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Whether You Need To Lose Several Pounds, Or Just Want To Maintain Your Current Weight, We Have A Plan For You
Are you trying to lose a lot of weight, or that stubborn last 10 pounds? Maybe you just want to tone up, or maintain your current weight. While there are some common threads in all these situations, each one poses unique challenges.
Tammy Post, DO, best known as Dr. Tammy, is an integrative physician who has not only helped thousands of patients regain their health and lose weight, but also truly knows what it’s like. After giving birth to her son at age 36, and having a hysterectomy three years later, she gained over 80 pounds and experienced a combination of hormonal imbalances.
After getting back into shape, she created Project Fabulous (projectfabulous.com), a highly successful weight-loss program. “You have to live the struggle before you can really speak to it,” she says. In her program, which includes supplements and food sensitivity and hormonal testing, it isn’t uncommon for patients to lose 50–60 pounds in 90 days.
In these four diet plans, she identifies the most important things to know and do.
1 Losing a Lot of Weight
“It’s not so much the weight that’s the problem,” says Dr. Tammy, “It’s underlying inflammation.” The major block to weight loss, inflammation is typically generated by five foods: gluten, sugar, soy, dairy, and corn. These cause delayed immune system reactions (also called food sensitivities), which take about three days to manifest, so they’re difficult to connect to a specific food.
To calm the inflammation and enable weight loss, eliminate these foods for 28 days. And replace one meal or snack each day with a protein shake made with rice and/or pea protein, or whey isolate or hydrolysate, without hormones, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, coloring, or flavoring.
After that, try reintroducing the foods you haven’t been eating, a small serving of one food at a time, and see how you feel during the next three days. If you’re fine, it means you can eat small amounts of that food. Repeat the process with each potentially offending food and adjust your diet accordingly. For faster weight loss, keep avoiding the five foods until you’ve reached your goal weight, or for a more customized approach, get tested for food sensitivities.
Eat whole—not packaged or processed—foods, and use myfitnesspal.com or a similar app to monitor calories. Aim for 1,200–1,500 calories daily.
Probiotics Research: Studies have found that the balance of gut bacteria is different among very overweight and thin people. Animal research shows that Lactobacillus alone leads to weight gain, whereas a variety of organisms—such as Bifidobacterium breve, B. longum, B. infantis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. paracasei, L. bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus—boosts weight loss.
2 Losing those Last 10 Lbs
“That hard or resistive 10 pounds is usually hormonal,” says Dr. Tammy, and it most often strikes women approaching menopause. Estrogen overload and/or low thyroid are the most common factors (see Supplements, p. 62), and sometimes you may need to work with a physician trained in testing and hormone balance. Eliminating gluten and soy calms inflammation and help to rebalance hormones. Cutting back on sugar, dairy, and corn may also help.
Eat whole—not packaged or processed—foods, and use myfitnesspal.com or a similar app to monitor calories. Aim for 1,200–500 calories daily.
3 Toning Up
Weight training is critical for improving tone, but cellulite, which Dr. Tammy describes as “basically inflammation in the fatty and muscle layers under the skin,” can be stubborn. It can be reduced by eliminating gluten and dairy and using DMAE cream and pills. To improve workout results, take creatine and amino acids (see Supplements, below).
4 Maintaining Weight
“Keeping sugar out of the diet, as much as possible, is very important,” says Dr. Tammy. Before eating cake or other treats, ask yourself: How am I going to feel once I eat that? Bloated? Tired? As a guide, she suggests limiting one occasional serving of a treat to the same number of calories as your weight—130 calories if you weigh 130 pounds, for example.
Weight training is vital, yet underused by most women. For anyone who is very overweight, start with yoga, swimming, or water exercise if joints hurt. In all situations, Dr. Tammy recommends 10–15 minutes daily of strength training, working all the different muscle groups over the course of a few days. Or, do 45 minutes, two to three times weekly with a trainer, plus 15–40 minutes of aerobic exercise, three times per week. Too much exercise can generate inflammation and work against you.
Even if you’re simply struggling to maintain your ideal weight, hormone imbalance or food sensitivities may play a role, and getting tested may be the key. In addition, artificial sweeteners, which are neurotoxins, pesticides in food that isn’t organic, and chemical food additives can be hidden weight promoters.
MSG is a major one to avoid. Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people who eat the additive are more likely to be overweight, even if their caloric intake and physical activity equal those of a thinner person.
To find a physician skilled in hormone testing and balancing, see Health Resources at acam.org.
These supplements, says Dr. Tamny, are equally important for all four situations because between them, they do three key things: reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and help restore or maintain a healthy metabolism.
Vera Tweed is a Los Angeles-based health and fitness writer with more than 20 years of experience.
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