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Day 8 - Why Is It Harder Now Than It Was In The 70s To Maintain A Healthy Weight?

DISCLAIMER - not my feet, not my scale and not my weight.

First...as promised, I said I would report my journey and Monday is the day I chose to do weigh in. Recall that last week, I lost over seven pounds...7.4 to be exact. Well this morning I weighed myself and gained back one of those pounds. I was a little disappointed but it will not derail me. Part of the reason may be that I started exercising last week and have done so every day except yesterday, including this morning. While exercising, I drank 32 ounces of water and came home and ate breakfast. Last week, I didn't have that extra liquid before weighing myself so I'm going to attribute it to that. I want to get on the scale at the same time on the same day every week which means I will have exercised, drunk 32 oz. of water and eaten breakfast. As long as I'm consistent, I'll get a pretty good feel for my progress.

Here's the important part though. I feel like I lost some weight. I have more energy. I'm sleeping better, although not surprisingly, last night I didn't sleep so well and I didn't go to the gym yesterday morning. But I got my behind up anyway and went this morning. And you know what? I don't regret losing the sleep. I'll go to bed earlier tonight and get a full night's sleep. And I fully expect to sleep soundly and deeply tonight and will wake up ready to conquer the gym again.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program (see the title for a hint). According to this article, there are several factors contributing to the growing girth of our society. Even if we ate less and exercised more than our same aged counterparts in 1970, we would still have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Stress - even if stress causes you to lose your appetite temporarily, in the long run the cortisol it causes your body to produce will increase belly fat. We are often in a constant state of fight or flight and our bodies never get a break from the stress.
  • Environment - there are ingredients in products we use every day that are estrogenic, meaning they imitate estrogen in our bodies, causing weight gain. Ingredients such as BPA, PCBs, triclosan, pesticides, fire retardants, just to name a few, affect how our bodies function.
  • Food - the quality of our food supply is not the same as it was fifty years ago. We have additives and preservatives that our bodies don't know how to process. The soil is depleted of nutrients and there are many food items that have been genetically modified (GMOs). When multiple generations of mice have been fed GMO food, they end up morbidly obese along with having multiple other health problems.
  • Drugs - the rampant use of prescription pharmaceuticals, especially antidepressants, has the unpleasant side effect of weight gain
  • Microbiome - the bacteria in our gut is designed to help eliminate toxins from our body and neutralize the effects of bad bacteria and yeast. However, the Standard American Diet does not promote good gut health and in fact, often has ingredients that actually kill off the good bacteria (think antibiotics in factory farmed meat).

There are ways to mitigate the impact of modern life on your waistline.

  • Eat real food - stay away from food that comes in a box, bag or can. If it wasn't alive, don't eat it. And if it contains any artificial ingredients, don't eat it.
  • Eat organic - minimize exposure to chemical pesticides that disrupt your body's ability to do its job
  • Read labels - if your personal care products have any of the hormone disrupting chemicals listed above, don't use them
  • Manage stress - take breaks, get adequate sleep, meditate, laugh, exercise, to minimize blood sugar fluctuations
  • Avoid overusing prescription drugs - only take antibiotics when other alternatives are not possible. Antibiotics kill off good bacteria as well as bad and can lead to an overgrowth of candida (yeast) in the body
  • Eat food that supports a healthy gut - fermented foods, foods with active probiotics, garlic, onions and asparagus, all promote a healthy microbiome

While our modern life makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, it isn't impossible. Just make sure you eat the way nature intended. Eat plants, not food that was made in a plant.

In case you missed my post on June 30th, I am using this 31 day challenge to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I have regained much of that weight so I am working my way back down.

If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes for your best life.

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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