Obesity has reached epidemic levels in our country and around the world. We are fat and getting fatter for 7 majorreasons:
1. Addiction: We love junk food, fast food, and processed food because of the taste, convenience, and low cost. We can't stop eating this food even though we know it's bad for us -- because of the addictive chemicals in the food. It's convenient to just pick up some KFC or stop by McDonald's for a hamburger, some fries, and a diet soda.
Most habits are driven by the addictive chemicals that food manufacturers put in fast foods and processed foods so that we will develop cravings for these foods and return to buy more of these foods (even though we know these foods are bad for us).
Please Note: Most food cravings are due to hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies.
2. Habits: We have learned many of our poor eating habits from our parents; and, now we are passing our poor eating habits down to our children and our children's children. That's why it appears that diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity runs in families.
Most habits are driven by stress, laziness and the addictive chemicals that food manufacturers put in fast foods and processed foods so that we will return to buy more of their food. These habits also affect the balance of key hormones including insulin, cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and leptin.
3. Knowledge: We lack the understanding of real nutrition and the super foods; and, how "real food" can help us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We falsely believe that eating healthy is boring, time-consuming, and expensive and that vegetables taste nasty -- these are just excuses or due to the lack of knowledge.
4. Laziness: We don't like to exercise or walk anywhere; plus, we don't like to take the time to prepare healthy meals. We lack the discipline and drive to want to change. We like taking pills: prescription, OTC, supplements because they're so convenient and they allow us to justify our poor eating habits.
5. Technology: We sit a lot, driving our car, using our computer, watching TV or playing video games. Technology encourages us to live a sedentary lifestyle that discourages us from being physically active.
And, although technology makes our lives easier, the combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a stressful life is a bad combination that can lead to obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other diseases.
it also contributes to the stress in our lives. For example, because of technology, we can use our computer to find information instead of having to drive to the library.
6. Zombieism: We lack the hope and don't use our inner spirit, walking around like zombies allowing our flesh to rot; and do nothing to improve our health, relying on drugs and pills.
7. Diets: We rely on various fad diets and detox gimmicks to lose weight. Most diets work temporarily, but they fail us for the long term. In fact, most diets actually cause more harm than good! In addition, most diets fail to address the biochemical and hormonal imbalances that fuel obesity and other diseases.
FYI: Recent studies now show that fat cells are not inert! -- they are active, wreaking havoc and triggering harmful biological processes throughout our bodies. Some of these biochemical processes fueled by obesity (fat cells) include cell inflammation, oxidative stress (excess oxidation), and excess toxicity. Hormonal imbalances fueled by obesity include insulin, cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and leptin.
Note: The good news is that you can overcome these biochemical and hormonal imbalances and live a better quality of life -- by just making two or three changes a month. Refer to the Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program (below) for more details.
Obesity is not seen as a "disease" by the medical profession, but, it is one of the top 4 silent killers, along with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Obesity is not seen as a "disease" or a major health problem -- it is primarily seen as an esthetic problem and is treated as such.
In addition, in today's world, being overweight is acceptable and considered the norm in many societies. Years ago, there was only one fat kid in the neighborhood. Today, almost 1 out of very 2 kids is fat!
In fact, if you are on the thin side, people (especially relatives) think that you need to get "some meat on your bones."
Unfortunately, obesity usually leads to other health issues including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.
Over the years, obesity has become a global epidemic in both children and adults. Obesity rates continue to rise every year in America. and around the world.
To make matters worse, recently the medical industry has started to aggressively market bariatric surgery as a solution to obesity for 2 reasons: (1) They see obesity as a physical problem that can be "cut out"; and (2) This type of surgery is a major revenue and profit generator for the medical business.
As depicted in the diagrams below, obesity is an epidemic in the United States and worldwide. Approximately 203 million Americans, or 67 percent, are either overweight or obese. More than 2 billion of the 6 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese.
Recent studies have shown that obesity is one of the key risk factors for many of our diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
Consequently, losing weight (the right way) is one of the key strategies to prevent heart disease and diabetes.
Obesity is the second largest cause of preventable deaths, after tobacco, in the United States. Obese patients are more liable to develop a range of associated diseases than people of normal weight.
Among these diseases are:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Autoimmune disease, e.g. thyroid problems
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality as well as reduced life expectancy; and, is associated with numerous co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), Type 2 diabetes, hyper-tension, certain cancers, and sleep apnea/sleep-disordered breathing.
Health service use and medical costs associated with obesity and related diseases have risen dramatically and are expected to continue to rise.
Besides an altered metabolic profile, a variety of adaptations/alterations in cardiac structure and function occur in the individual as adipose tissue accumulates in excess amounts.
Hence, obesity may affect the heart through its influence on known risk factors such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, glucose intolerance, inflammatory markers, and obstructive sleep apnea/ hypoventilation.
Key Point: Obesity is a biochemical and hormonal problem -- not a "weight gain" or "calories" problem! Weight gain is a symptom of being obese; and, food quality is more important than calories.
Consequently, you want to address and fix the biochemical and hormonal root causes that are fueling your obesity, not just eat less calories.
Believe it or not, in most cases, it's easy to lose weight -- at least, initially. But, it's more difficult to keep the weight off. That's why "diets" don't work. You want a nutritional program and wellness program that involves more than just changing your eating habits -- you want to change your internal thinking, your lifestyle, emotional state, etc.
Being seriously overweight is not caused by one single factor. There are a number of root causes and factors that may interact and contribute to one becoming obese, including the following:
- High-Carb/High-Fat /High-Calorie diets
- Physical inactivity
- Emotional or psychological factors
- Medical problems
High-Carb/High-Fat/High-Calorie Diet - Carbs fuel high glucose levels and fat production, including high triglycerides in the blood. Ounce for ounce, fat provides more than twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates (nine calories for fat versus four calories for carbohydrates). This energy difference may explain how fat promotes weight gain.
Please Note: You may think that you're eating healthy, but, you may not be eating as healthy as you think. There are many so-called healthy foods that have turned out not to be healthy, e.g. milk, bread, cereal, oatmeal, vegetable oil, yogurt, bottled water, etc.
Physical Inactivity – Overweight people are usually less physically active than normal weight adults. Seriously overweight people may have difficulty moving. The additional weight can cause pain in the feet, knees and ankles. It can cause shortness of breath, making you feel tired quickly. Also, we have so many labor-saving devices now that it is difficult for people to get exercise in the amounts the body requires. For example, we drive to the corner store for a frozen dinner. We drive home, click the garage door opener and relax on the couch with the remote control. All these devices keep us from physical activity.
Biochemical/hormonal – The combination of a high-fat/high-calorie diet of “dead” and processed foods and very little physical activity creates biochemical and hormonal imbalances in the body that leads to leptin resistance, high cortisol levels, and insulin resistance.
Genetics - Genes play a part in how your body balances calories and energy. Children whose parents are obese also tend to be overweight. A family history of obesity increases your chances of becoming obese by about 25 to 30 percent. Heredity does not destine you to be overweight, but by influencing the amount of body fat and fat distribution, genes can make you more susceptible to gaining weight. But you can still achieve your weight loss goals even with a family history of obesity.
Culture - People learn to eat and cook the way in which they were brought up. Food choices and combinations are learned very early in life. Social events and family rituals are often centered around large meals.
Today's culture promotes eating habits that contribute to obesity. People may serve large portions and foods that are most readily available instead of choosing foods that are most nutritious.
Cooking with vegetable oils, pasteurized butter, table salt, sugar, chocolate and other high-caloric foods is a normal part of the American diet.
In many cultures, food is associated with family, love, socializing, and celebrations.
Also, food is often used as a reward in this country. Children are treated to sweets for cleaning their room, and the team is taken for pizza or ice cream after the game. Seldom is eating done only when hunger is present.
Emotional or Psychological Factors - Food is often a source of solace or celebration. If we feel blue, we may turn to food. If we celebrate a new job or birthday, we may go out to a big dinner. If a friend is grieving, we bake them a pie. If we feel stressed, we'll have some mac 'n cheese or other comfort food.
Often as children, parents told us to clean our plates. Food carries many significant memories from our past. Food may be your best friend.
Food may become less important in your life after weight loss, especially if you lost the weigh the right way. Weight loss will allow you to acquire new interests in your life and become more active and varied in your activities.
Gender - Muscle uses more energy than fat does. Men have more muscle than women, and burn 10 percent to 20 percent more calories than women do at rest. For this reason, women are more likely to be obese.
Age - As you get older, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease, and fat accounts for a greater percentage of your weight. This lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. Your metabolism also slows with age. Together, these changes reduce your calorie needs. If your food intake is not adjusted, you will gain weight.
Medical Problems – Some of the health problems include diabetes, low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) or other hormonal imbalance.
Medications – OTC and prescription drugs (such as Prednisone) can lead to weight gain because they create hormonal and biochemical imbalances in the body.
Toxins -- Toxins don't directly cause obesity, but, the buildup of toxins in the body can inhibit weight and fat loss. For example, the chemicals which are emitted from air fresheners (and other toxic products) accumulate in the fatty tissues over time, so the dangers increase as they build up inside a body. The presence of toxins inside fat can make weight loss difficult.
Since the human body uses fat to store certain materials that are too toxic for it to process, breaking down the fat would mean releasing those toxins, so a body must resist its fat loss for self-defense. Thus, fat is sometimes the result of an immune system properly responding to a danger.
Note: This is one of the reasons why cleanse/detox is one of the key steps in the Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program (see below).
Key Point: If you struggle with losing weight or lowering your blood sugar even though you are eating healthy, we have found 6 major problems that are the culprits:
- Chronic cell inflammation inhibits cell repair, causes cell damage
- High cortisol levels due to a stressful life feed insulin resistance
- Nutrient deficiencies, e.g. magnesium, Vitamin D, potassium, sulfur
- Unbalanced hormones, e.g. insulin, cortisol, leptin, progesterone
- Cellular toxicity, toxic load in cells which prevents fat metabolism
- Autoimmune dysfunction, e.g. thyroid dysfunction problems
Note:Make sure that you get a complete physical exam to obtain an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and the potential root causes of your health problems.
Before we look at how a diabetic's body gets fatter and becomes obese, let's take a look at the structure of a fat cell and how it functions in the human body.
Definition: A fat cell is a cell that primarily contains fat or lipids, specifically known as triglycerides. A fat cell is also known as an adipocyte.
A fat cell, or adipocyte, is a connective tissue cell that specializes in the synthesis (manufacture) and storage of fat.
The fat cell is important to the body in maintaining proper energy balance, storing calories in the form of lipids, mobilizing energy sources in response to hormonal stimulation, and commanding changes by signal secretions.
As depicted in the diagram (below), the fat cell contains a storage reservoir where it stores the fat (a large droplet of triglyceride).
As this droplet occupies most of the volume of the cell, its cytoplasm, nucleus, mitochondria, and other components are pushed towards the outer edges of the cell.
As you can see from the diagram, there is a lot more to a fat cell (or adipocyte) than just fat. For example, just like other cells, a fat cell contains receptors and protein molecules that enable it to receive and send signals from other cells (such as immune cells), making the fat cell an active element in your body.
Fat Tissue (Adipose Tissue)
As depicted in the following diagram, fat cells group together and reside in various parts of the body as fat tissue, e.g. fat is located under the skin and around our organs. Fat tissue can also be found in the buttocks, stomach, and thigh areas.
More specifically, fat tissue (or adipose tissue) is a loose fibrous connective tissue consisting of many fat cells (adipocytes) that are specialized for storage of triglycerides more commonly referred to as "fats".
In many ways, this tissue functions as an endocrine organ, as it sends signals (e.g leptin) and receives signals (e.g. insulin) that allow this tissue to perform various biochemical, hormoanla nd metabolic functions with your body.
Number of Fat Cells
During childhood, the number of fat cells increase every year, but, the number is set during adolescence; and, for the most part, remains constant through adulthood -- unless you gain a tremendous amount of weight.
The average human body contains about 30 billion fat cells. If the weight of those 30 billion were measured it would equal about 30 pounds or 13.5 kg.
For most adults, the number of fat cells doesn't increase when weight gain occurs, rather the cells expand to hold the extra fat. However, if you gain a tremendous amount of weight and your fat cells can't expand any further, then, this may trigger your body to produce extra fat cells.
Every year, whether you are fat or thin, whether you lose weight or gain, 10 percent of your fat cells die. And every year, those cells that die are replaced with new fat cells.
The result is that (for most adults) the total number of fat cells in the body remains the same, year after year throughout adulthood. Losing or gaining weight affects only the amount of fat stored in the cells, not the number of cells.
Exceptions: However, in some cases of extreme weight gain or severe obesity, the number of fat cells may increase. In addition, after major liposuction surgery, the body will increase the number of fat cells back to the original set point. Also, most women, when they become pregnant, produce extra fat cells.
Key Point: Since the number of fat cells only increase during childhood for the most part, this is one of the reasons why adults who were obese as children have such a difficult time losing weight. During their childhood years, both the number of fat cells and the size of the fat cells increased beyond the average numbers of most children.
As a result, once these children become adults they have to deal with the fact that not only do they have large and expanded fat cells, but, they tend to have a larger number of fat cells.
Types of Fat Cells
There are two main types of adipose cells:
1. White adipose cell, which contains a large fat droplet, only a small amount of cytoplasm, and flattened, non-centrally located nucleus.
2. Brown adipose cell contains small fat droplets of differing sizes, a large amount of cytoplasm, numerous mitochondria, and round, centrally located nucleus.
Most of the fat cells in an adult (around the organs and visceral areas) are white, although there may be some brown fat cells (usually found in the neck and muscle areas).
The chief chemical constituents of adipose cell fat are triglycerides, which are esters made up of a glycerol and one or more fatty acids, such as stearic, oleic, or palmitic acids.
Enzymes contained in adipose cells specialize in the hydrolysis of triglycerides in order to generate fatty acids and glycerol for physiological processes.
The fat stored in these cells in part comes directly from the fats eaten and in part is manufactured within the body from fats and carbohydrates in the food and sometimes from protein.
The main reservoir of fat in the body is the adipose tissue beneath the skin, called the panniculus adiposus. There are also deposits of fat between the muscles, among the intestines and in their mesentery, around the heart, and elsewhere. One function of these deposits is to act as soft, elastic padding between the various organs.
Functions of Fat Cells
The primary functions of fat cells and adipose tissue include the following:
- Adipose tissue acts as an insulating layer, helping to conserve heat and reduce heat loss through the skin.
- Adipose tissue acts as a fuel reserve and a means of energy storage.
- Adipose tissue has a protective function, providing mechanical protection ("padding") and support around some of the major organs, e.g. kidneys.
- Adipose tissue contains cell receptors, which enable fat cells to communicate with other cells in the body, e.g. by sending out pro-inflammation and anti-inflammation signals (e.g. leptin); and, by receiving signals from other cells/organs, e.g. insulin.
In times of significant energy expenditure (e.g., exercise) or lack of adequate energy intake (e.g., fasting), adipose cells secrete fatty acids, which can be used by muscles and other tissues as a source of energy.
Fatty acids generated by brown adipose cells generally are not secreted; instead, they are used by the cells’ mitochondria in order to generate heat (thermogenesis), particularly in hibernating animals and human infants.
Adipose cells synthesize and secrete complex fatty acid substances called prostanoids (e.g., prostaglandins), which have various hormone-like actions such as inhibiting the breakdown of fat, and a protein hormone called leptin, which plays a role in the regulation of metabolism, body weight, and reproductive function.
Adipose cells also express receptors capable of binding specific steroid hormones that can signal for increased storage of fat or increased release of fatty acids. Substances secreted but not synthesized by adipose cells include cholesterol and retinol (vitamin A).
Studies have shown that when old adipose cells die they are replaced by new cells and that in adult humans the number of adipose cells in the body is relatively stable, ±10%.
As a result, fat storage is accomplished through the expansion of existing adipose cells instead of through an increase in the number of cells. In obese people, these adipose cells can grow to 50 to 100 times their normal size!
Likewise, when fat is utilized by the body, adipose cells shrink in size, as opposed to decreasing in number.
Fat Cells in Obese People
In an obese individual, there may be as many 70 to 100 billion fat cells compared to 30 billion in the average person.
In addition, these fat cells are bloated (to 50 to 100 times their normal size) and are inflamed because they receive too many toxic nutrients from overeating, e.g. excess processed foods, trans fats, animal meat, vegetable oils, etc.
Also, once the size of these bloated fat cells have reached their maximum size, if the person continues to overeat, the body will produce extra fat cells!
In the bloated fat cells, various components cannot work properly anymore and, instead, they activate inflammation signals and other protein signals to try to cope with the situation.
One of the most challenged organelles in obese fat cells is a maze-like compartment called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that makes proteins and lipid droplets and senses the amount of nutrients that enter the cell.
When a fat cell receives too many nutrients (from overeating), the ER is overwhelmed and triggers several processes that activate proteins that increase inflammation and can even result in the death of the cell.
One of the other processes that is activated causes insulin resistance, a condition in which the production and function of insulin -- a hormone produced by the pancreas -- is impaired and blood sugar is too high, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes development.
Another process that is activated is chronic oxidation, where free radical molecules attack and cause damage to cells and tissues.
In addition, bloated fat cells are unable to get rid of their toxins; and, as a result, these bloated cells are unable to shrink when a person goes on a calorie-restricted diet.
This is why it is so important that an obese person follow a superior nutritional program that addresses inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidation and toxicity, e.g. The Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program.
The following diagram depicts how obesity develops in the body. As you can see from the diagram, obesity is not just a "weight gain" problem -- it involves inflammation, hormonal imbalance, oxidative stress,toxicity, etc. Obesity develops similar to Type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle-driven diseases.
And, as obesity continues to develop, it leads to major health problems and other diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer.
Note: You may be wondering why is it necessary and so important to understand obesity pathogenesis? Because this understanding of how obesity develops makes it easier to design an effective weight loss program.
The Cycle of Obesity
As obesity develops in the body, it creates vicious biochemical and hormonal cycles that feed into the obesity, causing even more weight gain.
As the following diagram depicts, the "cycle of obesity" is fueled by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle in combination with high stress, a negative attitude, lack of hope, and a lack of knowledge about proper nutrition.
Consequently, this "cycle of obesity" must be broken in order to lose weight and reverse obesity and its complications.
When your body consumes a lot of empty calories and fat calories that lack nutrition while living a stressful and/or sedentary lifestyle, this eventually causes your fat cells to grow and expand.
As a result, these fat cells become stressed and overloaded with toxins and chemicals from the various nutrient-poor processed foods. In some cases these fat cells die or cause damage to surrounding tissues.
In response to this, the various immune cells trigger an immune response to try to repair the damage and get rid of the dead cells. This is what normally happens when there is an infection or other problem -- inflammation is the first stage of cell repair and healing.
However, if the immune cells become overwhelmed by the size and number of damaged fat cells and fat tissues, they send out signals to recruit more immune cells to try to fix the problem.
More specifically, T cells notify macrophages, which notify more macrophages to try to repair the cell damage by sending out pro-inflammatory substances including leptin, TNF, IL-6, and resistin, affecting the whole body.
But, if the number and size of the fat cells continue to grow and expand, this may develop into chronic inflammation and more cell and tissue damage.
Consequently, overweight people become subject to a body-wide state of chronic, low-grade inflammation, induced by fat itself.
Mild elevation of the level of CRP in blood is associated with obesity and with weight gain. In people with a history of heart disease, mild elevation of CRP predicts an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. In adults who develop diabetes, elevated CRP occurs before the onset of diabetes.
In people with normal blood pressure, elevated CRP predicts the future development of high blood pressure. In aging adults, high CRP is associated with muscle weakness and frailty. Studies of CRP have proven the close relationship between silent, chronic inflammation and the development of the most common chronic diseases of modern society, e.tg. heart disease, cancer, diabetes.
Inflammation and fat share a complex relationship. When inflammation is mild and chronic, producing few symptoms and only subtle changes on blood tests, inflammation has a very different effect on your metabolism -- it disrupts hormones.
This disruption of hormones creates biochemical and hormonal imbalances, characterized by high levels of insulin, cortisol, leptin and other hormones.
As a result, you will need a wellness program that does more than help you to lose weight -- you want a program that specificallyaddresses these biochemical and hormonal imbalances and excesses.
Belly Fat Cells Are Dangerous!
Obesity is a silent-killer, but, more specifically, it's the fat cells in the belly area that are so dangerous. In fact, you do not have to be "obese" to be in danger of these fat cells. If you have excess belly fat, you have these dangerous fat cells.
Why are these fat cells so dangerous?
Because these fat cells are active -- they send out signals that lead to cellular inflammation, that can trigger other health issues such as high homocysteine and high CRP, which are pre-cursors to arterial plaque formation, heart disease, and heart attacks.
When inflammation is mild and chronic, producing few symptoms and only subtle changes on blood tests, inflammation has a very different effect on your metabolism. Chronic low-grade inflammation makes your brain and body resistant to the normal regulatory effects of leptin and other hormones, including insulin and cortisol.
These 3 hormones contribute (in different ways) to your body gaining excessive weight, especially more fat in the belly area.
Specifically, leptin (secreted from fat cells) tells your brain that you're no longer hungry, but, if you have leptin resistance, you may overeat and gain weight (fat).
Insulin helps your cells absorb glucose, but, if you have insulin resistance, the glucose is not absorbed and may be converted to fat; plus, high insulin levels prevent the breakdown of fat.
Cortisol (which is known as the stress hormone) actually causes your fat cells to grow.
As previously mentioned, when your blood sugar rises, this leads to increased insulin, which leads to increased fat storage. The extra fat then produces more leptin, the hormone that tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly, when to stop eating.
The problem arises when your leptin levels become chronically elevated. At this point, you become leptin resistant—your body can no longer "hear" the hormonal signals telling your brain you're full and should stop eating.
As your fat stores increase, your weight goes up, and insulin resistance sets in. Now your body has become "deaf" to the signals from both hormones (leptin and insulin), and disease often follows, one of which is Type 2 diabetes.
Just as with insulin, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin signaling is through proper diet, including the right type of fiber, which is primarily that from vegetables.
The more fat in your body, the greater the level of inflammation in your body. Not only does this fat-derived inflammation prevent leptin from helping you lose weight, it causes other hormonal effects that interfere with permanent weight loss. Inflammation raises the level of insulin and cortisol, two hormones that actually cause your body to make more fat.
Insulin Resistance and Leptin Resistance
Inflammation interferes with the effect of insulin on your muscles. Just as inflammation causes leptin resistance, it is a major cause of insulin resistance.
With insulin resistance, your muscles are not fully responsive to insulin, so they don’t efficiently burn the sugar that circulates in your blood. As a result, your blood sugar starts to rise. Your pancreas responds by releasing more insulin. When the degree of insulin resistance outpaces the ability of your pancreas to produce more insulin, diabetes occurs.
Whether or not you actually develop diabetes, high levels of circulating insulin can have seriously negative effects. There are some actions of insulin that occur outside of muscle and are not impaired during insulin resistance.
As insulin levels increase, these effects of insulin are felt. High insulin levels make your kidneys retain fluid, raising your blood pressure and creating that feeling of being bloated and swollen.
Consequently, many diabetics suffer with high blood sugar and high blood pressure. But, instead of treating the root cause, your doctor gives you 2 different drugs -- one for the high blood sugar (diabetes) and another one for the high blood pressure.
As a result, over the years, your blood sugar problem doesn't really get any better, and your blood pressure doesn't get any better either. How do you know? Because, more than likely, you are now taking more than the original 2 medications, or you're taking higher dosages of these medications.
High insulin levels prevent cells from breaking down fat, making it harder to lose weight through dieting. Insulin also turns on genes that produce a number of mediators of inflammation, so with high insulin, as with high leptin, the level of inflammation in your body increases.
So, you can see why long-term use of insulin injections may not be the best course for a person with Type 2 diabetes.
Your brain and your adrenal glands are attuned to the level of inflammation in your body. As inflammation increases, your brain sends a signal to your adrenal glands to produce more of a hormone called cortisol. You may be familiar with cortisone, a drug used to relieve symptoms of inflammation like itching, redness or pain.
Cortisol is the natural equivalent of the drug, made in your own adrenal glands in response to stress. Cortisol naturally combats inflammation, but at a high price. Cortisol increases the amount of belly fat. It also causes fluid retention, muscle weakness, memory loss, high blood pressure, and further raises your blood sugar. The increase in blood sugar then stimulates a further increase in insulin.
This vicious cycle dooms the diabetic to a life of deteriorating health and the need for more and more drugs.
However, the Death to Diabetes and the Death to Obesity Wellness Programs are designed to attack the root causes of these diseases, and engage your body to repair the damage and allow your body to recover, reducing and removing the need for a life-sentence of drugs and more drugs.
How is obesity determined?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) identified overweight as a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kg/m², and obesity as a BMI of 30 kg/m² or greater. Calculating BMI is simple and quick:
BMI = Weight in pounds X 703/(Height in inches X Height in inches)
For example, if you weight 220 pounds and your height is 6 ft 3 in. or 75 inches, your BMI is as follows:
BMI = 220 X 703/(75 X 75)
BMI = 27.5
However, you do not have to do this calculation – you can use the BMI chart in our weight loss ebook or go online and use one of the many free BMI calculators to figure out your BMI.
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
But the BMI does have limitations. One problem with using BMI as a measurement tool is that very muscular people may fall into the “overweight” category when they are actually healthy and fit.
Another problem with using BMI is that people who have lost muscle mass, such as the elderly, may be in the “healthy weight” BMI category (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) when they actually have reduced nutritional reserves.
BMI, therefore, is useful as a screening tool for individuals and as a general guideline to monitor trends in the population, but by itself is not diagnostic of an individual patient’s health status. Further assessment of patients should be performed to evaluate their weight status and associated health risks.
Note: Because of the limitations of BMI, Waist Size may be more important than BMI.
High blood glucose levels trigger the pancreas to produce excess insulin to try to lower your blood glucose back to the normal range.
However, excess insulin over a long period of time leads to insulinemia, which triggers the production of more triglycerides within fat cells, causing the fat cells to expand. And, this leads to more weight gain, and, eventually, obesity.
Excess insulin also increases cellular inflammation and oxidative stress (free radical production), both of which contribute to cell and tissue damage and the inhibition of cell and tissue repair.
To further compound matters, excess insulin also inhibits fat metabolism, and, consequently, your body can't burn fat and lose weight the right way.
And, all of these biological processes work together along with protein glycation and excess toxicity to fuel Type 2 diabetes.
But, when you control your blood glucose, inflammation and oxidation levels with a superior diet, this lowers the production of insulin by the pancreas. As a result, the pancreas won't reach burnout and beta cell dysfunction.
Key Point: Diabetic drugs artificially lower your blood glucose level, but your pancreas is still working overtime producing excess insulin! Also, the drugs don't address the insulin resistance, cellular inflammation, oxidation, and damage caused by the diabetes. In fact, studies now show that the drugs contribute to the cell inflammation and oxidation, further fueling your diabetes! Consequently, it is imperative to use a proper diet to control your blood glucose and insulin levels.
Drug Weaning Tip: When your AVERAGE morning blood glucose readings start to go below the normal range (80-100 mg/dl), then, you should be able to reduce your diabetic drug dosages gradually until you reach ZERO units -- usually within 6-8 weeks, sooner if you're juicing every day.
Don't focus too much on losing weight -- unless you're losing the right type of weight, i.e. belly fat. If you focus more on having steady BG readings, the weight loss will occur naturally because your body will be producing less insulin.
p.s. It's the excess insulin that makes us fat and keeps us fat. Once you are able to control your insulin levels via better BG control, the easier it will be to lose weight (fat).
When you were younger, it was pretty easy to burn off a few pounds after binging during the holidays. All you had to do was exercise a little more and the pounds came off.
As you got older, it became a little more difficult, but, you were still able to lose a few pounds by changing your eating habits and exercise regimen.
But, now, you're finding it very difficult to lose the weight, especially around the belly area.
There are 8 primary reasons why you are unable to lose weight:
1. Unbalanced Hormones. High insulin levels due to high blood glucose levels is the primary hormonal problem for most people. This is usually due to poor eating habits, e.g. too many carbs, French fries, processed foods, vegetable oils, excess animal meat, too much dairy, fruit juices, soda, coffee, alcohol, etc.
High insulin is a double-whammy problem -- it causes your body to store more fat and it prevents your body from burning fat. So, not only does excess insulin make you fatter, but, it keeps you from burning the fat during dieting and exercise!
High cortisol levels due to excess stress or high leptin levels due to leptin resistance can also contribute to the unbalanced hormone problem.
And, for women, as they get older, estrogen levels can also cause a redistribution of fat from the thighs to the abdomen area, especially during pregnancy.
Make sure that you eat macronutrient-balanced meals, avoid the processed foods (to lower insulin), learn to relax (to lower cortisol) and get enough sleep (to lower leptin).
2. Skipping Meals. This is a very common mistake because we think that by skipping a meal and avoiding the calories that we can lose the weight. This may have worked when you were younger, but, it doesn't work now.
In fact, skipping a meal (especially breakfast) puts your body into starvation mode. This means that the next time you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat!
3. Nutrient Deficiencies. If you're not getting enough macronutrients and micronutrients, you may have a nutrient deficiency that is making it difficult for you to lose weight, e.g. Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, magnesium, Omega-3 EFAs, plant oils, chlorophyll, sulfur, water.
4. Thyroid Problems. If your thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism), it can lead to weight gain from a buildup of salt and water in your body.
If you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), it can lead to weight gain because it can make you feel hungrier.
How your thyroid affects your metabolism, energy, hormones, and weight is complicated. Other hormones, proteins, and chemicals may also play a role. Check with your doctor if you think it's a problem.
However, if possible, avoid taking any medication for your thyroid that can make the problem worse! Instead, change your diet to a plant-based nutritional program and refer to the Thyroid Diseases web page and the DTD Autoimmune Diseases ebook, which explains how to treat thyroid problems naturally.
5. Medications. If you're taking any prescription and/or OTC drugs, this may make it difficult to lose weight. For instance, you might have trouble losing weight if you take drugs for:
- Birth control
- High blood pressure
- Bipolar disorder
In fact, some medications, such as steroids, can lead to weight gain. Refer to the Death to Diabetes Wellness Program and/or the DTD Drug Weaning ebook for guidance.
6. Exercise Regimen. If you have been doing the same types of exercises for the past few years, your body has probably gotten used to the routine.
This is especially true if your exercise regimen is focused too much on cardio. Add some weight-resistance and cross-training to your exercise program.
Also, recent studies show that using short-burst training helps to put the body into a fat-burning mode.
Warning!: If you over-exercise or if you have gone through multiple weight loss-weight gain cycles, this slows down your metabolism and may cause your body to burn lean muscle tissue! And, this, in turn, further slows down your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose the weight the next time around; and, may lead to chronic fatigue issues -- especially if you're diabetic and/or have thyroid issues. Also, be careful, because exercise, for the most part, is a catabolic process that breaks down your body and it's rebuilt through proper nutrition and anabolic exercises.
7. Lifestyle. If you're always on the go or if you have a stressful job or if you don't get enough sleep -- this type of lifestyle can make it difficult for your body to burn fat.
Also, recent studies show that using short-burst interval training helps to put your body into a fat-burning mode.
8. Toxins and Inflammation. This is a major probelem that most people overlook! Why? Because most diet programs fail to include a comprehensive detox as part of their program.
When excess toxins have accumulated in your cells, your cells (including your fat cells) will not release their toxins and other waste products. As a result, your fat cells are unable to shrink and burn fat.
In addition, these excess toxins increase cellular inflammation and oxidative stress, which cause damage to your cells and your overall health. This leads to other health problems, such as chronic fatigue, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disease.
This is why a comprehensive detox (such as the DTD Cleanse-Detox Program) is so important, not only for your overall health, but, also for burning fat and losing weight (especially in the belly area).
There are many weight-loss diets, but most of them fail in the long run because they are not comprehensive enough to handle these 8 problems and the complexities of being overweight.
Many weight loss programs help people with weight loss, but they lose the lean muscle tissue that your body needs to properly burn the fat!
That’s why a lot of people on weight loss programs regain the weight and look like “death warmed over”. They have lost lean muscle tissue, which also affects your body composition and physical appearance.
Weight gain is due to 3 primary reasons for most people:
1. Biochemical and hormonal imbalances
2. Poor nutrition and lifestyle choices that harm your health
3. Emotional issues that trigger poor eating habits
Consequently, the strategy to overcome weight gain and achieve weight loss requires the following:
1. Rebalancing the body biochemically and hormonally.
2. Proper nutrition and lifestyle choices that improve wellness.
3. Addressing the emotional issues that trigger poor eating habits.
Of course, there are other reasons such as environment, age, culture, and overall health, but these three factors fuel the obesity epidemic more than any other factors.
In order to increase your probability of success, you must prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to embrace making the necessary lifestyle changes to improve your health. You must make yourself a priority and set aside the time to improve your health if you really want to lose weight.
You must establish and implement goals to increase the frequency of your (super) meals and snacks to enable proper blood glucose stabilization.
You should also establish goals to increase the frequency of your exercise, cleansing/detox, and other key activities.
One of the keys to success is to gradually make nutritional and lifestyle changes that you can live with over a period of years.
This will prevent the blood glucose highs and lows that many people experience, and help to reduce the excess insulin production, which fuels Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
You need a weight loss program that will help you to reduce the belly fat, reduce the chronic inflammation,lower your blood pressure, lower your blood glucose level, and lower your cholesterol.
You need a weight loss program that will address the root causes of obesity and achieve the following health-related goals:
- Reduce insulin resistance
- Reduce cortisol levels
- Reduce leptin resistance
- Rebalance hormones, especially insulin, cortisol, and leptin
- Reduce cellular inflammation, e.g. CRP levels
- Reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage
- Reduce belly fat and permanent weight loss
- Lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose
- Reduce food cravings and other food-related addictions
- Repair the damage to cells and tissues
- Address any thyroid dysfunction
That weight loss program must address the science of obesity (pathology) and be comprehensive enough to address the following key areas:
- Meal Planning
- Blood Glucose Testing/Analysis (for Type 2 diabetics only)
- Nutritional Supplementation
- Support and Relaxation Sleep
- Health Coaching & Planning
- Doctor Visits, Medical Blood Tests & Exams
- Drug Weaning (if applicable)
That weight loss program is called the Death to Obesity® Weight Loss Program, which was designed by the same author (and ex-diabetic), who developed the Death to Diabetes Wellness Program.
The following diagrams depict an overview of the Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program and the corresponding book/ebook.
Death to Obesity Weight Loss 10-Steps
The following diagram depicts an overview of the 10 steps of the Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program:
1. Increase your knowledge about nutrition, exercise, weight loss, and diabetes (if applicable). Visit your local library, go to medical-related websites, take classes, and talk to other people who have lost weight and kept it off.
2. Eat the 5 “live” super foods, especially bright-colored vegetables, fruits, raw juices, sea vegetables, grasses, plant protein, plant oils, whole grains, legumes, filtered water, and cold-water fish. Eat 4-5 plant-based super meals/snacks each day to increase your metabolism and burn fat; and, drink at least 2-3 cups of raw vegetable juice.
3. Reduce/stop eating the 5 “dead” processed foods, especially white flour, sugar, starches, animal meat, trans fats, drugs that trigger the body to produce more fat.
4a. For Type 2 diabetics: Perform blood glucose testing at least 4 times a day, including a post-meal test to customize your nutritional profile and stabilize your blood glucose level and trigger weight loss. Use a journal/logbook to record, track, analyze and make changes.
4b. For Non-diabetics: Measure your weight and body composition (once a week at the most), using a body-fat composition scale instead of the traditional weight scale. Use a journal/logbook to record, track, analyze and make changes.
5. Exercise consistently 20 to 30 to 45 minutes four to six times a week, using two 10-15 minute interval bursts of higher intensity during aerobic and weight-resistance exercises.
6. Perform cleansing/detoxification to remove the toxins and waste products that prevent the body from being able to burn fat and increase weight loss.
7. Take a wholefood or food-based supplement to complement your nutritional program and accelerate the healing/weight loss process. If necessary, take a food-based fat-burning supplement or superfood.
8. Work with your doctor, dietitian, health coach and other healthcare professionals for periodic blood tests, hormone tests, and physical exams; and health & wellness guidance. Also, communicate your health and weight loss goals and build your relationships. Ensure your treatment is focused on repairing your body, losing weight and reducing your drug usage/dependency and not just suppressing the symptoms.
Note: Measure your weight and body composition (once a week at the most), using a body-fat composition scale instead of the traditional weight scale. Compare your readings with the reading when the nurse weighs you during your doctor’s appointment.
9. Utilize exercise, prayer, yoga, or other meditation techniques to relax, help relieve the stress, and connect with your inner spirit. Use your inner spirit to fuel your will power and discipline to stick with it. Join a local support group to get information and share your problems with other overweight people and diabetics. Your insight may help someone in the group and will motivate you to continue making progress.
10. Develop an overall (proactive) wellness plan. Address any excuses or barriers you may have before proceeding with your weight loss plan.
Note: These steps are very similar to the 10 Steps of the Death to Diabetes Wellness Program that diabetics use to control and defeat their diabetes. The primary difference is Step 4 where diabetics measure their blood glucose but non-diabetics measure their weight.
The DTO Weight Loss Solution 10 Steps Diagram
Death to Obesity Weight Loss Program Timeline
This diagram depicts an overview of the typical timeline and wellness factors that are involved in a comprehensive wellness and weight loss program.
Some of the key nutritional strategies for losing weight and burning belly fat include the following:
Drink raw vegetable juices, and eat lots of green and bright-colored vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and red peppers for the Vitamin C, chlorophyll, and other nutrients.
Eat foods rich in monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 EFAs, especially cold-water fish, flaxseed, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, organic flax oil, and avocado. Avocado also contains folate, potassium, beta-sitosterol, Vitamin E, and fiber.
Eat magnesium-rich foods to equalize the levels of potassium and sodium and relax the artery muscles. Foods that are rich in magnesium include: green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach), tofu, sweet potato, black beans, nuts, seeds, navy beans, and okra.
Eat potassium-rich foods to lower the sodium level and maintain the balance of electrolytes to regulate blood pressure. Vegetables that are rich in potassium include: avocado, barley grass, wheat grass, broccoli, cabbage, celery, collards, cucumbers, parsley, spinach, lentils, and navy beans.
Eat sulfur-rich foods such raw garlic and onions. Add 2-3 garlic cloves (minced) to your salad, vegetables, soup, sandwich, etc. Add onions (sliced) to your salad, vegetables, soup, sandwich, etc. These two foods provide anti-bacterial, anti-inflammation and anti-viral protection, which is very important for overweight people.
Perform a periodic cleanse-detox to rid your body of the accumulated toxins in your cells that may prevent your body from metabolizing and burning fat.
Of course, make sure that you avoid processed foods, fast foods, and foods that contain flour, sugar and trans fats. Also, avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, soda, diet soda, vegetable oils, and most drugs.
Some of the key lifestyle changes that will help you with your weight loss include the following:
Exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week, for 30 to 35 minutes, if possible.
Note: You should implement one new activity at the start of a new week until you have implemented all the activities into your daily life and lifestyle. If one-week increments are too much for you, then, slow down and use two-week or 1-month increments.
Reduce the stress in your life. You may not realize it, but, you are probably living with a lot of daily stress. You may not realize it because you've gotten used to dealing with the stress.
Why is this important? Because too much stress can increase your cortisol levels; and, cortisol is known for increasing insulin resistance, inflammation, and belly fat. Cortisol also prevents you from burning fat and losing weight no mater how hard you try!
Here are some ways to reduce the stress in your life:
- Avoid negative people as much as possible
- Get at least 7 hours of (quality) sleep every night
- Use yoga, Tai Chi, chanting, music, a hobby as ways to help you relax
- Tap into your inner spirit; change your talk-track
- Laugh! Believe it or not laughter releases endorphins and relaxes us
- Learn what you can control and ignore what you can't control
For more details about reducing stress, refer to our web page about stress management.
If you are not diabetic and would like to learn how to increase your weight loss and reduce the belly fat; or, if you have been diagnosed as morbidly obese, then, we recommend that you get the Death to Obesity Weight Loss ebook, the Power of Juicing ebook, and the Cleanse/Detox ebook. Use these books together to accelerate and maintain your weight loss and repair the cell/tissue damage.
If you plan to transition to a raw food diet, then, get the Raw Food Diet ebook.
If you have an autoimmune disease or thyroid problems, then, get the Autoimmune Diseases & Thyroid Problems ebook.
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