The Road To Sustainable Weight Loss
Nearly 70% of Americans are overweight! With the advancements in science and technology, it’s surprising that so many are still struggling with this issue. The truth is the weight gain epidemic is getting worse because what we’ve been taught isn’t working.
We’ve been taught that in order to lose weight we should simply take in less calories than we use up. We’ve been taught that with enough willpower we can control cravings. Then there’s the theory that intense exercise is the key to success. If these strategies worked, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this article right now.
In a state of balance, a healthy body is a fat burning machine. When it’s out of balance, it will store fat. We’ve got to shift our beliefs about food and weight loss and focus on being healthy in order to lose weight instead of the other way around.
The Road To Sustainable Weight Loss
There are two critical factors that affect the body’s ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight: toxins and stress. Once we understand how these factors impact our biochemistry, we can bust those myths about weight loss we’ve been led to believe.
Critical Factor #1: Toxins
Sugar, trans fats, alcohol, caffeine and other environmental toxins must be processed by the liver. As you can imagine, the liver can get overloaded, which causes a bottleneck. When this happens, toxins get recycled back into your body and stored in your fat cells.
Your body is truly amazing. It has a built-in detoxification process, but it needs less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff to function properly.
Dark leafy greens, fiber, and phytonutrients enhance the body’s ability to release the toxins that are keeping you fat.
Critical Factor #2: Stress
When you’re stressed, your body believes you’re in danger and releases two important hormones that prepare you for “fight or flight”. These hormones are adrenalin and cortisol.
- Adrenalin is the short-term stress hormone. It’s designed to get you out of danger, fast! In every moment, your body is deciding whether to burn fat, which is slow burning, or sugar, which is fast burning. Guess which type of fuel your body chooses when adrenalin is present? The type that burns quickly…sugar! And doesn’t matter if the danger is a real one, like a tiger chasing you, or a perceived one, like 500 emails in your inbox after vacation. Your body reacts the same whether the stress is physical or psychological.
The real issue is that many of us are in a chronic state of “fight or flight” due to the nature of modern life and therefore burn and crave sugar no matter how much fat is available.
- Cortisol is the long-term stress hormone. Traditionally, it’s job was to help us survive when food was scarce, like floods, famine, and war. Cortisol signals to your cells to slow your metabolism and store fat, especially around the belly. Today, cortisol is triggered by so-called issues that plague us day-in and day-out. Financial stress, relationship problems, even weight loss. How many of you have been worried about your weight every day for years?
To add insult to injury, the most common response to tighter fitting clothes is to go on a diet and restrict calories. This only reinforces the idea that food is scarce, triggering more cortisol production and further promoting fat storage.
Get Your Body To Work With You, Instead of Against You
Understanding toxins and stress should give you a better idea why calorie counting, willpower and intense exercise aren’t sustainable solutions to your weight loss problem.
No matter how great your diet is or how much you exercise, if you have too much cortisol and adrenaline it’s nearly impossible to burn fat.
Furthermore, if your body’s natural detox pathways are clogged, fat will stay put to provide a safe place for toxins.
Start by giving your body the message that you’re safe from “danger” by taking five, deep, long breaths from your diaphragm at least once a day. Incorporate yoga, meditation or time in nature into your weekly schedule. Reduce alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods and fill up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats instead. These strategies will help put your body back in balance and become the fat-burning machine it was designed to be.
To your success!
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