a larger version of the diagram can be found here
As you can see from Fat Loss Web, fat loss is a bit more involved than anything that can be read in a health magazine or diet blog, i.e. Long-distance running, incorporating sprint intervals after a weight training session, performing calorie-burning squats 3x a week, cutting carbs from the diet, increasing daily protein intake, drinking ice-water, or consuming metabolic-stimulants such as caffeine or ginseng. While these have all been promoted as fat-burning practices for some years now (and have worked in some cases), they aren’t necessarily the best approach.
The body wants to survive. What happens when it is in survival mode? Well, fat storage (amongst other processes) And the reasoning (for the sake of today’s post)? (from top left to right)
- Blood Sugar Imbalances
- Adrenal Dysfunction (Stress)
- Gut Dysfunction (Digestion)
- Thyroid Dysfunction (Metabolism, Digestion)
- Mind/Body Issues
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Cellular Dysfunction (Energy)
- Brain/Neurotransmitter Dysfunction
- Immune System Imbalance
- Liver Dysfunction (Detoxification)
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about taking fat storage into perspective as a positive occurrence (the body saying, “yo, I’m trying to keep you alive here!”) and this blog is to take that perspective one step further by listing some of the mechanisms that can encourage fat storage (and thus providing a perspective on fat loss)…
- Not eating enough calories to be alive: Breathe, think, drink/eat, digest/eliminate, move/exercise, and rest/sleep. The body needs enough energy to at least keep the lights on!
- Over-consuming intestinal-inflammatory foods such as grains (gluten, wheat, corn), beans/legumes (soy), polyunsaturated fats (omega -6′s), dehydrated foods (commercial flour, sugar, salt, meal/protein powders), or raw/uncooked above ground vegetables (a great debate, of course).
- Over-consuming a nutrient-void diet via refined, packaged, boxed, canned, artificially-made, or commercially-raised foods.
- Over-consumption of toxins vs. the body’s rate of detoxification via smoking, alcohol, plastic/canned food, skin-applicants (lotions, soaps, make-up, etc.) herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, or air-born toxins (gases, fumes, smoke, etc.).
- Dehydration and/or Over-hydration: Not consuming enough liquids or over-consuming water, which over-saturate cells and flush them of their vital nutrients.
- Not sleeping enough/irregular sleeping patterns: 7-8 hours/night and a bed time of 10-11pm to 6-7am are ideal for hormonal patterns.
- Over-training/over-exercising (this is co-dependent with rest/sleep) – Energy In vs. Energy Out vs. Energy Recovery.
- Avoiding carbohydrates (sugar) – The body’s primary fuel source are carbohydrates (which are broken down into sugar within the digest system). Avoiding or limiting carbohydrates can cause the body to burn muscle for energy.
- Avoiding fats (specifically saturated fat) – Dietary fats are required for many hormonal processes, tissue stability, vitamin absorption, and bodily functions.
- Personal unhappiness and a lack of self responsibility
A common theme? Stress.
Physical, dietary, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual stress. Every single dysfunction and mechanism listed above are stress reactions – symptoms to a greater cause.
What encourages stress? I will take a wild guess that you already have a good idea as to what is causing your stress. To those who have no clue: take some time to listen to yourself, become aware of your actions and reactions, take note, and reflect.