Challenging the Calorie Counting Craze
Do You Buy Into Calories In/Calories Out?
How often does someone claim that weight loss has everything to do with "calories in, calories out"? How often do we discover that this simply isn't the truth? If it were, wouldn't it be easy to keep seeing the results of that on our waistlines, and wouldn't cravings simply be a thing of the past? Wouldn't whole health be achieved once and for all? It would appear we have more to consider. This is the time of the year that multitudes of us are facing the challenges of holiday weight gain as well as the lingering confusion as to how to deal with weight issues in general. The ever-elusive answers to the ever-present questions will be discussed in this article.
Metabolic Typing® and Uncovering Your Individuality
The first, and most important consideration, is Metabolic Typing®. Eating for your Metabolic Type® means that you have been considered for your biochemical individuality. It also means that you aren't restricting yourself and counting calories, but rather developing a special awareness and respect of your own feelings and appetite. It means that you are not only providing yourself with the best path for attaining and maintaining your optimal weight, but also that you are providing the most solid foundation possible for long-term whole health. Disease prevention, proper detoxification, preventing activation of genetic mutations, optimizing energy and developing greater intuition about your body are just a few of the incredible results from the practice with individualized nutrition. Without it, we are likely to experience a continuous spin-out of efforts fueled by fad diets and stabbing in the dark for what is right for us.
With Metabolic Typing®, we are using a scientific approach to the effects certain foods will have on your body In this system of training and professional development, we are blessed with scientists who have dedicated themselves to a very extensive study of all the major food disciplines. Vast amounts of information about the effects of foods upon the body are then mapped alongside systems of dominance which control nutrient metabolism. When your body is typed, we learn through a complex algorithm how you process foods. Then, we can begin to work with a plan which is customized for your dominant system and your metabolic rate. Through fine-tuning this plan for your individuality, you can begin to achieve your desired results. For most of us, if we've participated in a lot of "dead food" consumption over the holidays (meaning it isn't alive - it's cooked, it's processed, it never came from a live food source), not only is weight loss an issue, but so is energy production. Tiredness reigns. Mood swings abound. Joints ache. And the list goes on.
Cravings and More Cravings
Another very common outcropping of unhealthy holiday eating is the never-ending cycle of eating and craving the wrong foods....if only we were "strong" enough, we tell ourselves, to stop it. If only our "willpower" were greater. While our mental "set" may be a problem, more often than not, the truth is that our bodies are simply responding to being out of balance by producing cravings and trying to correct a problem with the quickest fix for immediate energy - sugar and simple carbohydrates. When we eat foods that are nutritionally deplete, the body struggles for adequate energy to complete its multitude of tasks. Typically, also, there will be blood sugar deregulation...the endless ups and downs of glucose and insulin will produce tiredness and demands for more stimulus to keep things going.
The only way to stop this vicious cycle is to eat your foods in proper proportion for your own Metabolic Type®. Each type has specific and inherent metabolic requirements. Your body wants to be healthy, it wants to have the right balance of right foods for how it works as a unique, individual unit. If it's craving something unhealthy, it is doing so out of a state of dis-ease, not health. As William Wolcott states, "The truth is, there's only one way to achieve lasting weight loss, and that is within the context of building health." Virtually every single client who has committed to the path of eating according to their Metabolic Type® has reported a loss of food cravings within days to weeks. Even when there could be other stress factors to address more deeply, the good news of that is that the body is already responding with better, longer-lasting energy.. Let's talk about a couple of those factors....
The Body/Mind Connection
Every body requires its own balance of macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates). Additionally, every body requires a different balance of micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), and to either under-consume or over-consume those nutrients can contribute to imbalances in mood and stability Any physical or mental pattern that has been repeated either consistently or intensively is going to make an "imprint" on the brain and nervous system, thus bringing the potential for habitual behavior. Within the context of food habits, having inadequate nutrition both on the macro and micronutrient levels, we are vulnerable to imbalances in proper neurotransmission and corresponding behavior. Obsessive/compulsive patterns, depression, and anxiety can set in and become the forces which "drive" our eating habits. Of course, they drive more than that - they drive our visions of ourselves and mistakenly create ideas of "who" we believe we are. This definitely is not who you are! It is a manifestation of poor health, and a red flag from your mind/body system to return to, or finally discover, homeostasis. William Walsh, PhD, has dedicated his life to the understanding of the brain and nutritional deficiencies. Solutions are available, and I support inquiry into these areas if a person struggles more specifically with challenging emotions and thought patterns.
Exercise, Fat, and Happiness
There is little debate that over-eating, even if one is eating the right foods, will produce excess weight in the form of fat storage. (The likelihood of experiencing over-eating is greatly reduced by consuming nutrient-dense foods in the right ratios for your needs.) The importance of maintaining a fit body cannot be denied, and fitness, just like nutrition, is all about what you need. There are benefits to different forms of exercise for different Metabolic Types®. One person's fitness is not another's, but the bottom line for all of us is to produce healthy muscle tissue which will burn more stored fat in the body than fatty tissues will. Wolcott tells us, "Even though all the cells and tissues in your body use fat for energy, your muscles, which are always contracting and moving, require significantly greater amounts of energy than other tissues. They're 'energy hogs' due to the active and strenuous nature of the work they perform." In spite of this importance, let's remember that a small amount of fat on the body is actually, statistically, more associated with health and longevity than is a skinny waistline. Heavy body fat, on the other hand, has been correlated in numerous studies with risks such as excess cortisol production, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Exercise is, of course, critical for oxygenating the body. Good oxygenation is necessary for healthy circulation and cardiovascular function. Then, there are the awesome benefits of increases in the "happy hormones" such as dopamine and serotonin which are released during healthy exercise. Let's not forget the glowing effects on the skin from healthy sweating and breathing.
Fitness, of course, is not only about cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and weight. One of its primary characteristics should be the ability to adapt in times of stress. Tonifying the nervous system and learning to relax are paramount in the fitness equation. The impact upon our hormones and glandular functions as we move the body and practice presence is significant...bringing peace to the mind/body and regulating adrenal activity in the process can be achieved through any exercise program, as long as we are focused on the intent of being present.
Detoxification is a 'Must' for Weight Loss
Detoxification is one of the most important tasks in your body, especially as we add more toxins to the environmental load over time. Our bodies were not designed to handle such extreme amounts of toxicity, and are consistently taxed to find enough energy to keep up. Your body produces ATP from food metabolism, and that ATP must be distributed across the trillions of cells in your body working to perform their functions. If nutrition is inappropriate or inadequate for your needs, there will be energy deficits. When detoxification is impaired and/or inadequate, toxic overload becomes a concern. Intuitively, your body will ask for more food to produce more energy. Also intuitively, your body will store more of your food as fat to protect your precious organs and nervous system from toxic damage. In clinical practice, it is always a high priority to locate and resolve toxic burdens in the body in order to optimize weight and energy levels.
What Matters Most is Your Health
Let us always keep in mind that we are seeking health first. With good health and optimal nutrition, weight issues are most likely to gently and naturally resolve on their own. When we eat by Metabolic Type® and we are providing the correct amounts of the fuels our bodies need, we are much more likely to experience satiety and we are much more likely to have greater intuition on what to eat, when, and how much. This is the metabolic way!