Most of us are aware that we face quite the challenge with weight loss here in America. It’s safe to say that we’ve all been thoroughly confused about what the solution is. We have been pulled in every direction from Low-carbohydrate to Low- fat, Vegetarian to Raw Food. Many of us have probably heard of one of these as being a solution at one Some point. It’s impossible to take just about anyone’s weight loss advice seriously today when the advice we were given a year ago might be totally retracted and changed by now. How do we know what to trust?
We have been led to believe that obesity is a disorder of some sort caused by a lack of self control or an excess. While one’s relationship with food is important, I find obesity to be more of a direct result of malnutrition. Sodas and candy bars are a fraction of the cost of a salad or even a piece of fruit often times. This makes it easier to make choices that are bad for ones’ health.
When the body is not given the nutrient dense nourishment it needs, it learns to cling to whatever energy source it comes into contact with. The metabolism will adjust according to one’s intake. This is why people always seem to hit plateaus and gain the weight back after severe caloric restriction– the actual cause is not addressed. It doesn’t help when we’re told to simply “eat less” by health authorities and the media. You don’t deserve food that tastes good– society’s standards suggest, “here, have this protein bar and go on your way. And by all means, you mustn’t eat anything with a significant amount of fat in it!” This mentality is unrealistic and ineffective. It is also detrimental because when the focus is on restricting calories, especially those from fat, we’re restricting our nutrients as well, which are actually necessary for fat loss!
Do you think our paleolithic ancestors were counting their calories, tracking their fat intake or cutting themselves off at specific amounts when they were still hungry? Of course not! Though you won’t hear of an obesity epidemic that happened in cavemen or women. Of course, exercise played its role as well, but it’s been said that the shape you’re in is 20% exercise and 80% what you eat. Gyms are so densely available, if mere exercise was the answer to our problem, we’d have found it long ago.
I find it interesting that weight gain and morbidity weren’t such big issues until the early- mid 1900’s. This is when the 911 telephone line was created — in the 1950’s– due to a dramatic upsurge in cardiac emergencies. What changed? Was it the first time we as humans had access to high-fat animal products which led to this trend of tragedy? No. This is when companies began manufacturing synthetic chemicals, food-like products rather than food and especially, vegetable oils. This is the same time when trans-fats and hydrogenated oils saw a major upsurge, largely in packaged food.
Little do most people know, trans-fats are created when you heat a polyunsaturated oil like canola, safflower or sunflower oil using a method like deep frying. Canola oil is especially toxic, made from the rapeseed which is totally unfit for human consumption. It’s important to also note that any time you ingest these kinds of fats, they take the place of good fats in your body and cause dysfunction in the liver and gallbladder after this unfit fat is incorporated into the cell membranes of the body. This can lead to a long list of health issues ranging from skin abnormalities to immune system problems, all as a result of inflammation which expands one’s cells with inflammatory cytokines. Inflammation is at the root cause of all disease and dysfunction, including obesity. So if you’d like to be healthy, and thin as a result, put down the Country Crock and start reading your labels.
Did you know that the sugar industry is responsible for paying off scientists to blame fat for obesity and heart disease? They sure did (R). We’ve seen the deleterious effects from this as a country. Since the lies about fat have been inserted into the main stream and endlessly repeated, we’ve seen increase in these events of obesity and cardiovascular tragedies. The sugar and refined carb industries have been glamourized while some of the most nutritious and health- enhancing foods have been villainized. People think they’re making good choices when following this misinformed health advice yet in doing so, they’re inching closer and closer to disease and insulin resistance and diabetes! The misinformation campaign that’s been perpetrated is nothing short of murder.
Where do we go from here? First, we stop funding the industry that got us into this mess in the first place, the sugar, refined food and vegetable oil industries. We reduce and then stop eating processed, refined foods, made by businesses who do not care about our health, collectively or individually. Then we invest those powerful, hard-earned dollars of ours on a properly prepared, nutrient dense whole- food diet that is unmatchably satisfying. Once we are nutritionally fulfilled and fully satiated, it becomes very easy to stop eating, natural even.
To me, this whole food diet emphasizes organic, local food made by businesses that care whenever possible. Also, this means preparing nuts, seeds, grains and legumes soaked, sprouted, or fermented (such as sourdough for instance). This is very easy to do . Also necessary for optimal health and optimal weight is including humanely raised, grass fed or pastured animal products such as beef, pastured eggs or chicken or turkey with the skin on. Dairy products are most nutritious when eaten raw. This was proven by Francis Pottenger in the 1930’s in his studies on cats and pea plants. He found that those given raw milk flourished while those fed pasteurized or worse– sweetened condensed milk– formed genetic abnormalities quickly and became infertile. This shows how incredibly important it is to highlight the best foods as part of your diet regardless of outer appearance. Raw dairy supports the microbiome which allows you to get thinner more easily. In fact, one’s gut microbes are easily one of the best predictors of one’s weight (R). This is why I focus on one’s whole health opposed to a sole focus on one’s looks, because when you’re truly healthy and nourished, pathogens will naturally not be able to inhabit your microbiome and make you look “fat”, which really just indicates a buildup of toxins and subsequent inflammation.
High quality protein fuels your muscles and metabolism as does fat. It is also important to eat plenty of vegetables, most of them being non-starchy such as broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, kale and artichoke. Fortunately, vegetables tastiest when prepared with a nutrient dense animal fat such as butter or ghee, or for you bacon eaters out there, bacon or bacon grease. A good place to start as far as macro-nutrients go is a 30-30-40 ratio of protein-fat-carbs respectively. It’s always best to reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates or refined anything for that matter. Gluten is also best avoided, at least temporarily, for those especially inflamed or experiencing hypothyroid. Fruit can be beneficial in moderation for some. To find what “diet” is best for you uniquely, and what works for you specifically, look into ancestral nutrition as well as your “body type” and corresponding diet recommendations. Regardless of what body type or ancestry you are, though, the fundamental requirements for weight loss remain the same. Always drink plenty of pure, clean water. It is known that adding the ideal amount of water to your diet alone can lead to dramatic weight loss. Get all of the vitamins and minerals you need, ideally in the form of food and make sure you’re digesting it properly. Last but not least, salt your food to taste using real, not refined, pink Himalayan or sea salt. It’s as simple as that.
To lose weight, have to teach our bodies how to burn fat. If we don’t give our bodies enough fat for energy, our mitochondria (the energy producers of our cells) won’t get enough “exercise” burning fat. At the same time, of we give our body a constant fuel source of refined carbohydrates or an even just excess of carbs and protein with not enough fat, we will become “sugar burners”. This means our mitochondria get too reliant on this sugar and lose the ability to burn fat. When we stop burning fat, we’ll we start storing this fat on our bodies.
Excessive refined carbohydrates are stored as fat and can also raise cholesterol. Is it any wonder then, why our nation struggles so much with weight gain and high cholesterol? We tell people not to eat so much and throw low- fat, refined carbs in there face instead of real food, all in the name of “weight loss”. We have strayed so far from our ancestral roots. If they saw what many of us are eating today they wouldn’t recognize it as food.
Some of the most important tools needed to reach an ideal weight are a functioning liver and gall bladder. These are your fat processing and metabolizing organs. They are responsible for letting go of any excess fat as well as toxins. Therefore, if they’re not working, your body starts hanging on to fat. This can result in fatty liver and gall stones as well as obesity. To help assist your body in preventing, be sure to enjoy beets, which aid the gall bladder in keeping bile thin so it can exit the body. You can also be sure to take them in regularly by taking them in supplement* form. Malic acid can also help to dissolve stones that may already exist and be hindering the body’s functioning without you knowing. Liver stones, for example, are much more common than you might think. However these are very important to address especially if you want to let go of extra weight because the liver functioning optimally is what you need to flush fat out. Raw apple cider vinegar* is a rich source of malic acid and can be greatly supportive for helping the body to dissolve any kind of unwanted stones. Eating organic will also help you stay thin by reducing the number of toxins the liver has to filter out. When the liver is inflamed, your whole body becomes inflamed. Inflammation is at the root of all disease including obesity. Often times, this is caused by some underlying pathogen that has hung around for way longer than you might like to admit like parasites or candida. These are infamous for causing your body to crave junk specifically. So it is best to eliminate these to get to the root of many cases of obesity or often even being slightly over weight. Cranberry juice is a great way to help the liver metabolize fat and fight these parasites simultaneously.
Other helpful “tools” you can give your body so it can properly process and let go of fat include milk thistle* or silymarin which repairs the liver and also opens up the bile ducts to release that unwanted fat. Any green, sour or astringent fruits, vegetables and herbs are helpful for the liver. This includes things like sauerkraut, leafy greens, dandelion, burdock root, and avocado. The liver and gall bladder also need lecithin as well as the amino acid taurine* to properly thin and emulsify the bile for excretion. It’s incredibly important to feed your liver and gall bladder good fats like coconut oil, cold pressed flax and walnut oil, sprouted nuts and seeds, grass- fed butter and raw cheese and other dairy– if tolerated, as well as other animal products such as beef or chicken and turkey with the skin on. You need the cholesterol from the animal products to create bile which emulsifies fat to be eliminated from the body or to be used as hormones or to make brain cells, which will also enable you to lose weight. This process isn’t nearly as difficult or “impossible” as it is been made out to be. If your gall bladder has been taken out and you haven’t lost weight since, that makes a lot of since. This is because your fat processing and releasing organ has been removed. Therefore, you need external assistance in order to make sure any fat you take in is digested, metabolized, and taken out of the body. This can be done easily by taking bile salts* with meals, especially fatty ones, which you need not to be scared of if you’re taking the right nutrients your body needs to process them.
The body is a complex system, but getting it to function optimally and reach its optimal weight can be as simple as nourishing yourself with the necessary ingredients and developing a feel for what your body likes best. As someone who has gone through various diet fads including eating low-fat for quite some time, I can say that I’ve lost the most weight effortlessly since following the above principals.
We are meant to thrive, simply by eating what makes us feel good. We just have to get back into touch with what looks like for us, after being force fed so many lies about what it should look like. Everyone’s body is different and will need little adjustments here and there, in line with ones’ own ancestral roots.
If you have done all of the above listed in this article and seen less than ideal results, there could be an underlying cause such as a gut flora imbalance, over or under active thyroid. This is when it may be best to consult your trusted health care practitioner.
I’m a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). In my practice help clients learn how to give their body what it needs in order to heal, depending on their own unique requirements. If you would like to schedule an in-person or online consultation with me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the contact page on this site to arrange an appointment. Happy nourishing!
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