This week is part 3 of our 4 -part series on obesity, or as Dr. Mark Hyman calls it, “Diabesity.” I covered the fact that the primary cause of obesity in our society today is insulin resistance and began a list of things you can do to cut down on your risk for diabestiy. The #1 item on that list, which I covered over the last 2 weeks, was to optimize nutrition through cutting back sugar in all of its forms. Remember that carbohydrates are sugars and the body uses them first for energy. However, if your cells have become insulin resistant, the carbs that enter your body cannot be processed properly and get stored as fat immediately. So now, instead of becoming energized by eating pasta, grains, starchy veggies and fruits, you become fat and sluggish instead.
The next 3 principles to the treatment and prevention of obesity or diabesity are:
1. Balance your hormones:
• Stop eating flour and sugar products, especially high-fructose corn syrup.
• Don’t drink liquid calories in juice and soda. Your body doesn’t feel full from them, so you eat more all day.
• Stop consuming all processed, trans and hydrogenated fats, junk, or packaged foods. If it doesn’t look like the food your great grandmother ate, stay away.
• Slow the rate of sugar uptake from the gut by balancing your meals with healthy protein(nuts, seeds, beans, small wild fish, organic chicken), healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocadoes, fish oil).
• Eat plenty of fiber (30 to 50 grams a day).
• Exercise improves your cells’ ability to work better, respond to insulin better, and burn sugar faster.
• Make your cells more efficient by increasing specific nutrients, such as chromium, vanadium, magnesium, vitamin E, biotin, the B vitamins, zinc, bioflavonoids, and some newer compounds including alpha lipoic acid, arginine, and carnitine.
• Herbs may also be of benefit. These include Panax ginseng, ginkgo biloba, green tea, fenugreek, gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, and garlic; under the direction of a medical professional.
Just balancing this one hormone — insulin — can have wide-ranging effects on all your other hormones and brain chemicals and is a great place to start on your path to vibrant health.
2. Cool off inflammation by fixing your digestion:
- Try an elimination diet for 4 weeks. Cut out the most common food allergens, including gluten, soy, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, eggs, corn, yeast, night shades (white potatoes, egg plant, bell peppers, and tomatoes) and peanuts.
- Eat a whole-foods, plant-based, high-fiber diet. This is essential to feed the good bugs in your gut and to provide the nutrients you need to functional optimally.
- Take probiotics daily to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut. Look for those that contain at least 25 billion CFU (colony forming units) of at least 4 different strains of healthy bacteria. Choose from reputable brands.
Within a very few short weeks — even if you do nothing else — you will see a dramatic difference that comes from cooling off inflammation by healing your gut.
3. Enhance detoxification and boost energy metabolism:
- Detoxify by getting rid of environmental and internal toxins. Ayurveda recommends you do a seasonal detox each quarter of the year.
Once you’ve done that, you need to boost your mitochondrial function and provide the mitochondria with the correct environment to thrive:
• Try interval training, which increases the efficiency and function of your mitochondria, and strength training, which increases the amount of muscle and the number of mitochondria.
• Take mitochondria-protective and energy-boosting nutrients such as acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, N-acetyl-cysteine, resveratrol, and magnesium aspartate, but only under the guidance of a medical professional familiar with these micronutrients.
• Increase your intake of omega-3 fats to help build your mitochondrial membranes.
Next week we will conclude our obesity blog series by talking about the last principle in weight loss and stress reduction which is calming your mind.