"Studies have shown that a high-protein diet has major positive benefits for weight loss and metabolic health."
Today Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, holistic nutritionist, shares proven tips and tricks to help you lose weight, cut inflammation, and lessen blood sugar swings.
If you or someone you know needs to lose weight, is fighting obesity and/or has type 2 diabetes, then watch this important video!
- 00:44: If you're struggling with obesity or type 2 diabetes, this video is for you
- 02:44: Poor inflammation management is the single most driving mechanism behind obesity
- 06:06: Many healthcare practitioners do not address the inflammation problem
- 09:20: When craving a snack, choose protein instead of snack foods
- 10:21: Protein is the best way to feel more full with less food
- 13:10: 4-ingredient recipe for a high protein snack in less than 5 minutes
- 18:08: Eggs are the cleanest and most bioavailable source of animal protein
- 18:50: Why stable blood glucose is important
- 19:55: Great low-glycemic foods
- 22:07: How and why to prepare quinoa
- 24:00: Train your tastebuds to cut back on salt
Obesity and Inflammation
Inflammation is both a cause and the result of obesity. And once obesity and insulin resistance, which often accompanies it, have been established in the body, they stimulate the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body, forming a vicious cycle of inflammation and obesity.
Cytokines are what the body releases to trigger your immune system, and this overactive immune response, triggers inflammation. This makes you less healthy and more prone to illness. In fact, many researchers now believe that failing to manage inflammation is the single most important driving mechanism behind obesity. Poor blood sugar management may be a close second.
Obesity is linked to many serious health issues and chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The association between obesity and inflammation is now well-known, but the question still remains: does obesity cause inflammation or does inflammation cause obesity?
The answer is not clean cut, but we do know that taking steps to address both will lead to a happier, healthier you. Inflammation begins in the fat cells. As the fat mass expands, inflammation increases in the fat cells. We are born with the same number of fat cells that we die with, so as our weight increases, the fat cells are not multiplying in number but increasing in size.
As more glucose is delivered to your fat cells, they produce an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which begins a damaging inflammatory cascade within the fat cell, which then spreads as chronic inflammation throughout the body, going to your heart and then to your brain. A key to preventing and treating obesity is reducing the chronic inflammation.
Unfortunately many healthcare practitioners don’t fully understand this foundational concept. They focus exclusively on regulating blood sugar and fat hormones, which are very important, but without addressing all the potential causes of inflammation as well, overcoming obesity and diabetes is going to be very difficult.
So let’s look at some dietary tips and tricks that will help! We’ll discuss ingredients to cook with, and address common unhealthy dietary triggers. Remember that in addition to a poor diet, stress, poor sleep, environmental toxins, and a lack of exercise all cause inflammation to rise in the body. When you begin to address all these factors, you have an incredibly powerful tool to combat obesity.
Dietary Tips and Tricks
Got a craving? Eat protein
We all have cravings, especially at night, for chips or cookies or some other crunchy snack. But next time you feel the chips in the pantry calling, choose a healthy protein snack instead.
Why is this a better choice?
Studies have shown that a high-protein diet has major positive benefits for weight loss and metabolic health. Protein drives up your metabolism, and is super efficient at reducing appetite. There are 3 macronutrients in food: fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Each affect your body in different ways. Studies show that protein is by far the most filling, and the best at cutting unhealthy cravings. Protein significantly reduces the level of Grelin, which is known as the hunger hormone, so that you feel more full with less food. It also boosts the level of Peptide YY (PYY), which is the hormone that makes you feel full. PYY is secreted into your blood by cells in your lower small intestine and the colon. When there are enough of these hormones present, they send a signal to your brain that you are full. Low PYY levels are also associated with an increase in appetite and food intake. These low levels are often found in people who struggle with obesity or type 2 diabetes, which contributes to their weight gain.
So eat more protein and pump up your appetite control hormones which helps you lose weight and cut cravings.
Great protein snack in less than 5 minutes
- Olive oil spray
- Spinach (or other leafy greens)
- 1 egg and 2 egg whites
- 1/2 avocado
Spray a skillet with olive oil spray and place pan over medium high heat. Put a handful of spinach in the pan, and sauté for 20 - 30 seconds. Remove spinach from pan and set aside on a plate. Spray the pan again, and add 1 egg and 2 egg whites. Scramble for a few seconds. Turn off heat, add spinach back to pan, and scramble together for a few seconds. Add Himalayan sea salt if desired. Finally, slice half an avocado, and top egg and spinach scramble with avocado pieces, then drizzle olive oil on the top.
This healthy, simple, and super fast snack contains protein, iron, vitamin K, and vitamin A. It will sustain you and fill you up, rev up your metabolism, and drive down the hunger craving.
Eggs are the fastest, most bioavailable, and cleanest animal protein, but for folks who can’t eat eggs, chicken, lean turkey, or fish can all be used in this same recipe.
Other great blood-sugar balancing foods
Keeping your blood glucose levels stable keeps the area of your brain, called the hypothalamus happy. The hypothalamus controls your body’s hunger and thirst, and regulates the processes that keeps your body in equilibrium. When you follow Dr. Nancy’s anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll start eating less and feeling more full, because the glucose in your food is less.
- Make sure your food staples include low-glycemic foods including leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, celery, swiss chard, and persian cucumbers. These are all high in phytochemicals, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- Other low glycemic foods include: all types of berries, beans (not canned), whole grains (oats and quinoa), nuts (almonds are best) and seeds such as chia seeds keep your blood sugar stable. They are also all high in soluble fiber.
When you start eating these things, you’ll automatically eat less without feeling deprived, and lose excess weight. When you cut out salt, you’ll also lose water weight, and soon you’ll start slimming and feeling healthier and more confident. You’ll be less achey, as your joints start to move better which allows you to be more active!
Plant foods are also naturally high in nutrients and low in calories. So drop the refined, processed foods today! Eat live foods like fruits and vegetables.
Quinoa is a grain that is low on the glycemic index, and high in protein. It’s found in South America, and has a nutty, crunchy flavor. It can be prepared a lot of different ways. To prepare an easy quinoa snack bowl:
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water or preferrred broth
Cook on the stove for 10 minutes, and add toppings such as sautéed kale and sweet potatoes with sea salt, or other vegetables or even fruits. Quinoa can serve as a great replacement for rice, or even potatoes. It’s a great way to satisfy hunger for your late-night snack.
Bonus tip: The more you eat out at restaurants or eat packaged foods, the more you train your taste buds to need excess salt. Restaurants especially use salt as a cheap preservative, and also to mask the taste of low quality foods. But your taste buds regenerate every 10 - 12 days, so it doesn’t take long making healthy snacks at home to teach yourself to enjoy foods with lower salt content. Before long, you’ll find you enjoy the natural taste of the foods that you may have been masking with too much salt!
As you begin to implement these tips, you will start to lose belly fat and lower inflammation, which will lead to better overall health as you feel better, and more active. Your mood and energy will improve as well! Look forward to future videos addressing obesity and diabetes more in depth.