Fat & toxins
It’s not easy to lose weight – a fact that you all know well. But did you also know that it’s not safe – to lose too fast.
There are a great many diets around and to be fair, most of them work. But what about the long term? The faster you get rid of fat, the quicker it comes back. This is the persistent fat theory.
Let’s look at that and the other reasons why simply going on a quick diet is not always the best thing to do to your body.
As a nation we are getting fatter, yet in many cases, despite weighing more, we are eating less. Dieters are worse off. Surveys show that nine out of 10 people on a diet today will end up as heavy, or heavier, within a year.
The problems of losing fat and staying slim are paradoxical. Many dietary “experts” see it as too simple by far. They assume that body-weight depends merely on the balance between input of calories and energy output.
Surely if fat is the body’s store for excess food, then dieting should be far more effective than it actually is.
You might think using one of the “new miracle” diets only sheds unwanted fat, but dieting also leads to the loss of valuable lean tissue, such as heart muscle and liver.
Why is it that you feel tired and cold on a low-calorie diet, when there is plenty of fat to burn for warmth and energy?
Why does the metabolic rate drop when you try to lose weight, thus protecting your fat stores?
Obviously there is something in these fat stores that makes them valuable to your body. It will go to great lengths to retain them.
An original theory by Melville and Johnson is that fat acts as a store for artificial chemicals our bodies regards as dangerous. They believe the body is capable of actively poisoning fat in response to any overload of toxins. Ergo, persistent fat.
The more chemicals, junk food, cigarettes and alcohol, we subject our bodies to, the more protective fat we gain. Remember, you don’t have to look fat to have a high body fat content.
It is not quite as simple as that, of course, but the general principle does make sense.
If your fat contains high concentrations of poisonous substances, burning it will release them into your system. Your body will try to prevent this, by metabolizing lean tissue and other uncontaminated energy stores thereby causing your metabolic rate to fall.
In other words, drastic weight loss, either by dieting or exercise, will produce loss of energy, headaches, nausea and listlessness.
What are these poisonous substances our bodies are absorbing every day?
Over the past few decades there has been a very large build-up of artificial chemicals in every area of our lives. Some are taken as drugs, both medically and socially. Some with food as additives, preservatives, pesticides or other processing contaminants.
Others are breathed in our air, through smoking (either first or secondary), industrial pollution, sprays and household chemicals. Our water is contaminated by a frightening variety of dangerous residues.
Let us look simply at the way the body deals with this chemical overload.
First, it attempts to break them down and convert them into water-soluble chemicals which can be excreted. This takes place in the body’s detoxification center, the liver. Mind you, the liver’s capacity is limited and the female liver is smaller than a man’s anyway, so it can easily get overloaded. The body may then shunt chemical residues into fat.
In other words, we have to be careful when we try to lose weight. Fat is more essential to the body than we imagined previously.
Quite simply, it prevents us from being poisoned.
But at the same time, being fat can be far more dangerous than we realized.
So what’s the answer?
Not easy to do, living in today’s world, but we’ll give it a try.
AIR: Get rid of aerosols, perfumed household products, insect killers and pesticides, sophisticated washing products (including those enzyme detergents). In fact, dispose of all items that do not smell entirely natural. Avoid dry-cleaning as much as possible. If you bring dry cleaning home, let the garments air out before you closet them.
SMOKING: Yes, smokers have rights and at the moment, some nonsmokers are becoming paranoid. But, look at the facts: Cigarette smoke contains over 200 known toxins and it reduces the availability of oxygen to the body. Non-smokers can suffer almost as badly from the air left by smokers.
EXERCISE: Physical activity is essential to increase the availability of oxygen in the blood. Deep breathing exercises such as those used in yoga are excellent. Aerobic and other rhythmic activities which make you breathe heavily, without exhaustion, are also necessary.
FOOD: Organic food, (grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides of any kind), is being increasingly demanded by people who ask why they should be forced to eat rubbish because it’s more profitable. Avoid synthetic food additives. Eat fresh vegetables, whole grain products, beans and fish. Eat as much raw food as possible. As well as home-sprouted beans, seeds or grain. Mung beans are probably the easiest to sprout. Just soak, then keep in a large jar, rinsing twice daily in pure water. In a warm place like an airing cupboard they’ll grow shoots an inch or two in about four days. Eat raw or stir-fry. These sprouts are free of toxic residues and contain nutrients suited to detoxification.
Ensure that you eat foods rich in the essential amino acids, from which the body makes glutathione, a vital ingredient in the liver for excreting toxins. Cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts; all are good for this purpose.
Eggs are rich sources of nutrients but make sure they are free range. Battery eggs are likely to contain pesticide and drug residues, with lower levels of important minerals and vitamins.
Meat from an organic farm is preferred, but few farmers are willing to change quantity for quality. Animal fat is likely to be contaminated; animals also concentrate poisons in their fat. Choose skimmed milk, low fat yogurt, cold-pressed vegetable oils. Olive oil, preferably virgin (the first pressing), is low in cholesterol. There is a remarkably low incidence of heart disease in the Mediterranean countries where only olive oil is consumed.
If you like cheese, eat only low-fat types such as gouda. But have no more than an ounce a day and avoid cheeses that contain coloring and preservatives.
Sheep and goat cheese are generally better and healthier than cheese produced with cow’s milk.
Treat sugar as a poison. Its connection with many forms of illness prove this. But don’t use synthetic substitutes or other sweeteners. Honey is the natural sweetener.
Alcohol stresses the liver, and large quantities of beer soon produce unwanted fat.
Even the water from our tap is an enemy. Use a filter or buy bottled water for drinking. Although biologically safe, chlorine-treated water contains a host of potentially harmful compounds.
Most restaurant food leaves a lot to be desired. Produce is being bought cheaply and in quantity, with rich sauces hiding poor quality. Hence, more and more whole-food shops and restaurants are opening up.
Try a Greek or Italian cookbook and their healthy Mediterranean diet. Japanese or whole-food cooking is also good.
It will surprise you to know there are a lot of overweight people out there probably eating their way through something like 4,000 calories a day actually suffering from malnutrition.
The explanation is in the amounts they eat and not the quality.
These people are not in general of a greedy nature.
That is the sad part of it.
They have a compulsion to eat because their bodies crave the nutrients it requires and find very little in the food they eat.
A change of diet, allied to exercise, will produce a change in your shape.
But not too quickly – remember the persistent fat theory. Take it nice and easy, lose weight, and stay healthy.