Obesity has become a major player in the deterioration our health. Much attention goes into losing weight, but few address the reasons WHY you gain weight in the first place. Yes, portion control is a part of it, and yes, what you eat also is important. However, they are not the only reasons people gain weight.
We’ve changed: “you are what you eat” is now “you are what you assimilate”. The purpose of eating is to supply the body with the fuel it needs to function. Every day cells from every part of your body are dying and your body is making new ones. Are you making strong, healthy cells, or weak, depleted ones? Do you have sufficient nutrition and just as important, sufficient digestion to supply the body what it needs? If you are overweight, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re not. Gaining weight is a protective mechanism. Until you can get the body out of this protective mode by getting it what it needs, you will struggle with weight for your entire life!
Our lifestyle contributes to this digestive incompetence for many reasons. We eat while stressed and we eat what we know are the wrong things. We are more concerned about time and money than we are about nourishing something that will last our lifetime – our body! We all want a quality of life. How you treat your body now, how it is nourished, will determine the quality of life you’ll get as the years progress.
One result of poor diet and digestive incompetence is a mineral deficiency. Every organ in the body has minerals by which it is dependent for function. In the absence of specific enzymes in the stomach to digest minerals, the body becomes depleted. In the absence of minerals, your organs cannot function properly. The body then perceives this nutritional deficiency as starvation or a famine. In response it lowers the metabolism and stores fat to take you through a long period of time without food.
The greatest confusion is the topic of fats and warrants an article unto itself. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are fats that have the ability to increase metabolic rate to help us burn more calories. Instead of being used as fuel, they are converted into hormone-like prostaglandins. These fats keep us slim! EFAs satisfy cravings and hunger. EFAs elevate mood and lift depression – one reason why some people overeat.
An important point on fats and body fats – fats don’t make you fat. People who avoid fat tend to overdo the carbohydrates which tend to make you fat. In the last 10 years, our fat intake has decreased from 42% of calories to 35%. In those same 10 years, obesity has gone up, from 20% to 33%. The bottom line is eating less fat is making us fat. Avoid the processed fats (margarine or partially hydrogenated oils), and consume the essential ones (like avocados, salmon and RAW nuts).
Many people forget the impact unstable blood sugar has on gaining weight. Mostly, when people relate weight gain with blood sugar, it surrounds diabetes. However, hypoglycemia also contributes to weight gain. A natural law of physics is “what goes up, must come down”. If you consume a food with high sugar, your blood sugar after rising, will subsequently drop, in nearly perfect proportion. This rise and fall, or “rollercoaster” will cause the body to protect itself by turning all sugars and carbohydrates into fat, because fat burns slower than sugar.
You need to exercise. Muscle burns fat. Every pound of muscle burns between 50 – 100 calories, per day, at rest! If, when trying to lose weight, you diet alone, do aerobics alone, or even dieting and aerobics together, but neglect STRENGTH training, 40% of the weight you lose will be muscle. The rest is water weight and fat. So, if you lost 60 pounds and did not do strength training (given 40% of what you lose is muscle), you would lose 24 pounds of muscle. Those 24 pounds of muscle burns between 1200 and 2400 calories, per day, at rest! The operative word here is “at rest”. During activity, you burn even more calories! That’s one to two meals per day!
When doing aerobic training, concurrent with strength training, there is an ideal heart rate that must be maintained in order to be in the “fat burning zone”. Traditional gyms don’t allow for integrated cardio and strength training, so when you go to the weight machines or free weights, your heart rate drops and you break down muscle instead of burning fat. That’s why you get sore. The optimal way to burn fat is to integrate strength training with aerobic training with a system that easily works together and keeps you in the ideal fat burning zone. Your 30 minute hydraulic fitness centers fit this need.
In Summary you can now see how treating the cause is much more important than simply trying to lose weight. Getting to the cause will enable you to not only lose weight in a healthy manner, but will make it easier to keep it off. It will also provide you with more of what you really want – energy, better health and vitality!
Find a competent health care practitioner that can diagnose this for you and more importantly, use nutritional rules to help you HEAL the reason why you gain weight in the first place. Acupuncture is also an effective way to get the body cooperating by increasing the function of the organs involved.
©2005 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.