The topic of weight loss and obesity are becoming more and more intertwined and of concern. In fact the American Medical Association is pushing for calling obesity a disease. However, weight gain is progressive and is weight loss. In dealing with this epidemic, it is important to see the driving engines behind the inability of most to loose the unwanted fat. In proving an accurate weight loss assessment let us consider the following fundamental factors:
Notice I have placed the physiological factor next to the psychologic and for good reason. Recent studies point us to the psychological factors that are closely related to our emotions/triggers as we may have been conditioned to early in our developmental stages. These triggers function as programs and can in fact cause a pattern of behaviors that lead to that comfort zone, that extra padding we seem to hold so tight to and are unable to let go of.
We will however, make the psychological and environmental the two most important focal points as the behavioral factor is in general a result of the first two. As for the genetic factor, this is more an exception and the occurrence has been low in the past decades. I believe it is going to become more a prevalent school of thought, as we will see an increase in numbers of such cases. I have good reason to believe history shows us that obesity is not a genetic predisposition except in few cases, and it is possible as it becomes more prevalent that we will in fact cause mutations that will cause us to view it as a genetic predisposition.
Weight Loss Assessment, the Environmental Factors that influence weight gain
We can make observations and graze into the statistics and graph charts to get a general idea based on the changes we have seen in the past two decades with respect to weight gain and obesity in our nation. Industrialization and the fast paced movement of our life styles have brought about certain toxins called neurotoxins that have been pin pointed and identified as the culprits of this pandemic. Are you one of those that no matter how much you diet or exercise you find yourself rendered powerless in the face of weight loss? Or perhaps the pounds you managed to rid of came back with a vengeance?
What re neurotoxins and what role to they play in Weight Loss Assessment?
Neurotoxins are substances that interfere with the electrical activities of nerves, preventing them from conducting their functions. The central nervous system is the commander of all bodily processes and functions and if or when it’s functions are hindered even in the most basic ways it can fail to perform, causing many health issues. Neurotoxins will overstimulate the nerve cell causing it to fry and die off. These neurotoxins have been linked to degenerative diseases even, no to mention weight gain. These neurotoxins are present in the food we eat, the water we drink, even in the air. Sadly these are even present in baby food.
The presence to neurotoxins has increased significantly within the past few decades and it is no coincidence that we have seen obesity and weight management issues on the rise.
There are many neurotoxins in the food, beverages, the air, and here are 10 of the most common ones:
Aspartame, is common in sugar free foods and drinks: (Equal, AminoSweet, NutraSweet, Spoonful. Aspartame is made from fecal matter of genetically modified bacteria. Scientific studies have linked aspartame to: obesity, diabetis, kidney failure, neurological disorders, mental illness and brain tumors to name a few.
Monosodium glutamate, known as sodium glutamate or MSG. It is found in chips, baby food, restaurant food, canned food, junk food. Experts have found this compound to be instrumental in neurodegenerative brain disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. The evidence presented claims that MSG destroys neurons in brain cells.
Sucralose, or Splenda, this artificial sweetener was accidentally discovered while working on research to create a new insecticide. Some researchers maintain sucralose should be categorized as insecticide. It is a chlorinated compound and a cousin of DDT, and when the body breaks it down it releases a very toxic element. It is important to note that as more and more of these toxins invade our body, our liver is overwhelmed and stores them in fat deposits to prevent them from causing extreme harm and poison our bodies. This is a natural defense mechanism of our physical body intended for our good.
Aluminum is a heavy metal found in drinking water, over-the-counter antacids, vaccines. It is difficult for the body to deal with because it is injected in vaccines.
Mercury, one of the most dangerous ones as it binds other metals, vitamins, and minerals causing havoc in the physical body. When present in the body for more than 10 years this heavy metal causes tremendous problems ranging from adrenal, thyroid, hormonal imbalances, serious mental issues, and motor function problems. When mercury binds to iodine it disrupts basic functioning of the thyroid gland, and when it slows it down, weight gain is the result. Mercury also binds to magnesium and magnesium is responsible for at least 300 of the intracellular functions that we are aware of. You can imagine then, the damage mercury makes. It is present in fish, amalgam fillings known as silver fillings, and due to its binding properties it is used in skin care, personal care products, such as shampoos, hair sprays to name a few. It is also present in the air and water as a bi-product of coal burning. The Government regulates it in personal care products to 3%, however, you could see how it can compound. Mercury destroys brain tissue.
Fluoride (sodium fluoride), is present in water and tooth paste. Prior to being introduced to the consumer, fluoride was used to poison rats. It is different than calcium fluoride, and not to be confused.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is present in junk food and it contains high concentrations of aspartame and glutamate. In high concentrations these compounds can cause brain cell death as mentioned above.
Calcium caseinate is harmful to the brain and it is found in protein drinks, energy bars and junk food.
Sodium caseinate: causes gastrointestinal problems and autism, found in: dairy products and junk food.
Yeast extract: is toxic to the brain and found in canned food.
Another very crucial factor we would like to add to this vast atlas of environmental factors, are estrogen like compounds that trick the brain into an estrogen/progesterone imbalance, and this alone can be a huge factor in the battle of the bulge.
And why should all the above matter and how does this relate to Weight Loss Assessment
These so called neurotoxins affect the brain function and we will now get into leptin, a hormone that regulates fat. Remember, as mentioned above, all begins with the brain. The liver’s function is to deal with all of these toxins, however, in this day and age it is bombarded with so many of these offender that it deposits these toxic compounds in fat to protect our bodies from being literally poisoned.
So much for these neurotoxins and we will expand into another article for those interested to delve into the intricate workings and dynamic of the brain.
Leptin, the KEYWORD, the master hormone responsible for regulating body weight
Leptin is the master hormone instrumental in body fat regulation and it should be dedicated at least a chapter of its own. Leptin is hormone found in the brown fat cells responsible for telling the brain we have enough fat stored. Leptin’s primary target is in the brain, to be more specific the area of the brain called the hypothalamus. It prevents us from starving and over eating. This hormone triggers the rain signaling hunger or satiety. Any form of disruption or resistance results in body fat deregulation. We could see how, culprits such as neurotoxins can block the highways and byways of nerve cell communication to and from the brain resulting in excess weight that cannot be dispelled by the body via it’s predestined means.
Weight Loss Assessment …. let us consider the emotional eater
Emotional eating has been a talked about topic and it is indeed a valid one. Let us explore the possibilities. Is there an emotional lack or emptiness that drives us to such behavior? I am going to veer now into the psychological aspect of of the issue of weight gain. In reading a book called the: “Broken Brain” written by Elden M. Charles, I have learned about how shattered nerve cells can cause havoc within the brain functioning mechanics, resulting in a lack of serotonin production. This serotonin is the chemical that is responsible for the feel good emotions, and lack of it, results in depression and many other psychological imbalances driving us to seek pleasure in foods, sex, drugs, alcohol and so on. This happens to young children who suffer from trauma, as their brain is set in flight or fight mode and over the years of this set pattern, adrenal fatigue reaches all time highs. These set patterns can be broken once this issue is identified, in order to establish new healthy neurons and pathways. Research shows that emotional trauma during the brain developmental stages of life, can render the brain, or better said; programs the brain to lack in it’s proper functions later, at the puberty stages when serotonin production is suppose to begin. As such, when reaching the age when the brain begins to release serotonin, the earlier produced emotional trauma causes damage to the brain cells, resulting into the inability to function, and provide this sort of joyous homeostasis the natural body was designed to produce. This dynamic then becomes a means for reaching out and trying to find satisfaction or relief.
We can see how weight loss assessment can be a very intricate and complex study. It is specific to each individual and should be treated as such. Our approach to weight loss evaluation is vast and spans beyond the metabolic and endocrinological factors. Identifying the underlying causes of the inability to loose weight ie: hormonal deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, leptin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic insufficiency, set-point issues, vitamin deficiencies are all results of the above mentioned factors and many can be tested. Just as side note: research has shown that exessive dieting and exercise can induce hypothyroidism. Now this is an interesting bit and important to know. It turns out that under-eating and over-exercising can affect the thyroid function and especially in women. It is important to eat balanced and exercise of course, however this proves that diet and exercise alone are not in any way effective in the the genuine weight loss assessment, but the above mentioned factors are.
Taking all the above into consideration, along with extensive metabolic testing is our goal. Measuring tissue thyroid levels as well as metabolic and hormonal laboratory testing to determine the physiologic basis is crucial as is the heavy metal testing to get insight on the presence of neurotoxins and gradually rid o them. And of course looking at the adrenal function, the cortisol levels to find out if the causes of disruption are environmental or psychological is just as imperative. When looking at the thyroid function, TSH panels do not reveal any specifics, further T3 and rT3 testing tend to give more clarity for instance.