The following article is #2 in our series of 4, on ‘The Hidden Secrets to Losing Unwanted Fat’.
How to begin.
Choose the diet that suits your body best.
A diet that you can enjoy, and thus will stick to. Paleo, Ketogenic, Vegetarian and Mediterranean are the diets that I have found to be the most effective. Each of these encourage filling up on wholefoods, include the right macronutrient balance for the body, and have a level of caloric restriction.
When to begin.
In Winter and Autumn, the days are shorter, the temperature is colder, and we are more susceptible to illness. Biologically, like many other mammals, humans are known to store fat during the colder months as we prepare for ‘hibernation’.
Our liver increases fat production, due to an increase in insulin resistance which allows us to store fat in our tissues. Also, due to the shorter days, less sunlight exposure, and consequently, less vitamin D absorption; a decrease in serotonin and an increase in melatonin takes place, so we tend to have less energy and motivation, and an increase in appetite.
In Summer and Spring, however, our bodies are full of fat-burning hormones. We feel like eating less to keep ourselves cool, and due to the longer, sunny days, our mood is often brighter which makes it easier to motivate ourselves to focus on health.
These seasons are the perfect time to begin your journey.
Where to begin.
To see lifechanging results, ensure you complete the following steps before you begin your new weight loss program.
Step 1. Know Your pH Levels.
To optimise your success, knowing your pH levels (or acid-alkaline balance) will help you identify the acidity of the body. If the body is too acidic it is much harder to lose weight.
An alkaline body however will make it much easier.
“When the human body is in an acidic state, it will try to shield itself from the damaging acid by storing the acid in fat cells.
The body attempts to prevent the acid from eating holes in tissues.
When the acid level is high in the body, calcium is also depleted. Your body may make fat cells to store unwanted acid for its protection. This process may save your vital organs from severe damage. By returning to a balanced pH level, you may lose unwanted fat cells.”(1)
Remember; when testing your morning saliva and 2nd urine of the day, your optimal pH level is between 7 and 7.2.
Step 2. Decrease Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress.
Firstly, lets define these.
Inflammation is a normal defense mechanism against any harm caused to the body such as illness, injuries or and toxins. It is the body’s way of attempting to heal itself by sending antibodies, proteins and blood to the affected area for a few hours to decrease the inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is defined as prolonged inflammation.
It occurs when this inflammatory response lingers and remains for months or even years.
Over time, this type of inflammation can have a negative impact on your cells, organs and tissues and even damage your DNA, cause tissue death and leave internal scarring. It is linked to several chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and, of course, an increase in unwanted fat.
Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are molecules that contain oxygen and are produced by the body as a result of normal metabolism and energy production. They are missing one or more electrons. In order to ‘replace their missing parts’, free radicals will aggressively attack other molecules.
This reaction is called ‘oxidation’.
This can either be beneficial or harmful.
They are produced as a natural biological response to things such as environmental toxins, exercise and inflammation.
Antioxidants are electron donors. They can donate electrons to other molecules without making itself unstable. They are key in protecting the body against a free radical rampage by allowing the free radical to stabalise.
An imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants can cause your cells to underperform and lead to tissue and DNA damage, and a range of diseases. This is known as oxidative stress, and can create a lot of different health challenges like . . .
- Memory Challenges
- Heart disease
- Obesity, unwanted fat
- Metabolic Syndrome
Oxidative stress often occurs with chronic inflammation, and together they take an enormous toll on your immune system and contribute to nearly every disease.
How are they linked to weight gain?
Weight gain changes your hormones and metabolism, and these changes are linked to an increase in chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. When the body is in an inflamed state, its main goal is not weight loss, it is healing and survival. Unfortunately, weight gain, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress tend to create many cyclic patterns that fuel one another.
For example, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to insulin resistance, which leads to higher glucose levels as well as a buildup of fat in the liver which, as stated before, can lead to insulin resistance.
This can cause a vicious cycle where weight gain causes more insulin resistance, and insulin resistance causes more weight gain.
Chronic Inflammation and oxidative stress also lower the amount of a hormone call leptin. Leptin provides feedback to the brain to tell it when to eat/stop eating, and when to speed up/slow down metabolism. When leptin levels are low, it can lead to a slow metabolism and an increase in appetite.
Our goal is to lower chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
The best foods to reduce both oxidative stress and chronic inflammation include:
- Spices; ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon
- Healthy fats; olive and coconut oils, avocado
- Omega-3 fatty acids; fatty fish like wild caught salmon, and flax and chia seeds
- Vegetables; especially cruciferous vegetables
- Fruits; berries, cherries and grapes (those high in antioxidants)
- Nuts; walnuts, almonds, pecans
- Fermented foods; sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation fighting natural medicines include:
- Specialised Pro-Resolving Mediators (SPMs). These are lipid (fat-based) compounds that flick the switch from the inflammatory initiation phase to the anti-inflammatory, healing resolution phase, while also reducing pain by altering pain perception.
- Fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids
- Turmeric: A potent anti-inflammatory herb, learn its multiple benefits for inflammation and pain by reading this blog, here.
- Devil’s Claw
- ….and many other herbs.
Foods to avoid include:
- Processed meats, snack foods and oils
- Trans fats
- Refined carbohydrates
Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercising should also be incorporated in your quest to decrease chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
Step 3. Action time!
Combine the following with your chosen diet:
Know your set point.
No matter how many calories we consume in a year, our body weight seems to remain relatively stable.
This stable body weight is known as the set point.
Your set point is affected by a variety of internal and external factors, such as hormones, genetics, exercise, brain activity and diet.
Your natural set point is the weight in which your body will thrive.
When you are at your natural set point you are at your healthiest; hormones are stable, hair and nails strong, energy levels are consistent, mood is stable etc., and it is easy and effortless to maintain our weight.
Over time, excess food and emotional and environmental factors can drive your body’s set point higher and reset it at an unhealthy weight. When you attempt a diet, you may lose weight, but your body will fight to stay at its set point, which may be the reason 90% of people who lose weight, end up putting it back on again.
If it is possible to reset the body’s set point to a higher point, it is also possible to lower it.
There’s one way to never succeed in resetting your set point; and that is to lose all your weight in one go. This is because the brain will re-set your weight, with time to your original weight.
The way to do it is in steps.
Choose 4 x 2 or a 6 x 2; and no, they’re not lumps of wood. (chuckle, chuckle)
Choose 4 or 6 weeks of your preferred diet regime, and then 2 weeks of normal healthy eating with detoxifying nutrients as per step 2 above.
…. and keep doing this until you reach your weight loss goal.
This will retrain your body (in slow and steady increments) to stay at a new set point, so you can keep the weight off.
Cleanse and Heal the Four Filters.
The four filters of the body include the gut, liver, immune system and kidneys, and they each play and unique and important role in the body’s weight and fat content.
If gut flora is imbalanced, it may affect the way food is digested, which can affect weight gain.
If the liver is in a toxic state, it will not produce enough bile to help with digestion and the breakdown of fat, absorption of fat and water-soluble vitamins and minerals, again, making it near impossible to lose weight.
If the immune system is sluggish, it inhibits the release of certain types of cells that trigger the release of metabolising proteins which makes it near impossible to lose weight.
If the kidneys are not functioning properly, your body may retain fluid which can result in an increase in weight...
UNLESS! You cleanse and nourish your four filters in this order. We need each of these to be healthy and free of toxins to see positive weight loss results.
The wisdom of Ancient Medicine advises that the filters need to be cleansed in the order of gut, liver, immune system and kidneys. These can be tackled, one at a time, during your 2 weeks of normal healthy eating. Eg. For the first two weeks, focus on cleansing the gut, then return to your chosen diet for your chosen 4- or 6-week period. During the second two weeks focus on the liver, and then return to your diet for 4 or 6 weeks etc.
NB. You may reach your desired weight loss before you finish cleansing. Typically, you will lose 2 – 3 kilograms for every 4 weeks of dieting.
How exactly to do this is dependent on the individual.
The good news is that exercise, increasing your water intake and changing your eating habits to a diet that includes wholefoods, lots of vegetables, healthy carbohydrates and avoiding sugar and alcohol will help these filters to detoxify and clean themselves, as they were designed to do.
However, to begin with, seeking the advice of your practitioner will be most beneficial.
…and we know who that is…
Dr Wayne will be able to identify where your body most needs detoxifying, prescribe the right medicines and tailor a unique detoxifying program for you.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of voluntary fasting and non-fasting.
Many studies show that intermittent fasting can significantly improve your body’s health on a cellular and molecular level. The level of human growth hormone (HGH) skyrocket during fasting, which allows cells to repair themselves by initiating cellular repair processes, decreases insulin resistance making body fat more accessible, and boosts muscle growth and strength. High levels of HGH are important during weight loss.
Choose at least 2 days of the week to do your intermittent fasting.
Most people miss breakfast and will have lunch at around midday, but science suggests that if you stop eating from 2pm onwards you will lose more weight.
Know your emotional and psychological triggers.
75% of food cravings and overeating are attributed to our emotional state. 90% of our beliefs are somebody else's.
That's a whole lot of emotional baggage and subconscious belief systems that are probably holding you back from achieving your weight goals.
Seeking help from a PSYCH-K therapist or Kinesiologist will yield great results, and mindfulness is really the key to unlocking a clear and limitless reality.
This is a big one, and a topic that will need its own article.
Exercise will help you burn fat, speed up metabolism and burn more calories.
Too many people today are over exercising. You only need about 30 minutes every second day.
Or for the busy person, here is a great alternative to 30 minutes.
Did you know you only need to exercise for 4 minutes, 3 times a day to move stubborn fat?
Here’s a link to these 4 minutes of exercise:
As you can see, weight loss goes a lot deeper than calories in, calories out.
By taking time to understand how your body and mind work, and how to nourish yourself holistically, not only will you see great weight loss results, but you will also be giving yourself permission to really know what it means to thrive.
Keep an eye out for the next article, where we will delve into the effects our conscious and subconscious minds can have on weight loss.
Until next time,
Dedicated to Improving Your Wellbeing and Committed To Helping You Achieve Abundant Health and Wealth,
The team at Unique Health and Wellness.
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