At the start of every New Year, goals are set and resolutions are made to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, and to start new habits and routines. Within a short time most of these resolutions have been abandoned due to lack of results, or failure to stick with the new activity. While diet is important, what is metabolized and utilized is key. Without proper utilization of nutrients, weight does not come off, diet changes are ineffective, and you become disillusioned.
In order to metabolize the foods eaten, a working digestive system is essential. The pancreas makes enzymes that break down all carbohydrates into sugars. Carbohydrates are eaten in the form of breads, pasta, grains, cookies, candy, fruit and vegetables. As the body ages, the pancreatic output
of enzymes decreases by 12% each decade starting at age 30. By age 50 pancreatic enzyme production is down by 25%. This is one of the reasons why digestive issues start around age 30.
Enzymes are also present in the food we eat, if raw foods are eaten. Years ago, people ate a lot more raw foods than we do today. Whenever food is cooked or processed, the digestive enzymes are destroyed. Anyone eating a diet of mostly cooked or processed foods should take an enzyme/probiotic
supplement to aid digestion.
When a pregnant mother has digestive issues and doesn’t have enough enzymes and probiotics, she does not have enough to pass on to her baby. Today there are many young people with digestive issues, due to this factor. Without proper metabolism of foods eaten, there is poor utilization of nutrients,
and undigested food particles. These cause an allergic response. The lack of sufficient digestive enzymes is the reason many children and adults develop food allergies and sensitivities.
Any time antibiotics are taken, both good and bad bacteria are destroyed. This is the reason there are often digestive problems during or after antibiotic use. Probiotics are the good, live bacteria that coat and protect our digestive tract, which are destroyed by antibiotics. Probiotics assist pancreatic enzymes in breaking down the food we eat. This is why it is important to take an enzyme and probiotic supplement together, especially when there are digestive issues.
With the decrease in pancreatic production as we age, and the increased consumption of cooked foods, we simply do not have sufficient enzymes to break down the foods we eat. When food enters the stomach and there are an insufficient amount of enzymes to break it down, the stomach produces more acid to try to break down the food.
The excess acid production often results in heartburn or acid reflux. Taking the correct balance of digestive enzymes with probiotics, and drinking alkaline ionized, mineral rich water counteracts the acid, and for some people, just the water alone will actually make their symptoms go away completely.
Recent studies have shown that the majority of people who go to the gym on a daily basis are burning more protein and carbohydrates calories than they are fat. This is just the opposite of why they are going to the gym! Without proper digestion, exercise breaks down the muscle tissue in order to burn
the protein found in the muscle, and not the fat you want to burn in your body. This state is called catabolism.
Catabolism also occurs when the body is under stress, or in starvation mode. Under stress, the body produces the hormone cortisol, which triggers the body to break down muscle for fuel. When cortisol is present in the blood, the body also goes into fat storage mode, storing everything consumed as body fat, resulting in weight gain around the abdomen. Not only does poor digestion result in weight gain, so does not eating every 3-4 hours. Without fuel, the body goes into starvation mode, releasing cortisol.
Excessive cardio workouts or exercise routines are also the cause of unwanted cortisol production and catabolic muscle breakdown. You want to burn stored body fat, not muscles, for calories. Without this understanding, people give up their goals to lose weight and exercise.
To successfully burn fat you need a delicate balance in your routine. Make sure you have optimal digestive function, with the right amount of digestive enzymes and probiotics so that your body can easily lose weight by burning fat. Eating a diet rich in raw foods, alkaline fresh fruits and vegetables,
and eating frequently will aid with weight loss. Combining every area of fitness is what will enable you to reach your goals, along with consuming the proper nutrients from your foods and supplementation.
Learn more about nutrition, hormones and weight loss by attending any of these FREE public workshops: “A New Year A New You, Balancing Hormones Naturally”; or, “Eat Your Way Thin”.
Dr. Carol Ann Fischer B.S., D.C., N.D.