The Growing Epidemic Of Obesity
One has to look around to see that obesity is on the rise. If our BMI is over 25, we are overweight, and if over 30, we are obese. To calculate BMI, see the Adult BMI Calculator or determine BMI by finding your height and weight in this BMI Index Chart. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Obesity is a serious concern because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.”(1) Obesity is now recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association. (2)
Excess weight is a reflection of what’s happening in the body for many years. It is the excess fat molecules worn on our bodies. There are no quick fixes or fancy diet plans to resolve this issue overnight. When my clients ask me how many kilos they are going to shed in the coming month, I inform them, they should follow the latest bestseller weight loss books or fancy diet programs!
Sustained weight loss is a journey to wellness, weight loss being the bonus benefit. In chronic obesity, it is much more than just diet modulation. Behind the scene, various dynamics are at play. Let us go through them one by one.
Before we begin the lifestyle journey, my first suggestion is to throw away your weighing scales and instant weight reduction expectations. Get your favorite garments out and aim to fit back into them in the following 2-3 months of starting your wellness journey. Aim for inches reduction and let people’s positive comments be your scale machine. Let your motivation be your partner in your journey. Weighing scales come in later on in the journey.
Processed versus Plant-based whole foods
All processed foods, dairy, wheat, and meat are generally Inflammatory, leading to the storage of fat molecules. And fat molecules release inflammatory signaling molecules, a catch 22 situation which again leads to fat storage. Shift your diet to anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense low calories plant-based whole foods.
Primary Invisible Foods
More calories IN (consumption) than Out (Energy expenditure) will result in excess weight. Excess eating besides behavioral habits can also be because of the lack of invisible foods like love, purpose in life, satisfaction, etc. We can self-medicate by comforting ourselves with physical foods.
High Glycemic Refined Foods Are Toxic
High glycemic refined foods are toxic and inflammatory to the body and put an immense strain on the liver. Elevated blood sugar leads to insulin resistance, forcing the liver to package excess sugar as triglycerides, which is fat. This is a protection mechanism of our body. Aim for low glycemic, anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense foods. Supplement with quality phytonutrients.
An easy and excellent way to let your body’s biochemistry optimize your health and weight. Aim for an eating window of 8 hours and fasting 16 hours. Your last meal must be a minimum of 3 hours prior to your bedtime.
When shedding weight becomes a challenge, 95% of the time, hormone imbalances are at play. Hormones are messenger molecules managing your biochemistry in response to your physiological and phycological behavior. Estrogen dominance now is an epidemic in men and women. Estrogen can be real or xeno, from endogenous, or exogenous sources. Too much estrogen and low progesterone cause weight issues and weak bones. Ovaries, adrenals, and the adipose tissue make endogenous estrogen. The adipose tissue acts as an endocrine organ converting testosterone into estrogen with the aid of aromatase. Low testosterone means more flab. Exogenous estrogen comes from pesticides, PBA, skincare products. Too much estrogen lowers the efficacy of thyroid hormones leading to weight gain.
Optimal Liver Health and Detox
Optimal liver health and detox are essential to detox and eliminate the excess hormones and toxins in the body. Silymarin and Brocolli sprout extracts are excellent supports for liver health. Drink enough water and have daily bowel movements.
Stress – Relationships, Finance, etc.
Address stress issues of your life. The body perceives any stress as life-threatening. So the fight or flight hormones adrenalin or epinephrine are released, which is followed by the hormone cortisol to counter stress. Now, as the body perceives stress as difficult times, which could mean famine, starvation, etc. This leads to the conversion of the active thyroid hormone T3 to RT3 to conserve fuel by downregulating the activity of the thyroid function, leading to slow metabolism, hence fat storage!
More Stress: Poor Sleep, Toxins, Microbial Imbalance in Gut
Stress is also created by poor sleep, toxins in the body, microbial imbalance in the gut, and too much exercise. Yes, you read correctly…over-exercising is inflammatory! Inflammatory molecules = stress = cortisol = thyroid downregulation = fat storage! Stress leads to cortisol steal resulting in insufficient production of the androgen hormones like DHEA, affecting downstream survival hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Excess cortisol may also affect gluconeogenesis, inducing excess insulin production leading to fat storage.
Weight Lifting Versus Cardio
Initially, focus more on muscle building than aerobics. The aim is to replace fat with muscles. Muscles burn more energy, which assists in weight loss.
Remember, extra weight is the result of your body trying to balance out the inappropriate foods we consume and poor lifestyle choices. It’s the body’s ability to store excess calories i.e., fuel as fats. Respect the laws of nature and our body’s excellent intricate functioning.