Debunking Myths to Help You Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight This Winter
The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism for fighting colds, staving off infection, and remaining healthy. Much of it is an expression of your gut health, but myths abound about what makes for a healthy digestive system. Here are some common misconceptions that keep us from reaching optimal weight and sustaining it healthfully.
Myth #1: Consume fewer calories than you expend, and you will magically lose weight.
The premise of a calorie-restricted diet is that by “starving” the body with fewer than 800 to1200 calories per day, it will turn to the excessive, existing fat stores and utilize those for fuel. While this does work in the short term, it’s the kind of calories you consume that are important. Rapid weight loss needs to be physician-supervised so that you can monitor for any development of gallstones and other side effects. Detoxification of your waste elimination pathways, including organ systems and cells, and supporting a healthy gut terrain is crucial. So is hunting down and dealing with parasites, viral infections, nutritional deficiencies, and emotional issues related to food, body image, and weight.
Myth #2: Follow a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet and you will magically lose weight.
No other dietary advice has so singularly contributed to soaring obesity rates and been less verifiable in the medical literature or the clinician’s office. The national experiment to build a diet that consists largely of grains has failed. In fact, the result has been catastrophic.
The dependence on wheat and other packaged grains (and the corresponding decrease in healthy fats) has led to never-before-seen levels of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer as well as a few silent killers such as celiac disease and candida. It’s also been linked to a host of neurotoxic illnesses, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to childhood ADHD and autism.
Why? The simple answer is sugar. Not only are low-fat products drenched in sugar as a method for making up for taste, but refined carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in the bloodstream, interrupting a range of essential metabolic processes.
The more complicated answer is that humans are not designed to ingest today’s modern, overly processed and manufactured grains. If your diet begins with cereal in the morning and continues throughout the day with breads, sandwiches and burgers, pastas, cakes, cookies, pizza, and so on, chances are you have leaky gut.
Myth #3: Eat whatever you want, in moderation, and you will magically lose weight.
How could such a benign statement be so far from the truth? While not so devastating in its consequence as following a high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet, eating whatever you want in moderation fails to acknowledge that there are some foods that simply should not ever be eaten.
If moderation for you means that you can have soda once a year on your birthday, fine. But for most people, moderation means “once a day,” as in every day, or “only when I’m stressed,” which is almost every day for many of us. In addition to soda, there’s no place in your diet for foods that are rich in trans-fats, chemical dyes, artificial ingredients, endless amounts of packaging — in short, junk food. A colleague of mine once stated that if you order and pay for your food in one window and drive up to the next window to pick it up, then that’s junk food.
Furthermore, the “moderation is key” approach leads to completely destructive and undermining habits that only can be remedied by ensuring you consciously choose the food that enters your mouth and nourishes your body.
Myth #4: Stop choosing to be fat and you will magically lose weight.
There is no doubt that you have to want to reclaim your weight and your health to succeed. It is an uphill battle and the odds are against you if you don’t have a good measure of personal responsibility and a supportive team. People who achieve their goals have a realistic assessment of what can be done and how quickly.
But the point is this: No one chooses to be fat. In other words, it’s not a simple matter of self-discipline. Rather, it’s a matter of regaining your health and discovering what’s been contributing to weight gain.
The message is simple. You have to understand why you are overweight. Is it because you have a parasite, an underactive thyroid, an immune problem, toxic buildup, a food sensitivity, poor gut health, or all of the above?
There is no magic bullet. Instead, the best course of action is a safe, effective physician-supervised program that will not only restore you to health and help you lose weight, without drugs or surgery, but will also give you the tools of a lifetime to maintain that level of wellness.
Dr. Douglas J. Pucci, D.C., FAAIM, regularly offers in-office seminars presenting the latest science and clinical data on neurotoxic illness, hormone disruptions, and chronic disease. He provides nutritional counseling and comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, brain and body care, and more. For more information, call 201-261-5430 or visit GetWell-Now.com.