How to Get Your Body Back in Balance so You Can Start to Lose Weight More Easily
Posted Oct 12 2008 4:12pm
If you think your body may not be in the best condition or if you are having difficulty losing or maintaining weight take a look at the following steps you can take to get your body back in balance:
Cleanse your Body
Years of eating processed and fried foods, taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs, over-eating foods with hydrogenated oils, white sugar and white flour, and consuming alcoholic beverages and drinks with artificial sweeteners - have taken a stressful toll on your liver, colon, kidneys and gall bladder - the primary organs responsible for digestion and detoxification. When the organs designed to take on major protective roles in the body are over-worked trying to rid your blood of consumed toxins they can no longer do their job well.
The kidneys work to filter toxins from the body. When it becomes stressed from an overload of toxins and insufficient water intake it puts more of a load on the liver. The liver plays a major role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins - the nutrients that supply the body with energy. If the liver is over-loaded it can not do its job properly and it puts a strain on other organs like the gall bladder and colon. The colon can hold as much as five feet of bile. The debris becomes compacted over the years and the toxic matter eventually begins to leach into the bloodstream. The body is now loaded with more toxins and is unable to do its job of breaking down food and supplying the cells with nutrients that help to feed your hormones and metabolism.
It is no wonder hormones become out of balance and the metabolism slows down over the years. This is a major contributing factor as to why you may not be losing weight so easily. Thus, cleansing is a necessary start to any successful weight loss plan.
De-Stress the Body
Regardless of your diet, if you are constantly under stress or producing stress hormones (for instance, Type A personalities) you are doing harm to your body. When you are under stress your body produces cortisol. Cortisol production is designed to save you from dangerous situations by giving you a reserve of energy to flea or fight to save your life. Unfortunately our lifestyles are such that we are constantly under stress and producing cortisol all day long. The cortisol designed to save us is now shutting down our digestive system, stealing our nutrient reserves and sending alert signals to start storing fat! No wonder stress is involved in 90% of disease. The body essentially shuts down so you can deal with the stressful situation at hand. If you’re stressed on a daily basis it can lead to a situation where you are no longer producing enzymes, you’re not breaking down foods properly, and your body is no longer getting the nutrients that it needs. The real kicker is your body has gotten the signal to store fat in case food becomes scarce due to the stressful situation.
Looking at the stress in your life and how it has affected your body is so important to having success with any weight loss program. A stressed-out body’s response when you cut its food supply is "Red alert! Lack of food! Keep storing fat!" It’s no wonder it’s so difficult to burn fat when you’re highly stressed.
Get Moderate Exercise
The main message here is that exercise is great but be kind and do not over do it! If you have not been on a regular exercise routine and suddenly decide it is time to lose weight and start burning calories, you may be tempted to exercise like a maniac. Understand that exercise is also a stress on your body. Exercise puts a demand on nutrient reserves to burn calories and heal and repair muscle tissue. If all of a sudden you put this demand on your body and at the same time start cutting calories (nutrients) - imagine what your poor body is going through! Start slow with exercise and find a routine you can stick with for a lifetime. Small periods of over-exercising will do nothing for your long term weight management goals. It’s better to exercise 2 times a week for 30 minutes all of your life than 1 month a year everyday for 2 hours. An active lifestyle that includes various forms of exercise (a mix of weights and aerobic) 3 to 4 times a week, 30 minutes a day is enough to keep you fit and trim.
Put your Cravings to Rest (Carbs/Salt/Sugar)
When the body becomes imbalanced from a poor diet and a polluted digestive system, problems start to develop in the colon that can actually contribute to your cravings. You may have heard of healthy bacteria or healthy flora. This good bacteria is needed in the colon to rid your body of parasites and bad bacteria. Stress, white sugar, white flour, caffeine, alcohol, medication (including birth control antibiotics, even hydro-cortisone creams) all work to deplete your supply of this healthy flora. Without the good guys, bacteria is able to grow rampant. The bacteria and parasites now compete for nutrients - weakening your natural defenses. They also feed on white sugar and white flour to grow and cultivate - causing you to actually CRAVE these foods!! The harmful bacteria (yeast) continues to grow and multiply in the body causing all kinds of health issues - from sinus problems and skin disorders to chronic fatigue.
A body in balance does NOT crave! Tackling the yeast problem (harmful bacteria) and discontinuing the overuse of sugar and salt will work to stop your cravings. Lemon water (full lemon in a glass of water) is a good way to quickly balance the body when you feel a craving for salt or sugar. Believe it or not - if you stop eating the sugary or salty snacks, over time, you will not only stop craving them, but find them to be much less enjoyable.
If you do not tackle your cravings effectively, you will be faced with the temptation on a daily basis and will have to rely on will power to keep you from indulgingwhich is not a great long term strategy, because eventually your will power will weaken. Things happen in your life that will threaten your will power - whether your just stressed out or you get depressed, eventually you’re likely to cave in... What then…you gain all of the weight back that you worked so hard to lose.
Eat only Natural Foods
Since the body does not function properly when exposed to chemicals and foreign man-made foods, it makes good sense to feed it with natural foods only. This means no artificial sweeteners, including Splenda (sucralose), Nutrasweet (aspartame) and acusulfame potassium. Artificial sweeteners are everywhere - especially in "diet" foods, protein powders and beverages. You will have to read labels and be cautious of foods that have 0 or 1g of sugar on the nutrition label but taste sweet. Only natural sweeteners, such as raw sugar (better than table sugar), molasses, honey, agave nectar, and Stevia (a plant derivative) etc. add sugar grams without the toxic chemicals. But use these natural sweeteners in moderation.
Natural means from nature - or as close to nature as possible. Try to stay away from boxed, canned or prepared foods. Learn to read the nutrition and ingredients labels. Look for the least amount of ingredients as possible in your foods. Use fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables. Stay away from fried foods or foods with hydrogenated oils in them. Use natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil. Eat whole grains and foods without a lot of added sugar and salt. Eat a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetable, and be sure your diet consists of adequate protein throughout the day.
Drink Mostly Water or Unsweetened Beverages
Your liquid intake should be mostly water; drink other beverages in moderation. Be sure to drink water as soon as you wake up in the morning, after meals and exercise. Note: it is easiest to drink room temperature water. Stay away from sugary drinks (only adds to your sugar addiction and adds quick energy and calories that store as fat if not burned off). Naturally sweeten your herbal teas with agave nectar or honey. Only use drink flavor packets that use Stevia. This means no Crystal Lite, no diet sodas or teas or other unhealthy diet drinks. Once you start drinking water you will find that the other sweet drinks you used to enjoy don't taste that great anymore because if you clean your body out of the sugar and salt - you will no longer crave them! And remember the lemon water trick I mentioned earlier.
Eat Small Meals throughout the Day (natural metabolism booster)
No metabolism booster pill is as effective as eating spurts of high quality food throughout the day. This means no huge meals and no skipping meals. You want to eat small quantities of food regularly so your body constantly has energy to burn. Imagine your goal is to keep a fire going in your home. Would you not put any wood in the fire place all day until dinner - then load it with a ton of fire wood?... NO! Would you put a ton of firewood in the morning and then nothing again until night time? No! The best way to keep the fire going is to give it a continuous small amount of quality slow-burning fuel throughout the day.
Equate this scenario with eating. To keep your metabolism furnace at full throttle (or to awaken it) you must feed it small meals throughout the day. The meals should all consist of some sort of healthy protein like eggs, natural protein powder, natural protein bars, natural peanut butter or almond butter, almonds, cottage cheese, yogurt, meats, poultry, or seafood. Add other foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains to make your diet complete.
You should NEVER feel hungry when you are trying to lose weight. This may get confusing because some people mistake appetite or thirst for hunger. Generally you should not experience stomach pangs. If you are truly hungry you are not eating enough and need to add more quality foods in small amounts throughout the day. If you eat regularly during the day you will NOT feel hungry late at night because your body will be full. If you are consistent, eventually your body will get the message that the supply of food is constant and thus move out of survival mode and begin to burn fat. It now "trusts" you to feed it with the necessary nutrients and no longer has to store energy because it knows that more is coming.
Correct your Negative Mental Thought Patterns
This is probably the most complex part because most people are not aware or in tuned with their self talk or their thinking. You can not successfully accomplish your goals if you have a continuous flow of negative feelings surrounding them. If your goal is to lose weight and fit into your old clothes, you can't continue to look in the mirror each morning and say to yourself how fat you are and how ugly you look in your clothes, moan to your friends that you can't lose weight no matter what you do, look at the foods you can no longer eat and feel deprived, or refuse to treat yourself with dignity and respect until you lose weight.
You have to work on your attitude and stop the self-defeating, self-sabotaging thinking or you will find it extremely difficult to achieve your weight-loss goals. You have to have a positive attitude about what you are trying to accomplish despite your past experience that has left you with a self-defeating attitude. You have to work to consciously turn around the negative statements and negative self talk. If you can master a positive attitude you will find that the goals you never thought you could accomplish are actually within your reach.
Get Coached through this Process The path to balancing your body is not a simple one. If you decide to take this route you may need some additional support to effectively address your issues.
Coaching Program - If you believe in the natural way of getting your body back in balance and want to work to correct the imbalances by following the steps I outlined - I have a program set up to help you. Use my Nutrition Questionnaire to determine what your imbalances are - your cleansing needs and the effects that stress has had on your body. Get the support and training you need to change your diet and refine your thinking so that you are not sabotaging your efforts. My program addresses all of the areas outlined above and is designed for the person who is ready for a lifestyle makeover.