In the past 30 years, the ‘battle of the bulge’ has contributed to an increase every disease you can name including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. How is this possible when weight loss gurus like Richard Simmons and his blonde ‘fro’ and Jillian Michaels and her audacious abs make losing weight seem so easy? Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, ”And now…for the rest of the story.”
With the exception of the complaint of ‘fatigue’, without question the most common concern my patients have is their related to their body shape and size. Too much belly fat, too much arm ‘flab’, too much cellulite on the buttocks and thighs…all are common complaints, and they seem to be most frequently heard from the very patients who are doing all they can to lose weight, but it is not coming off. In fact, some have chosen to throw in the proverbial white towel seeking instead to simply surgically remove what refuses to come off. In fact, of the ten billion dollars spent annually on plastic surgery in the U.S., 1.2 billion is spent specifically on liposuction.
Calories in equaling calories out does not always empty your fat cells of fat! There are a vast number of other factors that are co-conspirators against us in our valiant attempts to lose weight. You can blame your genetics for about ten percent of your body shape and size, but the other 90 percent is affected by many other things including:
· Hormone imbalances
· Sleep deprivation
· Prescription drugs
· Chemicals and pesticides in food (including healthy stuff!)
· Food allergies
· Exposure to heavy metals (drinking water, foods, etc.)
· Toxic substances (caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners)
· Nutritional deficiencies
· Sedentary lifestyle
· Chronic infections (Candida, viruses, etc.)
· Unhealthy gastrointestinal tract (‘leaky gut’)
For instance, if your hormones are out of balance and you suffer from too much cortisol or too little estrogen, the fat cells in your abdominal area become fat magnets. Eating something to which you are potentially allergic can also contribute to weight gain by causing fluid retention, intestinal inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies. Many people do not realize they can even be intolerant to healthy food, not just French fries and chocolate.
In future writings, I will elaborate on these factors in more detail. For now, take solace in the fact that you are not crazy! If your fat cells cling to you like lint, there is always another reason. Stop doing the same failing things over and over again expecting different results. Einstein defined this as insanity, and your fat will permanently affix itself to your buttocks and belly if you don’t stop. Fad diets, questionably safe weight loss injections, potentially dangerous diet drugs, or other weight loss wolves in sheep’s clothing will continuously dangle carrots of enticement in front of you. From someone who used to top 200 pounds and tried every weight loss scheme out there only to promptly regain everything I lost plus some, there is much more to know about the obesity saga! More to come….
In Good Health,
Dr. Lena Edwards