This post appeared here for Paleo on the Go
Day to day, a little ‘bad’ food won’t send most healthy people to the hospital. However, over time the more the body is taxed by external toxins, the more difficult it becomes to recover and function optimally. Your system just stops working as well as it should – fatigue sets in, hair and skin may look dull, sleep suffers and it becomes difficult to lose weight. Or the worse case scenario, you just seem to be putting it on despite your best efforts. You don’t feel or look your best. So, what gives?
WHERE DOES WEIGHT GO WHEN I LOSE IT?
First let’s consider where weight goes when we lose it. Trust me. It’s got a lot to do with why we gain weight! We talk a lot about dieting to restrict calories and “burning off” fat. However, converting fat into energy is a violation of the law of conservation of mass. People may even think, perhaps the fat is somehow excreted or even converted to muscle. Or perhaps we never lose our fat cells (adipose) once we gain them…they just shrink if you work it off? What’s truly the right answer (which matters because it’s the reason we gain weight!)?
The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. Yup, it goes up in thin air. Excess carbs and proteins are converted into chemical compounds called triglycerides (which consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) and then stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells. To lose weight, you’re attempting to metabolize those triglycerides, and that means unlocking the carbon that’s stored in your fat cells. Losing 10 kilograms of human fat requires the inhalation of 29 kilograms of oxygen, producing 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water. That’s the metabolic fate of fat.
SO IT TURNS OUT THAT MAYBE BREATHING A LOT IS THE KEY!
Which brings us to what makes us gain weight? And yup, you know it’s going to be about breathing a lot, or rather, not enough, and all the way down to the level of the cell. The truth is, we gain weight because we’re cellularly sedentary: just like not exercising, we’re not letting our cells breath or be used as they should. Our weight then is not a problem, rather our body’s solution to something going amiss at the level of the cell, a lot of cells.
We are all organisms, made up of organ systems, composed of organs. Our organs are a collection of tissues combined from cells (who basic building block are the nutrients we eat). Nutrient deficiency leads to cellular inefficiency, which follows onto organ inefficiency. From here, our body’s natural, 24-hour detox is impaired (where our cells are so fatigued that repair and rebuilding capacity is reduced), further organ impairment results in an inability to repair and rebuild (degeneration), leading to organ/system dysfunction, subclinical (meaning without pain) symptoms and eventually disease ‘happens’. This is often all we see, as symptoms, and all we treat but as you can see it’s not even the tip of the iceberg of what’s really wrong. We are only as healthy as our cells, and their basic building blocks are the nutrients we feed them in the right proportions, specific to each individual body.
TWO THINGS THAT OFTEN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN EXPLAINED:
Post pregnancy – is all about hormones, but mainly oxytocin, the love hormone, and a flood of it. Hormones are great if they’re made well, used efficiently and removed after use. However, if the liver cannot get rid of excess used hormones, because it’s overloaded with excess sugar removal or one of the other 500 tasks it does, then those hormones, specialized cells, need to be stored somewhere until they can be and that’s usually as adipose tissue (fat).
Beer belly – beer is at its simplest, super refined sugar and wheat (or other grains). Both of these are pretty much toxins, requiring more nutrients to remove than they give our body for energy and can lead to leaky gut. Leaky gut is a widening of the cells of the stomach wall allowing bigger undigested food particles thru to the blood causing an immune reaction. The reason the cell gap widens is that your body needs nutrition no matter what you give it and these hard to digest foods are simply pulled thru no matter the gap size! Inflammation, bloating and a host of other issues ensue, as well as weight gain.
TWO THINGS YOU COULD DO TO IMPROVE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS:
Digest optimally. We can have all the best intentions eating the very best food but unless you can digest it it’s just going to remain good, undigested intentions. But digestion is surely something that just happens right? The truth is that most of us eat on the run or stressed and digestion requires an unstressed state metabolically to function. Next most of us are chronically dehydrated and we need water for digestion, especially for the digestion of carbs.
Balance it. The truth is you know your body better than anyone and recognizing that food has immediate and lasting effects on your energy and mood is so important. It can help you make the best nutrition choices for your body. Nothing is good or bad just in or out of balance. We’re realizing more and more how much too much sugar for instance affects us, but likewise other toxins, and sugar, cost your body nutrients that should be going to other cells for health! Your choices in what and how you eat three times a day could well be the simplest key to your health (and weight maintenance) right the way to level of each cell getting the nutrients it needs to breath right and make energy.
WHAT’S THE ANSWER TO WEIGHT GAIN?
So what makes us gain weight? Well if anyone tells you there’s one diet or one reason they’re either misguided or selling something or both. Our weight is not a problem, rather our body’s solution, a highly individualized response by cells so fatigued that repair and rebuilding capacity is reduced to sluggishness and storage for later. You can see the answer is really highly individual: what and how we eat and digest and absorb to the level of the cell. The way to weight maintenance – loss or gain – is through balancing the foundation for your health from the inside, to the level of the cell. Honestly, that starts with food, with Paleo real food values.