The Science of Weight Loss

Calories in (energy consumed) vs. Calories out (energy burned) = Weight loss or Weight gain. This appears to be a straightforward formula in the scientific world, so why are there so many glitches?

Looking at the eating habits of our ancestors may give us some insight into why losing weight involves more than willpower and this formula. Forty-thousand or so years ago, our ancestors were hunter/gatherers. We’re living proof of their success, still sharing their basically unchanged DNA.

Our ancestors spent most of their time searching for food. Not knowing when they would eat again, they gorged themselves whenever they could. Their bodies stored excess calories as fat, and burned this fat for energy when food was scarce. This system worked for them but doesn’t work for many of us in today’s world. With food available twenty-four hours a day, it’s hard to restrict food intake; and even when calories are restricted, weight isn’t lost because our metabolism readjusts as it had for them. This is how our ancestors survived and is our DNA’s blueprint. So what has changed?

Our ancestors maintained weight as muscle mass for strength and used fat for energy. Now the average person’s weight is a combination muscle mass, excess fats, and retained fluids. And when fat becomes a storage place for toxins, it can’t be burned for energy.

With so many toxins in today’s world, losing weight and/or undesirable fat is extremely difficult. As a storage place for toxins, fat can’t be eliminated without dealing with the accumulated toxins. This is why a safe detoxification program should be at the foundation of every weight loss program. Obtaining adequate sleep, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments to assist the body and nervous system in working properly are also essential.

When starting any kind of exercise, always start with the stretches that are taught in the Essential Stretching workshop held monthly in our office. I also recommend a daily weight workout using free weights and the use of kettle bells to maintain and increase muscle mass. Activities that increase the heart rate should be sustained until you feel a slight burning sensation in the muscle at least three times per week. (Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.)

Detoxification programs usually revolve around lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide the fiber and antioxidants which help renew and rejuvenate the body while toxins are being eliminated. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a great habit but the ideal ratio of fruits to vegetables is one fruit to three vegetable servings. Excess fruit=excess sugar=trouble. We should all strive to eat seven to ten or more fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors each day since each color represents different antioxidant groups. However, in my travels across the country, I’ve only met one family that does this with fresh foods. But don’t get discouraged if you can’t, you can supplement in the missing groups with properly concentrated whole food nutrients obtained through supplementation and/or specially prepared nutritional drink mixes.

Luckily, I’ve found a few drink mixes that meet my strict criteria. One of my favorites is made with 24 different raw freeze-dried fruits and vegetables which provide 20,000 antioxidant units per servings. It tastes great and is reasonably priced. Obtaining a large variety of fruits and vegetables is ideal but difficult to maintain, which is why I suggest taking advantage of health conscious laboratories that make it easier to obtain the daily recommended servings. However, even the best mixes should not be a total replacement for this food group because we need the fiber from real fruits and vegetables to control the release of natural sugars and absorb the excess hormones that the body must filter out. Without fiber to bind and remove them, these hormones will be re-circulated.

Fruit and vegetable fibers are superior to grain fibers because we weren’t designed to eat grains. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors did not grow crops. Another problem with obtaining fiber from grain is that most of today’s grains are genetically modified. If you are getting your fruit and veggies through a drink mix, make sure the mix is made with wholesome ingredients and doesn’t contain unnatural additives and sugars.

Detoxification programs may also include recipes using foods outlined in the now popular Paleo diet, and specific types of fiber and herbs to assist the body in eliminating toxins. In addition to the more common nutritional detoxification programs, several other modalities can help with detoxification. In my office, we utilize the Erchonia ionic footbath, and a programmable PEMF unit. Both are helpful for increasing energy in the cells, detoxifying the body, and assisting with metabolism.

Many foods that promote weight gain are non-foods, including most types of sugars and foods that turn into sugar. Grains turn into sugars and become triglycerides (blood fats) which lead to the kind of belly fat that makes excess estrogen – which makes more belly fat. Corn sugars are probably most problematic because they steal minerals from the body.

Hunger is just one of the ways the body lets us know it needs something. If we want good health and not just basic survival, we must eat foods that provide more than just calories. We need to consume a wide variety of natural foods, healthy oils, specific vitamins, and mineral complexes each day for our optimal health. Don’t wait until you receive a diagnosis of a disease or start having problems to start making lifestyle changes. A weight loss program can be the beginning of a lifetime of healthy habits.

If you’re ready to embark upon a weight loss program and start on your journey towards optimal health, join me on January 19! And may you have a very happy and healthy New Year!!!

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About the writer: Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.

Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Certified Wellness Doctor with over 30 years of experience helping people become well and achieve optimal health.  With an extensive knowledge of the human body and a keen interest in applying new and advanced techniques, he is able to provide the finest care possible for each and every one of his patients! Visit his website to sign up for a free monthly newsletter, or call (734) 425-8220 to find out how you can start getting healthier!

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