A lot has happened since my last blog. First of all, I am officially in my office full-time after working my last shift in the urgent care center in June. If you have been in the office recently, you have noticed that our staff has grown. Mary Catherine, or “Cat,” comes to us with a background in health and wellness which includes experience in fitness center management and personal training, as well as medical office and compounding pharmacy experience. She will be working at the front desk along side Tracy and will assist you with prescription refills, appointment scheduling and anything else you need. Thanks to our patients, who continue to be the largest source of referrals for new patients, we have had steady growth since opening our doors 3 years ago. We are humbled by your trust in our ability to improve your health and longevity.
My last two blogs focused on a new nutritional supplement from Sequal Naturals™ and how I use it to help with weight loss. Sequal Naturals™ offers a line of very clean, vegan supplements ranging from protein powders to energy bars. Their meal replacement-type powder is called the All in One Shake, which is a high fiber, plant-based protein powder that is packed with nutrients for digestive health. For more on this supplement see my prior blogs.
As I have discussed in prior blogs, meal replacements have extensive research behind them as weight loss and weight maintenance tools. The benefits to using a product like the All In One Shake, however, go way beyond numbers on a scale.
In terms of weight loss, they help control and minimize total calorie intake while providing adequate protein and fiber, two nutrients that are often lacking in most low-calorie diets. For most of us, it also reduces the toxic burden by removing one meal per day from the typical American diet – where the food supply has become increasingly dangerous to our health and longevity. There are mountains of evidence confirming that as our consumption of animal products goes up, so does the incidence of most of the diseases that kill us in this country. Looking at just this one aspect of health, if every American removed one serving of animal products per day from their diet, it would reduce their intake of animal products by 30% – 50%. In most cases this would also remove a serving of trans-fats, preservatives and carcinogens found in many of the typical foods that we eat. This would have an enormous impact on our health and our economy.
So after adding the Vega meal replacement to my diet, I made some other key changes that I believe have been instrumental in 12 pounds of weight loss over the past 8 months. The first one was that in January, I started exercising 6 days per week in preparation for an upcoming Ironman™ race. In addition, on many of those days, I made it a point to exercise in the morning on an empty stomach. This combination of exercising regularly in a fasted state has gained some momentum in recent years for the benefits it seems to provide. This routine has been shown to essentially change your body’s chemistry in a way that helps you burn fat as fuel more readily. It also lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, which may be one of the most important things you can do for your health.1
Most of the weight I lost was in the first few months when, on most days, I was doing less than an hour of exercise of easy aerobic activity. Before you attribute my weight loss to exercise alone, let me be clear on a few things; the exercise was not a huge change for me as I typically exercise on most days and have for most of my life. I have also been essentially the same weight for almost 2 decades and have always followed a pretty healthy diet so there was definitely more at work here than increasing my activity.
I believe the weight loss was a combination of exercising in a fasting state and the unique ingredients found in the Sequal Naturals™ product. After a few months of starting this program, I started recommending it to some of my patients and have seen similar results with those who have stuck with it. In addition to the weight loss benefit, many with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation have seen marked improvement with the use of this power-packed nutritional supplement.
If you are looking for a jump-start to your weight loss program, try a good meal replacement once a day on most days along with exercising a few days a week in a fasted state and see what happens. Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting an exercise program for the first time. If you are one of our patients, next time you are in for a visit ask me about what you can drink during your workouts to make this routine even more effective.
Until next time, stay healthy and live well…
1. J Physiol. 2010 Nov 1;588(Pt 21):4289-302