic damage as the stress it causes only furthers a greater drop in thyroid hormones drop and loss of precious metabolically active muscle.
You will never again – eat less and exercise more! Your dietary habits, how much you move, and how much you exercise are inseparable. I want you to start living each day by asking yourself this question: How much am I going to move today?
Then you must spend only five minutes in the morning to record two numbers:
- Your urinary ketone measurements, tested by ketone strips you can purchase from your local pharmacy or through shop.drnatashaturner.com, which indicate if your body is burning fat;
- Your weight.
Record these on the tracking sheet. An example I have specifically designed for my patients and for use myself is for free here: ClearMedicine_WeightLoss_7DayTracking_N
I believe consistent tracking is the most important part – even if you do not change your diet at all as you can begin to see your activity or your diet can influence fat loss, as well as both in unison together. These two numbers will always reflect the impact of your dietary habits and your activity completed in the previous day.
Morning: Take my 3-month breakfast challenge – you won’t believe the benefits!
Go to your local health food store and pick up these simple items to mix in a shaker cup with as much water as you prefer (I prefer less water!) and begin your day by drinking these three ingredients:
- Creatine:Did you know this is one of the only supplements proven to increase energy, muscle growth/recovery, and brain power? Yes, its’ true – it is not just for muscle-bound body builders anymore because almost everyone can take it for mental function, energy, and preserving muscle mass. It is also excellent for concussion victims. Take 5 grams – about 1 tsp. per day and make sure its pure and simple creatine with no added sugars or caffeine. My mixture is clean with some extra benefits, such as glutamine and amino acids that aid in muscle recovery, and it is called Creatine, BCAA and Antioxidants.
- Marine Collagen(hydrolyzed and with Vitamin C): As we age, our body’s ability to produce new collagen declines and existing collagen begins to break down. The loss of collagen effects skin, joints, and bones. The decreased collagen may also lead to increased digestive problems, weakened immune system, and increased risk of chronic illness. A recent article in the Globe and Mail turned me on to collagen’s benefits for tendons, bones, ligaments, and repair after exercise as the scientists gave 15 grams to the athletes (so you will need to take about one and a half tablespoons). The researchers saw great improvements in the 15-gram dose. By the way, 5 – 10 grams didn’t do the trick – it must be 15g or more. Since then I have gone on to find these additional benefits of marine collagen: it builds bone strength, boosts thyroid, improves skin, hair, and nails – and even wrinkles, stabilizes blood sugar, boost the mood hormone and brain function, reduces inflammation, heals inflammation and immunity within the gut and helps with joint pain.
- Whey Protein: For immunity, muscle, metabolic, antioxidant and strength benefits toss 1 to 2 scoops (at least 20 to 30 grams for women; and 30 to 40 grams for most men) in your cup. I prefer vanilla flavor because it can mix easily with the creatine and collagen. If you can’t take whey protein, pea or hemp protein can work too.
Shake, drink and devour all these wonderful metabolic, energy, and body benefits from the one simple concoction of these three supplements. I can tell you something else – I am never ever sore from my intense workouts and I feel energized and focused all morning. Best to shake and not to blend as these are delicate proteins.
Afternoon: Pay attention to how you feel: You may need to change when you eat certain foods and in which combinations.
- Craving muffins or pastries at 3 pm? Definitely cut the carbs from breakfast, increase your protein to hit your 30 to 40 gram goal per meal and add a fiber supplement to your smoothies at breakfast.
- Add fibre or water-based foods. The perfect afternoon snack is watermelon or berries with soluble fibre supplement, as this fibre makes you full and aids in decreasing inflammation in the gut. Read more here.
- If you have strength trained on a certain day, include protein here like sliced turkey with two cups of spicy zucchini green beans (check out Oh MY Sprice, they are great!).
Evening: It’s ALL about the tracking and you must get results weekly! If one week goes by without favorable changes, while you are following your plan, get help – change your plan and reset your approach.
- Return to your tracker from the morning for 5 more minutes. Track your diet intake daily – as well as how you feel – your energy, hunger, cravings and activity. You need to become a metabolic detective – everybody is different, and diets always need adjustments – how you feel at the end of the day is a direct result of your dietary intake and activity during each day.
- Assess your protein intake for the day – if you are low drink a protein supplement or chocolate meal replacement (low in carbs and fats) and go to bed!
- Still no results – test your thyroid levels (TSH, Free T3 and Free T4) you can visit my clinic Clear Medicine or see an ND in your area. The most important thing is stay motivated and to approach your health with a sense of urgency and proper direction for results!