In Part 1 we started with a look at homeostasis, or the state of being in balance, as it relates to our bodies and our metabolism. We took a tour in Part 2 through the pages of dieting history with some surprising discoveries that eating fat doesn’t make you fat. With that in mind we took a look at how America typically eats and discovered a powerful hormone called leptin. Next we looked at ways to overcome leptin resistance in order to speed up metabolism. This article takes a look at several other hidden obstacles to weight loss that may surprise you.
In June 2013 the American Medical Association announced that it was now classifying obesity as a disease. If you have been keeping up with our series on weight loss you may disagree with the AMA. Obesity is instead a symptom of any number of other issues. If you pinpoint the issue you can correct it as well as experience weight loss as a side effect of regaining health.
The majority of people struggling with weight issues are also struggling with other issues. They may be fighting depression, diabetes, adrenal exhaustion, thyroid malfunction, food allergies, digestive disorders, sinus infections, candida, or any number of other concerns. While these issues may appear unrelated to obesity on the surface, they are in fact integrally tied to each other.
Julia Ross, author of The Diet Cure, gives eight different health issues that could be holding you back from losing excess weight. I highly recommend getting her book and reading in great detail about the health issues I share briefly here on this blog.
1. You have depleted brain chemistry. There are key chemicals, called neurotransmitters, within your brain that allow your brain to work efficiently and keep your body’s engine running smoothly. You may be very low or even missing many of these maybe due to prolonged unresolved stress, eating refined and processed foods too often, or not getting sufficient quality protein.
2. You suffer from malnutrition due to years of low-calorie dieting and fasting diets. I love how Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness puts it in his You Tube video Leptin: Fat Loss for Smart People. (catch the quote around the 8 minute mark about the cave man going jogging!) He explains that low-calorie dieting is nothing more than voluntarily putting ourselves into a famine! You need to understand that our physical bodies see no difference between voluntarily eating MediFast meals and involuntarily being in a concentration camp starvation situation! Prisoners in Nazi Germany at Treblinka concentration camp were (barely) kept alive on 900 calories per day. Today doctors are prescribing liquid-fast diets at 700-800 calories per day – less than a concentration camp meal plan!! The World Health Organization studied worldwide emergency food shortage situations and established that starvation begins at anything fewer than 2,100 calories per day, so their emergency food aid packets BEGIN at 2,300 calories for women and 2,500 calories per day for men. It is vital to note the belief that “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie” is a big mistake. Richard Feinman and Eugene Fine put it this way “A calorie is a calorie violates the second law of thermodynamics.” Sometimes it takes a physicist to make us understand the lunacy. Junk food calories are always bad. We need nutrient-rich calories, NOT dead food.
3. You have unstable blood sugar. Highly processed carbohydrates like crackers, chips, cookies, juice drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and boxed cereals are lacking in usable nutrients. Constantly eating these fake foods puts you in a carbs>body fat>insulin cycle that can lead to diabetes. Or you may burn out your adrenals as they rush to rescue you from blood sugar swings. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and adrenal exhaustion have similar symptoms. Both are dangerous.
4. You have unrecognized low thyroid function. People with thyroid problems can literally find it impossible to lose weight even on liquid fasts and starvation diets. Seemingly unrelated things can cause malfunctioning in your thyroid such as anorexia, vegetarian diets, unidentified gluten intolerance, birth control pills, antibiotics, menopause or amalgam fillings.
5. You have food addictions and allergies. Sugar is highly addictive – possibly more addictive than crack cocaine! Flour and wheat products as well as milk and dairy products are also highly allergenic nowadays due to the destruction of their proteins through careless processing and careless industrial farming practices. What were once nourishing foods (why else did God call the Promised Land a land of milk and honey? Why else use the imagery of Bread of Life for Jesus?) are now foods capable of stimulating heroin-like reactions in the brain. Casein and gluten function like opiates in the brains of those with food allergies causing drug-like levels of addiction to these foods. Other symptoms of food allergies may again seem unrelated such as joint pain, headaches, earache, postnasal drip, gas, constipation, and ADHD. Food allergies can directly impair your weight loss efforts.
6. You have hormonal issues and imbalances. Cravings and weight gain and health issues can all be stimulated by hormonal events such as PMS, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, perimenopause and menopause. Any juncture in a woman’s life where we are susceptible to imbalance in hormones could upset our homeostasis. Men get it too from poor diet and high stress. American women experience more troubles with these stages of life than women in third world countries whose diets are more primitive. Immigrants from these countries soon begin to experience our problems when they adopt our diet. It is important to know that cholesterol-rich foods nourish our adrenals which are responsible for producing 50% of our sex hormones and nearly all of our stress hormones. Eating low-cholesterol diets and taking statins can tax already inadequate adrenal glands.
7. You have yeast overgrowth. There is a direct connection between the gut and the brain. Yeast overgrowth in the gut can hijack the body/brain connection. Yeast needs sugar to grow so yeast causes sugar and carb cravings. Side effects from yeast overgrowth include depression, bloating, PMS, painful joints, eczema, sore throat, impaired digestion, urinary problems, chest pain, shortness of breath, sinus infection and ear infections! Antibiotics, birth control pills, stress, recreational drugs, surgery and a lack of fermented foods can all contribute to yeast overgrowth.
8. You have fatty acid deficiency. We need the right kinds of fats for hormone production, cell protection, healthy skin and hair, mental stability, concentration, regularity and prevention of abnormal cravings. Safe, nourishing fats are those highly valued and eaten regularly by the traditional people Weston Price studied who possessed the true definitions of health. Those fats are butter, coconut oil, animal fats from free range and wild caught animals and fish, extra virgin olive oil, nut/seed/avocado oil from cold-pressed sources. Healthy fats contain so many of the nutrients we need like vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, CLA, MCT, cholesterol, and omega-3s.
Addressing these 8 hidden causes of metabolic imbalance will put you on the path to good health, and it will also bring about the desired balance within you body that allows your metabolism to burn efficiently leading to a healthy body weight.
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