FROM  THE  BOOK  FULL FAT  SOLUTION  by  Karlene  First, R.D.

Chapter 4

Healthful Fats for a Lean Body

The Skinny on Fad Diets

Atkins, Beverly Hills, Cabbage Soup, Cider Vinegar, Eat Right 4 Your Type, Grapefruit, Ornish, South Beach, Sugar Busters, Zone, and the list goes on and on. I'm sure most of you have heard of these diets, and some of you may have tried them. We are obsessed with our weight. We spend more than US$100 million annually to find our magic weight-loss bullet. We spend more effort, time, and money than ever before, yet we continue to grow in size. Poor nutrition, specifically related to dietary fat, bears most of the responsibility for the surge in overweight individuals. The latest and greatest diet crazes promoting high protein low protein, high carbohydrate/low carbohydrate, herbs, stimulant products, cleanses, and tonics are emotionally and physically destructive, and more often thannot, they simply don'twork. In many cases, once yougooffthe diet, not only do you regain the weight lost but you add some extra as well. The diet industry's success is built on our failures.

But why didn't these fad diets help you lose weight or keep the weight oft? Fad diets are generally so unrealistic and so unpleasant they cannot be maintained for the long term. Most of us trying a fad diet will stop eating the diet because it's too restrictive in food choices, boring, expensive, and overall a stressful experience. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed there is little evidence to support the use of many commercial weight-loss programs.1 Studies show that one-third to two-thirds of weight lost is usually regained within one year, and almost all weight is regained within five years. Diets are considered a success only if weight loss is maintained without damaging your overall health. Your food program should satisfy all your nutritional needs, meet individual taste and habits, minimize hunger, and boost energy. The cornerstone to successful weight loss is enjoying your lifestyle—every day, by enlisting in a program and lifestyle change that you feel you can maintain for the long haul. If you feel that what you are doing today cannot be maintained for the next six months to one year, then it likely is not the right program for you. Eat healthfully; move your body, yet still get plenty of rest; drink water throughout the day; take your supplements; have a positive attitude of gratefulness; and rely on your faith. When you combine all of the above, your body will respond with a healthy weight and optimal health.

Our Growing Waistlines

Obesity is considered to be the most common nutritional disorder in the industrialized world today. According to the World Health Organization, for the first time ever the number of overweight individuals exceeds the number of malnourished.2 According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight,3 and, unfortunately, these deadly statistics don't show any signs of slowing down. This epidemic is a time bomb for future explosions in cardiovascular disease, which is the number one killer in North America, and type-2 diabetes. Remember, North Americans are the most overfed, undernourished people in the world.

Taking Stock

To discover more about your food and activity habits, answer the following questions:

1. Do you eat fish and lean meat, such as poultry, at least three
times a week?

No Yes

2. Do you eat breakfast every day? 

No Yes

3. Do you eat whole grains instead of white or refined grains? 

No Yes

4. Do you incorporate fish-oil supplements into your dietary regimen?

No Yes

5. Do you avoid all fried foods as much as possible? 

No Yes

6. Do you eat three to five meals per day? 

No Yes

7. Do you eat fast food less than once a week? 

No Yes

8. Do you pay attention to portion sizes? 

No Yes

9. Do you follow a healthful eating plan and avoid going on and off diets

No Yes

10. Do you set aside at least thirty minutes, three times a week
for physical activity?

No    Yes

Your Score:

Count up the number of checks you have in column 2 (yes).

What was your score?

What does your score mean?

8 to 10 checks: Fantastic! Keep up the good work.

5 to 7 checks: You're on the right track, but its time to start considering some changes.

0 to 4 checks: Uh-oh. Take time now to make some changes.

Fat Cells Are the Key

The human body contains about 30 billion fat cells. We all have the same number of fat cells, but the difference between individuals is how much fat is stored inside those cells. Our fat cells have an unlimited ability to keep growing and expanding. In order to stop the uncontrolled growth of our fat cells, we need to ensure we are eating the right types of food, moving our bodies every day, and improving our metabolism with a body built out of healthful fats that will create a healthy cell structure.

Nutrition researchers are extremely frustrated with the "eat fat, get fat" mantra. This ignores the science that has proven bad fats are bad for your health and good fats are good for your health. Remember, not all fats are created equally. Healthful, long-chain fats from omega-3s and certain omega-6s can promote the use of stored fat for energy, rev up your metabolism, secrete satiety hormones, and shrink your fat cells.

Fat Metabolism

When we consume fat, the gastrointestinal tract breaks the fats in the triglyceride form down into free fatty acids by enzymes known as lipases. The fatty acids are absorbed by the intestinal cells, where the lymphatic system and the liver produce fatty complexes to transport these fatty acids throughout the body. The fatty acids derived from high arachidonic acid and trans fats are the main sources of fat storage in the body. Conversely, when our diet contains higher amounts of beneficial fats found in healthful oils, it discourages fat storage and encourages fat burning. Research has shown that varying the omega-3s' and omega-6s' availability to the body can be responsible for, and influence weight loss associated with, increasing the amount of healthful fat in the diet through (1) lipogensis (breakdown of fat in the body), (2) insulin sensitivity, (3) adipocyte differentiation (fat cell number and size), (4) the neuroendocrine system, and (5) the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure.

Trans Fats and Obesity

Trans fats promote obesity and insulin resistance because our bodies can't recognize them since they are shaped differently from natural fats, such as unsaturated fats. Trans fats crowd out the essential fats from the cells. Polyunsaturated fats determine the fluidity of the cells. When there are fewer essential fats, the cells become rigid and hard, thereby reducing the number and sensitivity of insulin receptors. When insulin receptors become less sensirive to insulin, blood glucose levels remain high, leading to type-2 diabetes. Trans fats increase the size of fat cells, and large fat cells have fewer insulin receptors and store more fat than normal fat cells.

If you want to prevent obesity and the very serious complications associated with it, you should substantially reduce your intake of trans fats. Typical foods containing trans fats include packaged and convenience foods, such as chips, crackers, cookies, commercial baked goods, and fast food.

Arachidonic Acid and Obesity

The dietary status of many overweight people is such that the eicosanoid (hormone) pathways are driven toward the production of proinflammatory hormones (if you need a refresher, reread chapter 1). This may occur as a consequence of dietary deficiency of certain polyunsaturated fats, or as a consequence of alterations in the ratio of omega-6s and omega-3s. Studies show that essential fatty acids can affect the release of insulin. The insulin-releasing effect of fats decreases with the degree of unsaturation, meaning the more saturated a fat is, the less chance the pancreas has of releasing insulin, which is why the polyunsaturated fats do a better job of enabling insulin secretion.

Numerous theories have been suggested for the relationship between fats and insulin resistance, including changes in membrane fluidity (i.e., the polyunsaturated fats make the cells more fluid compared with saturated and trans fats, which create rigid, hard cells), the number of insulin receptor sites, and the increased activity of insulin receptors (i.e., polyunsaturated fats make the insulin receptor sites more active). Research has shown that as the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio decreases, insulin resistance improves.

0mega-3s and Belly-Fat Loss

Research has found omega-3s to be powerful weight-loss agents, helping overweight individuals shed unwanted pounds. In both Inuit and Japanese populations, their intake of EPA and DHA were high and the incidence of obesity and its related diseases low. One twelve-week intervention trial studied the effects of omega-3s from fish oil in combination with aerobic exercise three times a week. Study participants were overweight and had metabolic syndrome. The results showed that the total proportion of fat in the body, particularly in the abdominal region, was reduced significantly in the fish-oil-plus-exercise group, but not by fish oil alone or exercise alone. The researchers concluded that omega-3s in fish oil can switch on enzymes specifically involved in oxidizing or burning fat, but they need a driver (exercise) to increase the metabolic rate to lower body fat.4

0mega-3s: Increase Your Body's Satiety Hormones

Appetite control is one of the most important factors involved in the success of nutrition strategies for obesity. Omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to modulate appetite. They are major components in the transport of appetite-regulating molecules, such as dopamine, which are related to receptor affinity. Omega-3s can interact with neuroendocrine factors that are involved in something called the "brain-intestinal loop signals" related to energy metabolism such as insulin, ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry), or leptin (the hormone that signals satiety). In a study published in the journal Appetite, participants who ate a dinner rich in omega-3s felt less hungry and more full directly after, and still two hours later, than the participants who were fed a dinner with low omega-3s.5 (Think dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon or halibut as the ideal diet to help maintain satiety). This study indicates that omega-3s (mainly EPA and DHA) can modulate hunger hormones.

Researchers have confirmed multiple ways in which omega-3s help with weight loss:

* Fish oil omega-3s stimulate secretion of leptin,

a hormone that decreases appetite and promotes the burning of fat.

* Fish oil omega-3s enable burning of dietary fats by helping the body move fatty acids into body cells for burning as fuel.

* Fish oil omega-3s encourage the body to store dietary carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, rather than as hard-to-lose body fat.

* Fish oil omega-3s reduce inflammation, which is known to promote weight gain.

* Fish oil omega-3s enhance blood sugar control by increasing rhe insulin-producing cells' sensitivity to sugar.

* Fish oil omega-3s flip off genetic switches that promote inflammation and storage of food as body fat.

Fish oil omega-3s help the body transport glucose from blood to cells by increasing the fluidity of the cell membranes.

Fish oil omega-3s exhibit anti-obesity effects.

In summary, the researchers concluded that omega-3s are one of the best dietary weight-control aids discovered to date.

0mega-6s: Why GLA Aids in Weight Loss

As mentioned in chapter 1, GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in borage and evening primrose oils. Numerous research studies have examined the role of GLA for improving health, specifically in the area of weight loss. In the 1980s there were many early reports published in several medical journals, such as the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,6 that focused on GLA as a natural aid to weight reduction. Scientists such as Dr. David Horrobin, a former professor of medicine at the University of Montreal, and Dr. M. Afzal Mir, a researcher and consultant at the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, identified two calorie-burning mechanisms that GLA helps to regulate. Simply put, the first involves a metabolically active fat known as brown adipose tissue (or BAT), which is underactive in overweight people. GLA can activate BAT to burn calories. The second is the ATPase metabolic process, commonly referred to as the "sodium pump," which GLA also stimulates for more calorie burning. Amazingly, the sodium pump can use up nearly 50 percent of the body's total calories. Dr. Horrobin believes that nearly one-third of all overweight people are metabolically impaired, interfering with the burning of excess calories.

Studies have demonstrated that GLA from borage oil causes less body fat to accumulate. In one GLA study, individuals lost from 9.6 to 11.4 pounds (4.4 to 5.2 kg) over a six-week period.8 GLA is a safe, nonstimulating way to stimulate the body's metabolic activity and burn fat.

These studies show that obesity is linked to low GLA levels, and supplementation can correct or normalize these levels. Furthermore, supplementation in obese animals reduces food intake and weight gain.9 A researcher from Japan in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition confirmed that dietary GLA could reduce body fat by increasing the metabolism of BAT and that GLA may affect enzymes involved in the metabolism of fat, as well as the metabolism of glucose.10 Perhaps most interesting of all is the hypothesis that GLA, like other fatty acids, has the potential to elevate levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to the feeling of fullness. By elevating serotonin, you will feel satiated sooner, eat less, and not be tempted to overindulge.

GLA Keeps the Weight Off

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition assessed whether GLA supplementation would suppress weight regain following weight loss in obese individuals. As we know, keeping the weight off is often difficult, depending on the way in which weight was lost in the first place. Fifty formerly obese humans were placed in two different groups and given either 890 mg/d of GLA (5 g/day borage oil) or 5 g/day of olive oil (control group) for one year. It was found that GLA from borage oil did help to keep the formerly obese individuals' weight gain off.11

As we know, GLA produces anti-inflammatory effects, which may have been instrumental in weight gain suppression, especially in view of recent studies that suggest an association between obesity and markers of inflammation. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (blood measure of inflammation) and white blood cells have been observed in obese adults when compared with normal-weight people. People with a high body fat mass, a large waist, and high visceral fat, as well as high levels of fat in their fat cells, experience low-grade chronic inflammation. When people lose weight, typically CRP and white blood cells decrease. GLA has also been shown to decrease CRP and white blood cell levels.

High Linoleic Acid Safflower Oil Beats Belly Fat

In chapter 1, I discussed the controversy that exists with omega-6s and how they have been wrongly branded as a nutrition evil. The important thing to remember is that not all fats are created equally, and neither are all omega-6s. While we want to decrease our consumption of refined, toxic-overloaded omega-6 oils, along with foods that are high in arachidonic acid (they promote inflammation), research has been quite favorable on the benefits of GLA (from borage and evening primrose oils). Recent research also highlights the belly-fat-fighting effects of high linoleic acid found in safflower oil.

Safflower oil yields nature's richest source of linoleic acid (yes, it is also used to produce the isomers in conjugated linoleic acid [CIA] discussed in this chapter). A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009 involving thirty-five women who were postmenopausal, obese, and type-2 diabetics (yet none were using insulin to control their diabetes) compared the effects of two oils, high linoleic acid safflower oil (different from the high linoleic version of safflower oil that is more commonly available as a cooking oil), and CLA (known for stimulating lipolysis, or the breakdown of fats in various parts of the body, especially the hips, thighs, and buttocks region, yet has not been overly effective at reducing fat in the belly region.)

The researchers gave 8 grams of either oil to each group for sixteen weeks, with a four-week washout period, followed by crossing the group over to each receive the other oil. The women were instructed to not change their diet or exercise to be able to accurately assess the benefits of the oils.

The results were very positive and a little surprising as the equivalent of two teaspoons (10 mL) of oil rich in linoleic acid had a significant benefit on the women's body composition. The women lost between 2 and 4 pounds (0.9 and 1.8 kg) of belly fat, simply by taking the high linoleic safflower oil, which translates into an approximate 6.35-pound (2.9 kg) loss of trunk adipose (also known as belly fat). Safflower oil also increased lean tissue (muscle) by an average of about 1.4 pounds (0.6 kg).12 Practically speaking, this means the women using the safflower oil not only lost belly fat but also gained lean muscle mass. (Remember, the more muscle, the more calories are burned at rest, which is a good thing.)

Linoleic Acid Increases Important Belly-Fat Hormones

Adiponectin is gaining popularity in the nutrition research world as an important belly-fat hormone that can modulate a number of important metabolic processes, including blood sugar regulation and the breakdown of fat, especially belly fat. Overweight individuals, those with type-2 diabetes, and the aging population tend to have lower levels of adiponectin because it naturally decreases as we age. The study examining the effects of safflower oil found, it also improves adiponectin levels by an incredible 23 percent. This may be a very plausible explanation for the reduction of belly fat.

Our goal is to nutritionally support adiponectin levels because this important belly-fat-fighting hormone also has antiinflammatory effects on the cells lining the walls of the blood vessels. High blood levels of adiponectin are associated with a reduced risk of heart attack. We know that systemic inflammation triggers fat storage; therefore, an essential component of any diet needs to focus on reducing body inflammation.

Adiponectin may also improve the number of mitochondria, our bodies' energy-producing factories within muscle cells, thereby improving metabolism.

Spot-Reducing Belly Fat with Safflower Oil

Up until now, the idea of spot-reducing belly fat, and fat in other areas of the body, has been ignored by most nutrition and exercise experts. The groundbreaking research described above may open up an entirely new theory since safflower oil was proven to blast belly fat.

There are many mechanisms worth examining, but I believe, based on what we know about the ability of healthful fats to build healthy cells, the supplementation with safflower oil improved the cell membrane function and triggered the body to burn fat. When cell membranes become stiff because of the consumption of unhealthful fats, cells lose their ability to hold nutrients, electrolytes, and even water. The lack of fluidity in the membranes also impairs their ability to communicate with other cells and affects how they are influenced by hormones such as insulin. For example, hormones and communicating molecules that increase the ability of the cells to burn energy or fat may be impeded; the end result is a slowdown of metabolism and an accumulation of fat within the cells. The increase in fluidity allows more movement of insulin receptor sites on cell membranes and, therefore, an improvement in the ability of insulin to bind to them. This increase in affinity is a possible contributing factor to the effects of safflower oil. Improving cell membrane fluidity can bring cell membranes back to healthy functioning. This can be done by changes in diet and supplementing with healthful fats such as linoleic safflower oil.

The study noted that it took thirty days before detectable levels of linoleic acid were found in the blood, after which time cell membranes can be properly formed from these healthful fats. Don't expect to see results from omega-3 and omega-6 supplementation for at least one month. Once the cell membrane structure starts to be built by healthful fats, the results will be profound. In the case of this study on safflower oil, maximum results were achieved between the twelve- and sixteen-week marks.

Safflower Oil Improves Blood Sugar Control

Linoleic acid enhances blood sugar control by increasing the insulin-producing cells' sensitivity to sugar. As this study demonstrated, a drop in fasting blood sugar levels in the participants using safflower oil was significant and could impart enormous benefits for the prediabetic population. Interesting new research being done in the biotechnology sector may shed more light on the possible mechanisms of action of this plant. SemBioSys Genetics is currently using a type of safflower oil to produce human insulin. Human insulin derived from safflower oil is currently going through Phase I and II trials on human test subjects. Developing an efficient low-cost substitute for safflower oil could significantly change treatment options for people all over the world. Within the safflower family of molecules there are structures similar to human insulin. This is possibly one of the mechanisms in which safflower oil lowers fasting blood sugar, and helps to mobilize stored belly fat.

Coconut the Weight Off

As I mentioned in chapter 3, coconut oil has become one of my favorite fats. It is beneficial for skin health and great for cooking, and now research shows that when this healthful fat is incorporated into your diet, benefits for your waistline are achievable.

In a study published in the journal Lipids in 2009, women with abdominal obesity were given 30 mL (2 tbsp) of coconut oil or soybean oil over a twelve-week period. They were also instructed to decrease calories and walk for fifty minutes per day. The group using the coconut oil showed a reduction in their waist circumference as well as a higher level of HDL (good cholesterol) and a lower LDL:HDL ratio. The researchers concluded that supplementing with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia (altered blood fat levels) and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.13

It is important to remember when incorporating coconut oil as a supplement that it must replace another fat in the diet. For example, if you were using canola oil as your main source of cooking fat, then the coconut oil would be an excellent replacement option.

Another study on coconut oil investigated its efficacy in weight reduction and its safety of use in twenty obese but healthy Malay volunteers. After four weeks of virgin coconut oil use, their waist circumferences were significantly reduced with an average decrease of2.86cm(1.13in.).

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) for a Lean Body

As mentioned in chapter 2, conjugated linoleic acid (the term for linoleic acid isomers, in which two of the double bonds are conjugated) is an important omega-6 fat that occurs naturally in full-fat dairy foods and grass-fed beef and lamb; it is produced by the intestinal bacteria of these animals when they convert omega-6 linoleic acid into CLA. Humans cannot convert linoleic acid into CLA, so we must rely on the foods we eat or dietary supplements of CIA. Unfortunately, the CLA content of dairy and meat products has declined over the last few decades due to increases in antibiotic use in animals and changes in their food supply from grass to grain, which decreases CLA levels by 80 percent.14 In addition, throughout the past twenty years, many misguided by the low-fat diet mantra avoided the only dietary sources of CIA available: meat and dairy products such as whole milk, butter, and cheese.

CLA is available today as a dietary supplement, made by converting the high linoleic acid content of either sunflower or safflower oils into CLA (commercially available CIA contains a mixture of cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, and cis-12 CLA, and approximately 40 percent of each of the two isomers). To date, there are over 500 published research studies supporting CLA's ability to exert positive effects on fat loss, prevent and control type-2 diabetes, protect against heart disease, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, and modulate the immune response. It may also inhibit the growth of certain kinds of cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colon.

CIA is thought to break down fat inside the fat cells (known as lipolysis) and redistribute it. CLA is particularly beneficial for fat in the hips, thighs, and butt region, especially in women. One study found the reduction of the equivalent to eight packs of butter lost in the hip and thigh region when using CLA.15 The key is consistent use and patience because it does not work overnight. As well, generally speaking, at least 3 grams (0.1 oz.) of CLA isomers per day are needed.

CLA Stops Weight from Coming Back

Unfortunately, with many diets and supplements, regaining the weight, and even more than was initially lost, is a big problem with significant health risks. How can we lose the fat and keep it off without having to maintain strict diets and excessive amounts of exercise? In a study on eighty overweight people, participants who were using CLA regained the weight in a statistically significant ratio of 50 percent muscle to 50 percent fat. Those who were not given CLA gained more of their weight, at 75 percent fat and only 25 percent lean muscle.16 Remember, muscle weighs more than fat but is more metabolically active. The more lean muscle on the body, the more calories will be burned at rest.

Eat Dairy, Lose Weight

I discussed the concept of incorporating full-fat dairy in chapter 2, and in summary, I do recommend dairy consumption for those trying to lose weight. More and more research is suggesting the more dairy food consumed, the less likely your chances of being overweight. Although the researchers cannot explain what is responsible for this association, they say that calcium in the dairy products may have some role to play.

Researchers from the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran assessed dairy consumption and features of metabolic syndrome in a study of 827 men and women. People consuming the most dairy were more than a third less likely to have a large waist size, and almost 30 percent less likely to have high blood pressure. A growing body of research suggests that eating dairy foods may prevent weight gain. They found that the incidence of metabolic syndrome was 29 percent less likely among people with the highest dairy intake.17

However, many people are lactose intolerant—that is, they lack the enzyme lastase necessary to digest the lactose (milk sugar), or they are allergic to the milk protein casein. If you are lactose intolerant, make sure you are receiving the necessary calcium from a supplement.

Food recommendations for achieving a lean body:

Vegetables (5 to 7 servings): Choose green foods more often. Start lunch and dinner with a green salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers are considered free vegetables, so you can eat as many of these as you like.

Protein (5 to 6 servings, or each time you eat): Grass-fed and free-range beef and lamb; free-range chicken, turkey, and eggs; wild fish; beans or lentils; and whey protein. Eat protein at each meal to balance blood sugar levels. Protein and fiber should be consumed together.

Healthful Fats (4 to 5 servings): Nuts and seeds; avocados; fatty fish; oils such as flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, and coconut oil; and butter. Many healthful fats are also good sources of protein. Focus on the unsaturated fats such as the omega-3s and omega-9s. Supplement with an omega-6 borage or evening primrose oil supplement to get the good omega-6s that are missing in the diet. Avoid using soy and corn oils because they contain too much of the omega-6s linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, which fuel inflammation.

Whole Grains (3 to 5 servings): Fibrous choices only. Increase fiber consumption to 25 to 30 grams (about 1 ounce) per day. Limit your carbohydrate consumption to what you can actually burn, because what you don't burn will be stored as fat.

Dairy (2 to 4 servings): Choose full-fat organic dairy foods more often. Try incorporating Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir into your diet. They are even better than milk because of their beneficial bacteria. In recent studies, dairy food consumption has been linked to lowered risk of metabolic syndrome. If you can't tolerate dairy, ensure you are taking a calcium supplement to replace the calcium you aren't receiving in your diet.

Fruit (2 to 3 servings): Choose berries and other fibrous fruit. Fruit plays a much less significant role because of its sugar content. Of the two servings, you should consume at least one serving of berries. Avocados are an exception as they are the only fruit that contains the healthful monounsaturated fats, along with vitamins and minerals. So although avocados are considered a fruit, they can also be used as part of your healthful fat serving.

Other Recommendations:

Consume a diet rich in whole, raw foods that have gone through minimal processing. They provide a greater variety of nutrients and bring our diet back to how our ancestors used to eat.

Reduce daily calorie consumption by 500 calories to safely lose 1 pound (0.5 kg) per week. Combine fewer calories with burning an additional 500 calories per day during exercise, and you can lose

2 pounds (1 kg) per week. If you weigh more than 175 pounds (79 kg), it is safe to lose more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week.

Eat five to six small meals per day. If you are in the initial phases of weight loss, you may want to consider replacing one or two meals per day with a whey protein shake.

Avoid starchy or sugary foods—get rid of everything white in your cupboards.

Avoid hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and junk foods (high-calorie, low-nutrient foods). Junk foods and processed foods are sent directly to your bloodstream and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and insulin production.

Use whey protein powders to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Eliminate artificial sweeteners; switch to natural sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol, and agave nectar.

Limit salt intake.

Limit alcohol consumption.

Exercise daily—try to burn 250 to 500 calories per day. Combine aerobic, strength, and stretching exercises.

Supplement with probiotics, a multivitamin, and omega-3s from fish oil every day. These are your foundational nutrients.

Get plenty of sleep. Scientific studies increasingly link lack of sleep to the obesity epidemic.

What You Have Learned in This Chapter

For years, we thought that removing fat from the diet would be the golden ticket for losing fat on the body. However, we now know that we need healthful fat in order to lose body fat and keep within a healthy weight range.

Dairy foods such as full-fat Greek yogurt and whole milk can be beneficial for the prevention of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Supplementing with high linoleic acid safflower oil, CLA, and fish oil can be a valuable combination in the fight against obesity.