Hi there. This is Ana, and in this post, I am going to talk about my learnings on weight loss endeavors.
I was a obese person in my early 20s. I had tried a variety of diets, weight loss supplements and programs out there. Based on my years of suffering or experience, here are few bits of advice I’d like to share with you. These are based on my personal observations, and are also backed by solid science.
In this article, you'll read
- 1. Your brain has a lot to do with your weight, more than you can ever imagine
- 2. Not all weight loss pills can help you. Only a few will. And what works for you will depend.
- 3. You can manipulate your hormones to transform your weight and overall physique including muscle mass and BMI
- 4. For most people, losing weight without some strenuous exercise is difficult
- 5. Leptin and insulin
- 6. Dealing with hunger
- 7. Keep yourself updated with the latest research in weight loss
1. Your brain has a lot to do with your weight, more than you can ever imagine
Truth is obesity is a very complex phenomenon. Your body fat was accumulated “unconsciously” and if there is anything you have to know about your “unconscious mind”, it is this- it is thousands times more powerful than your conscious mind.
Read the book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy.
Subconscious mind is like the bridge between your “unconscious mind” and the “conscious mind”.
The reason why most people fail at losing weight, is that “losing weight” is a “conscious” desire and the mechanism by which you will lose weight is always “unconscious”.
For example, when people go to gym and regularly lift weights, their body “unconsciously” responds by producing more muscles, those that the body requires to perform in the gym. However, having more muscle is not so straightforward or simple, that will just happen. But it is something that is governed by a lot of “unconscious” mechanisms.
Your brain controls those mechanisms like the secretion of certain “hormones” that modify your overall physique and body structure.
If the “conscious desire” and “unconscious action” are in coordination, you shall be able to get what you “desire”. However, if they are not, you will have a hard time, because your “unconscious” is way more powerful than your “conscious mind”.
So if you want to lose weight, you will have to find out what are the unconscious factors that are stopping you from losing weight. There can be several of them, some of them are:-
i. Low unconscious self esteem or poor perceived body image by the unconscious
ii. Low self confidence or certain unconscious fears
iii. Addiction to certain kinds of foods
iv. Unconscious desire to be sad or fail or self sabotage
v. Learned Helplessness or Depression
vi. Unconscious resistance to “change”
It might seem odd but most people, on the unconscious level are afraid to lose weight, just like most people are afraid to be successful in life. Fear of success is very real and complex.
Most people are “genetically” and “unconsciously” programmed to NOT like change.
This is just an unconscious survival mechanisms. If it’s working fine, why change it. (Remember the “unconscious” mind is like a different brain on its own, it has its own beliefs, training and programming. So, while “consciously” things are not working great for you, regarding your current weight, your unconscious might not be seeing that problem).
In fact, your body weight might be something that your “unconscious mind” feels proud of. Because the primary purpose of your unconscious mind, is survival of your body and its functions.
By hoarding up more fat, your unconscious is actually pretty much doing a great job to ensure your survival.
More fat in the body means more chances of survival during tough times like famine or drought or any crisis.
Add to this, the fact that most of us are continuously living a life full of stress or with a disoriented work/life balance. The continuous feedback of “stress” that we give to our unconscious makes it feel more under “threat” and it keeps on triggering those survival mechanisms.
Emotional eating and eating under stress is one example, when this mechanism is triggered. When we are hurt emotionally, our ego is disturbed, the unconscious feels threat to the survival.
Then there are other unconscious factors like learned helplessness, desire to self sabotage our life, and food addiction.
The hormones that make us fat and those hormones that keep us slim, are all secreted by your brain. And your brain’s “unconscious programming” which governs the secretion of these hormones much like breathing etc. is more powerful than its “conscious programming”.
Just to give you an idea on how powerful your unconscious mind is, here is another example on how the role of unconscious mind was smartly portrayed in the movie The MATRIX:-
In the bullet dodge scene, the fired bullet appears to be slowly coming to Neo. Actually, in real life situations too, if your unconscious believes that bullet will kill you, if it is rightly programmed, and if a bullet is fired on to you straight, time will expand for you and you will actually see the bullet coming very slowly towards you.
This happens because your unconscious mind will focus all its energy and resources on seeing that bullet and trying to evade it.
So, to lose weight effectively , it’s very important that your unconscious desire matches the conscious desire of losing weight. There are some techniques like hypnosis, affirmations and some advanced unconscious programming methods that can be employed to direct your unconscious mind. That is a subject of another article, though!
2. Not all weight loss pills can help you. Only a few will. And what works for you will depend.
Okay. So enough of the mind! Lets get back to consciously losing weight.
There is an obvious catch in using weight loss pills. You are basically trying to change your body’s composition and definition and as we discussed earlier, it is governed by your unconscious mind, via several mechanisms.
However, the most crucial unconscious mechanism seems to be the “endocrine” or “hormonal mechanism”.
The hormones govern how much body fat or even muscle you will have.
There are many hormones involved like thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, human growth hormone, leptin, insulin, cortisol etc.
The most effective weight loss pills out there target these endocrine factors or hormones and are composed of several diverse ingredients that work in synergy to beat the homeostasis system of the body.
The homeostasis system is what resists “changes” in the body’s internal dynamics including the hormones and is controlled unconsciously.
However, before using any weight loss pill, it’s really a good idea to understand why are you fat. Having said that, most of all those reasons behind the weight gain like Overeating, poor metabolism, addiction to food, feeling hungry all the time, sedentary lifestyle etc., are to a great extent only manifestations of the “unconscious desire” and thereby are directly related to the endocrine or hormonal factors.
Overeating and addiction to certain kinds of foods is related to the hormones leptin and insulin.
Poor metabolism is related to thyroid, human growth hormone, cortisol, testosterone, estrogen.
Emotional eating and feeling hungry all the time are usually the results of some “unconscious factors” and/or years of having poor eating habits and consistently eating bad foods that drive addiction and cause leptin and insulin insensitivity and mess up with the hormonal system too.
It is highly unlikely that a single weight loss pill can actively deal with all these complex issues at hand.
So, while an appetite suppressant can work for you short term, in the long run it will do more harm, because your unconscious won’t like the changes and it will bounce back with storing more fat for you.
That is the reason why people end up fatter after being on a diet.
For some people, being on a diet or using a weight loss pill for the short term is like making the body go through circumstances of crisis, like a famine, which your unconscious perceives as a threat.
Thereby, it becomes more aggressive as your body’s survival is its main goal and it triggers and ups all the mechanisms it can, to hoard up even more fat than before.
So, even losing weight on the pills or diet is not so simple and for some people it might even have a detrimental long term effect.
That is why you need an intelligent strategy to tackle your weight loss goal comprehensively.
3. You can manipulate your hormones to transform your weight and overall physique including muscle mass and BMI
With some research on your own endocrine system, few blood tests, you can indeed devise a strategy that is best for your weight loss endeavors.
I gained lot of belly fat while I was suffering from clinical depression in my 20s. And I desperately wanted to lose fat. I would say that I am not a person who “naturally” gains weight and I am not addicted to junk food. I was a big fan of sodas and sugary drinks though which I reduced to minimum.
I believe my eating habits were generally healthy, unlike those who just eat whatever they can without thinking. The multitude of cuisines in America also makes it tough to not want to try different foods.
I never found myself addicted to a particular food. And I have tried lots of different cuisines and I’ve always been eager to know the healthier food dishes of various cuisines.
Also, I am big on organic food. And avoiding foods like canned soups and foods etc. that rely heavily on preservatives or might be containing BPA and other chemicals because these can mess up with your hormones.
There can be so many factors disrupting your hormones.
So, all in all, my diet and lifestyle was not something that could drastically affect my hormones. However, they got affected by my chronically high stress levels and subsequent depression and lack of activity.
And that caused me to gain lot of weight especially around the abdominal region. That was the time I really got researching on how to get rid of body fat.
I wanted to exercise but I always felt weak and not energetic enough or motivated enough to exercise.
In my research on weight loss products I came to know about dopamine, the most effective neurotransmitter that causes you to have more motivation and energy.
Having more dopamine in your system is one of the best strategy to lose weight, because it can curb hunger and motivate you to do exercise simultaneously.
For most people who are addicted to food, dopamine may also help them control cravings of foods especially craving bad carbs. Read more on dopamine diet.
I tried drugs that increase dopamine production in the body like Modafinil and Rasagiline, (both of them are prescription drugs) but by different mechanisms. I also took low dose naltrexone, choline, Mucuna Pruriens and L-dopa, and other over the counter alternatives for dopamine.
However, I learned quickly that when you keep on taking these drugs you also build up tolerance in the body, which means that the drug with extended usage, will become less and less effective.
So, I cycled these dopamine enhancing supplements and I never used one drug or supplement for more than 2 weeks. And each of these enhance the dopamine production in the body but have different “physical” effects and work by different mechanisms, some of their mechanisms are not even known fully.
LDN is good for re-setting your weight point. Modafinil provides so much motivation, mental and physical energy it’s being increasingly used by CEOs and Silicon valley executives, not to forget it’s a great appetite suppressant.
Rasagiline seems to be the most safe, most effective and long term dopamine enhancer, which works very consistently to balance dopamine. Interestingly, “weight loss” is listed as a side effect of Rasagiline but this side effect worked fine for me.
Choline supplements, L dopa and Mucuna Pruriens are also great, with the primary advantage that they are available without prescription.
Besides dopamine, another chemical that can work wonder for weight loss is the Master Hormone called Human Growth Hormone. It seems to be the latest choice of celebrities too.
HGH has a very unique mechanism of weight loss. It blunts the “insulin” effect.
Insulin hormone signals all the cells in the body to take glucose from the bloodstream and also signals them to store fat or glycogen. It also sends signal to all the fat cells in your body to keep hoarding the fat and to keep looking for more fat.
Interestingly, both dopamine and human growth hormone are related. And the ingredients in a good HGH supplement also enhance dopamine.
Another hormone that you need to know about is cortisol. I had chronically high levels of cortisol and the supplement that helped me control cortisol was glutamine.
Controlling cortisol levels is very important for women.
Glutamine has lots of health benefits but three of them are very remarkable – it controls cortisol, it preserves the muscles, which again helps in boosting the metabolism, because muscle burns more calories than fat. And it enhances growth hormone too.
A good HGH supplement would have Glutamine as an ingredient.
Another great strategy to modify your hormonal profile to a profile that works best for your weight loss, is “high intensity workouts”. Read more on benefits of HIIT.
So, making use of these strategies that directly influence your endocrine/hormonal profile is a great recipe for weight loss success.
4. For most people, losing weight without some strenuous exercise is difficult
If you hate the word “exercise”, you might not like this part. But, truth is exercise especially anaeorbic workouts and high intensity interval training are great for weight loss.
Your diet pills should have some ingredients that enhance both –
i. your body’s potential to workout (even when you cut your calories) and
ii. the results you get from those workouts.
Briefly, here are the benefits of exercise:-
i. Exercise increase the acetylcholine receptors in the body.
I mentioned about the choline supplements earlier, they tend to increase your acetylcholine levels, which is one of the most important neurotransmitter that signals and supports the unconscious and conscious functioning of various body organs including physical movements like running and jogging and anything that depends on signals from the brain. You can read more about on acetylcholine on Wikipedia.
Various body signals have receptors for acetylcholine. And this chemical has several benefits. It causes feelings of energy, increases dopamine and blocks somatostatin (an important chemical that decreases growth hormone production.)
So, more acetylcholine means “more energy”, and more “human growth hormone” production in the body.
Acetylcholine also fights against fatigue and keeps giving the signal of “energy” to the body cells and for most people, it can also suppress appetite. People also report it helps them NOT crave otherwise addicting food.
In my opinion, if your acetylcholine receptors are working fine in the body, then this chemical even has the potential to curb the addiction to sugary carbs, fructose and junk food.
There are two ways to enhance the effects of acetylcholine – by taking choline based supplements like Alpha GPC, or by increasing the acetylcholine receptors in their body and also their responsiveness to acetylcholine.
Exercise does the latter.
ii. More muscle leverage
Another benefit of exercises is that if you engage in those workouts that build muscle, it can provide a very effective “leverage” to your weight loss goals. More muscle helps you workout again and provides more energy.
More muscle boosts metabolism, and burns more calories, and the body gets a signal to shift the endocrine balance from fat to muscles to keep the active muscles.
iii. Consistent High intensity Exercise has the potential to transform your endocrine potential
The real key to fat loss is high-intensity exercise, especially strength training — with real weights, real sweat and real effort.
When you perform certain high intensity workouts, the body can respond in many ways. However modern research now suggests that the 3 main ways your body responds with increased strain caused by lifting weights are:-
– Nutrients transfer Response to mechanical tension: The body has to deliver those nutrients to the active muscles to provide them with sufficient energy to keep working out.
– IGF-1 response : During resistance exercise IGF-1 is released from surrounding muscle and fat tissues, which acts similar to the human growth hormone to burn fat.
– More comprehensive endocrine response : While you are not working out or resting or sleeping, your “unconscious mind” will trigger a mechanism that shifts the endocrine/hormonal balance naturally towards something that would help you lose fat and gain more muscle. This is usually done by enhancing more growth hormone production during the night and other processes, because HGH is just so effective at cutting fat.
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So, if you involve in some high intensity workouts like lifting weights and resistance training, and also take a weight loss pill that enhances the production of growth hormone at night and also keeps you feel full and satisfied during the day, you have got the perfect recipe for weight loss.
Unfortunately, there is no single weight loss pill available that targets the “growth hormone” and “appetite suppression” very effectively simultaneously. And I’ve reviewed and researched a lot on these diet pills.
I could achieve very strong effects of “growth hormone” and “appetite suppression” together by using the prescription drugs I mentioned above. But as I said earlier, I had to “cycle” them because the body gets used to them and they start becoming less effective over time. Because one prescription drug will work only by one mechanism.
And, these drugs require a prescription.
Another way is to take those pills that contain diverse herbal and chemical ingredients that target the “growth hormone” and “appetite suppression” via several mechanisms. Remember, a multi-ingredient pill will almost always work better and you won’t necessarily need to “cycle” it.
That’s why I recommend you take PhenQ and Genf20 Plus together. The former targets the “appetite suppression” and the latter targets the secretion of “growth hormone”.
PhenQ will help you burn more calories while suppressing your appetite. And when you begin cutting your intake of calories, the dopaminergic and cholinergic action of ingredients in Genf20 Plus will help you have the motivation and energy to do workouts, especially the high intensity workouts that transform your endocrine profile for good.
5. Leptin and insulin
It’s no secret that modern food industry is causing obesity in America. Fitness experts and doctors began debating on sugar and fructose for some time now.
Then there is issue of MSG causing food addiction and making people overeat consistently and concerns around GMO.
However, the most strong effects of these bad foods created by the food industry are leptin resistance and insulin resistance.
Leptin secreted by your fat cells sends a signal to the brain that we have enough energy stored, and we don’t require any more.
The problem is when you become “leptin resistant”, the brain just can’t see the leptin’s signal. Even if you have enough of fat cells and energy stored in the body, your brain thinks that it requires more food and energy.
Another problem is insulin resistance.
Insulin is also a crucial hormone that shoots up in the body whenever we eat something. It signals the cells in the body to take glucose from the bloodstream and also signals them to store fat or glycogen.
Insulin plays a huge role in obesity because it causes weight gain by blocking the leptin signal.
High insulin -> No leptin signal -> Brain thinks that the body requires food -> Brain sends the “hunger” signal -> We eat more food
Insulin resistance causes chronically high levels of insulin in the body and as said earlier, it’s an unconscious mechanism by which insulin can exist at these high levels, even when the need might not be.
However, leptin resistance can be fixed and the high insulin levels can be controlled by controlling your diet and by increasing growth hormone levels, which practically has the opposite action of insulin.
Here are more tips to deal with leptin and insulin resistance:-
- – Using a weight loss pill that suppresses appetite by enhancing the effects of leptin or by other mechanisms
- – Using a weight loss pill that enhances growth hormone and balances insulin levels
- – Low carbs diet and Exercise. Read more on this.
- – Eating variable meals also called calorie shifting (with no carbs at night). Calorie shifting is scientifically proven to work. Here is a sample meal plan.
- – Optimizing diet for maximum hgh release
- – Eating little to no simple starches, refined foods, sugars and fructose
- – Consuming a large amount of protein and healthy fats first thing in the morning, as soon after waking as possible.
- – DON’T SNACK!!! When you are constantly eating, even small amounts, during the day it keeps your liver working and doesn’t give hormones a break. Try to space meals at least 4 hours apart and don’t eat for at least 4 hours before bed. This will also trigger more growth hormone release in the body.
6. Dealing with hunger
All the above tips should put you on a fast track to weight loss success. However, as I said earlier everyone is different and there may be several factors at play.
Often, unexpectedly even on a diet pill or a weight loss diet, you might find it difficult to curb hunger. Instead of just giving up on controlling hunger and going for the foods you crave, you should actually understand “hunger” and chart out your own unique ways to eliminate or deal with hunger.
– Choline supplements like Alpha GPC and Phosphatidylcholine can curb hunger indirectly by increasing your energy
– Exercise and more protein intake blunts hunger
– There are certain nootropics that curb hunger
– Having cheat days so you don’t crave your favorite foods is also a good strategy
7. Keep yourself updated with the latest research in weight loss
Weight loss is a billion dollar industry and lot of research is going on with companies looking to find the next best solution. However, the sad truth is lots of new products appearing in the market are scams.
However, new research also brings out some fresh strategies and approaches to weight loss. One must keep himself updated on the new research and try to find out solutions that will be relevant to his/her cause and/or complement his/her diet pill or dieting efforts.
Some of the topics you should look into are leptin diet, detox, gut healing, toxins removal, holistic healing, yoga etc.
All the best in your weight loss endeavors.