1-Sentence-Summary: Feel Great Lose Weight by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee is a book that goes beyond fad diets and quick fixes for weight problems and instead dives into the science of how your body really works when you put food into it and how you can use this information to be fitter and feel better.
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Favorite quote from the author:
You’ve tried cutting out carbs, you’ve done fasting, you’ve juiced until you couldn’t juice anymore. You’ve gone to the gym every day at 6 am for months. But for some reason, no matter what you do, you just can’t shed the weight. Or maybe you can, but it just comes piling back on faster than it came off.
Your situation isn’t unusual. In fact, the vast majority of diets don’t work. Now, you’re about to discover why it is you carry the weight and why it’s so darn hard to get rid of. You can relax—- it’s not your fault. Your body is doing what it’s supposed to. But it is possible to work with these biological processes and finally shed the weight for good.
In Feel Great Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee uses the latest research to give you a personalized guide on how to lead a healthier life. He will help you fine-tune your eating habits and lifestyle so you can finally lose weight and feel great for the long term. And don’t worry, his plan isn’t just another fad diet.
Here are the 3 of the most helpful lessons this book taught me
- The signals that influence our eating habits can sometimes be out of whack.
- If you want to lose weight, eat at the right times, get moving, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Changing a few of your habits around eating can work wonders for your weight loss goals.
Ready to learn how to lose weight and feel great? Let’s get right to it!
Lesson 1: The biological signals that tell us when to eat and when to stop can sometimes become imbalanced and cause issues.
What happens when your car is low on gas? Usually, a light pops up on your dashboard to let you know it’s time to stop at the pump. If you choose to ignore this signal, you’ll run out of gas, and your car will die. Pretty simple, right?
Our bodies aren’t much different. Except instead of gas, we need food, and instead of a low-fuel light, we feel hunger. But sometimes, things can go wrong with our signals. Sometimes they tell us to eat even if we don’t need the extra energy or tell our body to store fat we don’t need.
The first step to losing weight and keeping it off is to understand these signals. There are four important ones. The first is hunger. Second, you have the full signal, which tells us when it’s time to stop. A chemical called leptin is responsible for letting us know we’re full. A problem with leptin can make you prone to overeating.
Third is the signal that tells our body to store fat, insulin. It tells your body to stop breaking down fat and start burning down the calories you just ate. Last, you have your weight point. This is the weight that your brain holds onto as the ideal weight for you personally. When you start losing weight, your body will adjust your hunger and metabolism to make sure you stay at this point. People with excess fat usually have a weight point that is set too high.
The best part of all of this is that you have the ability to reset these signals if you need to. In doing so, the author says you will have the tools you need to be the mechanic of your own health.
Lesson 2: If you want to shed the extra pounds, eat at the right time of day, get movement in, and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
When we choose to eat is actually just as important as what we eat. Researchers studying two groups found this when they gave participants the same amount of food but at different times in the day. The first group ate at most in the first half of the day, and the second ate the most calories in the second half of the day. As a result, the first group lost significantly more weight over the course of the study.
So if you’re struggling with keeping weight off, losing weight could be as easy as eating most of your calories before 3:00 p.m. and having a lighter dinner.
Another problem people run into is eating too frequently. This causes a problem with our hormone insulin, which as we know, tells the body to stop breaking down fat and start using the fuel we’ve just eaten. Snacking constantly can keep your body stuck in store-fat mode. That’s why it’s best to stick to three meals in a day and limit snacking.
Another step to maintaining a healthy weight is to incorporate movement in your life. No, the author isn’t saying take on a grueling exercise routine. Rather, he says to focus on movement. This can be done easily, and as an added bonus, it will make you feel good.
A few examples of how to add movement into your day include walking everywhere, parking farther away, keeping weights around the house, and more. The author says it should be fun. Try to find things you enjoy, like dancing to your favorite music or taking relaxing walks.
Lastly, never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Insufficient sleep will make it much harder to shed weight. Science also says that sleep deprivation makes weight gain much more likely.
Why? Because it messes with your biological signals. It makes you crave processed food and also decreases your ability to burn fat. It also increases the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for signaling that you should go to store-fat mode. What’s worse, If someone loses weight while they’re sleep-deprived, science shows 70 percent of it will come from muscle rather than fat.
Lesson 3: If you’re having trouble with your weight, maybe it’s time to adjust your eating habits.
If you’ve ever been to Paris, you know they have some pretty great food such as pastries, cheese, and the like. Yet, French people tend to be much thinner than Americans. Scientists have long puzzled over this, and they believe that it has a lot to do with how they eat.
Modern eating practices can be pretty harmful. For example, many people like to eat in front of screens, which leads them to eat faster and eat more since they aren’t paying attention. If you’re focusing on something else, it makes it harder to hear those important signals that tell you when you’re full.
In contrast, eating slowly gives your body the chance to register the full signal before it’s too late. Whole foods also tend to take longer to eat, making them a good choice.
In Japanese culture, many people adhere to a custom known as hara hachi bu, which is the practice of eating until you’re 80 percent full. It’s not a precise measure, but that’s the point. It takes practice to recognize the points between starving and stuffed.
Mindfulness in eating is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with food. So put the screens away, and start noticing every bit you eat. Also if you can, eat with other people. This will do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing.
The author believes that once you understand these lifestyle changes, you can pinpoint and fine-tune a diet plan that is best for you.
Feel Great Lose Weight Review
I’m always a bit skeptical of diet or weight loss books because they just seem to add to the noise in that area of life. However, Feel Great Lose Weight is a pretty good book in that regard because it actually talks about the lesser-known science that can really help you lose weight. I already knew many of these ideas, though; the trouble is just putting them into action!
Who would I recommend the Feel Great Lose Weight summary to?
The 45-year-old who is tired of being overweight but feels like they’ve tried everything, the 20-year-old who is studying to be a dietitian, and anyone that’s looking for a more sustainable way to get healthier.