Before you get too upset with us for talking about weight loss — something we literally never do — hear us out.
There’s a lot of chatter behind-the-scenes here about whether or not we should talk about ‘weight loss’ at all. Our stance, thus far, has always been to leave it alone.
As a female-focused site, we are intimately aware with the unnatural pressures most women face to maintain an ideal — or even under-weight — profile. Those cultural standards are rapidly changing, thanks to a body-positive movement we consider ourselves active participants in.
All that said, balance is everything. Scientifically speaking, a healthy weight is still an undeniably crucial part of every body’s health.
As 2020 was a year in which most of us moved less, stressed more, and ate (and even drank) our feelings in a way we thought we’d overcome ages ago, how to lose quarantine weight has become a very relevant and health-forward topic for many of us.
We’ve chosen to address the weight loss topic with a gut health pro we’ve trusted for eons, Donna Gate of Body Ecology. Below, Donna addresses responsible ways to lose weight — please note that none of them include radical calorie restriction or overwork, and all of them can be done in a deeply nurturing way that maintains our sense of self-love….
Gut Health Expert Donna Gates On How To Lose Quarantine Weight
2020 certainly brought unique challenges upon us all. Challenges that may have led to stress, anxiety, depression, and possibly weight gain. Now, on the other side of the coin, making a few lifestyle and dietary adjustments may significantly change how your body metabolizes fat and regains balance.
What are the normal weight loss suggestions you’re used to hearing? Eat less? Exercise more? While these guidelines follow general principles for managing weight and maintaining a strong body, they do not address food quality or deeper biochemical signals that may prompt the body to store fat. They also don’t help you eliminate foods that trigger weight gain from your diet or eat foods that are full of good bacteria for gut health so you can lose weight naturally.
Here’s why this topic matters so much: the tendency to carry additional weight has been linked to a number of factors, including toxins in the body which are difficult to avoid or eliminate. Other toxins, such as dietary toxins, are far easier to reduce or completely eliminate. These toxins are foods that cause oxidative stress on the body and promote an inflammatory response. Several studies tie both to promoting weight gain. (1)(2)
Let’s start to peel back the onion, shall we?
7 Ways to Lose Weight Healthfully + Responsibly
1. Cut out refined sugar, and use a good replacement. You’ve heard it a million times. Just eliminate the refined sugar. Fructose goes directly to the liver for processing, where it’s converted into fat. If you don’t have candidiasis, certain low glycemic fruits (green apples, blackberries, cranberries, lemons, limes) are ok in moderation.
As an alternative, Reb A Stevia has been one of my go-to sugar alternatives ever since I brought it to the US years ago! Stevia is a natural sweetener that does not prompt your body to store fat, like fructose does. It can help tremendously with sugar cravings, won’t affect weight, has a regulating effect on pancreas and could help stabilize blood sugar levels. It also does not contribute to insulin resistance or promote pathogenic bacteria and fungal overgrowth. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. I also prefer a high quality liquid concentrate, made from the white powder.
And, as I say, everything has a front and a back to it. Some people are apprehensive about using it, thinking Stevia is linked to hormonal imbalances. If you were to consume a ton of it daily, for years, then, as with anything, it may have a negative effect on the body.
2. reduce your omega 6 intake. Even some organic and raw food companies will include refined and processed oils, like corn, soy, sunflower, and safflower oil. These oils are overburdening our systems with too much omega 6 fatty acids. They can often be rancid and cause oxidative stress and inflammation.
Just one of several studies implies your kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren may be predisposed to obesity and diabetes if you eat a diet heavy in refined omega 6 oils.(3)
To create a good balance of Omegas (more Omega 3s than Omega 6s), add in fermented green powders that contain antioxidants, alleviate oxidative stress and help to neutralize toxins. These also contain healthy omega 3 oils that are found abundantly in microalgae, and are easily digestible and supply your body with healthy gut bacteria.
3. Promote the growth of good bacteria with fermented foods. The amount of research recently done on the microbes populating our intestinal tract is overwhelming. However, when you realize that for every one human cell in the body, there are 100 bacteria, it becomes quickly evident how much an impact they make.
Several studies have shown that different microbes in the gut will actually help weight loss.
Gut flora will change metabolism and can determine how many nutrients are pulled from food, as well as the transit time of food through the intestinal tract.(4) All of these factors affect weight.
A healthy inner ecosystem also means more beneficial microflora helping you digest the foods you eat, and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently. Fermented foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy microflora that heal your inner ecosystem. Cultured vegetables and Young Coconut Kefir are just two examples of superfoods that help us stay healthy, slim, and youthful.
A warning about antibiotics, a popular therapy used to control even low-grade infections. Not only have several antibiotic-resistant superbugs evolved from the overuse of antibiotics, but also many of us have a dwindling populating of good bacteria in our intestinal tracts.
Processed foods, too much sugar, and excessive stress further affect the inner ecology of our gut. Dysbiosis in the gut leads to weight gain. Before implementing probiotic foods into your diet, you may want to consult a functional doctor to address imbalances in the gut and treat dysbiosis too reduce harmful bacteria in the gut.
Fermented foods and drinks greatly reduce sugar cravings. If you’d rather drink something quickly, you may want to try drinking just 4 ounces (½ cup) before bed, which can significantly impact what kind of bacteria your intestinal tract harbors.
4. Food combining. Food combining is the little-known secret to eating well that enhances your digestion to give you energy and to help weight loss and keep the weight off.
Proper food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. You can learn the basics with three simple guidelines:
Eat Fruits Alone on an Empty Stomach. As mentioned before, fruit that is low glycemic like lemons and limes, unsweetened juices from cranberries and black currants, and pomegranates is metabolized quickly. So if you pair it with something like a protein, which is metabolized very slowly, the sugar can sit in the gut which can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
With that said, these sour fruits combine best with kefir and yogurt made from milk or sprouted seeds and nuts. Nuts, seeds, and dairy foods including cheese are called “protein fats” because they truly are a protein and a fat combined together by nature.
Eat Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables and/or Ocean Vegetables. If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The poorly-digested food travels through the digestive tract, reaching the intestines, where it putrefies and causes your blood to become acidic. It also provides a welcome environment for disease-causing pathogens! Taking digestive enzymes can also help the body to better break down protein at each meal.
Eat Grains and Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy and/or Ocean Vegetables. When I refer to grains, I always talk about amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet. These ancient grains are high in protein, gluten-free, and rich in B vitamins, and they feed the beneficial bacteria in your inner ecosystem.
You might find after just a few days of following food combining principles that some weight loss has been achieved. Your body will no longer be bloated, and you’ll rid yourself of toxins.
You might also feel hungrier — just eat more frequently. As long as you are combining properly and eating when you are hungry, you will likely not gain weight! As your energy increases, you will find you now have more energy to exercise. This then will result in the weight loss you want, becoming more slender and well-toned.
5. Sleep well! Sleep and weight loss go hand in hand. When sleep is reduced or interrupted, the effects on the fat you lose can decrease.(5) Your body needs time to re-energize from the possible stressors (anxiety, stress, depression) and rejuvenate GABA and tryptophan so that we also don’t crave foods that aren’t good for us.
Also, try not to eat dinner too late, and choose something that doesn’t have protein (since that takes longest to digest).
6. Use digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes help your body to break down large food molecules, waste products, and even cellular debris when taken at the right time. Enzyme deficiency can also contribute to an overgrowth of pathogenic microorganisms because food is more likely to sit in the digestive tract and ferment, leading to an inflammatory response and bloating.
7. Consider taking a liver supplement. Removing toxic foods from the diet is one part of weight loss, while enabling the body to get rid of old toxins is another important aspect. If you haven’t taken steps to cleanse your body and open up your bile ducts, it’s important to consider making this your next step. Use something that is specially formulated with protective herbs and bile stimulants that support liver detoxification.
All of these factors are at the root of weight loss.
Study after study points to the necessity of balancing the internal environment in order to achieve any significant and lasting changes in weight.
Weight loss isn’t just about eating fewer calories and exercising. You can make a difference in maintaining a healthy weight by eliminating dietary toxins that stress the body and cause an inflammatory response, which is directly linked to weight gain.
This lifestyle adjustment provides you with all the necessary tools to help lose weight fast, cool inflammatory stress, repopulate the gut with friendly microbes, clean up internal toxins, and alleviate sugar cravings.
- Do Chemicals in Our Environment Cause Weight Gain? National Center for Health Research https://www.center4research.org/chemicals-environment-cause-weight-gain/
- Inflammation-Sensitive Plasma Proteins Are Associated With Future Weight Gain. Diabetes August 2003 vol. 52 no. 8 2097-2101. doi: 10.2337/diabetes.52.8.2097
Excessive intake of omega 6 and deficiencies in omega 3 induce obesity down the generations. Science Daily. July 2010. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726221737.htm
- Gut Microbiota and Its Possible Relationship With Obesity. Mayo Clinic Proceedings April 2008 vol. 83 no. 4 460-469. doi: 10.4065/ 83.4.460
Annals of Internal Medicine. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. October 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951287/
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.