The Rules of Fat-Loss


The Rules of Fat-Loss

For decades, an endless stream of well-marketed diets and new-fangled exercise programs has been promising an easy path to a leaner, trimmer you. Every year, it seems, we are enticed simply to drop all “bad carbs” or to purchase the latest piece of home gym equipment and good health and happiness will surely be ours. But the rules of fat loss have changed from what we once thought them to be. No longer can we rely on diet alone to shed unwanted weight. Nor can we simply exercise the pounds away. Certainly, poor eating habits and lack of physical activity are two of the biggies when it comes to explaining escalating obesity rates. But they are by no means the only culprits.

Today’s headlines read like a laundry list of previously overlooked factors that can impede successful weight loss—from lack of sleep and excess stress to the chemicals in our soaps. With so many lifestyle influences to consider, all the calorie-cutting and exercise in the world, in isolation, will not provide the golden key to achieving the lasting change we desire.

Until now, the prevailing approach to conquering obesity has been like putting a broken arm in a sling without first resetting the bone. Concentrating on diet and exercise alone addresses only part of the problem. On a basic level, the old rules still apply. Weight loss happens when we burn more calories—via exercise and basic life functions such as breathing and digesting—than we take in. But there’s another absolutely critical, routinely ignored variable that must be integrated into this equation: our hormones. These wondrous, unseen chemicals are produced by our body to manage everything from breathing to digestion to sexual responses and more. At the same time, our hormones are influenced by a myriad of factors, including exercise, diet, sleep, stress and even the seemingly innocuous, everyday chemicals from soaps and cosmetics.


What are you thinking right now? Do you feel happy or anxious? What did you eat for your last meal? Is it noisy where you are? How deeply or quickly are you breathing? Did you exercise today? How many cups of coffee have you had? Do you like the person beside you at the moment? Have you enjoyed sex lately?

The answer to every one of these questions has an impact on your hormones. As your five senses delicately interact with and respond to your external environment, your nervous system is continuously communicating with your endocrine system—a series of glands and tissues—constantly at work manufacturing, delivering and processing a wide assortment of hormones to maintain balance among all your internal systems. Even the emotions you experience have the potential to influence your hormones—and vice versa.

Hormones are essentially tiny chemical messengers that spark communication processes throughout your body. They play an enormous role in influencing almost every aspect of your well-being, including your thoughts and feelings. Whether you feel the need to sleep, warm up, cool down, eat jelly beans, grab a coffee or have a quickie, all your desires and actions can be traced back to your hormonal activity.

Hormones also directly affect your appearance. Besides body composition, the look and feel of your skin and hair are influenced by hormones. If you want to look fresher, stimulate your metabolism, lose fat, feel calmer, sleep better, get stronger, feel sexier and focus better, gaining control over your hormonal balance is truly the key.

Since hormones are the key to controlling our appetite and stimulating metabolism, achieving and maintaining hormonal balance plays an essential role in achieving lasting fat loss. Yes, diet and exercise are important, but so are sleeping well, reducing toxin exposure, maintaining healthy liver function, optimizing digestion, limiting stress and conquering inflammation. All of these factors can influence our hormonal activity—and weight-loss success—in truly dramatic ways.

Our hormones dictate where we store fat and also how we will lose it. The newest research from the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 2007) suggests our hormones determine our success with different diets. Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at Children’s Hospital Boston, found that people who rapidly secreted large amounts of the hormone insulin in response to consumption of sugar or carbohydrates tended to achieve better weight-loss results on a low-glycemic diet that restricted starches and sugars than they did on a low-fat diet. He also discovered that they carried more weight around the waist (the so-called apple shape) compared with those who secreted less insulin and tended to store their excess fat around their hips (the pear shape).

The pear-shaped subjects fared equally well on both types of eating programs, but they tended to gain back over half the weight they lost on the low-fat diet after the study was completed. The apple-shaped people who also followed the low-fat regimen also regained their weight, but kept it off after the low-glycemic diet.


The human body is a truly phenomenal machine that naturally strives to remain in a balanced state. When we’re cold, we shiver. When we’re thirsty or hungry, the brain gives us the appropriate signals to drink or grab a bite to eat. When our hormones and bodily responses are thrown out of balance, stress is the result. The body then miraculously offers a wide range of alerts, which can be as subtle as an increase in thirst or as severe as diabetes.

Consider these alarming statistics:

• An estimated 65 million Americans have metabolic syndrome, a set of underlying risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

• By the age of 30, 1 in 4 people has an associated risk factor such as abdominal fat or insulin resistance.

• By the age of 60, 3 out of 4 people have one or more of the associated factors.

• One in 13 people suffers from hypothyroidism. Some sources say up to 30 per cent of the population has a thyroid disorder and an estimated 13 million cases may remain undiagnosed each year.

• Forty-three per cent of women aged 18 to 59 report experiencing sexual dysfunctions at some point in their life.

• About 75 per cent of women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

• Seventy-five per cent of menopausal women experience life-disrupting symptoms.

• Andropause, also known as male menopause, affects 30 to 40 per cent of aging men.

• An estimated 40 per cent of women and 30 per cent of men suffer from insomnia, a statistic that increases with age.

• Seventy-four per cent of adults are chronically sleep deprived.

• The World Health Organization reports depression will become the world’s number one disability, surpassing cancer and heart disease.

• An estimated 80 to 90 percent of all disease is caused by stress.

What’s the unifying factor among all these conditions? Every one of them is spurred by an underlying hormonal imbalance. Sadly, the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance are so widespread that they barely register as a blip on our radar screens. Many of us have hormone-related health conditions that interfere with our quality of life, but we’re not even aware of them. In fact, we’re so imbalanced, I fear most of us don’t even know what “normal” feels like anymore.

At the same time, we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. More than 58 per cent of Canadians and 61 per cent of Americans are overweight (BMI greater than 25), a number that continues to escalate each year. According to statistics, 23 per cent of Canadians and 30 per cent of Americans are obese (BMI greater than 30). Data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show obesity and related conditions alone account for more than $100 billion in health-care expenses annually.


What does hormonal havoc mean to you? Some women might immediately think of hot flashes or the emotional meltdown they experienced before their last period. Men might think back to what it was like being 17 when they could think of nothing but sex, sex and more sex. Both these situations involve hormones that are out of whack, as do hypothyroidism, infertility, diabetes, stress, insomnia, depression, anxiety, obesity, irregular periods, low libido, memory loss and a lengthy list of other conditions brought on by hormonal mix-ups.

But maybe you just feel tired all the time. Or you notice fat hanging around that seems impossible to lose. Perhaps your cravings for sweets, carbs or salt will not let up, your skin is not as bright as it once was or the texture of your hair has changed. These much subtler signs can also signal a state of hormonal upheaval.

No matter how an imbalance manifests on the outside, the internal reality remains the same—any and all hormonal imbalance leads to difficulty losing weight, increased risk of obesity and unhealthy aging. Long-term weight loss and wellness are next to impossible until you bring your hormones back into balance.

Boost Metabolism with Help from Your Hormones

One of the primary factors determining body weight is metabolism, the internal furnace that regulates fat burning. Everyone’s metabolism is different, which is why some people appear to be able to eat just about anything and remain lean while others seem to pack on pounds easily.

Many forces can influence your metabolism, but four main factors govern our metabolic rate:

1. The thyroid: your internal thermostat

The thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every single cell in the body and also maintains body temperature. Without enough thyroid hormone, all our bodily functions slow down. We feel tired and lethargic, gain weight, experience constipation, feel cold and are prone to depression.

2. The rush of adrenalin

A quick release of adrenalin is the body’s first response to stress. This hormone provides a short-term metabolic boost because it draws on the body’s fat stores to provide that burst of energy we feel in a “fight-or-flight” situation.

3. Marvelous muscle

Muscle tissue is metabolically active at rest, as well as during use. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn, even while sleeping or watching TV. This metabolic factor is the easiest to control with the right wellness plan. Unfortunately, loss of muscle is a normal part of aging. 

4. The thermic effect of eating

Thermic pertains to heat. Thermic or “thermogenic” foods literally heat you up and raise your metabolism. The thermic effect happens as your body burns calories, simply by digesting and absorbing the food. Yes, even the very act of eating stimulates your metabolism, especially when you consume protein, which has the highest thermic effect of any food group. There’s another metabolic benefit of protein; eating it also helps to support metabolically active muscle growth, especially if you are using strength training. And strength training helps to increase the thermic effect. A study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found the thermic effect of the same meal was 50 percent greater in men who engaged in regular weight training versus those who were sedentary. This certainly helps to illustrate why strength training is so important for optimal calorie burning.

All these metabolism factors involve hormones. In each case, an appropriate hormonal balance is the key to ensuring optimal metabolic function. Set the foundation of hormonal balance and function with the Metabolic Reset which includes a protein source, collagen and fiber. Shop Here.

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