It's the first of the New Year, and many are dreading that first doctor visit, where another year passes and your doctor claims that you must change your eating and exercise habits to lose weight. Many people are misguided into thinking weight loss is an easy endeavor and sign up for programs at gyms and wellness centers, which often result in frustration and self-blame.
The problem is that many of you do exercise and eat well, so how to explain what is happening? In this article, I hope to shed some light on the mystery of why diet and exercise don't always lead to weight loss, and that the reasons for weight gain can be complex. I'm fascinated by the fact that some environmental toxins have been proven to increase the number and size of fat cells.
Here are two hidden causes of obesity that are now backed by science but not well known at this time.
*Food allergies and intolerances make our body produce histamine, which increases sodium production and attracts water to the irritated tissues to dilute the allergens (toxins). The histamine response can make a person gain several pounds after eating an offending food, and many people lose water weight after problem foods are removed from their diet. Many become intolerant to various foods from eating them repetitively, as the body wears out it’s enzymes for digesting that particular food.
*Common medications can cause the body to retain water.
*Female hormone imbalances where estrogen is dominant cause water weight gain.
*Protein deficiency from a diet high in carbohydrates can cause water retention and bloat. Balanced dietary intake of protein has a positive effect on balancing fluid in the body. Proteins in the blood stream control water levels between and within cells, and also in the arteries and veins. With adequate protein intake the fluid is removed through the normal channel of the kidneys.
*These powerful toxins are called "Obesogens" which science has shown have the capability to reprogram human metabolism and increase the number and size of fat cells. These toxins are considered to be the equivalent of chemical calories as they inhibit fat burning and encourage cravings. Obesogens fall into the category of endocrine disruptors, which are responsible for affecting the hormones that control appetite, satiety, and food preferences.
*Obesogens can include pesticides, heavy metals, environmental phenols, fungicides, prescription drugs, plastics, and phthalates in personal care products. These toxins are and will continue to be part of our everyday life.
*Fetal and early life exposure to Obesogens can alter metabolism and fat cell makeup for life.
Obesogens target signaling proteins in the infant and encourage the production of more fat cells.
*Obesogenic effects can be passed on to later generations through a process called epigenetic change, which affects the DNA but not the genetic code.
Here are a few examples of how environmental toxins can affect obesity:
-BHA from plastics can convert preadipocytes (immature fat cells) into fat cells.
-BPA is known to lower the number of fat cells, but program existing fat cells to take in more fat.
-POFA’s can activate PPARy, which regulates the creation of fat cells. It also encourages fat cells to take in more fat, or can transform more preadipocytes into mature fat cells.
TODAY’S TAKE AWAY: A sustainable weight loss program should include some work on removing environmental toxins from ones home, food, and personal care products. It may also involve exploration of food allergies, medications, or hormone imbalances that are causing the obesity. Simplified programs of cutting calories and exercise may work for some but may not be sustainable for long term weight loss. There are additional hidden factors of obesity; talk to your holistic health educator to help you come up with a plan that explores your environment, emotions and stress, nutrition, and health issues. There is a better way.