Fat Carries Your Body’s Burden
by Lucy Beale
Obesity rates are soaring; over 2/3 of people in the U.S. are overweight. Diabetes rates are rising epidemically for both adults and children. It’s true that people are eating more and exercising less. But it’s hard to believe that this alone explains the drastic expansion of our national girth.
I’ve been teaching people how to lose weight without dieting for over 20 years—in classrooms, teleclasses, conferences and one-on-one. Over the years, I’ve noticed it gets harder and harder for my clients to lose weight. There’s something new in the “fat-gain” equation that didn’t exist even 20 years ago. What’s new is our increasing exposure to more and more toxins. The research term for the amount of toxins a person’s body contains is “body burden.” Let me tell you a couple of stories from my client files.
Agnes was eating as I taught her based on her stomach’s hunger signals. She exercised three or four times a week. Her food diary indicated she definitely wasn’t over- or undereating. But she still had 60 pounds to lose, and her weight wouldn’t budge.
She worked in accounting. During one of our phone coaching sessions, I learned she was an in-house accountant for a metal fabrications factory. Her office desk was next to the door to the factory, and above her desk was a vent between the two areas. All day long, metal filings were floating into the glass of drinking water on her desk. Eight hours a day for 24 years, she’d been breathing metal particulates. Now the factory was shutting down, and she was looking for a new job.
A year later, Agnes sent me an email. She was so excited that she’d finally lost 60 pounds by following my program and was easily keeping off the weight. I was thrilled for Agnes, but I wondered if losing the metal toxins, too, helped.
Kathy lived on the East Coast and was a brand new stay-at-home mom. She couldn’t lose the last 50 pounds to meet her weight goal, and again, her food intake and lifestyle indicated she should be effortlessly reaching it.
I asked about possible toxins. She said she’d been a nail technician for 14 years. Think of it—14 years of breathing those unpleasant fumes associated with artificial nails. Kathy needed to do a full-out gentle detox lifestyle program for a year or two to lose the toxins to reach her goal size.
Gail and her husband still drank the local well water in their upper Midwest community, while all her neighbors had converted to city water. She ate modestly and exercised adequately. Were those extra 70 pounds related to toxins in her drinking and bathing water?
The answer is yes. Excess body fat is a person’s personal toxic waste dump.
Here’s why: The body stores toxins in fat to keep them out of the bloodstream and away from vital organs. In other words, this protects you from being poisoned. In times past, scientists assumed that toxins in our environment and food simply passed through the body and didn’t stay there. But we now know that is not true.. When a person’s toxin load gets too high for the amount of body fat, the body makes more fat molecules in which to store the excess toxins.
How does it do this? By increasing your appetite and compelling you to overeat so that it can manufacture more fat. Your eating becomes a fat-creating mechanism even if you’re eating so called “healthy” foods.
What’s a person to do? Eliminate as many daily-use toxins as possible, while realizing that some toxins are simply here to stay: the air we breathe, highway exhaust fumes, airplane fuel fumes, and some preservatives and additives in our food supply. Yes, we can do better as a nation to improve these, but it’s more important to deal with the toxins over which you have personal control.
Eliminate the toxins you can.
• Avoid eating mystery ingredients. If a packaged food contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, they don’t need to be in your body.
• If you eat packaged foods, choose those with three or fewer ingredients.
• Drink purified water. Consider installing a reverse osmosis type of water purifier under your sink. This helps save plastic water bottle pollution.
• Take off your artificial nails and go natural. If your nails are weak or splitting, a good remedy is to take digestive enzymes for protein with each meal. I recommend digestive enzymes that contain betaine hydrochloride.
• Have your hair cut and styled at salons that separate the nail technicians in a closed room away from the hair cutting stations. If you’re a nail technician, change jobs.
• Avoid diet sodas and artificially sweetened foods. Aspartame and sucralose are serious suspects in weight gain. They are appetite enhancers and can be addictive. Research shows that the pancreas reacts to artificial sweeteners the same as it does to sugar and starches —by releasing insulin. This mechanism is what leads to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. The artificial sweeteners possibly contribute to autoimmune disorders and other health concerns.
You can begin to detox your body by paying attention to these aspects:
Get your lymph moving.
The lymph system delivers toxins from your body to the liver to be processed and excreted.
• Exercise daily, being sure to include at least 15 minutes of aerobic exercise plus strength training. Especially detoxifying are the Tibetan exercises (print out from my website at www.lucybeale.com), old-fashioned jumping jacks, and hip dips.
• Stretching, as in yoga, removes toxins from your muscles and organs.
• Dry brush the body with a natural bristle brush before your morning shower.
Clean out your liver and elimination system.
• Eat five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. Apples seem to work detox miracles.
• Supplement your fiber intake with one teaspoon to one tablespoon psyllium in a glass of water daily.
• Drink eight glasses of purified water daily.
• Take one to two tablespoons of fish oil daily.
Take natural antioxidants.
• Drink teas high in antioxidants, such as rooibos tea and fennel seed tea (which don’t contain caffeine) or green tea (which does).
• Sip on diluted pomegranate and unsweetened cranberry juice.
• Enjoy small amounts of very dark chocolate. I purchase it in 10-pound bars from Baker’s C&C on West Paxton. (So does Greta.)
Other simple lifestyle
modifications to reduce your overall body burden
• Use laundry detergents that don’t contain fragrances and colors, ditto for fabric softeners.
• Purchase organic foods when
• Head up to a canyon. Hike, or bike, and breathe deeply of the purer air.
• Use your political power to vote for cleaner air and water.
• Use natural household cleaners.
• Use natural gardening methods in lieu of pesticides and harmful fertilizers.
As you follow these recommendations, your body burden will lessen, your overall wellness will improve. Instead of battling the bulge, you will be helping to release it. u
Lucy Beale is the author of numerous health-oriented books and tapes, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Glycemic Weight Loss.” She lives in Sandy, Utah.