In response to our blog post yesterday, someone unsubscribed from the Tip Of The Day email list with the comment, "I want weight loss tips, how does a blog post on digestion have ANYTHING to do with losing weight???"
This was an interesting comment, because it seems obvious that if you improve your digestion your whole system will be working better. You are going to be converting a lot more food to energy, and storing a lot less of it as fat. Which will likely lead to weight loss!
However, it does seem that many of us view weight loss only as a process where we burn more calories or consume fewer of them. At PEERtrainer, our focus is on long term weight loss, better health and energy. The reality is that all of these are connected. When one makes the proper fundamental changes, these areas of focus all start to improve at the same time. These benefits are usually highly interrelated!
For example, tip #7 yesterday was to find a way of naturally detoxing on a regular basis. Some of the best ways to do this are to drink fresh vegetable juice and consume plenty of greens. This is "Dr. Fuhrman 101", who teaches that greens and vegetables are the single best way to lose weight over the long term. A "side effect" of this advice is that people also tend to prevent or reverse some pretty nasty diseases and ways of dying.
In another video, Dr. Mark Stengler discussed the importance of hormone balance, why hormone balance is important, and how to get your hormones back in balance. One of the key benefits to better hormone balance is proper thyroid function.
According to Dr. Stengler, a poorly functioning thyroid "leads to weight gain." This is something that anyone with a poorly functioning thyroid knows all too well. Hormone imbalance can ALSO cause anxiety and depression, as well as sleep problems.
So, if you seek to improve your thyroid function with the objective of losing some weight, you also just maybe will feel a touch better, maybe get a little more sleep.
Two Suggestions To Help Get Your Hormones Back In Balance:
1) The single most important cause of hormone imbalance according to Dr. Stengler is a poor diet. In particular many of the foods we eat are laden with pesticides. Pesticides are something that we know to be "scary" and "bad for us" and can cause cancer.
But what is really evil and interesting about pesticides is that they "mimic" certain hormones, throwing you off balance. This can happen to both men and women. Eating organic can help to avoid these pesticides. Green vegetables can also help you detox and eliminate these pesticides, bringing you back in balance.
The "usual suspects" like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale and Bok Choy in particular can help you a great deal in this detox process. (Click here for the awesome Asian Fusion Chicken Salad recipe, featuring Bok Choy.)
2) The second suggestion that Dr. Stengler made was to target and help support your adrenal gland through the use of supplements. We poked around for a "second opinion" on this suggestion, and found a book called "From Fatigued To Fantastic" by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum.
Dr. Teitelbaum is a chronic fatigue specialist and leading researcher into fibromyalgia and had this to say about the adrenal glad:
"If the adrenal gland is suppressed and cannot make sufficient adrenal hormone, a variety of fatigue symptoms can result."
Dr. Stengler suggests the use of Ginseng as well as an herb called Ashwaganda to help with hormone balance. Ginseng is a well known energy boosting supplement, that has been used for thousands of years. Ashwaganda is lesser known but has also been used for thousand of years.
Dr. Teitelbaum suggests that one take Ribose and Coenzyme Q10 to help balance out hormonal deficiencies and also improve energy production. We did some poking around on Ribose and found some very credible sources, outlining a variety of possible benefits.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, ribose can benefit people with congestive heart failure, "speed muscle tissue recovery after exercise", and "help ease the pain and fatigue of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia."
Both of these suggestions, diet and supplement appear to be fairly well founded. The suggestion to eat more green vegetables is a bulletproof one. It would be very interesting to hear from those of you who have taken any of these supplements.
The key to supplements is figuring out what you cannot get from your diet, or get enough of. In addition, you need to figure out what you need a lot extra of, if it is safe and effective. You'll always need to do your own research.
But it is interesting, especially for those of us who walk through the vitamin and supplement aisles of stores and really have no idea what all the fuss is about, beyond things like Vitamin C!
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