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I have a huge secret to share with you, and this information is something that 99.9% of people don’t’ know.
The magic weight loss formula that the media, medical community, and fitness professionals have been teaching for decades does not work for many people!I get extremely frustrated when I see “so called professionals” continue to lie to the general public by promoting the simple solution to weight loss as: eat less, avoid fat, and workout more.
At the most basic level this can help some people, but it is generally a very short term approach that does not end in a life changing transformation or a long term lifestyle shift.
The calories in and calories out formula may work in a lab, but it doesn’t work long-term for people who are metabolically broken from the stress and toxicity of life.
It is just not that simple!
Nearly every client that I see has already tried multiple approaches before they work with me. I am quite often the last resort after they have been down a long winding road of ridiculousness that did not work!
In today’s post, I am going to identify exactly why this formula may not be working for you and the key blocking factors that must be addressed in order for you to feel, look, and perform at your best!
Your workouts and nutrition are certainly at the foundation of your overall health and wellness plan. However, today I am going to identify the other important pieces that you have likely been overlooking and that may be blocking the results that you desire.
In reality, your nutrition and workouts can actually be synergistic or antagonistic towards these blocking factors, which could actually make the blocking factors even worse and be moving you in the wrong direction.
For example, you could be eating foods that are “healthy” but you may have a food sensitivity or intolerance to them and you are actually pouring gasoline on the fire without even knowing it. This could be causing worse inflammation, gut health issues, and further suppressing proper hormonal output.
You may also be doing the complete wrong type of workouts for your current situation, which could be wreaking havoc on your endocrine system and actually causing you to gain weight and feel worse!
However, today I want to focus on several pieces of the puzzle that are outside the scope of nutrition and fitness.
In future posts I will dissect these topics in more detail, but today I am just going to identify them for you and touch on high level pieces to help you understand why they are important.
In general, a person with great hormonal function can seem to eat anything that they want and still not gain weight, where as a person with poor hormonal function can be on a strict diet and exercise regularly and never significantly change their body composition.
If your hormones are not functioning properly you will not feel, look, and perform your best. Understanding the basics of hormonal function and learning how to create optimal hormonal function will drastically outperform calorie counting and allow you to eat more food while increasing your energy and getting leaner.
Sleep is required for the optimal production of your hormones and neurotransmitters. Hormones and neurotransmitters are literally at the very center of nearly every function in our body that control how you feel, look, and perform.
If you are not sleeping well, there is no possible way to achieve optimal wellness and get as lean as your desire. You need to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night to heal your body and create an environment for optimal hormonal function.
Therefore, you are creating huge amounts of stress on your body when you are overtraining, not sleeping enough, your organs of elimination are taxed from chemicals, your digestion is poor, and you have low grade chronic infections.
Stress can be very hard to manage and it is very often overlooked, but it is probably the first place that all of us need to focus on with our quest for optimal health and wellness.
Most of us have an over taxed liver that is not able to do its job. Taxing your liver is like vacuuming carpet when the vacuum bag is full and the vacuum keeps spitting back dirt into the air and back onto the carpet. The vacuum will not work and will actually make things worse until you change the bag and fix the vacuum.
Most of us are being exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals per day and we don’t even know it. There are many toxic chemicals in commercially grown or processed food, cleaning products, beauty and personal hygiene products, medications, and many other environmental factors that are too broad to get into.
The bottom line is that we are abusing our organs of elimination, causing huge stress to our body, and this process is causing many people to gain weight and become very sick!
The more people that I work with, the more I believe that poor detoxification is one of the root causes of weight gain and many other unwanted symptoms.
This topic is extremely extensive, and there is no way that I can illustrate the magnitude of gut health in a few sentences. However, it is important to understand that over 70% of your immune system is in your GI Tract. Additionally, the vast majority of your neurotransmitter receptor sites are also in your gut.
New science is confirming that Gut Flora (your own good bacteria) plays a huge role in many diseases and can also be linked to obesity.
A popular wellness phrase is “you are what you eat”, but in reality you actually are what you absorb. If you have an inflamed GI Tract and other digestive issues, you are not absorbing the food that you are eating and you will likely have nutrient deficiencies no matter how great your diet is.
Millions of people throughout the world suffer from leaky gut syndrome or gut permeability and this can lead to very serious auto-immune responses in the body and eventually disease.
If you do not have a healthy GI Tract, you will not be able to feel, look, and perform your best, and this may be blocking you from getting the results that you deserve.
These infections could be bacterial or viral based, or they could be even harder to diagnose invaders such as fungal, yeast, and parasite infections.
The traditional medical community is not well versed on these infections and traditional lab work will not pick them up. A functional medicine doctor will likely run more detailed lab tests and a stool analysis that could detect something. However, most functional medicine doctors will treat you off of your symptoms and not just lab testing.
I recently took a course from world renowned holistic health practitioner, Paul Chek, and he shared two alarming facts that are very noteworthy on this topic:
-Based on his clinical experience and research, he believes that up to 90% of the world population has a fungal, yeast, or parasite infection in their body.
-There are at least 200 different parasite infections that are known in modern medicine and even good labs generally only test for about twelve of them.
Most functional medicine practitioners will agree that these chronic low grade infections have the ability to turn into much more serious problems and eventually diseases. Therefore, if you have the symptoms, it may make sense to go on an anti-fungal diet and use an herbal protocol to see if you can improve or lesson symptoms. I have personally done this multiple times, and it has been very helpful!
Each one of these six categories can greatly effect your overall health, how you feel on a daily basis, and your ability to lose weight or look your best.
Through my own health challenges and through working with hundreds of people, I continue to see these blocking factors overlooked on a regular basis.
I want you to understand that weight loss and overall wellness are not just a simple function of working out and cutting calories. If you are struggling to get the results that you desire, there is a very good likelihood that one or more of these factors are holding you back.Through appropriate diet, lifestyle, and supplementation adjustments many of these factors can be greatly improved and you can reach your health and wellness goals by getting to the root cause of the problem and not just masking the symptom with a pharmaceutical drug.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.
I will be launching the next session of my group coaching program, The Paleo Transition, on January 5, 2014. This program will also come with a bonus six week online challenge that includes weekly guest expert presentations on all of these topics.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical practitioner and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your Physician prior to taking any dietary supplements, working out, making lifestyle changes, and changing your diet. The information that I share is strictly educational and information that has helped me personally. This information is not intended to treat, prevent, cure, or diagnosis any symptom, disease, or ailment. The information that I share with you shall not take the place of any medical practitioner and should all be overseen and discussed with any and all medical professionals that you are under the supervision of.
Terry Shanahan is a functional nutrition and performance consultant, blogger, and online diet and fitness coach. His client list includes world champions, NBA and NFL stars, and Olympic medalists. Terry also helps individuals who are suffering from chronic health issues including autoimmune, endocrine, inflammatory, and digestive disorders, as well as those who simply want to improve their quality of life, health, and physical appearance.