It’s no secret that smoking has caused countless deaths and illnesses, for both the smoker and those around them that are subjected to their second-hand smoke.
But for the first time in history smoking has been surpassed by another health wrecker that affects people of all ages.
Currently 1 in 5 deaths in the US is associated with obesity. That should be no surprise when you consider that 1 out of 3 of us (a whopping 33 percent) is obese!
Although people are still continuously advised to reduce calories, there is no shortage of obesity drugs, and more bariatric surgeries are being performed, our obesity rates are still going UP.
What that boils down to is this:
- Calorie restriction is useless because your body goes into starvation mode and you practically need a chisel to take off more weight at that point.
- Obesity drugs are typically only tested to be used for one year, so they’re not a lifelong answer and the list of side effects could fill a book.
- Bariatric surgery doesn’t always work, and even if it does, you lose weight by restricting the amount of food your stomach can hold, causing malabsorption of nutrients…and if you think surgically inducing nutrient deficiencies won’t open you up to health problems, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
The sneaky hidden danger of obesity
What makes obesity especially dangerous is is the presence of large amounts of visceral fat.
Visceral fat is stored down deeper than your subcutaneous fat--which is the fat you feel when you “pinch an inch” of your waist.
Visceral fat surrounds and engulfs your major abdominal organs, including your kidneys, pancreas, liver and intestines. Visceral fat can trigger inflammation and interfere with your body’s normal hormonal functions.
Excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of:
- Heart disease
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disorders
What we’ve overlooked with obesity
Current research on the obesity epidemic is showing connections between obesity and your digestive system. The factors that have emerged so far are:
- Alterations in gut bacteria
- Low-grade inflammation
- Elevated levels of endocannabinoids
- Food sensitivities
Alterations in gut bacteria
Your gut microbiome helps maintain your metabolism and plays a role in how much fat you store.
It’s a fact that people who are obese have a different balance of gut bacteria (specifically the Bifidobacterium species) than thin people do.
Researchers have observed a low-grade inflammatory process in people who are obese.
Inflammation in the gut can impair your body’s ability to properly metabolize food and absorb nutrients, which in turn can cause repeated feelings of hunger, overeating and weight gain.
Elevated levels of endocannabinoids
Endocannabinoids are the compounds in marijuana that trigger the commonly reported food cravings (munchies).
But most people don’t realize that your body also produces its own endocannabinoids!
Your endocannabinoid levels rise and fall as needed, and help to regulate your appetite, influence your mood, control your heart rate and blood pressure, and affect your liver, pancreas, muscles and fat cells.
Studies have shown that levels of endocannabinoids stay chronically high in obese people. This can lead to elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and weight gain.
When people eat foods that their bodies are sensitive to, that can create a tremendous amount of inflammation in the gut. People with gluten sensitivity can certainly attest to this.
Many nutritionists (including myself) have observed that once their clients deal with their food sensitivities, they begin to easily lose weight.
Help fight and prevent obesity
If you are dealing with obesity, or even if your weight is creeping up and you want to stop it, it’s important to look at the possible factors behind the obesity “explosion” and counteract them as much as you can.
Here are 5 strategies that can help make a difference for you:
Take a full-spectrum probiotic supplement
Clearly, having healthy gut bacteria is where it’s at for SO many reasons, and you can add helping to fight obesity on to the list.
That's why supplementation with a full-spectrum multi-strain probiotic formula that includes Bifidobacterium like Super Shield is such a good idea for so many people.
In addition to populating your microbiome with potent, helpful probiotic strains, Super Shield also helps encourage regular BMs and proper nutrient absorption, which are also both important to weight loss!
Avoid processed foods and refined carbs
Not only do processed foods and refined carbs pack the pounds on you, but they also create inflammation in your gut which is an emerging factor behind obesity.
Stick to wholesome real foods as much as possible. If you find you can’t do a complete 180 all at once, make small changes over time. Every little bit counts.
The better nourished you are, the less likely you will be to crave the bad stuff or snack and overeat.
And if you want to make sure all your nutrient bases are covered, a top-notch multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help pinch-hit where you need it.
Super Core’s complete blend of essential vitamins and minerals helps make sure your body has what it needs to support optimal health.
Plus its additional natural anti-inflammatories can help counteract any inflammation you may be battling, and its natural antioxidants will help in the fight against disease-causing free radicals!
If you suspect you may be sensitive to certain foods, see a doctor to get properly tested.
You can also try an elimination diet at home. If there are foods you suspect you have a problem with, pick the top 3 or 4, eliminate them from your diet and see how you feel. If you feel better (less gas, bloating, etc.) make a note of that.
Then reintroduce the foods back into your diet one at a time, with at least 3 days between each. If your symptoms return, you’ll have your answer.
Work up a sweat
In addition to burning calories, exercise reduces stress, helps reduce inflammation and even helps enhance your digestion!
Get your doctor’s OK and get moving. Even walking around your neighborhood counts!
Reduce gut inflammation
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are Nature’s perfect anti-inflammatory…and they are one of the most common deficiencies we face. Our food supply does not provide the naturally occurring Omega-3s that it used to.
But supplementing with a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help ensure your body has enough of these precious nutrients.
Note that fish oil is also very helpful for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, which commonly accompany obesity!
Fight the battle of the bulge now and win—and likely enjoy a longer life!
To your health,Sherry Brescia