While you may be exercising and eating right to manage or lose weight, I’m betting that you have lost this at least once in the past month or even past week.
No big shocker that our society has got problems. We think it’s lack of exercise so we exercise to Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons (ok…so we USED to exercise to them…). We think it’s fat so we cut out olive oil, avocados and almonds. Then we think it’s carbs so we attempt to cut out all carbs (which is impossible–even broccoli has carbs) and add artificial sweeteners to balance out the lost sugar.
Obviously, none of it is working.
The problem is that the obesity epidemic is not caused by a single food item, a single type of chemical exposure or merely by not burning enough calories. It is all of these things that create the weight problem in the larger chunk of our population. While this doesn’t fit well on a billboard or a soundbite and is not likely to make anyone billions of dollars, it is the reality of the situation.
Managing or avoiding obesity and diabetes requires a hard look at all aspects of your lifestyle. I had a new diabetic patient in today that was not exercising (due to severe pain), had almost exclusively refined carbs for breakfast, drinks out of plastic water bottles and was taking in upwards of 32 ounces of diet Coke per day on top of the Splenda in her coffee in the morning. All of these factors need to be addressed for a successful outcome as it relates to health.
Personally, I think it’s the subtle factors that blindside most of us. Things like:
- Chemical exposures such as BPA in plastic water bottles and flame retardants
- Artificial sweeteners like Splenda, acesulfame potassium and Nutrisweet
- Lack of healthy bacterial flora from use of antibiotics
These are the type of factors that many are not aware of. I would have to say that the bulk of patients I talk with are not aware that things like BPA and artificial sweeteners are bad for us. We’ve all been successfully duped by the best minds in marketing to believe that drinking lots of water and diet sodas are going to be the answer, not the problem.
Here’s another subtle one that may destroy your ideal body weight. Sleep.
Sure, we all know that sleep is important. We have seen studies where those who are sleep deprived have greater hedonistic tendencies (basically, you eat everything in sight regardless of whether you are hungry or not). We even know that kids who are sleep deprived aren’t able to focus as well.
This particular study takes a deeper look at what happens to our fat cells when a small group of participants are restricted to 4.5 hours of sleep for 4 days.
Researchers found that fat cells required a 3 times stronger signal from insulin to behave normally–a clear indication that the body was heading towards diabetes in a mere 4 days.
This helps us understand why sleep apnea is so bad for us and carries a large risk of heart disease and developing diabetes.
So..when was the last time you went at least 4 days without enough sleep?