Lesson 6.1: Completing your first journey, fasting and preventing weight re-gain
Module 6 Objectives
- Reduce complacency
- Psychological: Practice your mindfulness skills again
- Exercise: Learn the advanced triceps exercise method
- Diet: Introduction to Fasting
- Psychological: Preventing cognitive decline
- Preventing weight re-gain
The Final Chapter
Complacency now will cause weight gain, so don’t let yourself slip back into bad habits you have worked so hard to break.
- Eat breakfast everyday
- Use snacks if needed
- Be organised
- Keep variety and interest up
- Monitor your intensity of exercise and don’t just go through the motions, You are better reducing your exercise time when you are tired rather than just “doing the time”
- Monitor and keep a diary of what you doing to ensure you are not starting to miss sessions regularly
You should be coming along well in your mindfulness techniques. Here are some more examples from our Medical & Mind Weight Loss psychiatrist, Dr Terence Chong.
Advanced Triceps approach – Chair
Dr Marlene Tham will show you how to step up your tricep exercises using 2 chairs in your house. If you can master these, your triceps will be working hard.
Incidental exercise – example
Taking a flight of stairs is one of the best forms of incidental exercise and is a great way to tone and strengthen your legs and buttocks. It also is a simple form of HIIT which can be done in your house which increases your heart rate to an aerobic level. Think of all the ways you can you can take stairs – at a shopping centre, walking up the levels at your work or even in your house on a rainy day. Make it a subconscious thing and before you know it, you will have racked up thousands of additional steps each day.
Skipping breakfast and snacks between 8pm and midday the next day (fasting) is an effective evidence- based method that is important to be added to any weight loss plan. It is one of the most effective ways to tackle central obesity, fatty liver disease and their complications. These complications include insulin resistance, visceral fat and high blood pressure. Evidence is growing that watching the clock rather than counting calories has health benefits beyond just weight loss.
These periods of intermittent fasting do not need to be done frequently. It is the use of fasting every now and then, which gives your metabolism a bit of a shake.
This study by Dr Alex Hodge, from Monash University and Monash Health, studied 32 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver diease (NAFLD). He randomised the paticipants into two group. The first group fasted between 8pm and midday the following day (intermittent fasting) and the other group only had standard diet and exercise advice. While all patients lost weight over the initial 12 weeks of the study, patients who fasted also reduced their waist circumference – one of the best indicators of liver damage.
As it is important to establish good eating habits in the first 5 weeks of changing your eating by eliminating processed foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, we have introduced fasting in the last week of the program (this week). Our next 6 week advanced program will fully incorporate fasting into our eating regime as well more advanced exercises for fat burning and weight loss.
If you have ever met someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, you know that it a very sad disease. It robs victims of their memories and identity. It also brings headache and suffering to everyone around them seeing their loved ones become a mere shell of their former selves. Alzheimer’s and Dementia are not the same thing even though they share similar symtoms. Women are more prone to Alzheimer’s as they live longer than men so it is particularly important that woman do whatever they can to prevent the development of this ruthless disease. Coming soon is a diet and exercise dementia prevention program that will ensure that participants are given the best opportunity to reduce their risk of Dementia. Dr Terence Chong, who is an expert in the field, will be leading this program. You can read about his contributions to this disease here:
Here are some basic strategies which you can implement today.
To lower to risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia recommends
- Focus on cardiovascular health. Manage your weight and your blood pressure and your cholesterol will improve as well.
- Exercise: By increasing your heart rate and increasing your metabolism, you will have healthier brains, better memory and thinking skills.
- Work your brain: Challenge your brain with new activities. This will build new brain cells and strengthen the synapses between them.
- Follow the metabolic style of eating: reduce foods high in saturated fats, eat foods high in omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to reduce inflammation in the brain and promote growth of new brain cells.
- Reduce your blood sugar levels by reducing refined and processed carbohydrates, eating low GI foods and eating fresh good quality proteins. Developing diabetes and pre-diabetes is a risk factor for cognitive decline.
- Do not give up your social life. Trying new activities and meeting new people provides great benefits to your brain health.
Preventing Weight Regain
We learnt from the Redefine CBT Weight Loss program that our bodies have a memory of our highest adult weight and drives us back to our “set points” as soon as we start to lose weight. Our bodies vigorously defend our weight which is why when we calorie restrict, we often go back to where we started and sometimes even more. If you haven’t seen it, this is an excellent video by Dr Arya Sharma, an obesity physician in Alberta who talks about the difficulties in preventing weight regain.
It is inaccurate to believe that losing weight is all about willpower and that you can “choose” to lose weight with the right mindset. There is no doubt that tackling unhelpful beliefs and dysfunctional thinking through CBT is important for long term weight maintenance, but losing weight is a complex disorder with dozens of contributing factors which are genetic, biological and environmental. The body has numerous hormones and biological pathways that regulate weight such as leptin, ghrelin, GLP-2, insulin and Peptide YY. Eating is driven by both behaviour and physiology. For some of us, it is harder than others. Some are born overweight like this picture of the world’s biggest baby. Losing weight is one thing, but re-setting our set points so we can prevent weight re-gain is the next challenge.
An abundance of weight loss information will always fill our social media, magazines and TV. Often it is hard to know what to follow. Congratulations for sticking to this 6 week evidence based medical program. Just remember, exercise regularly, eat unprocessed, unrefined, nutrient dense foods and your body will reward you. Make these things your daily routine, continue to be in charge of your food preparation and always keep re-educating yourself. In our next program, we will continue to push you and guide you so continue to have weight loss success. Come and take another journey with us.
Final Words from Dr Marlene Tham