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Rev up your metabolic engine!

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Story by Dr. Joey Shulman

Confused about what to buy the foodie on your list? Here’s the inside track to this seasons hot finds sure to satisfy their inner chef.

If you think back to your own personal health history,I am confident you can pinpoint one time in your life when the weight just started to “creep” up on you. Whether it was an emotional or stressful trigger that started the number on the scale to climb or the hectic pace of life which caused health to take a back burner position – one day you wake up and realize just do not feel like the vibrant, fit person you were meant to be. The good news is, the body has an amazing forgiving and restorative nature – given the proper foods, nutrients and conditions, it responds positively in a very short time.

If you have struggled with weight loss and have been on countless weight loss programs in the past, it is time to stop yo yo dieting! Unfortunately the current paradigm of dieting in North America is based on marginal and temporary gains that keep you coming back for more. Think about the number of times you have been enticed by a weight loss ad that promises to take off 20 pounds by Christmas or to drop two dress sizes in time for the beach. Weight loss is routinely marketed as a magic pill, limited time offer that requires little investment of time and energy and often leaves your pocket book feeling significantly lighter! It is also so incredibly disheartening for the men or women who lose 20 pounds on a “system”or “program”only to gain it back a short time later. No wonder people get fed up and give up.In addition,this constant up and down weight loss battle results in a sluggish metabolism and of course causes feelings of frustration,deprivation and even despair.The good news is, with the proper nutritional keys and the understanding of the “why” and “what” behind certain food choices, you can finally win the weight loss battle!

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When discussing weight loss and dieting, the term metabolism often gets thrown around. If you have difficulty losing weight, it is thought that you are one of the unlucky ones that have a “slow” metabolism dooming you to a future of continued weight gain and weight loss struggles. If you have a “fast” metabolism, you may be among one of those lucky few who can eat anything and everything they wish never gaining a pound.

The question that researchers and doctors have been investigating for years is if metabolism can be altered thru various lifestyle and dietary changes. With great strength, science now demonstrates that the answer to this question is a resounding yes! However, increasing your metabolism can be tricky business. You must strike a fine balance between caloric intake, hormonal balance, proper food choices and exercise.

The following top 10 tips will quickly rev up your metabolic engine resulting in long lasting and easy to maintain weight loss results. Once followed, these principles will soon become second nature and will put a final end to your battle with food.


Do not skip breakfast. Picture your metabolic rate shaped as an ice cream cone. In other words, starting at the top – it is at its highest in the morning and starts to decline on a gradual level as the day progresses. Unfortunately, most of us have a backwards approach to eating when it comes to weight loss and meals. We skip breakfast for a variety of reasons such as lack of hunger, a busy schedule or to save on calories. While this may seem to make sense from a pure “calories in, calories out” theory, research has demonstrated time and time again that this approach will result in weight gain. Whether it is a protein shake, a yogurt and granola parfait or slow cooking oatmeal – you need something to start your day off right.

Eat protein rich foods at every meal. Protein is essential for overall health, for muscle repair, hormonal balance, immune system function and for weight loss. Protein also triggers the secretion of a hormone called glucagon which breaks down fat.

Stick to low glycemic index carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains (breads and pastas) and beans. Do not be scared of eating bread! Research demonstrates very clearly that whole grains are beneficial for weight loss and the prevention of type II diabetes, colon cancer and constipation.

Opt for whole grains. Much to carbohydrate lover’s delight, low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins and South Beach are officially out! In fact, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating whole grain foods in the form of bread and pasta helps to facilitate the weight loss process. But… don’t over do it. One selection a day of 1/2 cup of whole grain pasta (i.e. kamut or spelt) or 2 slices of whole grain or 100% whole wheat bread is plenty.

Lights out at 7pm. Give your body a daily “mini fast” from 7pm to 7am to optimize digestion and lose weight. If you must munch late at night, stick to raw veggies or herbal tea. By doing this step and this step alone, you are guaranteed to drop a few pounds in under a week.

Eat throughout the day. Eat three meals and 1-2 snacks daily to keep your metabolism in full gear and your energy high. Research clearly shows that “breakfast skippers” are more prone to weight gain than those who eat a sensible breakfast.

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Plan to lose. Often times, eating the wrong foods has to do with poor planning and lack of time. Instead of grabbing the closest and quickest carbohydrate fix such as a muffin or cookie, prepare some your food at home to save on cost and calories. No fuss options that promote weight loss include plain yogurt with berries, healthy trail mix, hard boiled eggs, vegetable based soups or stews and cut up vegetables (i.e. peppers, celery, cucumbers) and hummus (chickpea dip).

Make healthier substitutions. Giving up fat promoting foods does not have to mean giving up taste. In fact, some of your favorite foods can be substituted with tastier and lower calorie options. For example, instead of mashed potatoes try mashed cauliflower and instead of sugary pop try a mixture of sparkling water and natural juice. Colorful berries drizzled with dark chocolate is also a wonderful alternative to fat and calorie laden desserts.

Water yourself down. When we do not digest properly, our stomach region tends to appear swollen and bloated. Not really the ideal look we are going for in our slinky black dress is it? One of the best methods to “clean out the pipes of digestion” and flatten your stomach is to up your water intake to 6-8 glasses per day. Green tea, herbal teas, watered down natural juices and sparkling water are all wonderful hydrators as well.

Journal. A recent study published in the August edition of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine concluded that individuals who food journal lose significantly more weight. Food journaling keeps you accountable, helps you focus on portion size and ensure you do not skip meals.


Nutritional pioneer Adele Davis was quoted as saying, “We are indeed much more than we eat …but what we eat can help us to become much more than whom we are.” When we eat natural and delicious food options, we feel better, enter a disease prevention mode and hit our goal weight. What could be better?

Dr. Joey Shulman’s new release The Last 15 – A Weight Loss Breakthrough (Wiley, 2008) is available in all book stores. For more information, please visit

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