How To Turn Your Body into a Fat Burning Machine

By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

There are many pills, supplements, teas, diets, and weird concoctions that are marketed for “weight loss”.  In a world where everything is just a click away, no app can ever substitute for eating clean and working out smart.  Notice I said “smart”, not hard.

Even with advanced technology promising “smoother skin” and “losing inches in just 6 treatments”, let me tell you why it’s a scam and why it works.  Here’s how to turn your body into a fat burning machine.

1) Good Old Fashioned Exercise– In almost all weight loss products, you’ll notice that they always provide a little disclaimer that says “in combination with diet and exercise.”  Even cold lasers and body wraps are only to be used in conjunction with exercise.  In fact, one of the recommendations of getting lipolysis is to “exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week.”  Of course these products and procedures are going to work if a regular workout is added to the equation.

2) Staying Hydrated- Weight loss supplements (like Carcinia Gambogia) instruct you to take their product half an hour to an hour prior to eating, with a full glass of water, 3-4 times a day.  Simply increasing your water intake increases the body’s ability to feel satisfied, as well as boost metabolism.

3) Switching Up Your Workouts– The Tracey Anderson Method is hailed by many celebrities as a program that truly produces results.  Red Carpet Stars and Starletts alike, swear by her training methods to get them camera ready.  Now her method is available to all mortals, with a pricey gym tag in dicey locations like Studio City and Brentwood.  Her main theme is to alternate your workout in order to challenge your brain as well as your muscles.  Switching workouts everyday is pretty much a fail proof plan, because if you workout the brain, it will turn on the body’s ability to burn fat faster as well as rev up your metabolism.  You want to be mentally engaged as well as physically engaged.  Your body will do whatever your brain tells it to.

You don’t have to be Gywenth Paltrow or Jennifer Aniston to reap the benefits of these exciting workouts.  Look up your class schedule at the gym and try a different one every other day (i.e. yoga one day, jump on the trampoline with your kids the next , hike another, dance, etc.)

4) Caffeine- Many weight loss supplements are laced with caffeine.  It’s legal crack in a bottle.  With that much energy, it’s no wonder this coffee ingredient can help you lose weight.  If you didn’t have the energy to workout before, now you can, thanks to this synthetic form of adrenaline.  I know there are many studies linking caffeine to weight loss and aiding the metabolism, yet my concern as a physician is that you’ll burn out your adrenals.  Burnt out adrenals=poor body function, lower metabolism and less immune resistance.  (Future adrenal fatigue blog post to come.)

5) Eating and drinking clean– There’s a little bit of truth to every diet.  From Atkins, South Beach, to Paleo Diet.  Eat less simple sugars and stay away from anything bleached or processed.  Reach for organic food and nutrient dense items such as quinoa, brown rice, and eat mostly vegetables.  Fresh seasonal fruits should suffice for any desired dessert.  *Also, to avoid packing on pounds, refrain from eating and drinking (i.e. Starbucks) out.  Try to avoid drinking your calories and always try to eat home cooked meals so that you know what ingredients are going into your food, as well as being able to monitor your portions.

6) Understand that all calories are not created equal.  Weight Watchers works because you limit your eating, but calorie counting isn’t a good way to fuel your body since all calories aren’t created equal.  You will experience temporary weight loss, but eventually slow down your metabolism in the long run.  Just take a look at the different spokeswomen throughout the years-Kirstie Alley, Jessica Simpson, etc.  Due to the nature of their careers, we’ve watched them fluctuate on the scales constantly.  The problem with Weight Watchers is that they don’t value the quality of food.  Something could be high in calories, but jam packed with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.  For example, nuts are nutrient dense and packed with brain healthy properties, however, a Weight Watcher might avoid it due to its high calorie count.  And yet, whip cream, which provides no nutrients whatsoever, is listed as zero points on the weight watchers list.

Many Americans have the luxury to struggle with their weight due to the abundance of food supply in this nation.  With everything so readily available, it’s no wonder we want a quick fix to something that didn’t occur over night.  If you have followed these guidelines and find yourself continually struggling, then you should come in for an appointment to see if you have an adrenal, thyroid issue or blood sugar instability, as well as any emotional components that may be holding you back.  But, losing weight shouldn’t be idealized just to be applauded by society.  We should all strive to acquire and stay at our healthy weight goal in order to live an optimal quality of life.

As I struggled to lose weight,  I was suddenly enticed by temptations of a “quick fix” and would work out mostly, but eat out often.  I knew this was a recipe for disaster but was in denial, justifying that I used to dine out in my early 20’s when I was about 10-15lbs lighter.  I thought, “As long as I work out, I can eat anything” and continued to have the mindset I had back then, when my youthful metabolism was at its peak.  I was distracted by my fantasies of fitting into my old clothes again and didn’t realize that I needed to change in order to be at a healthy weight.  Only then, did I begin to see results.  When I stopped thinking in the past and starting living in the present, I was better able to identify how I could be healthier, have more energy, and feel better now, in this moment in time.  With my old mindset, I wasn’t producing results because I was doing it for the wrong reasons and still living through my early 20’s mentality.  Adapt or die.

When we align our intentions with our thoughts, a spiritual shift occurs.  We can go from desire to reality if we make the conscientious effort through mindful living.  When we eat well and treat ourselves with kindness, empirical results manifest.  So, it’s not about losing weight, but living optimally and in line with your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional beliefs.

“What fuels the spirit, fuels the body.”


Achieving a healthy weight is funner with friends who condone a healthy lifestyle.

Achieving a healthy weight is funner with friends who condone a healthy lifestyle.


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