Take notes, ladies. We’ve got some key weight loss tips by Dr. David Greuner.
Boy, do we have a treat for you, and by treat we mean eye candy, and oodles of great information you will learn from reading this! We had the pleasure to pick the brain of Dr. David Greuner.
Dr. Greuner is a cardiovascular surgeon in NYC; has been featured on shows such as “The Doctors” and “Dr. Oz”, and has shared his knowledge in a plethora of publications. Today, we are switching the gears and asking him about how to achieve real weight loss. Whatever the Doc prescribes us, we are going to try! Let’s dig in:
BB: What do you believe are some major factors when it comes to weight loss?
Any diet that limits processed food, and keeps refined sugar and carbohydrates to a minimum, will certainly be an improvement over the current normal Standard American Diet (or as we call it, SAD). Carbohydrates, in addition to promoting higher peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels – which we all know is not a good thing – produce free radicals when they are broken down, causing more stress on our cells and accelerating the aging process.
In general there are two major factors at play when speaking about effective weight loss. One is calories in, versus calories out. If you burn more calories than you ingest, weight will be lost. Simple, huh? Not really. Why? Because what type of weight you lose is just as important as actually losing weight.
The second, and just as important component of weight loss, is your body’s hormonal response to the food you eat. Several key hormones such as insulin (responsible for blood sugar levels) and cortisol (the main stress hormone) can influence the type of weight that you lose.
In general, the goal is to lose fat, while preserving as much lean muscle as you can. To do this, you need to keep insulin and cortisol levels low. Blood sugar levels that have significant highs and lows cause spikes in both insulin and cortisol, causing your body to break down muscle and gain fat, even if you take in less calories than you burn.
Peaks and valleys in blood sugar are also the main stimulus for those annoying sugar and fat cravings, making it harder to stick to your diet. This is one of the many reasons why processed foods and refined sugars are terrible for your diet and sabotage your goals.
Have you ever seen those people that have skinny arms and legs and a pot belly? Hormonal disturbances are mainly responsible for this not so flattering physique. A diet higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates causes less hormonal variation, and allows your body to lose the fat and preserve precious muscle, giving you that much more appealing, toned look. Add in the essential fats, and your body gets healthier skin, hair, eyes, and nails.
While I don’t consider any short term crash diet a solution to weight issues, I certainly believe that diets such as the Paleo diet, combined with vegetables, fruits and some degree of complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, assist in long term changes in not only your physique, but your overall well-being. The goal is to keep you lean and mean, with curves in all the right places, by optimizing your hormonal profile with the right diet.
In people who are overweight, a healthy diet will naturally cause weight loss, by keeping blood sugars at a healthier level, minimizing cravings, and keeping you looking and feeling your best.
BB: What’s your take on diet supplements and extracts when it comes to weight loss goals?
Diet supplements, in my opinion, are excellent to fill voids in your diet – vitamins, protein, fiber, etc. Sometimes all of us are simply too busy to eat the right thing at the right time. With regards to diet suppression, most supplements are stimulant related, which is not the best long-term solution.
Some of the key players that have been proven to help with long term weight maintenance, along with minimal or positive side effects, are:
1. L – carnitine – an amino acid that aids in transporting fat out of your cells and into the blood stream, where it can be used as fuel.
2. chromium piccolinate – a mineral that helps insulin do a better job of controlling your blood sugar.
3. – glutamine – a key amino acid that helps prevent muscle breakdown, allowing you to eat less calories and still preserve muscle.
In general, blood sugar control with lower carbohydrates is an ideal way to minimize cravings and keep the weight off long term.
BB: What are the new buzzwords when it comes to diet and suppressing appetite?
Glycemic index – this is the effect that certain foods have on your blood sugar. High glycemic index foods raise blood sugar, low glycemic index foods keep your sugar levels more sustained at a healthy level.
Always pick a lower glycemic index food choice if you have the option. Examples include nuts, beans/lentils, vegetables, fruit, yogurt, etc.
BB: Can you give us three or four new diet trends that really work?!
The main criteria that helps a diet work is ultimately long term sustainability. This refers to your ability to stick to the diet as a lifestyle change, not something you suffer through for a few weeks. For it to be sustainable, it has to be tolerable for you over the long term.
Consider a diet much the same way you would a romantic relationship – sometimes the instant high of dramatic weight loss using a diet you know isn’t feasible over the long term isn’t worth the inevitable heartbreak of the rebound of weight gain afterwards.
That being said, here are some examples of diets that you can depend on over the long haul, even if the initial results may be slower.
1. The low carb, high protein south beach diet – It has been around for years, and for good reason. It works. It is based around more sensible food choices, rather than starvation. Veggies, meats, and moderate amounts of fats and carbohydrates all make of this diet that keeps you from the low blood sugar levels that sometimes plague more dramatic and difficult diets, such as Atkins.
2. The HMR diet – this diet is based on using lower calorie food substitutions instead of food intake restriction. This means you can still eat larger amounts, but lower calorie foods, and is especially useful for those who have failed other diets before due to portion control.
3. The Mediterranean diet – This diet has been proven a favorite in Europe for years, and is based on healthy fats such as olive and sesame oil. The diet keeps you satisfied and leads you to eat less because you tend to reach a level of satisfaction much earlier.
With all diets, eating slower and more mindful is also very important. In most instances, our brain takes approximately 30 minutes to recognize that you are reaching a level of fullness. When you eat quickly, you often can eat far more than you need to before your brain has even realized that you are full. Take your time, eat slowly, and you are much less likely to overeat.
Following these simple rules can help you keep lean, healthy, and looking amazing both the inside and out in the New Year. Eat smart, and get ready for the envious stares that will unquestionably follow your results!
Thanks, Dr. Dreamy!