“Weight loss is not rocket science! All you have to do is take in less calories than you burn and the weight will come off!”
It’s amazing to me that we live in the 21st Century and our knowledge about weight loss and nutrition continues to grow, yet the conventional wisdom as stated above is still being touted as doctrine.
But is weight loss really that simple? Is it really all about calories in vs. calories out, or is there a hidden X-factor that has a larger say in the matter that nobody seems to be talking about?
Uncovering the X-Factor of Weight Loss
I want you to take a quick ride with me in my new designed time machine.
We are going to travel back in time about 15,000 years ago when we humanoids were still hunter-gatherers and living off the land.
Are you ready for this? 😉
As you step outside of the time capsule you are greeted by a tribe of people that take you in as one of their own.
The sun is setting and as you gather around the fire you notice that there are about 30 men, women and children varying in age from mid 70’s all the way down to 7.
The most striking thing that you observe is that none of them are carrying any excess weight on their body. In fact they all appear to be healthy, vibrant, and strong including those in their 70’s. It’s a striking contrast to what you are used to seeing in 21st Century America.
Intrigued you ask yourself, “why are these people so much more healthy?”
Your question quickly gets answered when you notice their eating patterns. Over the fire is a wild bore that was killed earlier that day. You also notice a few tubers be cooked alongside the bore.
As you continue your journey with your hunter-gatherer friends you quickly notice a very common nutrition theme. You notice that everything that they put into their mouths comes from a REAL food source be it an animal or a plant.
A week passes with the tribe and now it is time to hop back into your time machine and come back to the present day. As you return your belly growls as you hop into your car and head to the grocery store. There you quickly realize just how much time and history has changed human nutrition.
Instead of food that comes from a live animal or a plant you observe food that comes from a can, a package, or a plastic container that has an ingredient list that looks like it came from a chemical laboratory…largely because it did.
You observe kids drinking soda pop, adults slamming their highly sugared latte’s, and busy business men and women scarfing down a quick bagel before they get to work.
With a twinge of sadness you realize that we have forgotten our roots. You observe obesity and preventable disease and you notice that nobody seems to be concerned because it has become the “norm”.
The Smoking Gun of Inflammation
So what is the key difference from the foods that we used to eat thousands of years ago versus the foods that we eat now?
Well the obvious answer is that the foods that we consume now are highly processed and resemble little to nothing of the foods that come from the earth and are intended for our body.
But there is something more subtle going on in our bodies when we continually consume these highly processed foods, and in truth it’s the X-factor that is PREVENTING US FROM LOSING WEIGHT.
The X-factor that I speak of is INFLAMMATION!
Yes, you heard that right my friend.
Inflammation is the key difference maker that will determine how much weight you lose, how healthy your metabolism is and whether or not you are healthy in general.
In fact if you want to take it one step further, inflammation is the key determinant and root cause of just about every modern day chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, blood lipid problems and even cancer.
So let’s make this super simple shall we….
Because processed food is a lie.
Yes a lie.
It’s a lie in the fact that it is NOT real food that comes from the earth and is intended for your body.
In fact its quite the opposite. Even though you may walk into a grocery store and see all the “normal” foods on the shelf sitting neatly in a package, those foods are completely foreign to your bodies natural biochemistry and when eaten in excess leads to systemic (whole body) low-level inflammation.
Destroying The Fortress Of Your Gut
Perhaps the biggest consequence of consuming highly processed foods is the toll that they place on your delicate gut lining.
Gut lining? Why would that be important to weight loss you ask?
Long story short, when highly processed foods interact with your gut lining (which was made to interact with REAL foods, not fake ones) it begins to erode your one-cell thick gut lining away.
This gut erosion eventually leads to a nasty little condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome which allows food particles and toxins to escape into your blood stream where they do not belong.
When this happens your immune system reacts to these stray food particles and toxins with an INFLAMMATIORY RESPONSE. This inflammation messes with your body and your metabolism that is very contradictory to your weight loss efforts.
Here is a very small list of consequences from Leaky Gut Syndrome:
-Lowered metabolic efficiency which means blunts your metabolism and makes weight loss very difficult
-Altered hormonal profile which further adds to the weight loss problem
-Achy joints, fatigue, and mental problems
-Abuse of OTC anti-inflammatory meds that further damage your gut and lead to a viscous cycle
And if that list was not enough it also leads to discouragement, and greater determination to dig in your heals and try harder in the wrong direction. “Oh yeah, if this weight is not coming off then I will hit the treadmill twice as hard”!
Healing Your Gut Through Eating REAL Foods…
Although healing your gut is not as simple as switching from processed foods to whole/natural foods it is a really good place to start.
And that my friends is the take-away this article today.
If you can hop into your time machine every time you put something on your plate and ensure that the food that enters your mouth is real food you will go far in restoring your metabolic health and super-charging your metabolism in a way that will allow you to lose weight naturally and sustainably.
We tend to want a long list of bullet points and the latest hacks and shiny weight loss “tricks” that will put us on the cutting edge and ensure that we melt away the pounds in no time. But in reality we can’t ignore the simple fact that our bodies are not designed to eat the “common” foods that we are eating today.
It’s time to get back to basics and stop trying to reinvent the wheel. We are designed as omnivores and our bodies are STARVING for real plant and animal based foods that are minimally processed and in their whole form.
Yes it takes a commitment to eat a whole-foods based diet but your efforts will be worth it. Make the commitment today that will you not worship at the alter of convenience (eating processed foods) and give your body the real foods that is so desperately craves and desires.
Not only will you lose more weight but your health in general will improve tenfold and you will feel amazing.
Love the miracle that is your body.
Life is Good!
P.S. If you would like some professional help in learning how to incorporate more whole foods into your diet we would love to help! Here at Lifelong Fitness we help our clients with an intuitive model of eating that is based on your bodies unique needs. If you would like to learn more please visit us at www.llfit.com