- You Need Only One Weak Link For The Chain To Break
- The Basics
- 1) Take Care of Your Circadian Rhythm
- 2) Eat Within a 12 Hour Window
- 3) Get More Sun
- 4) Get Sun or Bright Light Upon Awakening
- 5) Block Out Blue Light At Night
- 6) Get More and Better Quality Sleep (at least 8 hours)
- 7) Expose Yourself to Colder Temperatures
- 8) Reduce Stress
- 9) Diet: Eat These Foods
- 10) Eat Less, But Not So Little That You Binge
- 11) Exercise
- 12) Do Yoga
- 13) Eat Right – Developing Health Habits
- 14) Love and Be Playful
- 15) Be Passionate
- 16) Be Mindful and Meditate
- 17) Drink Water
- 18) Chew/ Eat More Slowly
- 19) Prevent Hypoglycemia
- 20) Lower Carb Intake
- 21) Intermittent Fasting
- 22) Take Care of Your Vagus Nerve
- 23) Stay Away From Junk Food
- 24) Breath In More Oxygen By Being Outside More
- 25) Optimize Your Hormones
- 26) Get a Sauna
- 27) Include These Functional Foods That Cause Weight Loss
- 28-43) Supplement Right
- 44-47) Relatively Safe Drugs to Think About
- Supplements For Weight Loss With Positive Effects in Animals
- Others, not recommended:
- Mechanisms of Obesity
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
You Need Only One Weak Link For The Chain To Break
These are the best/most legit ways to lose weight that I’ve come across. To supercharge your weight loss and your health you should try the Lectin Avoidance Diet Cookbook, lectins found in some foods can cause excess inflammation that can make losing weight and being healthy very difficult.
If you feel you’re keeping “most” of these things, it’s not enough. If you’re genetically predisposed to gain weight, any weak link will get you. Keep a tight ship. If you’re obese, it means you aren’t keeping to one of these things enough.
For example, if you’re chronically stressed, sleeping 5 hours a night or you don’t have a tight circadian rhythm, I don’t care if you’re following everything else exactly.
There only needs to be one weak link for the chain to break. And if you’re obese, then you’ve got a missing link.
I see people trying to eat more whole grains, but then they’re exposed to long light cycles with artificial blue light at night. They stay up late, sleep little and have a chronically activated stress response. Then they wonder why they’re obese.
You probably think you’ve “tried everything” to lose weight. If you’re not keeping to this, you haven’t tried anything valuable. And I keep everything here pretty much – or at least I’m actively working on it.
When you keep EVERYTHING here, then you can start complaining in the comments section that you’ve tried it all and you still can’t lose weight.
This post is not at odds with the fact that if you reduce your calories below a certain point, you will lose weight.
Of course energy balance matters. I am not aware of any fat holocaust survivors. The problem is, we aren’t mutants or imprisoned. Just like we can’t be expected to work at a boring job for 16 hours a day, we can’t expect to combat hunger for 16 hours a day. We have limited willpower.
Also, if our metabolism isn’t working right, we will have to reduce our calories to an unhealthy level in order to lose weight. You will feel weak, tired, anxious and depressed if you just “eat less” if your body is broken.
We need to look at what factors influence hunger and metabolism.
There are a bunch of factors that cause us to be hungry and eat more, which makes up one side of the energy balance equation.
Then there’s a whole bunch of factors that cause the burning of fat and energy expenditure. This is the other side of the equation.
Many obese or fat people care very much about losing weight, but their body isn’t functioning the way it’s supposed to. So it’s not fair to blame someone who is obese.
I’d also like to add that once people become obese, it’s not as easy to lose the weight as if you had good eating habits all along.
This is why if you’re not losing weight without supplements, then it’s time to add them in because now you are reversing a disease. And we know reversing something is harder than preventing it – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So maybe doing most of these things would’ve sufficed to prevent you from becoming overweight, but once you’re overweight, you better be doing everything to the last letter here.
However, supplements and drugs should be used only after you’ve tried everything else.
1) Take Care of Your Circadian Rhythm
Research over the past few decades has recognized the importance of circadian biology in obesity.
Circadian biology has a massive influence on energy balance and metabolism. (R)
Mice who eat at the wrong time (when it’s dark for humans) gained more weight, despite the absence of any significant differences in calorie intake or activity over the course of the experiment. (R) Obviously, their metabolism shifted.
A disrupted circadian rhythm is why we see shift workers are at seriously increased risk of obesity. (R)
2) Eat Within a 12 Hour Window
The window starts when you get up…so don’t eat 12 hours after you get up…Do not eat after, even a little…See my blurb on it…
This is really part of the circadian rhythm, but I thought I’d emphasize this more.
There are limited circumstances where you can consume a little raw honey before bed – if you get hypoglycemic all the time. But if your circadian rhythm is good, you won’t get hypoglycemic.
Caloric intake after 8:00 PM increases the risk of obesity, independent of sleep timing and duration (R).
In addition, eating in the evening or before sleep predisposes individuals to weight gain through higher total calories (R).
3) Get More Sun
UV decreases obesity in animals and that is independent of vitamin D status (R).
Sun also increases BDNF, which helps reduce appetite.
Sun later in the day increases Nitric Oxide, which has multiple mechanisms by which it causes weight loss.
Nitric Oxide (NO), as a signaling molecule, stimulates glucose uptake as well as glucose and fatty acid breakdown in muscle, heart, liver and fat tissue; inhibits the synthesis of glucose, glycogen, and fat in target tissues (e.g., liver and adipose); and enhances fat breakdown in fat cells (R).
NO increases the activation (phosphorylation) of hormone-sensitive lipase and perilipins, which results in the breakdown of fat (R).
Outdoor lighting will allow you to reset your circadian rhythm.
What about cancer? If you avoid sun, you can decrease your risk of melanoma, but you increase your risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, squamous cell lung, pleural, prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. So, overall, your cancer risk goes up (R).
If I know I’m getting more than 30 minutes of sun, I make sure to take 12mg Astaxanthin. I never wear sunscreen.
4) Get Sun or Bright Light Upon Awakening
Besides the amount of sun, the timing of sun is also important.
Intense light exposure, particularly in the morning, is associated with a lower BMI independent of sleep duration and timing (R).
Specifically, having a majority of the average daily light exposure above 500 lux earlier in the day was associated with a lower BMI (R).
In practical terms, for every hour later of light over 500 lux in the day, there was a 1.28 unit increase in BMI (R).
In particular, red and green light exposure in the morning for two hours immediately upon waking in sleep restricted (5 hours/night) individuals altered the levels of the satiety hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Specifically, red and green light increased leptin and decreased ghrelin (R), both of which cause reduced hunger following sleep deprivation.
Exposure to at least 45 minutes of morning light (between 6–9 am at 1300 lux) for 3 weeks in obese women resulted in reduced body fat and appetite (R).
5) Block Out Blue Light At Night
Increased light exposure has been associated with obesity in both humans and mice (R).
Even dim light at night disrupts the circadian clock and increases body weight (R).
Studies have shown that that 35% of the variance in BMI is caused by light exposure – in particular at night (R).
Prolonging daily light exposure increases obesity by decreasing energy expenditure rather than increasing food intake or activity (R).
This was caused by a light-exposure period-dependent reduction of the noradrenergic activation of brown adipose tissue that has recently been shown to contribute substantially to energy expenditure by converting fatty acids and glucose into heat (R).
It’s critical to wear red glasses for four hours before bed. Make sure to use black tape to cover any electronics that emit blue or green light and put your shades down at night if light is coming in.
6) Get More and Better Quality Sleep (at least 8 hours)
Short sleep duration raises the risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults (R).
If your quality or quantity of sleep is bad, everything else will be out of whack.
If you’re waking up in the middle of the night, that’s bad news.
7) Expose Yourself to Colder Temperatures
This means take cold showers, wear an Ice Helmet/Cryohelmet, use fewer layers, etc…You should make sure you’re shivering daily, multiple times in the day. If you don’t see goosebumps at least a few times in the day, you’re not cold often enough.
If you’re stumped in your weight loss efforts, take ice baths.
8) Reduce Stress
Stress decreases NGF and BDNF, both of which are appetite suppressors.
Palatable foods really do ease the edge when we’re feeling stressed.
I had a client who said she barely ate, but she was overweight and had diabetes. Upon further investigation, she said she ate a tub of ice cream on a nightly basis and she needed it because there was a lot of problems in her life.
If you’ve got a lot of mental baggage and you find yourself eating to comfort yourself, you need to do some serious self-reflection, meditation and simplify your life.
9) Diet: Eat These Foods
Eat more protein (best in the form of seafood) – instead of other foods…
Consume more fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits and seeds like chia and flax, which have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber- instead of other foods, not in addition to….
Fish causes leptin to decrease (R) and higher leptin is associated with obesity (even though leptin is a satiating hormone).
Vegetables are rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to cause weight loss in some studies (R, R2, R3)….Fiber gets broken down by bacteria in the digestive tract to produce butyrate, which has weight loss effects in animals. (R)
If you’re consuming animal foods, you’ll get adequate levels of fat, which increases CCK – a hormone that decreases appetite…
Legumes are also beneficial (they release CCK), but if you’re predisposed to inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, you might want to cut them out, because inflammation will disturb your circadian rhythm.
Low glycemic foods are important to prevent hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. Cut out sugar, flours, etc….Gluten also stimulates appetite in many.
Fruits are good, too. In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks (R).
Boiled potatoes scored the highest in satiation of all the foods tested. (R)
Eggs over bagels: One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours (R).
Reduce carbs. Different people will do differently with carbs. Most people will lose more weight by reducing carbs. On the one hand, carbs increase serotonin, which decreases appetite. (R) Hence, people feel more relaxed and satiated after carbs. On the other, it increases insulin, which causes weight gain, (but also satiation in the short term).
Cut out or reduce bad oils…get your fats from fish, Caprylic acid oil, liver, meats/chicken, Black Cumin Seed Oil and/or extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tbsp)…Oils are energy dense and you get adequate amounts of fat without oils. If you aren’t eating nuts or seeds, you can include some EVOO.
An olive oil-enriched diet brought about greater weight loss than a lower-fat diet in an 8-week comparison. (R) Use olive oil INSTEAD OF, not in addition to other calories. Replace saturated fat-filled oils with olive oil (olive oil already has saturated fat).
Linoleic acid, found in vegetable oils, and table sugar synergistically increased the expression of genes involved in fat creation (R). Palatinose (sugar substitute) and oleic acid did not have these effects (R).
This is why I recommend Caprylic acid oil.
Many people assume coconut oil is mostly MCTs, but it’s not. Coconut oil is mostly Lauric acid, which causes me and animals serious inflammation and insulin resistance, and it’s not an MCT. The real MCTs have a better effect for me, and that’s what I’d recommend for weight loss (INSTEAD of other calories, not in addition to).
I’d recommend you choose your oils wisely, as fat is energy dense. That’s why I recommend whole foods, olive oil, and Caprylic acid oil.
In one study, women who ate soup (low energy density) lost 50% more weight than women who ate an energy dense snack (R).
10) Eat Less, But Not So Little That You Binge
Eat less overall, but not too little that you binge later on. If you’re bingeing or thinking about food all day or hoarding food, you’re going too low on your calories.
If you’re hungry then include more of the RIGHT calories.
Do high-intensity exercise, which is probably the best. Adrenaline enhances the release of fatty acids from fat tissue (R) and Norepinephrine suppresses food intake (R). Think of the thin/anxious person…
Exercise also increases endorphins, which activate mu-opioid receptors, which suppresses appetite. (R) See a whole list of ways to naturally activate opioids.
The bottom line is you need to move.
12) Do Yoga
13) Eat Right – Developing Health Habits
Control your portion sizes and choose meal sizes that satisfy your hunger, but not more than your hunger demands.
Portion sizes and the containers we use has an effect on how much we eat. (R)
Eat when you’re hungry, but don’t over-eat.
Be careful of eating mindlessly, for social reasons or for pleasure. I find social occasions is when I and other people eat the most, and we’re eating not because we’re hungry.
You don’t want to be consuming too little because you’ll binge. It needs to be a lifestyle. You need to find the right caloric level that satisfies your hunger, but not more.
14) Love and Be Playful
15) Be Passionate
Be passionate about your work and life…When you’re bored, you will over-eat. When you’re consumed or really busy, food is the last thing on your mind and you forget to eat.
16) Be Mindful and Meditate
If you are mindful of your food, you will eat less of it and enjoy it more.
Meditation will allow you to be less impulsive.
17) Drink Water
The graph below shows how drinking 500 ml (17 oz) of water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1 to 1.5 hours.
18) Chew/ Eat More Slowly
If you chew your food well, you will eat less of it, enjoy it more and release more satiating hormones.
Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women (R).
People who were instructed to eat more slowly ended up eating 67 fewer calories during a meal. They also enjoyed their meal more.
19) Prevent Hypoglycemia
Prevent hypoglycemia or low blood glucose mainly through a healthy diet, with lots of veggies and fruits (fiber), a good amount of protein, and a decent amount of fat (but not too much)…
Hypoglycemia increases glutamate release, which increases appetite. (R) Hence, I have clients who claim to have a voracious appetite, and I already know that they’ve got excess glutamate….hypoglycemia and stress are the most important causes of excess glutamate…
20) Lower Carb Intake
Insulin is one of the big four fattening hormones. High glycemic index carbs will cause insulin spikes and insulin resistance.
Lower carb intake in general if you’re having a problem with weight loss. My suggestion is to either go ketogenic or aim for 150g of carbs, spaced out throughout the day…
Also consume your carbs around the time you are exercising and towards the evening, when you’re more insulin sensitive (but not after your 12-hour window)…
If you have high insulin, lowering carbs is certainly more important.
21) Intermittent Fasting
Fast intermittently if you’re still having problems losing weight.
Results of one of the best studies we have of intermittent fasting in humans showed that fasting every other day for 12 weeks caused 32 people to lose an average of 12 pounds more than those who followed a daily program of calorie restriction.
These people ate 25% of their calories every other day. (R)
22) Take Care of Your Vagus Nerve
23) Stay Away From Junk Food
MSG has the capacity to increase appetite (R).
24) Breath In More Oxygen By Being Outside More
Coinciding with the increase in obesity, atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased more than 40% (R).
Furthermore, in modern societies, we spend more time indoors, where CO2often reaches even higher concentrations (R).
Increased CO2 concentration in inhaled air decreases the pH of blood, which in turn spills over to cerebrospinal fluids. Nerve cells in the hypothalamus that regulate appetite and wakefulness have been shown to be extremely sensitive to pH, doubling their activity if pH decreases by 0.1 units (R).
The study hypothesizes that an increased acidic load from atmospheric CO2 may potentially lead to increased appetite and energy intake, and decreased energy expenditure, and thereby contribute to the current obesity epidemic (R).
25) Optimize Your Hormones
If you’re women with low estrogen (usually post-menopausal), estrogen replacement can help. (R)
Growth hormone or GHRH (its precursor) increases muscle and decreases fat. Ipamorelin is the best for this. It will help your sleep, too. Low-dose growth hormone treatment with diet restriction accelerates body fat loss and increases muscle. (R)
Keeping to a circadian rhythm is important for balancing all of your hormones.
Synthetic birth control hormones can cause you to gain weight (up to 2kg), so be careful of those. They will increase fat and decrease muscle. (R)
26) Get a Sauna
Saunas have been important for pretty much EVERY culture in the past few thousand years.
27) Include These Functional Foods That Cause Weight Loss
- Apple Cider Vinegar (Acetate results in appetite suppression (R)),
- Chili/Cayenne – capsaicin causes weight loss (R) – in part by increasing expenditure, reducing appetite and also causing vagus nerve blocking, which reduces excess weight (R,R2, R3, R4). Capsaicin’s anti-obesity effect is in part by activating the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) channels (R)
- Dark Chocolate (R),
- Caprylic acid (instead of other oils not in addition to),
- Hi-maize/Resistant starch (to increase GLP-1)…Resistant starch has many mechanisms by which it can cause weight loss. (R)
28-43) Supplement Right
- Probiotics (L gasseri, L. rhamnosus, B lactis) (R) – probiotics can help decrease intestinal inflammation, which can be a cause of weight gain (R),
- Berberine – obese people lost an average of 5 pounds in 12 weeks. (R) Berberine induces the development of brown fat and increases UCP1 and other thermogenic genes in white and brown fat…It works via AMPK and PGC-1α. Berberine also inhibits AMPK activity in the hypothalamus.
- HMB – increases muscle mass and fat loss (R).
- EGCG causes an average weight loss of 0.2 to 3.5kg with supplements… (R, R2)…EGCG inhibits MAO-B, which results in weight loss. (R) Green tea can make us burn more calories, even at rest. In most studies, this amounts to about a 3-4% increase, although some studies show an increase as high as 8% (R, R2, R3). For 2000 calories, 3-4% amounts to an additional 60-80 calories per day. In one study of 60 obese individuals, the group taking green tea extract lost 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg) and burned 183 more calories per day after 3 months (R). Results may depend on the individual (R). Mechanism: EGCG increased CPT-1, UCP2, hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) (R).
- Glucomannan (R)- Glucomannan induced body weight reduction in healthy overweight subjects eating a healthy diet, whereas the addition of guar gum and alginate did not seem to cause additional loss of weight to a healthy diet.
- Forskolin decreases body fat in men (R) and mitigated body fat gains in women (R), in a small study.
- CLA (small effect) – In a review of 18 different studies, CLA caused weight loss of about 0.2 pounds (0.1 kg) per week, for up to 6 months (R). Another review study found an average of 3 pounds (1.3 kg) of weight loss compared to a placebo (R).
- Calcium – Increasing dietary calcium significantly caused weight and fat loss and increased the percentage of fat lost from the trunk region (R). In animals, calcium stimulated fat tissue uncoupling protein UCP2 and muscle UCP3 and slightly increased core temperature. Calcium increased fat busting/lipolysis decreased fatty acid synthesis, and reduced fat regain. (R) If you don’t eat dairy or sardines daily, YOU WILL BE DEFICIENT in calcium. Take with K2 and D3 to prevent build up in your arteries.
- Hops -Matured hop extract reduces body fat in healthy overweight humans: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study (R)
- Green Coffee Extract/Chlorogenic acid/Kidney Bean Ext – a meta-analysis found that green coffee extract results in weight loss of about 2.5kg or 5.5 pounds. (R) Kidney bean extract blocks carb absorption, which is a useful mechanism by which people can lose some weight. (R)
- Mucuna to increase dopamine if you’ve got low levels. It might, theoretically combat appetite…People with genetically fewer dopamine D2 receptors needed to consume more of a rewarding substance (such as drugs or food) to get that same effect. Manipulating dopamine levels altered eating behavior.. (R) For example, AA or AG of rs1800497, which is a DRD2 gene (I’m AG) is associated with less pleasure and a higher risk of obesity. (R)
- Garcinia – A 2011 review that looked at 12 studies on garcinia cambogia found that, on average, it caused weight loss of about 2 pounds (0.88 kg) over several weeks. (R)
- Synephrine/Bitter orange –Synephrine shares similar mechanisms with ephedrine, but is less potent. It can reduce appetite and significantly increase fat burning. (R)
- Meratrim -After 8 weeks, the Meratrim group had lost 11 pounds (5.2 kg) of weight and 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) off their waistlines. (R)
- PRP – in a gene expression analysis, it was predict that PRP can help combat obesity (R).
- Cissus Quadrangularis (R)
44-47) Relatively Safe Drugs to Think About
- Nicotine -by far your best option. Nicotine reduces appetite by activating nicotinic receptors in the lateral hypothalamus. (R)
- Caffeine (R, R2),
- Metformin – metformin decreases food consumption and induces weight loss in obese people with type 2 diabetes. (R)
- Ephedrine (be careful – not safe when overdone).
Supplements For Weight Loss With Positive Effects in Animals
L Gasseri (high-fat diet induced obesity) (R)
Blueberry peels (R)
Apple polyphenols (led to reduced Leptin, Perilipin, and sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (Srebf1) gene expression and increased aquaporin 7 (Aqp7), adipocyte enhancer binding protein 1 (Aebp1), and PGC-1a) (R)
Carvacrol (by suppressing bone morphogenic protein, fibroblast growth factor 1- and galanin-mediated signaling, and it also attenuates the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in visceral adipose tissues by inhibiting toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)- and TLR4-mediated signaling) (R)
I3C supplementation significantly ameliorated HFD-induced increases in body weight gain, visceral fat pad weights, and plasma lipid levels. The visceral adipose tissue mRNA levels of uncoupling proteins 1 and 3, crucial factors of thermogenesis, and their regulators such as sirtuin 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α and PPARγ coactivator 1α, which were down-regulated by HFD, were normalized by supplementation with I3C. decreased PPARγ2, and its target genes, such as leptin and adipocyte protein 2, in the visceral adipose tissue of mice maintained on the HFD. Furthermore, HFD-induced up-regulation in mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, interferon β and interleukin 6) was significantly ameliorated by I3C. (R)
Others, not recommended:
MAO Inhibitors (R).
An SNRI (a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) called sibutramine results in weight loss, which is can be caused by increase serotonin and norepinephrine. (R) This drug was withdrawn because of safety issues.
Mechanisms of Obesity
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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