Natural Weight Loss and Obesity Cures
Many people consider obesity to be a disease, hence I’ve used the term ‘cures’ in my title. I prefer to think of obesity as a ‘state of mind’ condition. Generally, we don’t suddenly contract an illness which causes us to become obese, we develop habits and trends over prolonged periods that become conducive to gaining weight.
If a disease does exist then it’s often a disease of the mind. There are of course exceptions, but we mostly have the capacity to self-cure the obesity disease but we almost always need some form of help. This is largely because we don’t fully understand the nature of the problem, therefore we cannot comprehend the nature of the required treatment. The treatment may involve medical intervention or it may be attainable by methods of natural weight loss.
I’m going to expand on the above further since it’s crucial to gaining an understanding of the underlying problems and causes before we talk about natural obesity cures and possible remedies. But before doing so I should make an important point clear – not all people fall into the category that I’m going to outline and not all people can benefit from what I term a ‘cure for obesity’. A small number of obese people are so due to chemical imbalances and conditions outside of their control, and they need more specific help to deal with their specific issues. But for the vast majority, there isn’t an underlying disease or health problem, there’s just a faulty state of mind.
For most people who reach a body weight 30% higher than a healthy body weight, it’s been a slow and lingering problem, one which has not been adequately addressed.
The body takes in calories from food and these calories are our source of energy. The body then expends this energy source through natural metabolic processes and through exercise. Any calories which remain unused are eventually converted and stored in the body as fat. Now for the biologically inclined there are certainly more in-depth explanations of this process, but for the rest of us it’s a general rule of thumb that adequately describes the process of gaining weight – more calories coming in than expended equals increased body fat. Using dietary supplements like royal jelly or bee pollen can help, but they’re not the answer, you need to get yourself on the path to an all-around healthier lifestyle first.
There are trigger points along the road to obesity that cause us to react. When our clothes no longer fit comfortably we might try a diet or cut back on certain food types. But it’s a band-aid and these types of knee-jerk reactions may not last. When we reach a certain point in the cycle of weight gain we start to suffer in ways which are hard to detect but have a compound effect on our problem. When we gain just a few pounds over our healthy body weight it can cause us to slow down – literally. We feel less energized, less inclined to take exercise and the downward spiral commences.
As we exercise less we’re cutting off a vital source of ‘pleasure’ to our brains. Exercising releases endorphins, it gives us a natural ‘high’, it increases oxygen in the bloodstream making us more mentally focused and aware. When we cut back on this natural source of pleasure, our system becomes imbalanced and we feel a mild form of depression, almost like a withdrawal from a stimulant which causes good feelings. At the same time, two other events take place. Firstly, our metabolic rate starts to decrease. Our ‘at rest’ heart rate slows and we burn less energy when at rest. Secondly, our muscle mass starts to decrease. This has the impact of hiding what’s going on from the weigh-scales. Muscle is heavier and denser than fat, so as we start to lose muscle and gain fat we can actually show a somewhat stable body weight on the scales. At this point, we’re in a somewhat critical state. Denial, feelings of guilt and other self-esteem issues start to mount on top of the slightly depressed state of mind we are in from our lower metabolism and lack of physical activity. The easiest way to provide short-term relief from these symptoms is to eat. Eat the snack foods we crave, the ones which provide the quickest sensations of pleasure – chocolates, corn snacks, fast foods, sugary drinks etc.
So you can see how this develops into a series of downward motions, each adding to the effects of the previous event and each combining to push us further down the path towards obesity.
The trigger doesn’t always come from the cessation of exercise, it can simply be some event in our lives that causes mild depression or anxiety. Losing a job, family problems, financial problems etc. These can all trigger the types of responses above, where we seek alternate means of creating a natural high to overcome the effects of our stress or depression. We eat more and we gain more weight.
So how can this state of mind be cured and the effects reversed?
Wherever possible you should work on the former – try to remove the source of your anxiety rather than mask its effects on you. Quite often with obese people, the initial source of the depression trigger is long gone and the only remaining source to deal with is the obesity itself. Think about that for a moment and see if you fall into that category. Other than the issues you feel dealing with being obese, is there anything in your life that could be causing the type of depression that might need medication? It’s a tough question to ask ourselves as we sometimes tend to feel that the daily problems we encounter in our lives are more serious than most other people deal with and we conclude that somehow we’re not capable of helping ourselves.
My suggestion to you would be this –
For the sake of dealing with one major issue in your life at a time, assume that your obesity is something you can gain control of if you are given the right set of tools. If there are other issues in your life, don’t look at them as being part of the solution process. Look at your weight problem in isolation from everything else around you and let’s see if we can implement a natural cure or solution to that one problem. What generally happens when you do this is that the weight loss causes a trigger which snowballs through your life and ultimately resolves many of the other issues. Remember, relationship problems, money issues etc are not physical. You may feel like you have a monkey on your back at times but it’s a purely emotional state of mind and not a physical one. Obesity is very physical. It has a hold and a bearing on your physical movements and activities as well as your emotional state of mind, so we need to break that hold over you before the rest of you can move on.
So where do we start?
The good news is that I don’t want you to do too much differently at this stage. Now let me stress something at this point. Obesity can cause serious health issues such as heart, liver, kidney problems along with diabetes and other serious illnesses. So you must be under the supervision of your medical practitioner and follow their instructions to the best of your ability.
The things I’m suggesting here relate mostly to adopting a different attitude towards your problem and creating a more healthy and balanced mindset.
One of the worst things you can do is implement a drastic change in your daily patterns like embarking on a super-restrictive diet. We’ve all read the miracle cure diets and how cutting our carbs or proteins or whatever, can turn your life around. The problem is that we’re making a diet change and not a lifestyle change. We’re still programmed mentally into our old way of being, we’re just trying to force a major change through a single event in complete isolation of everything else that we do.
What we need to do is to start thinking differently about our life as a whole and start to focus on gaining knowledge that can help us make a more complete adjustment.
We already know the areas in which we need to acquire specific tools to change our mindset –
1- Nutrition / Diet
2 – Exercise
The best way to combat a negative is to become truly engaged in its opposing forces. Start by learning about the foods you eat, where they come from and how they impact your body. This isn’t going to take forever, but it’s an important first step – research natural obesity cures and remedies. One way to make this process more engaging is to find a hobby or interest that connects you somehow to healthier eating. Perhaps you like to grow herbs, chile peppers or perhaps there’s some other related hobby which engages you. You need to be able to connect with the changes you are making and embrace them as part of a comprehensive new lifestyle. Once you understand what you’re doing, try to cut back on some of the things you know to be negative. Because you’ve now gained a more in-depth understanding of what is good and what isn’t, and what the impact of those not-so-good food choices are, you’ll find it easier to cast them aside. Don’t go cold-turkey, just start to think about the impact these things are having in your life.
One great way to become engaged and on the road to making a lifestyle change and promoting natural weight loss is through learning to cook! It’s a great hobby and can be the foundation of a healthy approach to eating. Research your foods, create your own recipes, experiment and enjoy this new component in your life.
At the same time, you need to be looking and thinking about how to change your routine to incorporate exercise as a way to assist with weight loss. One way is to set aside time to take a walk each day. But that isn’t really incorporating it into your routine, it’s changing your routine in a way that makes you go out of your way to exercise. Think about ways in which you can increase your exercise in a more natural way. Can you park a mile from your offices and walk to/from the car each day? Are there other times you can just leave the car at home and walk or cycle to where you need to be? If you can’t think of a more creative way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine then by all means set yourself the task of taking a daily walk or jog.
The point is that you need to reset your thinking about the way you eat and the way you exercise. These can either be forced and unnatural steps like dieting or they can be implemented by embracing a more natural and holistic approach to incorporating beneficial routines into your life.
When you start down this path there’s no reason why you can’t also consider some form of supplementation to your diet. I never try to promote vitamins as cures/remedies to people who think they can continue with their present lifestyle, pop a few pills and lose weight. But to people who are already on the path to a healthier lifestyle then supplementation may well help. Look for completely natural products which contain a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as these can help create balance and work to improve metabolism. Personally, I use bee pollen and royal jelly to supplement my diet. Royal jelly [link to product page] provides me with more energy and bee pollen with more stamina, so they combine well to support a more healthy and energetic lifestyle. Bee pollen has a strong following of people who swear by its natural weight loss properties and you can read more about that here – Bee pollen weight loss
As you start to make inroads into your weight problem set yourself realistic targets. The faster you lose weight the higher the potential for returning to your old ways and putting it back on. But what are realistic, natural weight loss goals?
If you lose 2 lbs/week you should be thrilled. And some weeks when you don’t lose anything don’t worry – just be patient and continue working on your new lifestyle goals.
If you need a little more inspiration via a real-life weight loss journey, read our weight loss journal here.