Nothing upsets me more than some of the advertising that’s out there targeted to people that might want to lose weight. “Hey there fatty! Want to cut some excess pounds? Just pay us for these pills!” Or even worse, “Try these pills free just pay shipping! (Then we will bill your credit card into eternity)”
The bottom line is, anyone can lose weight without paying for expensive diet pills or workout plans or ebooks or videos. You might pay slightly more for high quality food, but there’s ways around that as well. This isn’t one of those articles where you have to scroll and scroll and scroll just to find out that the secret is paying for something, I’m going to tell you the secret to losing weight for free right here:
- Restrict the times that you eat to an 8 hour window per day. This is known as intermittent fasting, and once you get a day or two under your belt it is easy. Just have your first meal at noon and your last bite at 8pm and watch the pounds fall off.
- Cut the sugar and the simple carbs. This is one step towards a ketogenic diet, which requires a bit more dedication but is another effective way to lose fat and have more energy. For this step, just cut out candy, refined sugars and carbohydrates. Start reading the nutritional labels on things and realize that sugar is listed as a sub category to Carbohydrates. All carbs are sugar and all sugar is carbs. The more you cut bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, bagels, pop tarts from your diet the better you will feel and the more fat will come off.
- Stick to it. This is the hardest part. “Oh I will just have one bite of this bagel at 9am,” is typically how it goes. Resist these urges, which is easier after you start to see results. Which makes the first week or two the hardest, but hey. If winning was easy losers would do it.
That’s it? It’s really that simple? Yes, it’s really that simple. It’s about inputs and outputs, you put high quality things into your body in a thoughtful way and out come positive results. Let’s think about why our body stores fats. Tt’s the same reason why bears “fatten up” for the winter: our bodies store fat to use it later for energy. Simple carbohydrates or sugar is rapidly broken down by our digestive system into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream. Once there, our body secretes a hormone called insulin which takes the glucose to the sells to be burned for energy. If the body doesn’t need energy, this glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen or, with the help of insulin, converted to fatty acids and distributed around the body to be stored as adipose tissue (FAT).
Pretty efficient right? Yeah, except for someone on the Standard American Diet (SAD). This results in too much fat being stored, never used and contributing to a spiral of serious health complications such as obesity or Type 2 Diabetes.
The good news is this hyper efficient process works just as well in reverse. In the absence of glucose, your body will lower its insulin levels and start burning those fat stores. If you aren’t consuming anything but water for 16 hours a day, your body will naturally start accessing your fat stores and converting that fat back to energy. No stairmaster required (although it might help)!
There are a couple different theories and practices to Intermittent Fasting, but we are going to focus on one in the interests of keeping things simple. It’s called the 16/8 method or the Leangains Protocol. Basically you can eat during an 8 hour window each day, and limit yourself to water for the other 16. No caloric intake during that 16 hour period, and that’s it. This alone is a powerful tool for weight loss, and has many other benefits.