Based on the number of emails that I get regularly on the topic, I want to take some time to really dive into the most common reasons people are not at a healthy weight, even when they’re trying. These are all personal obstacles I’ve had to overcome and I continue to work with clients on these very same issues. Outside of potential hormone imbalances, these are my three secrets to weight loss. So let’s dive in!
I know it’s risky to start with sugar, but I truly believe this is probably single-handedly the biggest culprit to the expanding waistlines we’ve seen over the last few decades. If you take a look at when HFCS was introduced into our food supply in the 1970s, you will see a direct correlation to the rise in diabetes to the month. Think about that – it’s just crazy. According to Dr. Mercola, here are the averages for what individuals consumed each year in sugar,
- In 1700, average 4 lbs/year
- In 1800, 18 lbs/year
- In 1900, 90 lbs/year
- 2009, 180 lbs/year (50% increase, ½ lb per day!)
See a pattern? More sugar = bigger pants. I find it to be helpful to explain how sugar leads to weight gain. When we eat refined sugar, our pancreas produces insulin. Among other functions, insulin’s job is to remove the glucose from the bloodstream and deliver it to other cells. Sounds innocent enough. However, when we dump so much sugar into our bloodstream so quickly, this sends another signal to the body-store fat. Insulin then plays another role; it “insulates” body fat and makes it very difficult for it to be broken down.
In addition, sugar is highly addictive, and this is why it is so hard for people to kick the sugar habit. The physiological response is similar to a heroin addict, so just be patient with yourself when removing it from your diet. Fruit is a great healthy and natural option that is loaded with fiber and other essential nutrients.
Now gluten is very similar to sugar when it comes to losing weight. Gluten is the protein component in foods such as wheat, rye and barley (See Gluten Free: Part I for more info). In Dr. William Davis’s book, “Wheat Belly”, he explains how wheat is actually the culprit behind our expanding waistlines. With 99% of wheat being man-made, wheat also causes many health problems along with unwanted pounds.
And last, dairy. I could go on and on about dairy, but I’ll keep it simple. We’re the only species that drinks milk beyond being a baby and drinks another’s milk. By 18 months, we no longer produce the enzyme needed to breakdown milk. This is why milk allergies are so common.
When it comes to weight, cows are commonly pumped up with hormones and eat grains and dead animals – gross! Calves need to be turned into big cows as fast as possible. Notice how the Got Milk? Campaign became a big deal the exact same time America starting getting bigger? For healthier milk alternative, try any non-dairy source outside of soy such as coconut, cashew, almond, hemp or even quinoa.
I want to wrap up by saying you don’t have to eliminate these culprits completely if that seems too intense for you. Even making a reduction can lead to big rewards. My top tip is to try to eliminate sugar, gluten or dairy for 7-14 days and see how you feel. If you see positive results, keep going. A trim waistline, clear skin and healthy energy levels are just a few of the many health benefits you may enjoy. Have fun!
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