My Plateau Busting protocol is a work in progress, as we discover new information in the literature – we tweak things accordingly. By popular demand, I have enclosed the updated protocol here so people can refer to it, but please know that this protocol is the “Cliff Notes” version, and the full program will be outlined in detail in my upcoming book.
One of my most popular videos on Youtube is “What To Do When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau”, and due to it, and the popularity of my Facebook group www.facebook.com/WeightLossResources, I hear from many women from around the country (and around the world) that are immensely frustrated with their inability to lose weight. Often these women are seemingly doing everything right – they are eating a decent diet, they are exercising, they are making a concerted effort to live healthier – unfortunately, their bodies are rebelling, and eschewing all of their efforts to shed the pounds. This is disheartening and demoralizing, and it creates a vicious cycle of trying the next new diet, failing, getting bigger, trying the next new diet, failing etc.
I want to make it clear – you are not a failure! There is so much erroneous and misinformation in the diet world – you can’t help but be confused. Furthermore, not every diet is a good match for every person. Some people are able to thrive on a vegetarian diet, others fail miserably as their quest to avoid meat brings a plethora of low quality processed foods into their diet. There is always a HUGE difference between how a diet looks on paper and how it is brought to live in a real world setting. So let me say this; weight loss is never linear. It always comes off in stair steps. Our goal is to minimize those stair treads and maximize the risers! I would love to equip you with simple, easy to implement tools which empower you to make lifestyle changes that result in a happier, healthier YOU!
First off, let’s throw the notion out the door that everyone needs to be a size 2. It isn’t reasonable, it isn’t healthy, it isn’t practical. Maybe you have always struggled with your weight, maybe the hormone changes from multiple pregnancies put you on your current course, maybe you have other underlying health challenges… when you set your goal weight, don’t pick one from a statistician’s magic graph, pick one that is reasonable and doable for you! Make the first step in setting yourself up for success!
So, I am going to outline the key steps in helping you blast through those plateaus in 7 simple steps:
- Protein for Breakfast! Our aim is to follow a ketogenic/”Death to Diabetes®”/ Paleo style breakfast. Your ideal breakfast will be a ‘bulletproof’ coffee (coffee containing a spoonful of melted grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil), at least 35 grams of high quality protein (eggs, meat, fish), and unlimited steamed vegetables (if so desired). Keep your carbohydrates, yogurts, smoothies, etc for later in the day.
- Snacking – If you must snack between meals – limit your snacks to protein, or 1-2 oz of healthy seeds or nuts. When you snack on fruit, dairy, or carbohydrates – you create a bigger spike in your blood glucose levels (and subsequently your insulin), which lends you towards eating more and being hungrier. It also stimulates you to release hormones which make weight loss more difficult.
- Inflammation – reducing your systemic load of inflammation is KEY to getting the pounds off permanently. You can do this by ensuring that you are getting at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Getting your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits as opposed to pastas, breads, and sweets will also help. Supplements including fish oil, turmeric, boswellia, ginger, or proteolytic enzyme blends will go a long way to reduce your total inflammatory load. Intenzyme Forte from Biotics Research is one proteolytic enzyme blend that I frequently use with my patients and clients.
- Tea time – instead of loading up on sodas, make a concerted effort to drink tea ( hot or cold work equally well) – at least twice a day. Make a point however to mix up the types of tea that you drink so that you do not consume too much of any particular nutrient that may be found in certain teas (such as fluoride in green tea) . Black tea, white tea, green tea, roobios tea, dandelion tea, yarrow, rosehip, cornsilk, pu-ehr, matcha, and ginger all have known anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Lemon water or lime water will also work, and they have the added benefit of containing bioflavonoids – which also aid in the process. TruVision’s Heart & Hydration is another acceptable substitute for any of your daily cups of tea.
- Protein centered meals – While nutritionists vary on what they consider to be the ‘ideal’ daily intake of protein, I find it a good rule of thumb to use HALF OF YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT (LBS) IN GRAMS (PRO) , so if you currently weigh 225 lbs, but your goal weight is 150 lbs, you need to take 150 divided by 2 = 75. Therefore, you should strive to consume at least 75 grams of high quality protein per day. I tell my clients to quit worrying about counting calories, and count grams of protein instead!
- Probiotics before bed – more and more studies are demonstrating that gut bacteria play a definitive role in whether you carry extra pounds. Obese people and average weight people have very different ratios of gut bacteria. Take 1-2 capsules of a probiotic from my approved list before bedtime, and rotate brands so that you can introduce multiple strains into your gastrointestinal tract.
- Move IT or Lose IT – You don’t need to take up decathlons or bench press 300 pounds, but you need to move those joints. Chiropractors are always fond of the saying “move it or lose it”, and that plays true with your joints and your muscles. Get out and walk, and if you can’t walk – get a stationary bike. Most thrift stores have a ton of stationary bikes for just a few dollars! Your quadriceps are the largest lymphatic pump in your body, you need to start working those on a regular basis and you will flush away the metabolites from breaking down fat.
Want to kickstart the weight loss process?
8. The TruCombo’s (TruFix/TruWeight&Energy, both Gen 1 and Gen2) are one of my secret weight loss weapons. They both help reduce your appetite, make you feel full quicker, balance glucose fluctuations, reduce cravings, and increase your metabolism. The cornerstone of either combo is TruFix, and it is a body balancing supplement. An imbalanced body stores fat, a balanced body will release fat! TruVision can be an incredible tool in your arsenal to decrease those cravings that make it so hard for you to stick to a program. It is literally “willpower in a box!”
So now you know the basic steps, but you need to understand the science and rationale behind the recommendations:
Rationale 1 : The breakfast needs to be essentially carb-free. Do not ask me if you can have fruit, or yogurt, or cereal, or pancakes, or donuts, or oatmeal, or cheese, or anything else. We want ONLY protein so we are starting off the day by leveling glucose and insulin. Those other foods, even if they are ‘healthy’ choices, will spike your glucose and insulin, and then your TruFix has to work twice as hard to be effective. This is, in effect, a ketogenic or paleo-style breakfast. This type of meal “shifts the body’s metabolic engine from burning carbohydrates to burning fats”2 and improves insulin sensitivity and leptin resistance3. Consuming carbohydrates, even in healthy forms such as those from fruit (fructose) or dairy (lactose) causes surges in blood glucose levels which in turn initiate the release of insulin. People with excess weight have been shown to be insulin resistant4 and therefore if we by pass this, we set the stage for less severe glucose and insulin fluctuations throughout the day. In fact, in his book Death to Diabetes™, researcher DeWayne McCauley postulates that eating a paleo or ketogenic breakfast is the most important factor in modulating glucose levels throughout the day.5 If protein alone doesn’t fill you up, feel free to add 2 cups of any steamed green vegetable. You can season it with olive oil, vinegar, and Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Rationale 2 : Snacking should not stimulate the appetite, spike glucose levels, raise leptin levels, or be a major source of calories. Most people grossly underestimate how many calories are contained in their daily ‘snacks’ and instead of being 100-200 calorie tide-me-overs, snacks have become 700 calorie crappucino’s, milkshakes, yogurt-covered extravaganzas. If you stop drinking your calories, it is much easier to stick to your daily dietary recommendations.
Rationale 3 : Where do we start? There are so many! First, let’s take a look at how inflammation makes you fat : Inflammation begins within the fat cells themselves. Most people think of inflammation and assume that means joint pain, but inflammation is so much more. At its very core a fat cell is an inflamed cell. “As glucose is moved into fat cells, they produce an excess of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which in turn initiates an inflammatory cascade within the cell”7. As the percentage of body fat increases, the rate of inflammation increases exponentially. This inflammation causes insulin resistance, and can be noted with C-Reactive Protein testing. The inflammatory cascade eventually makes its way to the brain, specifically the hypothalamus, where it causes leptin resistance.8 Leptin is your ‘hunger’ hormone and is noted for controlling your appetite and regulating your metabolism. The more fat you have the greater potential you have for leptin resistance, which affects your glucose regulation, and slows your metabolism which results in more weight gain and insulin resistance. It is a vicious cycle that keeps getting progressively worse. Inflammation within the gut itself, where 80% of immune function resides, further causes both leptin and insulin resistance. An imbalance in the gram-negative bacteria in the gut has been shown to produce an endotoxin called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a cytokine cascade which causes inflammation, insulin resistance, and weight gain.9 But I digress, we will get into how bacteria are related to obesity in the step 6. Obesity makes fat cells act like they are infected.10 The stimulation of fat cells by excess calories causes the cells to make Major Histocompatibility Complex II (MHCII), which in turn sends your immune system into over-drive, mimicking autoimmune dysfunction.11 This breakthrough in understanding the fat cell may prove to be crucial future weight loss and aging studies.
Intenzyme Forte™ is a proteolytic enzyme formula. When taken on an empty stomach, it can be absorbed intact into the bloodstream12 where it can be directed towards breaking down those inflammatory products in the body. Proteolytic enzymes have been demonstrated to reduce Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a), a cytokine protein that signals inflammatory responses along with other pro-inflammatory mediators such as Prostaglandin E2 and Thromboxanes.13 Autoimmune dysfunction is associated with increased levels of TNF-a.14
In addition to the overwhelming capacity of proteolytic enzymes to interrupt this fat-inflammation cycle, certain ones, including bromelain, have a secondary action of helping the body to utilize insulin more efficiently which in turn helps to keep blood glucose fluctuations less dramatic. 15
To summarize all of this technical jargon : fat cells are inflamed cells. Think of each fat cell like a little water balloon filled with fat. The fat creates chemicals which not only irritate the body, but stimulate the body to keep making more and more fat cells. This is very stressful on the body which finds the inflammatory chemicals hugely irritating, so the body tries to dilute those irritants by sending more water to the area (bloating and swelling) to flush those chemicals away. This not only sends the body down the pathway to blood sugar dysregulation and even diabetes, but can result in premature aging and even autoimmune-type degeneration. Once you have made a fat cell, you can never get rid of them (barring surgery like liposuction) but you can deflate those ‘balloons’ of fat, and turn off the inflammation production. That is what we are trying to achieve with this step.
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon take Intenzyme Forte™ . The protocol recommends 1-2 capsule(s) of Intenzyme Forte mid-morning, and 1-2 capsules mid-afternoon on an empty stomach. Empty stomach usually means 30 minutes+ prior to eating or a minimum of 90 minutes after eating. *This HAS to be taken on an empty stomach or IT WILL NOT WORK! Please note, if you have significant levels of inflammation, you can take additional capsules twice a day, but for simplicity and to curtail costs, I suggest starting with 1 capsule twice daily.
If you choose to use one of the other anti inflammatory supplements that are listed above, then change the dosing accordingly.
Rationale 4 : All of these teas have a known mild diuretic effect and by keeping them in rotation our body will not accommodate to it- thereby it maintains its effectiveness. As we already discussed, the body likes to flood inflamed tissues with excess water, so if we drink tea, it’s mild, natural diuretic properties help us flush those inflammatory by-products from the body, and that will support healthy weight loss. Please note: many of the teas listed, particularly the herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. Should you choose to use green tea or black tea however, it is the caffeine portion of it which acts like a diuretic, so make sure to purchase regular versions and not decaffeinated ones.
Rationale 5 : Protein intake speeds metabolic rate. You need to be consuming enough high quality protein in order to trigger your body to release the fat that it has accumulated. Dieters that fail to consume enough protein will get muscle wasting – so it is in your best interest to make sure that you are consuming enough high quality, non-soy protein.
Rationale 6 : An increasing body of evidence suggests that obesity is directly linked to the bacteria in your gut. In fact the bacteria in thin people differs from the bacteria in overweight people. 16 Thin people and overweight people have entirely different strains and ratios of intestinal flora.17 Researchers at Laval University in Canada, found that female test subjects receiving probiotics lost twice as many pounds as those in the placebo group over the course of a twelve week period.18 Furthermore, probiotics may normalize intestinal pH, making it more difficult for candida albicans to thrive, and may crowd out pathogenic bacteria species.19 There are variations of professional opinion on the best way to consume probiotics, but heat and acid are enemies of bacteria, so if you can get the probiotics through the stomach acid as quickly as possible, then you have created optimal conditions for the greatest number of probiotics to survive. Hence the need to take them on an empty stomach. Taking them at night coincides with the greatest period of bowel rest for most individuals, which allows for longer periods of contact between the probiotics and the intestinal mucosa, which may improve the rate of colonization. When you take probiotics with food, they stay in the acidic stomach for much longer, which kills off a greater percentage of the bacteria. Again you want to take your probiotics on an empty stomach so it gets passed through your stomach acid quickly and so it can colonize in your large intestine while you have your longest period of bowel rest. If you take magnesium, this is an ideal time to take it too.
Rationale 7 : You can not out-exercise a bad diet, and similarly, a clean diet alone will not compensate for a deficit of physical activity. After blood, lymph is the largest fluid which circulates in the body and it is very important to maintaining overall health. Walking is the #1 exercise to encourage lymphatic flow, and moderate to fast paced walking is excellent aerobic activity. It is a lifestyle modification that is easy to implement and that provides both immediate and long-term benefits.
Rationale 8 : There are several. First, we want to regulate glucose and insulin spikes. Even as little of five extra pounds of body weight indicates some degree of insulin resistance. One, we are consuming the TruFix at or near the same time as protein. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and the stomach retains protein containing meals for longer periods of time before it is sent through to the small intestine. This enhances absorption of the TruFix ingredients. Two, for those drinking tea or drinking the TruHeart & Hydration drink mix, there is a well established neural-lingual connection between your taste buds and the brain. Primary gustatory fibers synapse centrally in the medulla, so upon consuming sweet substances, the sweet taste receptors in the mouth stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain. We can use this signaling to turn down the body’s desire for carbohydrate-rich or sweet substances; “…sweet taste is modified by circulating hormones. Recently, the effect of leptin on sweet-responding taste cells has generated much interest. Leptin, a protein hormone secreted mainly by adipocytes regulates body mass and suppresses insulin secretion by the activation of ATP-sensitive KCn . Its inhibitory effect on TRCs also involves the activation of a K+ conductance and membrane hyper polarization. Thereby the hormone partially blunts nerve signals indicating sweet taste, which, presumably, makes food less attractive.”6 If you hold the sweetened (stevia) tea or Heart & Hydration mix in the mouth for several seconds before swallowing it extends the contact time between the taste buds and the sweet taste – thus fooling the brain into believing that it has consumed a significant amount of carbohydrates, which results in a down regulation of your appetite and sweet cravings.
Other Helpful Pointers:
- Meals – Make healthy choices when you can. If you can eat lower amounts of carbohydrates, you should see results faster. Try to eat GOD made foods and avoid as many Man-made foods as possible. *Perfect meals are meat & veggies*
- If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one (1) oz of hard liquor or 1 6(oz) glass of wine per day. If you drink more than this, it increases the difficulty you will have losing weight tremendously.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
- Keep your fruits and yogurts as side dishes to your meals – like dessert.
- If you are having a smoothie – have it with lunch or dinner.
- If you already exercise, keep continuing what you are doing. Please don’t start a new program at the same time you initiate a new diet. You want to know what is working for you and what isn’t.
- If you are consuming the beverages as described, please make sure that you are drinking your water. These cups of tea do count towards your daily quota.
- Please do not skip meals.
Troubleshooting for SPECIAL CASES:
1) Autoimmune patients have difficulty losing weight. They usually have elevated levels of inflammation and hormonal imbalances – both of which impact fat burning. Before starting any diet program, it behooves you to see your physician and get a complete blood workup. C-Reactive protein and Thyroid panels are well worth getting. If you are symptomatic for any autoimmune condition, now is the perfect time to have your endocrinologist review and balance your medications. I will explore more options for autoimmune patients in future blog posts.
2) Gallbladder surgery can make weight loss incredibly difficult. I have two very popular blog posts on what post cholecystectomy patients need to do to lose weight. Supplementation is absolutely KEY to helping them balance the nutritional deficits caused by their surgery. I have very specific recommendations for anyone who has had their gallbladder removed.
3) Bariatric Surgery is a double edged sword – it can be a life saver, or it can leave people feeling more frustrated than ever. Bariatric patients all have altered digestion and at some point or another they all experience nutritional deficits. An optimal body is a balanced body, therefore, bariatric patients need to be much more diligent about their diet and they should strive to supplement their diet with liquid-based dietary supplements whenever possible to ensure optimal absorption.
4) Consider getting ELISA (blood test) to determine your allergies and sensitivities. Then you can take the guess work out of what substances are causing you inflammation and you will know exactly which ones to remove or limit from your diet. ALCAT or ALLETESS are two that I use in my office.
- Start by taking before pictures – take a face view and a full body view. Clothed is just fine because that is how the world sees you!
- Take your measurements, write them down and stick them aside.
- Write down your goals! This is important — remember the adage, “Write it down & make it happen”? People that write down their goals are significantly MORE likely to achieve them than those who just dream about them.
- Don’t let a bad day get you down. A momentary lapse doesn’t mean you have to abandon your diet and health goals. It isn’t about being PERFECT, it is about doing the BEST YOU CAN!
- When you weigh yourself, weigh yourself first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom. As a rule, I do not recommend weighing every day, but rather every week. It is completely normal for women’s weight to fluctuate by 1-4 pounds per day. What you eat, drink, and your physical activity all contribute towards this. it is not uncommon for some people, particularly those with autoimmune conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Hypothyroidism to fluctuate by more than 5 pounds a day when they are particularly inflamed.
- Focus on how your clothes fit and how you feel – that is a better indicator of your momentum and success than a number on the scale.
- visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/Weightlossresources for help and support.
1. McCulley, DeWayne. Death to Diabetes. North Charleston: BookSurge LLC.© 2005
2. Ketogenic Diet Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Numerous Aging Markers. Retrieved April 26, 2014 from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/02/ketogenic-diet-health-benefits.aspx
4. Hyman, Mark. The Blood Sugar Solution. NY: Little, Brown and Company. ©2012
5. McCulley, DeWayne. Death to Diabetes.
6. Sweet taste signaling. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.qiagen.com/products/genes%20and%20pathways/pathway%20details.aspx?pwid=425
7. How inflammation makes you fat and diabetic (and vice versa).
10. Obesity makes fat cells act like they are infected. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145145.
12. Proteolytic enzymes among top 10 ways to help decrease inflammation. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://www.enzymesinc.com/index.php?id=
13. Quell the fire of Inflammation the immense power of proteolytic enzyme therapy. Retrieved April 26, 2014: http://metabolichealing.com/quell-the-fire-of-inflammation-the-immense-power-of-proteolytic-enzyme-therapy/
15. Bromelain. Retrieved April 26, 2014 : http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1089-BROMELAIN.aspx?activeIngredientId=1089&activeIngredientName=BROMELAIN
16. The Microbes in Your Gut May be Making You Fat. Retrieved April 29, 2014: http://www.livescience.com/41954-gut-microbes-make-you-fat.html
18. Certain probiotics could help women lose weight, study finds. Retrieved April 30, 2014:
19. Why Use Probiotics For Candida? Retrieved Apriil 30, 2014: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/probiotics.htm
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Disclaimer: Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program. Dr. Miranda’s protocol is offered as generalized information and should not be construed as medical advice.
Copyright (c) 2014, 2015 Miranda Jorgenson. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of the author