Weight loss is a HUGE industry. There is no shortage of fad, quick fix diet programs that promise success, but often only leave your wallet or pocketbook a little lighter. Stop following fad diets. Period. They just don’t work. Successful and permanent weight loss begins with common sense and a true understanding of how the body and mind really work. Here are six steps to healthy weight loss that will get you on your way to true health.
#1: Ditch the Bad Carbs and Sugar. Refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, wheat products, breads, pasta, processed and pre-packaged foods… are usually full of molecular structures that are detrimental to maintaining healthy insulin, glucose and leptin levels. These nutritionally ’empty’ calories fuel inflammation and pain in the body, promote scarring of the liver, increase accumulation of visceral fat, and create imbalances in the metabolic hormones, insulin and leptin. Insulin and leptin resistance is sharply on the rise and promotes weight gain and obesity, as well as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hormonal imbalances. Bad carbs and sugars are very addictive! Because these substances cause changes in brain chemistry and the body’s ability to feel full or a sense of ‘satiety’, people often have very real withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, irritability, fatigue, depression, etc. when trying to eliminate them from the diet. These symptoms are generally short-lived and can be remedied by eating more fat and protein along with low carb vegetables for a few weeks. Avoiding carbs and sugars for a few weeks also ‘re-sets’ the pancreas and can begin to normalize insulin and leptin sensitivity. Eating ‘whole wheat’ products should also be avoided as the genetic structure of modern wheat species has been modified to a ‘hexaploid’ species so that it is very difficult to digest and utilize. Switching to ancient or ‘diploid’ wheat species such as ‘Einkorn’ will often reduce symptoms that mimic gluten sensitivity. Ancient wheat species are much easier to digest and don’t generally cause weight gain, bloating, allergies, brain fog, celiac, etc.
#2: Support Healthy Sleep Patterns. The body needs at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to maintain healthy adrenal function. Prolonged adrenal stress causes chronic magnesium deficiency, which leads to poor sleep, which leads to more adrenal stress, which leads to hormonal imbalances, more weight gain, increased cravings for sugar and carbs, which leads to more weight gain, which leads to poor sleep which leads to… I think you get the picture! Healthy sleep habits are a cornerstone of overall health. If you have bad sleep habits you can change them. It may take a few months but it is critical to your physical and emotional health to make it a priority. Introduce healthy sleep choices every day and they will become healthy sleep habits that come naturally.
~ Go to bed at the same time every night
~ Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet
~ Avoid anything that will over-activate your mind and block serotonin production before bed (TV, computer, phone, iPad, stressful situations, work projects, etc.)
~ Avoid high fat or high carb meals after 7pm. A small amount of protein and carbs before bed can help promote sleep. Fermented dairy products like Kefir are a good choice. Tart cherry juice can also be helpful as it is a natural source of melatonin.
~ If pets are disruptive during the night, they need to sleep outside your bedroom.
~ Use aromatherapy essential oils before bed: lavender, sandalwood, mandarin, chamomile, and neroli are all good scents for inducing relaxation and sleep. Place a small amount on the back of the neck and just under the navel for best results.
~ Take a warm bath before bed. You may add epsom salts or essential oils to relax muscles and calm the mind.
#3: Eat Fat. One of the greatest hoaxes of our modern society is the perpetuation of the idea that low fat diets are healthy and help you lose weight. Low fat diets are not healthy. Period. Fat, including saturated fat, is absolutely essential for healthy brain function, cellular structure and strength, appetite satiety, hormone balance, and cardiovascular and overall metabolic health. Fat does not cause heart disease… sugar, chemicals high carb and processed foods do. It is the sugar and high carb intake that causes inflammation, pain, high cholesterol, insulin and leptin resistance, obesity, and a vast list of other ‘chronic’ illnesses that are so prevalent in our society today. Healthy fats include:
~ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: medium chain lipid that is easily used for energy and does not readily store as fat. Also a good source of lauric acid with natural antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil has a high heat point and does not go rancid very easily which makes it a great choice for cooking and baking.
~ Grass Fed Butter: short chain lipid. Grass-fed variety contains high omega 3’s, vitamin A, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), and vitamin K2 for cardiovascular health.
~ Lard: 50% monounsaturated / 40% saturated fat. Excellent source of vitamin D3 when obtained from free-roaming, pasture raised pigs.
~ Tallow: 55% saturated / 40% monounsaturated fat. Good source of palmitoleic acid, tocopherol and has natural antimicrobial qualities.
~ Extra Virgin Olive Oil: High in oleic acids and a good source of antioxidants. Use on salads. Avoid using for cooking as it breaks down and becomes carcinogenic with medium to high heat.
~ Peanut Oil: superior cooking and frying oil.
~ Palm Oil: excellent oil for baking. Good source of beta carotene and vitamin E.
~ Sesame Oil: cold pressed oils are best. High oxidative stability; good for frying.
Fats and Oils to Avoid include: Soy, Canola, Corn, Grapeseed, Cottonseed, Hemp, and all margarines, spreads and partially hydrogenated vegetable shortenings. These are inferior lipid sources that are either hepatotoxic (liver toxic), rancid easily, and do not support the production of healthy cell membranes.
#4: Detox. Avoid chemicals in food, water and anything that you would put on or in the body. Chemicals and heavy metals will often attach to organ and gland receptor sites, blocking absorption of key nutrients. Toxic halogens such as fluoride, chloride and bromide are very common in our water and food and are harmful to the thyroid and pineal gland. Toxic halogens are of the same molecular weight as Iodine, a halogen necessary for proper thyroid function, and accumulate on receptor sites at the thyroid gland, blocking absorption of Iodine.
Another group of toxins called xeno-estrogens often cause hormonal imbalances that can not only make weight loss difficult, but increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Xeno-estrogens are extremely powerful ‘estrogen mimickers’ and block the absorption of natural estrogens necessary for hormone balance and reproductive health. Estrogen mimickers are widely found in our food and water supply, in household cleaners and personal care products like lotions, detergents and makeup.
Heavy metals such as nickel, aluminum, and mercury accumulate in our bodies through our dental work as either white ‘composite’ or silver ‘amalgam’ fillings. These metals often ‘bleed’ over time and suppress the parathyroid and thyroid function.
Radiation exposure is very common through repeated exposure to x-ray or CT scan procedures and new ‘backscatter’ x-ray devices at most airports. Even low levels of radiation build up in the sensitive organ and gland tissues and can cause powerful disruptions in their function.
Other toxins include parasites, and hidden infections in the form of ‘bio-films’, nano-bacteria, and mycoplasmic infections are very common and can disrupt normal function of all organs and glands in the body.
Simply put, toxins must be removed in order for organs and glands to function properly.
Prior to any detoxification program, is important that the kidneys and liver are clean and efficient, and the digestion and ‘gut’ system are healthy. Time must be taken to support and cleanse all detox organs before attempting to dislodge chemicals, infections and other toxins from their resting sites. The body’s pH must be in an alkaline state in order to detox properly. Taking the pH of the first morning urine is the best way to accurately determine the pH levels of the blood and tissues. Optimal pH is between 6.4 and 7.0. Skipping these steps can slow progress and cause more harm than good.
Many toxins are stored in the fat cells. As fat cells shrink, the toxins stored in the fat are released into the blood stream to be filtered by the liver. Supporting healthy organ function reduces any ‘detox’ effects of fat loss.
Be sure to stay properly hydrated during any detox program. The minimum intake for a healthy individual is half your body weight in ounces of water per day. More may be needed during a detox program to keep the lymph system moving properly. Purified water is best. Avoid sodas (especially diet sodas), energy drinks, and anything artificially sweetened as these fluid choices often lead to more weight gain in the long run. Fruit juices should be avoided all together if there is a metabolic issue such as insulin or leptin resistance.
#5: Let Go of Destructive Thought Patterns. Even beyond the 4 basic emotional concepts of not being able to:
~ be healthy
~ do whatever it takes to be healthy
~ love self
~ be loved by others…
there are many other destructive thought patterns that can sabotage any weight loss or fitness program. Some of these concepts that may test ‘strong’ or ‘true’ at the subconscious level are:
~ If I lose weight, then I’m afraid I will gain it back…
~ If I lose weight, then my face will look older…
~ If I lose weight, then I’ll have to exercise, and I hate exercise…
~ If I lose weight, then I may have to stand up for myself…
~ If I lose weight, then I might find out I’m not any happier…
~ If I lose weight, then I won’t have the power of a big presence…
~ If I lose weight, then I won’t have the fat as a protection from others…
~ If I lose weight, then I might be too attractive and attract the wrong person and that scares me…
It is important that any destructive belief based in fear is acknowledged and released or ‘processed’. Often, people are unaware of any such deeply held fear or belief. ERT is very useful tool in identifying the thought pattern or belief so it can be acknowledged and released. EVOX Perception Reframing Therapy is very effective at releasing unhealthy subconscious beliefs. Once the negative thought patterns are released, acts of self-care and self-love come naturally. Losing weight, eating health, exercising, and healthy life choices become effortless and do not need a lot of thought to achieve.
#6: Exercise. Keep moving. Exercise boosts mood, promotes blood and lymph flow, healthy sleep / wake cycles and regulates metabolism to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to find a variety of activities you enjoy so there is a low risk of boredom. Walking is a great form of exercise. Walking in nature is simple, requires little effort, and gives the mind a break from work or hectic schedules.
Exercise should be fun. If it’s not fun… then that’s a good sign that there might be a destructive subconscious belief at work… refer to #5.
Life is really all about choices. We get to create our lives and our health based on the choices we make each day. Choose to love yourself, forgive others, and create space for the life you want by letting go of what you don’t want. Energetically, anything that is dysfunctional or destructive takes up space… space that something functional and ‘life-giving or life-enhancing’ could be inhabiting if you would just let go of the dysfunction. Be open to learning the ‘lessons’ the dysfunction or chaos is trying to teach you, and then let go of the chaos by making changes in your life. There’s something better waiting for you if you will make that choice. Lessons always repeat themselves until you learn and change. It is actually YOU who holds all the power to creating the life you want!