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Today we will discuss three absolutes that are essential for healthy weight loss, defining this as reaching your weight loss goals and maintaining your new healthy weight long term. Let’s start of by understanding who this article is written for. If you have focused on weight loss in the past, you’ve lost the desired weight and have maintained this long term, this article is not for you. This article is for the hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals that have tried repeatedly to lose weight and they either cannot lose their desired weight or if they do reach their weight loss goals, they cannot maintain this new healthy weight. So if your weight loss goal for this year is a repeat of the past, this article is definitely for you. I have so much compassion for individuals that are working so hard and spending so much time, focus, energy and money to lose weight, only to find their weight loss goals seemingly unreachable. For so many and actually most, this is not from a lack of effort, focus or will power; it is simply a lack of understanding of three absolutes for weight loss.         1. Here is absolute number one. Healthy adrenal function is a huge factor in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. This is a very simple and functionally valid statement. Understand that the function of your adrenal glands play a role in many levels the have direct effects on your weight as noted below.
  • Your adrenal function has a direct affect on thyroid function which also plays a role in regulating body weight and fat.
  • Your adrenal function affects the function of your pancreas, which regulates glucagon and insulin and enzyme production, all of which will impact your weight.
  • Your adrenal function plays a direct role in metabolism of fat and protein. If you are not metabolizing these macro-nutrients properly, this will lead to insufficient energy production in your body and trigger cravings, leading to an unnecessary increase in weight.
  • Your adrenal function will affect your mucosal lining of your gut, leading to poor digestion and over consumption of food, thus weight gain.
  • Your adrenal function will directly affect your pro and anti-inflammatory states, recognizing that chronic inflammation leads to an increase in fat cell production and eventual increase in body weight. Not to mention the increased weight of the inflammatory state itself.
  • Your adrenal function will play a direct role in cellular energy and blood sugar homeostasis, thus leaving you with weight gain.
  • Your adrenal function will often lead to poor sleep patterns, understanding that poor sleep patterns is a significant factor in weight gain.
  • Your adrenal function plays a direct role in neural connectivity which includes the brain and autonomic nervous system, which is the master regulator in your body. This will often leave you struggling to regulate body weight and fat.
If you have healthy adrenal function this is not a concern for you, but here at Depke Wellness we have assessed thousands of adrenal test results and have seen a very small percentage actually come back healthy and balanced at the onset of a new client. In fairness, we work with people that have health challenges, so if you have a health challenge (being overweight is a health challenge) it is very likely that you are living with adrenal insufficiency and this is hindering your weight loss goals. We offer a complimentary adrenal stress profile assessment to our Depke Wellness followers. Take this now!           2. Here is absolute number two Food sensitivity. This is one area that is most often overlooked when discussing weight loss and missing this is missing everything. Understand that if you are consuming a food that you are sensitive to, this will start by leading to inflammation in your gut. This gut inflammation will increase your weight in and by itself, but there is so much more. The inflammatory state is a trigger for adrenal insufficiency, which we discussed earlier, but this also leads to poor absorption and assimilation of your food. We often see clients that actually eat very well yet are still malnourished because they are consuming foods that they have sensitivities to. We also want to point out that the inflammation in the gut will eventually lead to systemic inflammation in your body and the entire system simply gets out of hand. Also recognize that chronic inflammation leads to an increase in fat cell production, leading to insulin resistance and insulin surges and eventually to more inflammation. And you guessed it, even more fat cell production. It is an ugly cycle that so many find themselves in and most often this cycle begins with food sensitivity. While you can develop a sensitivity to any food, I want to share the most common challenges for you. The “mother of food sensitivity” is a gluten sensitivity. The biggest challenge with this is that about 86% of the people that are living with a gluten sensitivity, they are asymptomatic, which means that you do not feel any negativity from consuming gluten. We see it all the time with clients that claim they have no problem with gluten but with proper testing, we can easily recognize that gluten truly is an issue while creating inflammatory states with eventually weight challenges that can simply get out of control. And to be clear, this can be for people that are gaining weight or reaching very unhealthy low weights. The next group of foods that we would address in regard to food sensitivity would be gluten cross reactive foods. A simple definition of this is that the cross reactive foods have a molecular similarity to gluten and when individuals have consumed gluten for long periods (most of us) your immune system will begin to “recognize” the cross reactive foods as gluten and create the same immune/inflammatory response. Here is a list of potential cross reactive foods for you.
  • Rye, Barley, Spelt, Polish Wheat
  • Cow’s Milk    
  • Alpha-Casein & Beta-Casein     
  • Casomorphin
  • Milk Butyrophilin     
  • Whey Protein     
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Oats     
  • Yeast
  • Coffee    
  • Sesame
  • Buckwheat    
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Hemp
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Soy
  • Egg
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Potato (white)
So in  essence, when you are consuming gluten or any of the foods above, which many would include as a part of their weight loss plan, you could be creating chronic inflammation, digestive issues, increase fat cell production and adrenal insufficiency. And this is from eating something that you may feel is actually very healthy for you. This is a great place to put to rest the old saying that “ignorance is bliss” when the reality is that ignorance of a food sensitivity can actually create so many issues for you and create a clog in your weight loss goals.   3. Here is absolute number three. The third absolute is tied into your own personal bio-chemical individuality for food itself. Ask yourself these questions first.
  • Have you followed your best friend’s diet, only to find yourself constantly hungry, feeling fatigued and maybe even gaining a bit of weight?
  • Are you sick and tired of sifting through the vast amounts of information on diet and nutrition and looking for what’s right for you?
  • Do you find yourself struggling with the concept of a “one size fits all” diet plan?
Most people answer yes to these questions and simply what to know what the best diet plan would be. So what is the best diet for you? Atkins, Paleo, Ornish, South Beach, High Protein, High Carb, Raw Food Vegan, Vegetarianism and the list goes on. The reality is none of them, or any of them. It’s important to understand that we are all bio-chemically different and while one person may thrive on a particular diet; this same diet may be detrimental to another. This is tied into our genetics as well as any existing functional challenges. From a genetic factor it’s important to understand that it takes our bodies many generations to create a shift in nutritional needs. Many cultures have thrived with optimal health based on the foods that were locally available to them. A traditional Eskimo thrived in an extremely challenging climate with their main dietary intake being fat and protein. The Aborigines consumed much more vegetation, insects, kangaroo and wallaby yet had the strength and fitness of Olympic athletes. The Swiss consumed large amounts of high fat cheese, raw milk, small amounts of protein, whole rye and some wine yet survived very well even through glacier winters. The African Masai consumed raw milk, meat and blood from cattle yet enjoyed superb mental and physical development. I am not necessarily recommending these particular diets but hopefully this will help you understand the importance of moving toward your true genetic needs. The functional factor ties into life’s situations such as stress, current health challenges, environment challenges and such. When challenged, your body may require a nutritional shift, which needs to be addressed accordingly until you reach a state of balance. Then your body can naturally evolve to your true genetic nutritional needs. A common misconception is that we all should be eating a wide variety of food in moderation. Think about it, if you lived an area significantly North of the equator you would have never seen a grapefruit, orange, pineapple, kiwi or many other foods that we are told to consume on a regular basis and year round. This individual probably would have seen fruit such as apples, pears, and some berries but this would have also been seasonal with only a small opportunity for consumption. The same would be true for an individual that has a genetic heritage near the equator. This person would have thrived on tropical fruit, vegetation, low fat warm water fish and seafood and low fat meats. Put this person on a high fat, high protein diet and this could prove disastrous. Another common misconception is that we need to eat many small meals per day. I can say from my years of nutritional work with thousands of clients that this simply is not true. If you are consuming the plan that is right for your bio-chemical needs then you will more than likely enjoy high core energy physically, mentally and emotionally on no more than three balanced meals. (Note: If you have deep adrenal issues, snacking may still be needed.) Ultimately, if you are consuming the foods that are right for you bio-chemically speaking, you would require much less food while enjoying higher levels of energy as mentioned above. Most often this is tied into your body’s ability to convert food and nutrients into energy. When you are converting properly, you have the opportunity to create a high energy output with very little food but when you are not converting properly, you can consume larger quantities of food with very low energy production. Ultimately this would lead to food cravings and specifically sugar or caffeine cravings, which of course leads to further weight challenges. Consuming the nutritional plan that is right for your bio-chemical individuality would allow your body to optimize the food you consume by providing your body with the ability to enjoy the highest energy production. This combination allows your body to shift to its normal healthy weight that is right for you individually. We have seen so many clients over the years reach their weight loss goals by focusing on the nutritional needs that are correct for them bio-chemically speaking. As a note, here at Depke Wellness we refer to this bio-chemical individuality as your Nutritional ID. So in the end, understand that based on our years of experience with thousands of clients, these are three absolutes for long term successful weight loss. Others who have lost weight successfully without this knowledge likely are not in a deep state of adrenal insufficiency, do not have significant food sensitivities and likely have stumbled upon or figured out their own bio-chemical needs for nutrition. to these individuals I simply say, congratulations! But for the rest of those still looking for that “holy grail” of healthy, long term weight loss, do not forget these three absolutes. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave these below for us to address personally.