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Doctor’s Guide to Effective Fat Loss for Women with Dr. Michelle Levitt


Dr. Axe: Hey, guys, Dr. Josh Axe here along
with Dr. Michelle Levitt. Hey, Dr. Michelle, glad you’re here with
us today. Dr. Levitt: Great to be here. Dr. Axe: Today, we’re going to be talking
about “Ancient Medicine Today,” and really effective ways to lose fat for women quickly. And Dr. Michelle here has an incredible background. She’s a medical doctor, pediatrician and
she’s a childhood obesity expert. And so we’re going to talk about, again,
how to lose the fat fast all natural using supplements and diet and other techniques
here today. And by the way, if you are watching this video
live, hey, do us a favor, punch that share button, click that live button, help us spread
the word because there are millions of women today struggling with weight gain and unable
to lose some of that weight. And, unfortunately, that extra weight can
increase your risk of cancer, of heart disease, of diabetes, a number of other health conditions,
as Dr. Michelle is going to talk to us about here today. But step number one we’re going to talk
about here is ditching the scale. Dr. Michelle, what do you recommend? You work with women to lose fat, body fat,
why do you recommend they ditch the scale? And let’s talk about some of the others
here, maybe mention why they should stop yo-yo dieting as well. Dr. Levitt: Okay. So ditching the scale, I think, is really
important because we get too focused on the weight number. And in women, the weight number can change
daily from one to five pounds, based on water weight or whatever. So if you’re weighing every day, you just
get obsessed and also very discouraged. So I usually recommend that you ditch the
scale and actually go by things more like how your clothes fit, maybe measurements,
especially around your waist, and also focusing on the fact that the weight number is not
what we want. We want fat loss, not weight loss. So when we lose weight, we just get to be
a smaller same size, right? So for apple shake, we get to be a smaller
apple. We want fat loss where we change our body
composition. So that’s why the weight on the scale doesn’t
even matter. So stopping yo-yo dieting, you want to get
into eating less and exercise more does not work. So people, eat less, exercise more, go on
a diet, then they go off the diet then they go on the diet, but it’s been proven over
and over that eating less, exercise more does not work so stop the yo-yo dieting. Dr. Axe: Yeah, great, great stuff here. And again, you know, I think a lot of people
today get burnt out with the yo-yo dieting and I think that’s . . . well, you know,
diets themselves have been one of the . . . unfortunately, can have negative side effects with a lot
of people. But, you know, I remember, I grew up in more
of the fitness industry in terms of in high school and even college, and you know, eating
egg whites with brown rice and canned tuna. It was so dry. I mean it’s terrible. But I think a lot of people sort of make themselves
miserable with these diets today rather than eating things that are both healthy but also
can taste good as well. And, you know, finding the right fit for you,
I’ll just mention with this one, you know, a few ground rules here. You know, everybody body’s different, right? Why don’t you actually just . . . I mean,
have you experienced that in working with . . . I know you’ve worked with thousands
of women in helping them lose weight but especially body fat. Everybody’s body is different, right? Dr. Levitt: Absolutely, yes. So not only different body shape and composition
but different stresses. So if you’ve been chronically yo-yo dieting,
you have chronic stress and high cortisol, you’re going to respond differently to certain
kind of diets than a person who’s not under as much stress. So basically, I tell families . . . I’m used
to working with kids, but when I work with women, I tell women, “You have to find the
fit for you.” So we may start with one type of diet plan,
but we may shift it based on what’s happening. So I have people pay attention to hunger,
energy, mood, and cravings. And also results. So whether their labs change or their body
composition changes, we adjust constantly based on what’s happening with their bodies
so we find the perfect fit, what they land on when they find the perfect fit for fat
loss. Dr. Axe: That’s good. And we’d love to hear from you right now here
on Facebook Live. And hey, if you’re a person that’s done
a yo-yo diet, let us know the yo-yo diet that didn’t work for you. Or maybe there’s a diet that did work for
you. Again, I know that we’ve both seen things
like the ketogenic diet work for some people, whereas maybe a diet that’s more plant-based,
just lots of fruits and vegetables work better for somebody else. So we know everybody’s body is different
so that’s one of the most important keys is to listen to your body. Now, we have a prescription here as food is
medicine here from Dr. Michelle. So we’re going to talk about your fat loss
prescription here today. All right. Number one, talk about the importance of breakfast. Dr. Levitt: Okay. So you mentioned the ketogenic diet, actually,
which kind of goes along with powering up your breakfast. So you could do it a couple different ways,
which we’ll get to in the next couple slides about intermittent fasting. But you don’t always have to eat breakfast. So that’s one point. So you may not feel good eating breakfast
or you might feel better not eating breakfast. But that’s been pushed into us for so many
years. “You have to eat breakfast. Don’t skip breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you don’t lose weight.” It’s just not true. It’s simply not true. What I say the type of breakfast that’s
not working is a sugar-laden breakfast. So the typical, standard American breakfast:
donuts, muffins, pancakes, juice, toast, those things will all just spike up the blood sugar
and are not effective for fat loss. So a power-up breakfast that I recommend is
one that has protein, fat, fiber. And you have to have those three keys if you’re
going to eat breakfast. Dr. Axe: That’s great. So remember that. And that’s a huge tip for you. When you’re eating breakfast, as Dr. Michelle
said, protein, healthy fat and fiber. And really, that goes for really every meal
during the day, as she’s saying here. Let’s talk about your fat loss play. I’d love to hear from you, Dr. Michelle,
what for you or the patients you’re working with, what is a typical breakfast and lunch
or dinner look like for yourself or the people you work with? Dr. Levitt: Okay. So a typical breakfast, I usually recommend
a green smoothie, quick and easy. So you can actually put protein, fat and fiber
all in a smoothie and then that’s kind of like your entire plate as well. So mix your greens with water, you’re going
to have water, blend that up and add a protein source and a fruit source, and a healthy fat
source, boom, power breakfast. Dr. Axe: Love it. So what are some of your favorite, let’s
say, fats, proteins, and even fruit that you might add into it? You know, what did you have this week? Dr. Levitt: I usually recommend and what I
usually eat is berries. So any kind of berries: raspberry, blueberry,
blackberry, the high in fiber, high antioxidants, lower in sugar. So berries are a big go-to for smoothies. Fats, definitely just throw in a tablespoon
of coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, even throw in a whole avocado and a half avocado
that makes it nice and creamy and just fill the fat and fiber. And then, protein sources, that’s where
it gets a little bit touchy. You’re not going to throw a chicken breast
into your smoothie. So full fat, organic, pastured yogurt, Greek
yogurt is okay. I usually just use something quick like a
plant-based protein or bone broth powder or a really good quality whey protein powder
if you can make sure you find a good source. So that’s an easier way to do smoothies. Dr. Axe: Great stuff, awesome. All right. Dr. Levitt: Oh, you mentioned lunch and dinners. Dr. Axe: Yeah, yes. So what about dinner? Give us an example. Dr. Levitt: So the fat loss plate, lunch and
dinner would be really the same. So my fat loss plate is three-quarters of
their plate is vegetables. And it doesn’t have to be all the same kinds. Typically, I recommend several different kinds
of maybe a raw salad with some cooked, roasted, cruciferous vegetables. And then about the palm of your hand size
of protein and then the other part of your plate, healthy fat, or adding on healthy fats. And then the fruit and starch, not necessary. So especially for weight loss, the ketogenic
diet has been shown to be really effective. Again, not for everybody, but I usually have
you add in the starch or fruit, the sugar source, maybe after the first 14-21 days,
depending on what results you’re getting to get you off your sugar cravings and start
using fat as fuel. And adding just maybe bites of starch and
based on your hunger, energy, cravings, mood, sports performance and results. Dr. Axe: Yeah, and we love to hear from you
right now. If you’ve ever followed a ketogenic diet
or versions of the paleo diet that’s more plant-based and organic-based, we’d love
to hear from you if you’ve ever seen results with that diet as well, as Dr. Michelle here
is talking about. So let’s talk about intermittent fasting
or carb-cycling. Dr. Levitt: Okay. So a couple different approaches to the way
we eat our foods. So intermittent fasting, you’ll see several
different ways. So basically, what it means is not eating
for a certain period of time. We all intermittent fast when we sleep, right? So whether you sleep for seven hours or 10
hours, you’re getting seven or 10 hours with fasting. And then, in the morning, you break the fast,
which is called breakfast. So intermittent fasting is basically, kind
of saying to give your body a break. Let your body have a chance to digest the
food. And by going for a certain period, it’s different
based on which model you’re following, but start using fat as fuel instead of the food
you just ate. So basically, every time we eat, we’re just
using that fuel. So it also uses the principle of not . . . like
a lot of people would be like, “Oh, I’m going to go workout, I’m going to eat a
banana.” So your body is just bringing the banana when
you work out instead of using fat as the fuel source. Dr. Axe: Yeah. So one of my questions would be are there
any, let’s say, side effects? Like I know, with my wife, listen, babe, if
you’re watching, forgive me, but if my wife misses a meal, she gets really hangry, I don’t
know if there are any women watching this who’d get like, you know, you missed a meal
and you get a little bit crabby, hey, guys too. We know this, but . . . Dr. Levitt: Yes, some of the side effects
again, getting hangry for sure. And it’s also not for everybody. So some people, just the way their blood sugar
fluctuates or, you know. But if you’re eating the right food at the
previous meal, you should be able to sustain the fast. But you do have to listen to your body and
that’s why intermittent fasting is not for everyone. And also, sometimes, it doesn’t work well
for women to intermittent fast every day, especially if you have thyroid issues. Dr. Axe: Yeah, you have a great point. And I’ve seen that as well in working with
a lot of women with thyroid issues is that case as well. But I think once they get on a healthier diet,
they actually can eventually move to this diet, as you’re saying. And the other thing is this is that, you know,
sometimes, you got to go to this sort of this detox or this transformation period for your
body. Because I remember, when I first get onto
a ketogenic diet, it was more than 10 years ago, about 12 years ago. I did a ketogenic diet for a while. And I remember, the first three days, I was
really sluggish. Then I felt a little bit better. But really, for two weeks, I was tired and
after two weeks, I just felt like, “Wow.” I just broke through this plateau, started
feeling great every day. I felt like this really incredible balanced
level of energy all day. But I think at first, sometimes, when you’re
really changing things, you can have some of those side effects. But again, there’s a positive result in
the end, which is fat loss, as we’re talking about. So let’s talk about exercise time. What do you recommend for people, women who
want to burn that body fat, and really, I think a lot of times, with women too, again,
they think too much . . . about you mentioned this, about weight not enough about losing
the fat. Because you look at, I’m just throwing a
celebrity out there, like Jennifer Garner or certain track athletes, I mean they are
really fit. I mean, they’re thinner, but yet, they’ve
got some muscle tone, they’re fit. In order to do that or build a certain type
of body and lose fat at the same time, what type of exercise do you recommend and how
much? Dr. Levitt: So exercise, I recommend actually
working out smarter, not longer. So typically, within that weight loss type
of mentality of looking at the weight on the scale, we have these long periods of cardio
where I’ve got to go run for an hour a day. I get on the elliptical for an hour a day. So I recommend mixing in a couple things. Don’t be afraid of heavy strength training. Add that in two or three times a week, heavy
strength training. And then mix in high-intensity interval training. And so what that is, I think you talked about
burst training, same thing where you’re bursting at a hard, high-intensity for a short
interval and then resting and then repeat that process. And that type of exercise can be as short
as 15 minutes. So that’s a great way to add in if you’re
short on time. Add some burst training. And then I definitely add in for a fat loss
for women restorative type exercise. So you don’t have to exercise hard and long
every single day. It’s not effective. You have to build in some restorative days. And, actually, restorative exercise goes really
well with it, with the burst training. So you do a 10-minute, 15-minute HIIT and
then do a 30-minute restorative walk. And your body is just using . . . you’ve
already released the fat out of the fat cells and now you’re burning the fat just on your
walk. Dr. Axe: Yeah, and you know, one of the things
that’s so great, Dr. Michelle, about walking this time of year, you know, with spring or
early morning in the summer or late evening, or in the fall, is that people can get multiple
benefits, especially if they get a trail, they can get some of that vitamin D, some
of those grounding effects if you kicked off your shoes. But, you know, some of those things can help
with that cortisol issue that you mentioned before as well. Any lifestyle changes that are important when
it comes to helping women lose that body fat? Dr. Levitt: So the big one is definitely is
the recharging and de-stressing. So we are typically chronically high in cortisol
from yo-yo dieting, focusing on the weight, exercising long and hard. So basically, just revamping your thinking
and adding in those restorative exercises, maybe some yoga, some walks. And then lifestyle change, just as in you
have to kind of prepare for changing how you’re going to eat, getting every day ready so that
you’re prepped for success. Dr. Axe: Yeah, it’s brilliant. It’s one of the things. And that’s one of the things I love about
what you teach, Dr. Michelle is that it’s very holistic. It’s very integrative medicine. It’s functional medicine and what you’re
teaching people. You know, because a lot of times, I mean women,
this is a crazy thing today, people will go in to their doctors and they will just literally
sometimes be prescribed a pill and not even given any dietary advice. Or the dietary advice is, “Weight yourself,
exercise more, and eat less.” It’s like, “Wow, thanks a lot.” So it’s just not effective there at all. I know my mom, just to give you an example
to this, my mom battled a number of health conditions, thyroid issues, cancer, had some
weight issues. And one of the things she started doing, I
mean de-stressing is probably the most important thing she did to lose body fat. And, in fact, she lost about 16-18 pounds
in just a month because . . . it wasn’t even by going on a diet. It’s just she had to get healthier. But one of the things she started doing was
we started scheduling in times to de-stress. And for her, going walking around the mall
or she just started walking a lot and getting outdoors and that was a big thing. It was a big thing. Dr. Levitt: Yeah, absolutely. Dr. Axe: All right. Let’s talk about exercise some more. So we touched on a few of these things. So Dr. Michelle here talked about weight training. So let’s just mention this quickly. Women tend to think they’re lifting heavy
. . . because you said heavy weights earlier, they tend to think they’re going to get
bulky and maybe, you know, very muscular. What’s the truth in weight training for
women? Dr. Levitt: Yeah, the truth is women don’t
make enough testosterone to get bulky so it’s just not an issue. Dr. Axe: Yeah. And if you ever see a woman who is a body
builder, she’s on a synthetic steroid. I mean that’s the absolute truth. You see their jawline changes, there are physiological
changes. That’s not from the weight training. That’s from the synthetic supplementation
of steroids. Dr. Levitt: Right, absolutely. And muscle burns fat so if you want to change
your body composition, you have got to build lean muscle mass. So muscle burns fat. You’ve got to lift heavy to get the muscles. Dr. Axe: Great stuff. And it doesn’t have to be . . . you know,
20 minutes a few days a week can make a big difference there. We talked about HIIT training and burst training,
restorative movement, as Dr. Michelle talked about, some of those different forms of movement
are great. And then let’s talk about some lifestyle
tips here. By the way, if you’re enjoying this live
training here with Dr. Michelle Levitt and myself, and Dr. Michelle is a pediatrician
and she is an expert in childhood obesity, hey, do us a favor right now. There are a lot of women right now struggling
with losing the extra body fat. Punch that share button, click that like button,
help us spread the word on how to use food and lifestyle as real medicine, which is what
I love here about Dr. Michelle as she practices integrative and functional medicine, helping
people get well and lose the weight naturally. So let’s talk about sleep and stress here. How important are those when it comes to weight
loss? And if somebody is not getting a lot of sleep
or enough, what does that do to the body, hormonally? Dr. Levitt: So yeah, we talked a little bit
about stress, but sleep is actually one of the most important factors. So we always talk about exercise and nutrition,
exercise and nutrition. We cannot forget about sleep. Sleep is almost the most important. So sleep at night is when our hormone resets
and we regulate some of the good growth hormone and things come out. But if we don’t get enough sleep, the body
actually releases the hunger hormones and the growling action and we’re hungry more. So it’s really proven. And I’ve done it before with staying up
late studying or doing something and I thought, “Oh, I’m like eating so much today.” And it’s because I didn’t get enough sleep
the night before, which will just sabotage your fat loss efforts. Dr. Axe: That’s big stuff. So she’s talking about some of these hormones
like ghrelin and leptin. And if you’re a person watching this as
well and you’ve had those hunger cravings, where you’re like . . . I think for most
people the reason why their diets crash is those cravings. They cannot get over those cravings for carbohydrates,
but again, a big part of that, Dr. Michelle, I just want to hit on this because it was
such a brilliant tip by her, you’ve got to get good-quality sleep or your hormones
are not going to balance and those hunger cravings can just take over there as well. So, again, getting good sleep, keeping stress
levels low. And then, in terms of supplementation, what
are some of the supplements that you recommend to women who are trying to both lose fat but
also just stay healthy, especially hormonally? Dr. Levitt: So basically, you obviously, this
will go with the hormonal balance as well. You have to listen to the woman. If she’s experiencing more stress, we might
add in some adaptogens like ashwagandha. And so I actually . . . almost everybody needs
to add that in. Everyone’s under stress. But also, just simple ones like vitamin D,
omega-3, probiotic. Probiotic helps reset the healthy gut flora,
which actually will help your fat loss attempts. So and then hormone balance, basically, you
have to figure out, do you have thyroid symptoms? Are you doing all these things correctly but
you’re still not seeing results? There may be a bigger hormone imbalance than
we see, which maybe a thyroid or adrenal issue and or women’s hormones may be out of whack
depending on the age of the woman. So balancing out the testosterone with estrogen
and progesterone, based on the age of the woman and what they’re experiencing. Dr. Axe: Great advice. So Dr. Michelle’s advice, remember these
supplements. Ashwagandha, great for thyroid and adrenals. She mentioned an omega-3 supplement can be
great there as well. Probiotics are key as well. And then for hormone balance, you kind of
mentioned ashwagandha there, other adaptogenic herbs can really help the body here as well. And hey, I want you guys to check out Dr.
Michelle’s website. And, again, it’s Dr. Michelle Levitt, MD. You can see her website here. It’s just drmichellemd.com. She’s got some great information on there,
in terms of how to lose weight naturally for women, how to lose the body fat both, for
women as well as children as well, which is really where’s she’s an expert both in women
and childhood weight loss there as well. And by the way, again, if you’ve enjoyed
this live training, we want to say thanks for all of you that have been hitting that
share button, like button, helping us spread the word because there are so many women out
there that struggle with not being able to lose the weight. And you know, the biggest thing that affects
is not only heart health or cellular health or hormonal health, it’s really self-esteem. And I think for a lot of women, you’re going
to see if you can follow the advice that Dr. Michelle lays out for you on her website,
you’re going to see some great results in losing that body fat fast, keeping it off
and being healthy at the same time. So, Dr. Michelle, thanks for being a part
of the program and thanks, guys, for watching “Ancient Medicine Today.” Hi, Dr. Axe here. I want to say thanks so much for checking
out this YouTube video and also don’t forget to subscribe if you want to get more great
content on things like herbs, essential oils, natural remedies and how to use food as medicine. Also, check out more of our content on my
YouTube channel. Thanks for watching.

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