How to build a strong lean body when you’re tired and overweight? What kind of movement is easy but effective? Do I need to balance my hormones to help me lose weight?
I turned to Ben Greenfield for answers….. He’s an elite athlete and super-coach with great exercise and lifestyle videos, podcasts and more. We spoke on my 2014 Primal Diet – Modern Health podcast about the not-so-super exercisers who need help getting started with fitness, health and weight.
First question: how do the “under-fit” get started…. before going to a gym or health coach?
Answer: Start with hormones before anything else!
Balance Estrogen Dominance
People in industrialized countries tend to accumulate Estrogen but experience a Progesterone decline. This is called estrogen dominance… It can begin in our 20’s and 30’s, affecting fat metabolism, insulin and blood sugar as well as energy and muscle. Regulate estrogen excess with these starter tips:
- Estrogen causes growth and maintains fat tissue. (Think pregnancy!) Cows are fed growth hormone for exactly this reason. So first, clean up the diet and stick with organic or pasture-raised meats that have not been fed antibiotics.
- Check body care products to reduce chemicals that cause estrogen disruption. Stick with simple, clean ingredients you can pronounce. The Environmental Working Group can help you.
- Eliminate pesticides from your food and home. The worst food offenders are “The Dirty Dozen“. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides inhibit estrogen detox pathways. Don’t spray your home or yard with pesticides!
- No soy except real gluten free Tamari like this one. Soy is a potent endocrine disruptor.
- Get a HEPA air filter for your home (and office) to remove chemicals from carpet, furniture, etc.
- Get a good liver support formula like these in my online store
What is the Best Diet for the Tired and Overweight?
Fat cells hold estrogen, and estrogen produces fat cells! So losing FAT (not water or muscle) is a key. The Paleo Diet (my “Diet For Human Beings”) will break the insulin/glucose cycle, reduce inflammation and initiate fat burning. Coconut oil is great for this too. The fresh, raw, unfermented cod liver oil I sell in my online store can also help reduce inflammation. Find it in liquid here or gel caps here.
My DVD/Video “The Diet For Human Beings” is an easy way to learn what to eat and why it helps make your whole body healthier and leaner. I’ve sold 1000’s of them to folks with different levels of knowledge about food and health.
Most people notice a big increase in energy as well as immediate and permanent change in weight and the fat stores around the belly once starting gluten free, grain free, low sugar Paleo foods.
How to Start Exercising If You’re Not Fit
Super Slow Training or Isometric Exercises work well if you’re tired and overweight. Ben Greenfield describes these clearly on our 2014 podcast and on his website. Or find more at Dr. Mercola’s site. Just search there for Super Slow Training articles like this one.
Then Boost Metabolism…
Super Slow will not raise your metabolism enough for the long run, so get light aerobic motion every morning you can, while still fasting. Yoga, Tai Chi, gentle calisthenics, walking the dog, etc. to get your blood flowing and the fat burning. You haven’t eaten yet, so the body burns fat to give you the energy. (HINT: swing your arms fully when walking. Good for burning calories and firing the muscles. Do “The Swim” or “The Boogaloo” to move those arms).
Then once or twice a week for 10 to 15 minutes, get anaerobic! Aqua-jogging or Water-Robics are great for short bursts of intense effort. Power walking too, even if for short distances. Anaerobic builds muscle which burns fat. Use short bursts of high energy.
The longer, steady state cardio work such as the elliptical will burn fat and get the metabolic rate up too but don’t rely on cardio work alone. It’s known to raise cortisol, as well as be boring…. Body composition is at least 80% diet (low starch/low sugar) and only 20% (or less) due to exercise. Food First will make a difference quickly and you can eat hearty meals as long as you avoid the grains and sugars.
The thyroid play a key role in metabolism. This safe herbal product has been a top seller in my clinic for more than 25 years. Try it for a few months (not recommended if you’re on thyroid hormones). Combine it with this Thyroid Metabolism + Iodine for even better support.
The role of Adrenals and Cortisol in weight management
Excess cortisol holds weight on the body, but low cortisol causes trouble with weight too. My advice? Slow your life down and think through your priorities! I’ve had two periods in my life where I had to really step back from work for a year or more. Don’t let it get that bad! Being tired and overweight is often a sign of adrenal dysfunction.
I write a lot about the adrenals and the thyroid. Read “Are Your Adrenals Affecting Your Thyroid” and “Test Your Adrenal Function at Home” and listen to this Adrenal Health podcast on my Primal Diet – Modern Health show for starters. I have many more.
I offer an adrenal hormone test and 1 hour review here. It’s the same saliva test I use every day in my clinic.
If you’re over 65, consider adding Hydrochloric Acid with meals to enhance protein digestion. I sell a great product called D-Digest in my online store. It’s an unusual combo of herbs, enzymes and a little HCL. Another protein boost is Vital Proteins Gelatin. Be sure to track your heart rate if you’re older and out of shape.
You Can Do This!
Find a buddy, even if they just call you every other day to ask about your progress. You can do this, and have fun too!