There are pills, programs and prepackaged "foods" to help us lose weight, complements of the billion-dollar weight loss industry. Most of these options target fat-burning as the key to weight loss. But weight is not just fat. In fact, there are three other big contributors to being overweight: water, undigested food and emotional weight.
THE FATS WE KNOW
Fat can be stored energy (ie, calories) we're not burning because of a sedentary lifestyle or too high a caloric intake for what we realistically need. It can also form in the body from incompletely digested fats when we're overdoing the wrong food choices or when the liver / gall bladder isn't working up to par.
Generally, we know what not to eat. But we may not know that cooking with a microwave – besides upping the carcinogens in food – also increases the bad cholesterol content. These are all simple problems to remedy: Eat less, move more, choose fresh foods and unplug the microwave.
Including fat-burning foods in our diet, such as grapefruits and pomegranates, are helpful, as are selecting more of the sour, bitter and pungent foods, rather than the salty and sweet foods.
For men, weight loss means essentially more physical activity, because men store weight differently than women. Male fat storage is genetically programmed to store more superficially and be more readily available for acting to "protect the tribe." Women's fat, on the other hand, is nested more deeply and intricately between tissues so that mothers have a steadier supply of energy for tending offspring. This genetic difference means that it takes longer for women to lose excess weight than men.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Fat on the body is usually firm, whereas water weight is softer and jiggly. The body can hoard water for at least these four reasons: It's not getting hydrated regularly enough; the kidneys are not working up to par; we're eating the wrong kind of salt, which most of us do and we need to change that; or, the water is holding onto subconscious emotions that we haven't resolved (see below).
Why change our salt? If your salt pours smoothly, it has been high-heated. This process binds the sodium and chloride molecules together for a non-clumping pour. But these minerals are supposed to separate in the stomach and be used for various purposes. Bound together, when they enter the digestive tract and bloodstream, they become an irritant. The body's natural defense against irritation (and inflammation) is to surround the culprit with fluid to protect other cells. Hence, water weight.
So switch to a nice sea salt that clumps and sticks together and avoid processed foods, which are loaded with it. I highly recommend celtic sea salt or an unprocessed salts from the ocean. Also, eat foods that act as a diuretic: watermelon, cucumber and cranberry, whole or juiced. And remember good ole water, nature's preferred flusher and hydrator, surpassed only in health benefits by coconut water.
This has got to be the yuckiest category of body weight. It has been estimated that, by our mid-30's, most people are carrying at least 5 – 10 pounds of undigested food, caked in the small and large intestines. On autopsy, the large intestine of John Wayne was over 40 lbs. and Elvis' colon weighed in at over 60 lbs. Not healthy.
This weight shows as a bulging gut. It's not beer. It's old food, fecal material and the water that tries to insulate the rest of the body from the bacterial pockets festering inside us. The saying, "Death begins in the colon" revers how serious it can be for a body to carry this kind of weight over the years.
A great fallacy in our thinking is that intestinal detoxification can be done effectively in a short period of time. Not true. It's wise – in fact, necessary – to embark on a lifestyle overhaul of what we eat and include periodic colon cleansing, done gradually and safely over time.
Innumerable health complaints seem to lessen or disappear with cleansing and detoxification. Weight loss is one benefit, but a lighter toxic burden in the system is accompanied by fewer and fewer symptoms from such ailments as arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, allergies, low back pain and a host of other complaints.
I use Oxy-Powder, which liquefies fecal matter impacted in the colon lining and flushes pockets of gas and mucous that contribute to bloating and bacterial growth. Because oxygen is the main active ingredient, the entire system is made healthier. Doing a few 10-day sessions of this supplement every year for a few years yields many years of health and vitality in the long run.
MENTAL and EMOTIONAL WEIGHT
Weight gain can happen because of hormonal changes (such as, pregnancy / child birth, or the slowing down of thyroid function over time), stress, illness, depression, poor food choices and inactivity, to name the most common. Weight gain persists for quite different reasons. While apathy or depression or stress may be operative, other powerful subconscious influences may be at work:
Fat as an insulator to protect self from others,
Fat as a reflection of a personality that is "too heavy" and needs to lighten up,
Fat as a projection of authority issues, as in "throwing your weight around",
Fat as proof of unworthiness, low self-esteem,
Fat as a cry for help, to be noticed, to be a "big person",
Fat as a punishment or rebellion against another,
Fat as a sign of loyalty to an overweight family or group,
Fat as an indicator of something you are holding on to,
… to name some of the most common underlying emotional reasons.
When subconscious motivators can be honestly confronted, we have a better chance – perhaps the only real chance – of losing the excess weight that threatens our health physically, mentally and emotionally.