Harvard’s three-phase program to lose weight permanently – Health and Wellness
Dr. David S. Ludwig bases his research on how food affects hormones, metabolism, body weight, and well-being.
“Conventional diets don’t work, you have to forget them.” This is how emphatically described by the magazine ‘Time’, as the “activist against obesity” David S. Ludwig, who focuses his research on how food affects metabolism, hormones, body weight and well-being. In his place, he explains three phases that we must follow to lose weight and avoid calamities and that he develops in his book ‘Why I’m always hungry’, in which he also gives the reasons why traditional diets don’t work. In addition, on his website you can see the weight loss process of some patients who follow his methods. “Overeating doesn’t make you fat, it’s that process that makes you overeat. Fat cells play a key role in determining how much weight you gain or lose. Low-fat diets work against you, as they cause fat cells to self-supply with more calories, leaving very few for the rest of the body,” says Ludwig. “This ‘hungry fat’ sets off a dangerous chain reaction that leaves you feeling hungry all the time, while your metabolism slows down and you end up gaining weight, even if you eat less,” he explains.
During this first phase you should eat a lot of fat, at least 50 percent of the total calories you eat, around 25 percent carbohydrates and 25 percent protein. For two weeks you must eliminate all products derived from cereals, potatoes and added sugars.
Low-fat diets work against you, as they cause cells to self-supply with more calories Nuts, high-fat foods or full-fat dairy are welcome. And as in all phases of this plan, high-quality proteins are essential. This phase is the strictest, but according to its creator, “it is not anywhere near as severe as low-carbohydrate diets and intermittent fasting, whose priorities are to eliminate main nutrients almost completely. You can eat whole and natural carbohydrates such as fruit, legumes or non-starchy vegetables”, says the expert. It is designed to give you a boost to weight loss. “Already in the following phases there is more flexibility, variety and adaptation to the preferences of each one,” says Ludwig.
Reprograms fat cells
It constitutes the basic diet, to which you can return whenever you want. In this second phase, the amount of fat should be reduced, although not excessively, just 10 percent less, increasing carbohydrate intake to 35 percent and adding brown rice, oats, quinoa or starchy vegetables (not potatoes) and continuing with the same proportion of proteins as in the first stage. Overeating does not make you fat, it is that process that makes you eat more “By doing this you will retrain your fat cells so that your weight progressively decreases until it stabilizes at its new lower sweet spot. The process can take a few weeks or months (depends on each person and their initial weight)”.
lose weight forever
The goal of this last phase is to discover your body’s unique needs and come up with a plan to follow instead of relying on arbitrary nutritional recommendations. You can include potatoes, white rice, bread, although trying to ensure that all cereals are ground whole grains and that they preserve the fiber or whole grain. Eat an amount between 115 and 170 grams of protein at each meal and fill half the plate with natural foods such as non-starchy vegetables or fruits (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chard…) and include half a cup of cereals or vegetables with starch (potatoes, garlic, green beans…) up to three times a day.