Hurting you, maybe your family or friends? The misconceptions and what everyone should know.
We are certain that every one of you knows someone who is obese, but many do not know or understand the real reason behind this growing trend. Obesity is a largely misunderstood condition that is many times as much the symptom of a problem as it is the problem itself. We at Rejuvenation view it as a physical manifestation of any number of issues within the body.
In order to understand this problem fully, we need to first recognize there exists three types of fat: Structural, Reserve and Excess. Structural Fat is very important because it acts as padding on your bones (bottoms of your feet) and filler for sensitive areas within the body such as around organs. Reserve fat is the extra fuel supply that the body utilizes throughout the day whenever blood nutrient levels fall below a certain level or your body needs energy. Both of these fats are highly beneficial and essential to a healthy life. Finally, excess stored fat accumulates in undesired areas such as the stomach, hips, thighs, arms and buttocks. This fat is unhealthy and often thought to be unattractive. Furthermore, stored within it are many toxins that have accumulated through exposure to environmental pollutants, food additives, unfiltered water, personal care products, etc. This fat is very hard to release because it is not readily available for use by the body. When people restrict calories, they first use reserve fat, then the body turns to structural fat before finally using the excess. This is why people who pursue this unhealthy lifestyle typically look gaunt, lacking necessary “padding” around their ribs and cheek bones.
The diet pill industry is booming because so many people want a quick, inexpensive, no-work-needed fix. The only problem is many of them contain ingredients like ephedrine, caffeine, taurine, guarana, country mallow (or heartleaf) and bitter orange. They may temporarily increase your “metabolism” and curb hunger, but it will not last. These pills stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, giving the body energy. This shifts caloric intake vs. calories burned and allows the body to lose weight, however, constant use of these pills depletes the adrenal glands which has been linked to anxiety, rapid heart rate, irritability, elevated blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, heart rhythm abnormalities and poor interactions with other medications. Furthermore, they create dependency and fail to address the real problem behind the obesity. All this trouble for something that isn’t even going to fix the problem! Similarly, people undergo invasive procedures or take prescription medication to combat the obesity specifically, but they ultimately fail because they are treating the symptom not the true problem. Not only are these methods often ineffective, but there are numerous side effects, not the least of which is death.
When individuals encounter an overweight or obese person, they often assume that the person overeats because they are lazy, lack self control and need more exercise. In response to this stigma, Obesity in America replies, “It is important to remember that obesity is not always a behavioral issue.” For example, “hormone disorders – such as those related to the thyroid, adrenal glands, pituitary glands, and ovaries” can be an underlying factor.
Rarely do we, as a society, side compassionately with the overweight individual. We all know people who overeat, but it is important to figure out what is causing them to do so. Most of us also know someone who eats well and works out, yet cannot seem to shed extra weight. Do these describe your spouse, your child, brother, sister, aunt, neighbor? At the Rejuvenation Institute of Natural Health, we believe it is important to take an in depth look at each person and try to figure out what is happening to cause this issue.
Below is a list of common factors in America’s overweight population.
Hypothyroid: An underactive thyroid often contributes to a low metabolic rate, causing weight gain and fatigue. Other signs of hypothyroidism could be cold hands and feet, low body temperature and even thinning hair. Does any of this sound like you? This often goes undiagnosed and few understand the underlying causes for it.
Overeating: Overeaters usually consume large amounts of food at one sitting, eating when not hungry, for entertainment or emotional comfort. Overeaters often spend an excessive amount of time thinking about food and planning their next meals in their minds. This, of course, is the most obvious contributor to obesity.
Poor Food Choices: This is where it gets tricky, as most Americans do not fully understand what a poor food choice truly is. For starters processed, modified and denatured foods are a major culprit of obesity in America. Fast food is most notorious for these, but you can also find them at your local restaurant or grocery store. One of our missions is to provide education regarding this very topic through our newsletter and library.
Food Additives: How often do you eat foods with: high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, monosodium glutamate (msg), aspartame, artificial colors etc. If you can’t pronounce it it’s probably a poor choice. For a full list, check out Food Additives to Avoid.
Stress: Stress is a double edged sword because it can cause weight gain (from adrenal fatique) as well as emotional eating, not to mention contributing to insomnia and an entire host of other diseases. Adrenal depletion not only causes weight gain around the middle but also can have a cascading effect resulting in many more serious problems in the body. If you are overly stressed, treating it will be a great step in the right direction. Try designating 20 – 30 minutes per day for personal time. Exercise, reflection, sleep and consistent effort to think positively can work as well. There are many ways to deal with stress, just do your research and find one that works for you. Next time you need an uplifting break, sit back, take a deep breath, relax and if you like, check out the Inspirational section of our library.
Hormones: Imbalanced hormone levels are a major contributor to weight gain. Imbalances of estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and thyroid hormones, can cause excessive fat storage.
Digestive Imbalances: Every cell in the body is fed off of our intestinal track. It is imperative for this to be healthy and functioning optimally. Everything from stress to denatured foods to antibiotics and chemicals in our food supply sabotage this process and delicate balance. If we are not absorbing what we eat then even when we are eating well, we will not be getting the nutrition needed for a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Candida: Candida is a fungus in the body which can contribute to sugar cravings, ultimately affecting an individual’s weight. This condition also causes constipation, fatigue, mood swings and depression. Greatly reducing or eliminating sugars from the diet is the quickest way to reduce candida growth in the intestines, however in many cases it will take a bit more work.
Sugars: While this cause of obesity may seem behavioral, it is often a lack of information rather than conscious decision. Dr. Richard J. Johnson has been studying the relationships of sugar to obesity for many years and has found it to be a major contributor. The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year, which is a 50 fold increase over the 4 pounds per year European-American Societies consumed in 1700! He reveals that this is primarily due to the appearance and often high concentration of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose (table sugar) in astronomical amounts of food.
Why are these issues affecting us more than ever? It’s because much of our food is piled high with chemical additives and sugars while being robbed of its nutrients thanks to commercial farming techniques. Our drinking water is purified with chlorine, a known thyroid toxin, infused with fluoride, also a toxin, and has “trace” amounts of any number of prescription drug residues. The lotions and creams that we rub on our largest organ (our skin!) are filled with potentially toxic chemicals. We put mercury in our children’s mouths for tooth fillings, and the list goes on. It is because of all these things that we ask you to please pay attention to what you put in and on your body. You will find that there are many good products out there if you educate yourself and keep your eyes open. A good place to start is our article on Food Additives to Avoid.
The Rejuvenation Institute of Natural Health