Top Ten ‘Other’ Weight Loss Strategies (#2)

Do you eat real food or food like substances?  When I first heard the phrase, “food like substance” it really struck a chord with me.  The majority of the American diet is precisely that. People everyday put things they believe to be food into their mouths without really thinking about what it is doing to them on a physical, mental or even spiritual level.

What we eat becomes an expression of ourselves, its information and instruction for our cells to do this or that and it is something we have control over. The study of epigenetics hypothesizes that we actually have the ability to turn genes on or off. Cancer genes, diabetes genes, heart disease genes, weight loss genes, etc., etc.  Were beginning to understand that just because Grandpa and his family had disease ‘x’ it doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Same goes for weight loss.

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#2: Refined & Processed Foods

So what does it mean to process a food?  Things like smoking, drying, dehydrating or freezing for example are all ways to process the things we eat.  These forms of processing can be quite healthy and make food last longer if done right.

We all know what junk food is and what it looks like.  You have all seen the super colorful bags, boxes and cans displayed at the local grocery store.  I used to work for 7-up and there was a lot of marketing that went into displaying things in a certain way so as to entice consumers to buy our product.  From gizmos, to gadgets to free giveaways and even a lame pin-up calendar of the 7-up truck drivers!  Trust me that was nasty and you do not want to be subjected to it:)

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Not eating junk food may seem like a no brainer when it comes to weight loss yet too many people still believe that if what they eat is low-calorie and/or low-fat it will prove to be an ally in their weight battle. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  These franken foods are full of garbage our bodies do not recognize and overtime can wreak havoc as our internal systems attempt to adapt (including blood sugar fluctuations leading to insulin resistance which promotes weight gain and eventually a lovely case of type II diabetes). These lab made foods are created to be quickly and easily consumed which makes us eat more than we should.

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All the junk food companies want their product right at eye level so you don’t miss them.  These are the very definition of food like substances (Oreos, Doritos, sodas, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereal the list goes on and on).  Flip them over and check out the ingredients and you will find stuff like: enriched flour, phosphates, sodium bicarbonate, corn syrup, sodium diacetate, (ya I spell checked it) artificial flavor, soybean oil, sugar, vegetable oil, raisin paste, modified cornstarch, etc. Ingredients like these are loosely regulated and vaguely labeled and there is very little knowledge of how they truly affect us.  The only proof is how much better you feel once you stop eating them and opt for real food.  This should be a HUGE indicator that they are doing damage and contributing to the health crisis in all modern economies.

Some of the above ingredients are banned in Europe and other countries as a whole list of health problems are linked to them.  Guess where I found these particular ones? In the elementary school where I teach.  It’s some of what my students eat for breakfast in the form of pizza, corn dogs and something resembling a cookie.  Yes, for breakfast and we wonder why so many kids are overweight, act out all the time, are moody, have ADHD, ADD and a host of other acronyms we like to slap on them in order to make prescribing drugs a lot easier.  I still remember one of my students who was a handful.  They put him on Ritalin and he became a ghost of his former self, almost zombie like.  It was as unnatural as anything I’ve witnessed.

Big Mac Kids

I can eat an entire box of crackers if I want to.  That is a crazy amount of calories and yet I’m still hungry.  Why? Because I have the calories and no nutrition. This is exactly what junk food companies design their products to do. Larger companies even have “food scientists” who engineer foods to appeal to our natural cravings. We love sweet and salty things and as you know most junk food is chock full of one or both. These so-called scientists turn processed foods into drugs which makes it very hard to stop eating them.  A lot of people experience withdrawals when they cut back or quit cold turkey just like with alcohol or street drugs which speaks to how proficient these scientists are at their craft.

Real, whole, nutrient dense foods taste just as good and without question are much more satisfying. When you eat this way you naturally stop when full and your cravings for junk food diminish over time as you crowd them out.  This leads your body to its natural “set point” that Jonathon Bailor talks about in his book, “The Calorie Myth”.   If you’re looking to achieve your natural, healthy set point (weight) look no further than eating real food (including plenty of healthy fats like real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, avocado, lard, etc.)  It will change your life…and allow you to lose your excess baggage.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about all things health and wellness then please follow my blog (left side of any page on my site) and/or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.  I will send you an excellent, free eBook on the 5 critical pillars of health as a thank you for your newsletter subscription!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health

Are you waiting to be sick?

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There are literally millions of people in the world who are not seriously sick but at the same time are never seriously “well” either.  They all suffer things that keep them from ever functioning at 100% and these “things” prevent experiencing a full life. The sad truth is that most people just come to accept their suffering and rationalize it away blaming it on age or something else they cant control for example.  What they MUST realize is that they do have control! However because they do not understand this they go to the doctor and he/she prescribes a pill, potion, cream etc., and they just deal with it and see it as normal.  Trust me, its not. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Sweet cravings and roller coaster blood sugar levels
  • Digestive distress of all kinds (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc)
  • Struggling to lose weight
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Low level, chronic background stress that never really goes away
  • Flat out high intensity stress/anxiety
  • Up and down energy levels including the afternoon crash
  • Skin issues

What many people don’t see is that these symptoms are anything but normal and instead are signs that your health is slowly declining and your body is malfunctioning.  They rarely tend to go away on their own and if left unchecked can lead to very serious health conditions farther down the road of life. This is because they are warning signs that something isn’t running right inside your body.  Your body is amazing and will do everything in its power to adapt and continue the fight but eventually you will break down if something doesn’t change.

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Lets use an airplane analogy.  If the pilot see’s warning lights on the dashboard indicating there is an engine problem he is going to land and address the issue.  If he ignores the warning it isn’t hard to figure out what might happen.  Lets talk for a second about why you shouldnt ignore these symptoms:

  • Digestive problems.  Most people accept constipation, loose stool, bloating and gas as routine but they can lead to serious, deeper problems.  Everyone has heard by now how important gut health is, it truly is a place from which much of our health begins.
  • Low Libido & general fatigue.  Do you have a hard time just getting through the day? Do you crash all the time after lunch?  Is it extremely difficult to get out of bed most mornings? Is your sex drive non-existent much of the time? Again most folks see these things as rather normal and part of the aging process but they are important to address and correct in order to avoid more serious pitfalls.
  • Aches and pains.  Do you constantly have aches and pains in your joints/muscles?  This is very likely a sign of underlying inflammatory processes and might just be simply something your eating.
  • Weight problems.  Approximately 1/3 of Americans are obese and another 2/3 are overweight.  The health problems associated with being over weight are well documented.
  • Sleep problems.  Studies show that people who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep are at higher risk of death and have a harder time keeping the weight off.  Poor sleep is a sign of distress (physical, emotional, mental, etc).
  • Background chronic stress, depression, anxiety, brain fog.  We now know that cognitive & and mood disorders can be caused as least in part by inflammation inside the body.  Stress itself can increase internal inflammation.
  • Skin breakouts.  Most of the time skin issues can be traced back to whats going on internally.  Breakouts are another sign of underlying inflammation inside the body.

Hopefully the above symptoms are not something you deal with frequently but if they are there is good news.  I have read account after account of individuals who have suffered these problems as well as more serious conditions and everyone of them will tell you that there were a handful of “controllable” variables that played the largest role in their healing process.  I’m talking basic things here that just simply get taken for granted.  Things that we do not understand the power of so do not make them a priority in our lives:

  1. Exercise/movement.  We were born to move, it’s that simple.  The exciting thing is you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym to move.  Start by just finding any opportunity you can to move more.  When you do exercise keep it short (10-20 min) and include intense bursts of movement that really get your heart rate up no matter what kind of activity your engaged in. Research is showing that this type of exercise is much more effective than plodding along on the treadmill for an hour at a steady pace for example.
  2. Diet.  Eat more nutrient dense, real food.  If you give your body what it needs it will function at a higher level…the level is up to you.  Cut back on the processed, fake, sugary foods that are so abundant in our country. If it has more than 5 ingredients think about finding something else.
  3. Sleep.  Your body has to recover on a daily basis.  Deep tissue healing and recovery need to occur each night and it does not happen if you’re not sleeping.  Make sure your room is dark, take at least 30 min to wind down before going to bed, keep the gadgets and electronics out of the bedroom, don’t eat a large meal right before bedtime, and start a simple breathing/meditation practice before hitting the pillow.  Start by making sleep a priority, few do. There are many, many steps you can take to enjoy a more restful nights sleep.
  4. Manage/control stress.  Again a simple meditation practice can work wonders when it comes to stress like the 4-7-8 breathing technique (inhale four seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for eight seconds, repeat for a total of 4 breath cycles twice daily at least).  Read books like, “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle which instruct on how to be more aware and conscious of what we are doing so we can stop negative behavior in its tracks.

Do you suffer with any of the above symptoms?  What have you tried? Please share these and any other thoughts in the comments section.

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health