How to mini-fast for weight loss
What to eat on non-fasting days for weight loss
Your fasts should be complemented with a nutrient-rich, paleo-based diet, which consists of:
- Fresh fruits and veggies (lots of them!)
- Wild fish (canned, frozen, or fresh)
- Grass-fed, pastured-raised meat, poultry, and eggs
- Organ meats from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals
- Fermented foods (e.g. kimchi and sauerkraut)
- Healthy fats (e.g. avocado, olives, nuts, and coconut)
Foods to avoid for weight loss
There are some foods that actually work against your weight goals. Mainly because they promote inflammation, which can significantly impact your waistline.
Pro-inflammatory foods are anything your body can’t fully utilize, metabolize, digest, or eliminate…causing waste, debris, or harm to your gut and beyond.
Unfortunately, pro-inflammatory foods are found EVERYWHERE. At minimum, you should avoid sugar, gluten, seed oils, and soy.
There are SO many remarkable benefits to cutting out sugar. One of them is waking up energized in the morning from a night of restful, undisturbed sleep.
You also defy aging and get glowing skin, lose weight, and so much more.
So what makes sugar bad? Beyond causing inflammation and making you gain weight, sugar also…
- Feeds cancer cells (this alone should be enough to cut it out)
- Accelerates aging by causing oxidative stress
- Causes hypoglycemia followed by insulin resistance and diabetes
- Causes gastrointestinal issues, including increased risk of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Decreases your absorption of protein and minerals
- Causes food allergies
- Gets you addicted to eating MORE sugar!
Essentially, sugar gunks up your body and makes your cells old, sick, and sluggish.
It’s worth noting that I’m talking about added sugars. And unfortunately, added sugars now show up in many foods like mustard, salad dressings, deli meats, dried fruit, nut butters, and so on.
Fructose — one form of sugar — has been linked to cancer, liver damage, increases in “bad” cholesterol, and even changes in skin collagen that can cause wrinkles. And while fructose in fruit is safe, it’s extremely dangerous in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
Here’s a long list of no-no added sugars:
- Agave and agave nectar
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Cane crystals, juice and sugar
- Corn sweeteners
- Corn syrup and corn syrup solids
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated and evaporated cane juice
- Dextrin and dextrose
- Glucose and glucose solids
- High fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Palm sugar
- Raw cane sugar
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
As a rule of thumb, if it has an –ose, or –tol, it’s a toxic sugar you should avoid.
And artificial sweeteners are just as bad if not worse. These include:
- Acesulfame K/Acesulfame Potassium (Sweet One, Sunett)
- Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
- Saccharine (Sweet’N Low)
- Stevia that’s white/bleached (Truvia, Sun crystals)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
Recently, researchers took sucralose (a popular artificial sweetener in diet soda) and tested them on stem cells in a Petri dish. After only 12 days, they found more genes showing fat creation and inflammation. Plus, they noticed more fat droplets in the cells themselves, which could contribute to metabolic dysfunction.
Artificial sugars can also mess with your brain and nervous system…and definitely won’t make you drop any pounds. That’s because as soon as you taste them, your body releases insulin BEFORE it realizes there isn’t actually sugar there. This makes you crave more sugar, and makes you hungry. So, you may end up overeating, and gaining weight!
So what sugars can you have?
While on the my 21-Day Bone Broth Diet, you should avoid all added sugars on the days you’re not fasting. However, once you complete the diet, a little sweetness in moderation is okay.
My “YES” sweeteners include:
- Coconut, date, and palm sugar
- Raw honey
- Pure maple syrup
- 100% fruit jam
- Apple juice concentrate
- Smashed bananas
- Blackstrap unsulphured molasses
- Green Leaf Stevia
Wheat & Other Grains
When it comes to grains, the first thing to know is that your body doesn’t need them. You may feel like you need them — but that’s partly because highly processed grains, much like sugar, are addictive.
The second thing to know is that all grains — even supposedly “healthy” whole grains — are packed with carbohydrates. These carbs age you by raising your blood sugar levels, forcing your body to produce more insulin and leading to insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. This process also makes you tired throughout the day.
Moreover, grains contain high levels of two anti-nutrients: phytic acid and lectins. Phytic acid binds to minerals, cutting down on the anti-aging nutrients you get from food. And lectins damage the lining of your intestines, causing a “leaky” gut and allowing toxins to leak into your bloodstream, which leads to pro-aging inflammation throughout your body.
Finally, there’s gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and spelt. And it specifically causes a ton of inflammation in your body...giving you belly fat, unnecessary weight, and a sick gut.
A weakened gut not only contributes to further inflammation and weight gain, but it also leaves you at risk for mostly every modern disease out there.
In addition, gluten negatively impacts the beneficial microbes in your gut. And these microbes play a significant role in your metabolism, immune health, and just about every other system in your body.
The truth is, our bodies aren’t adapted to eating gluten, especially in large quantities. So, your gut has no idea what to do with it.
And many people these days are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant. For these people, eating gluten can trigger autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, arthritis-like joint pain, and a host of other ailments that make people look and feel old.
Which is why gluten-free diets are so popular. People are finally waking up to the truth–that gluten poisons your body.
But beware of all the “gluten-free” products out there. Just because it doesn’t have gluten, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Many gluten-free breads, crackers, cookies, and pastas simply swap refined wheat flour for other refined flours and starches. These starches will also pack on the pounds and zap the energy right out of you.
Luckily, there are fabulous gluten-free and even grain-free substitutes, like almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour, and arrowroot for baking. Squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are also all ingredients you can use to create hearty, satisfying meals.
Poor Quality Oils
Consuming bad oils is like putting regular gas in a diesel car. And sadly, most processed foods contain poor quality oils (a.k.a. “vegetable” oils).
However, vegetable oils aren’t actually made from vegetables. Instead, they’re made from seeds, grains, and legumes that aren’t naturally rich in oil. Thus, it’s important to keep the following in mind when it comes to these so-called vegetable oils:
They’re Heavily Processed: Because rapeseeds (canola), sunflower seeds, corn, and soybeans don’t contain much oil, these ingredients must be exposed to extreme conditions to extract the small amount of oil they do contain.
They’re Already Damaged: Heat, light, and air cause oils to oxidize. It’s similar to an apple browning after being cut and left at room temperature. Thus, most vegetable oils are already damaged from the heavy processing I just mentioned. In addition, the clear plastic bottles they’re often packaged in allows light to penetrate, which promotes even more oxidation.
They’re Rancid: Oxidation causes oils to go rancid. And this process gives oils a foul odor and unpleasant taste. However, the oils are deodorized and bleached as part of their processing so you would never know.
They’re Inflammatory: Consuming oxidized and rancid oils causes inflammation. However, as if that’s not bad enough, “vegetable” oils also create inflammation because they contain high levels of inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids as opposed to anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids.
Millions of years ago, diets were abundant in seafood and high in Omega-3 fatty acids. They were also low in omega-6 seed oils. In fact, our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats at an estimated ratio of 1:1. And this is the ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3.
However, today’s ratio ranges from 15:1 and 22:1. This means we’re consuming 20 times too much of inflammatory oils!
Thus, to reduce inflammation and lose weight, avoid all of the following oils:
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Hydrogenated oil (trans fat)
- Margarine (hydrogenated “vegetable” oil)
- Cottonseed oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Peanut oil
Instead, eat these HIGH quality fats and oils:
- Avocados: Full of monounsaturated fats, which are incredibly healthy. Add some in your salad, mash it up and use as a dip for veggies, or just eat it with a spoon.
- Butter and ghee: Butter from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows is great. And and organic, grass-fed ghee (also known as clarified butter with milk solids removed) is a fantastic cooking oil. It stays stable at high heat. It’s great for those sensitive to milk proteins. And it also tastes great.
- Coconut fats: Incorporate coconut through coconut butter, flakes, coconut milk, and fresh coconut. You can add a little bit of coconut fat to your coffee for an extra boost.
- Nuts and nut butters: Nuts can get tricky, and I’ve talked about this on the Dr. Oz show before. I recommend almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts (BEST Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of all), pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. This gives you plenty to choose from. But just remember to keep them in moderation. And note that peanuts and peanut butter are off the table. They’re actually a legume and are very inflammatory.
- Oils: Try avocado oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, walnut oil, and olive oil.
- Seeds: You can sprinkle your salad with pine nuts, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. They taste great and give salads a wonderful texture.
- Animal fats: Don’t throw away that extra fat! Animal fats can be health promoting when they come from a healthy animal–organic, grass-fed, and pasture raised. Some examples are tallow (beef fat), lamb fat, duck fat, and schmaltz (chicken fat). These animal fats make anything you use it for taste rich and decadent. Try sauteéing some veggies and smell and taste the difference.
It’s also worth mentioning that eating healthy fats won’t make you fat. You can blame carbohydrates from refined grains and sugars for that.
And if you’re worried about heart disease, worry more about vegetable oils than the list of healthy fats I recommend. Research shows us that inflammation is like charred glass on our vessels causing heart attacks–not healthy fats.
If you believe that soy is a super healthy food, you’ve been misled.
And unfortunately, soy is found in almost every processed food in our modern world. Pick up just about any box or package at the grocery store. You’ll see soybean oil, soy flour, soy isolate, or soy lecithin as one of the ingredients.
The “beef” tacos at Jack in the Box even contain a ton of soy. Talk about mystery meat!
The problem is, soy negatively affects your gut and causes inflammation. But that’s not all. Here are just some of the other reasons why you should avoid soy:
- Soy phytoestrogens disrupt hormone function…causing infertility and breast cancer in women.
- Just one cup of soy milk a day could lower a man’s sperm count by 50%.
- Babies fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 20,000 more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies with milk-based formula. Infants taking soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day!
- Soy contains phytic acid, which reduces the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and zinc–all minerals your body needs to stay healthy.
- Processed soy (like the soy you get in soy burgers, hot dogs, etc.) results in the formation of lysinoalanine and carcinogenic nitrosamines–both toxic substances your body does not need.
- Eating soy increases your body’s need for B12 and Vitamin D (which too many of us are low in as it is).
- MSG, a neurotoxin, is formed during soy processing.
- Women consuming the equivalent of 2 cups of soymilk a day receive the estrogen equivalent of one birth control pill.
Now if you’re thinking, Hasn’t soy been consumed safely in Asia for years? Consider the following:
- Asians don’t consume as much soy as you think. Average soy consumption in China is 10 grams (2 teaspoons) and about 30 to 60 grams in Japan. Soy is used as a condiment, not as a meal or replacement of meat like we do in the U.S.
- The soy we eat is HIGHLY processed. Whereas, soy products in Asian countries are fermented and unrefined. The fermentation process increases the nutritional value of soy and neutralizes the pro-inflammatory properties in soybeans.
But what if you’re vegetarian?
If you absolutely must have soy, it’s important to keep it as natural and unprocessed as possible. It’s also important to stick to fermented soy foods, such as tempeh and unprocessed tofu. And make sure it’s organic and non-GMO.
Otherwise, get soy out of your life for good. Opt for (unsweetened) almond milk and grass-fed beef burgers. It’s better for you, and tastes a WHOLE lot better!