Ok, hold it, hold it…1 – 2 – 3 ….
Who of us haven’t had to hold our breath and wriggle into our perfect pair of jeans and then wear a heavy sweater to hide the muffin top that seems to be steadily growing.
Sadly it seems there are generally two calls to action…
- Put those jeans in a special spot for after we lose those 5-10 pounds
- And what diet we will go on, to lose those 5-10 lbs FAST!
But for the majority of us who have been there and done both…we have been equally frustrated by the never ending ups and downs of weight gain, rigid diets and calorie monitoring that never seems to end…is this as good as it will ever get?
Dieting Part III: Weight Gain – What is Fat Trying to Tell Us?
Is it just a rite of passage that is expected –
- after we have our first baby
- after the winter blues?
- as we get older?
- after (you fill in the blank)….
What if I told you that weight gain and fat should actually be looked at in a positive way? Instead of them being an enemy, they are actually your friend? Yes your new BFF!
After all, a good friend is willing to tell you the truth, right?
So what is Fat trying to tell you?
Fat – Your new Best Friend…(but not forever)
Our body has a funny way of showing us where we are going wrong. What I mean is, that it can’t always give us an exact cue to what is at the root of our problem. We may experience the same symptom for many different issues and the most important problem may go ignored.
For example, when we are thirsty we need water. Some of us will turn to water, but way before the extreme thirst, we had small signals, that we never connected to dehydration such as:
If we don’t recognize these subtle signals that our body is sending us – which is actually becoming severe dehydration, then we will suffer from more drastic requests such as:
- Chronic moodiness
- Chronic joint and muscle pain
- Chronic Headaches
- Dry mouth & skin
- Dry eyes
And that’s just skimming the surface.
As we gain weight our body is doing exactly the same thing, it’s trying to alert us that we are in a deep deficit, creating a state of stress.
Being overwhelmed with stress, may cause us to experience emotional signals such as:
- flighty behavior
- as well as other emotions
And/Or we may experience some of the same physical signals that we did for dehydration like:
- joint and muscle pain
- skin disorders
- and other symptoms
We might try to fix the problem with:
- a binge
- a nap
- an argument with someone
- (or something you can think of…)
But what we may not realize is the major contributor to our stressful state is not what is happening around us as much as what is happening deep within our Core.
And what we may or may not be doing, that made things get steadily worse, so the signals continue, but they also go unanswered, so they get stronger and more consistent.
There are many other triggers that also add to our stressful state, such as:
- home life (calm or hostile)
- what products we clean our homes with (chemical cleaners)
- the air we breathe (highly polluted or less…after all its all polluted!)
- what we put on our body (lotions, dyes, makeup)
- meds (perscription or over the counter)
- what we drink (non-water liquids)
- and especially…WHAT WE EAT (or don’t eat!)
These are all triggers that contribute to a chronic state of stress. Whether it is mild or constant, whether it is life threatening or just the rush of life. Chronic building of stress in our body causes it to manage all stress in the same way no matter the cause.
This constant state of stress triggers a chronic fight or flight reaction.
However, this reaction is meant for occassional high stress and/or life threatening danger…
- like swimming with sharks
- an earthquake or natrual disaster
- losing your job
- or something like these
We are not supposed to deal with stress 24/7. When we are in a chronic state of stress, the body will try to cope to protect our core, before there is complete system breakdown.
Our body has many internal systems that communicate with one another. When one area is in trouble, another area can compensate for it...for a while. But when we have many and consistent areas that are imbalanced, it can create immune responses that are more serious, such as…
Inflammation, actually can be of benefit. Think of the last time you had the flu, you may have experienced achiness of some kind.
This achiness, is actually inflammation – which is a chemical reaction from within our white blood cells. The cells release chemicals into the affected areas of our body to protect it from foreign invaders.
When our immune system is healthy and functions as it should then the release of those chemicals will increase blood flow to that area and we may see some redness and even feel some pain or swelling aka inflammation. But after the invaders are destroyed, the inflammation subsides.
However, when we are dealing with constant stressors, that are never properly managed, the body will treat them just like foreign invaders.
As it tries to protect us from supposed “infections”, the continued inflammatory reaction never completes its cycle. This becomes chronic inflammation.
We can liken it to feeling those hunger pangs, when our body is really requesting water. (The same signal is sent whether we are hungry or thirsty.) If we don’t know this, when we feel hungry, instead of drinking water first, we eat something.
This not only left the request for water unanswered, but also will leave us in a deeper state of dehydration, since large amounts of water is also needed for digestion.
This will leave us in a deep deficit by the end of the day and our body will have to send stronger signals to get what it needs…make sense?
Likewise, if we don’t realize that the inflammation is due to the chronic stress of major deficiencies, we will respond to the signals sent incorrectly. This will build on the stress our body is already dealing with and will cause it to trigger stronger reactions, that we are trying to stop in the first place, like –
Remember this –
- Fat is a protection!
When our body is under stress – it goes into survival mode, triggering an inflammatory response.
Chronic inflammation causes the body to go into crisis management – which includes excess production of insulin.
Excess insulin production tells the body to stop using fat as fuel and to start storing it instead…fat is now being stored for protection!
Do you see why fat is our friend? Our fat is just trying to tell us that, if we have weight to lose:
- we are in a severely deficient state
- as a result our body has been cued to store fat due to chronic inflammation
- and fat is also confirming the best news of all – DIETS are NOT the ANSWER!
Unfortunately, until we address the real symptoms, we will continue to experience the vicious cycle of stress, fat storage and eventually suffer from chronic hunger and cravings…
We can stop chronic hunger, cravings and lose fat without dieting, when:
- We understand the damage that diets cause
- How we can eat food to heal
- And how eating can trigger weight loss!
Learn this and more in our final post on this 4 part Diet series…next time!
In the meantime, become a Foodie and Heal from the inside out with:
- Nutrition lessons (that you can listen to or watch)
- Nutrition tips
- Recipe Videos
- Live Coaching
- New topics every month!
BECOME WHAT YOU EAT, SUBSCRIBE TODAY!