Causes of Disease (and Weight Gain)

In 2016, a physician from the UK, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee gave a TEDx talk about disease, and the title of his talk was How To Make Disease Disappear,  chronic diseases. He started overthinking his medical knowledge when his 5-year old son nearly died. So he went back to study human health further and learned in the process that he was much more efficient as a doctor when he eliminated the root causes instead of treating the symptoms.

While I was watching the video I always thought, “This is exactly the same like with weight loss.” Being overweight is most of the time a chronic disease as well.

Then he said something that pieked my interest even more – something I have already known for years, but now I got proof for that by a physician. He said that the medical society is quite good at treating acute diseases, but that the problem is that they try to treat chronic diseases the exact same way like they treat acute diseases. He continued saying that chronic and acute diseases are two completely different things and require completely different strategies.

While I was watching I was jumping up and down on my seat and constantly exlaiming, “Yes! Yes! Exactly! Finally a doctor is talking about that important topic! Yeah!”

He then went on talking about the causes, and named things like:

  • eating too much junk food
  • chronic stress
  • sleep deprivation (just one night of sleep deprivation can lead to the same insuline resistance like six months of eating junk food)
  • chronic inflammation
  • physical inactivity
  • a lack of exposure to the sun (lack of Vitamin D)
  • discruptions in the gut microbiom

Does that sound familiar to you? If you’re on my list for longer, it certainly should.

“The problem is that there are many different causes of insuline resistence (for example). And if we don’t address the causes for that particular patient, we will never get rid of the disease.” –Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Now when he said, “Diseases are the symptom…” he really began to speak my ‘language’. Instead of asking, “What is the cure to this disease?” he began to ask, “What is the root cause? What triggered the disease?” Like I say it regarding weight issues, Dr. Chatterjee also says that when many people have the same disease, they can all still have different root causes which lead to the very same disease. This is exactly the same like with excess weight. Each overweight person has her own individual set of root causes.

The root causes he lists for ANY diseases are:

  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Physical Activity
  • Gut Health
  • Infections
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Sunlight
  • Diet

Every single chronic disease he was talking about could be associated with one or several of these root causes. And he clearly said that once ALL of the INDIVIDUAL root causes where eliminated, the body could begin to heal and the disease will be reversed.

All these causes plus many more I have been sharing with you for years. But did you take this seriously? Did you believe me? Did you take care of your root causes? If not, it is my hope that you begin to listen now and believe what comes from a doctor’s mouth. 

“We need to update our thinking. Our genetics are NOT our destiny! Our genes load the gun but it’s our environment that pulls the trigger.” –Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

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Although this talk only covers physical causes like sleep, exercise, gut health, etc., it still applies to maintainable weight loss as well. Because extra weight – especially obesity – is nothing else but a chronic disease.

Everything – literally everything – Dr. Chatterjee said in his talk completely and totally applies to our topic weight loss as well. EVERYTHING, with no exception.

Just think about, if you only could start changing these eight physical root causes Dr. Rangan mentioned, how far would you get? Changing the physical root causes is what leads to fast weight loss. Then, once you will be ready to take it a step further, you and I can begin to talk about the impact your emotions, your mindset, your subconscious mind – your psychology – has on your weight and how you can reverse that part of the issue.

Those of you who know me longer and better will not be surprised when I say that I take this further….much further. I firmly believe that we humans are body, mind, and spirit and that we can’t get cut in pieces or slices. We are whole beings and need to be treated as such, on the body, mind and spirit levels. Then you will begin to make your weight loss MAINTAINABLE!

“We need personalized medizine. We need precision medicine. If you actually take a step back, this is preventative medicine in its purest form.” –Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Likewise we also need a personalized weight loss strategy. Each of us has her individual bunch of possible root causes that need to be addressed to lose weight. That’s why the diet approach is so ridiculous.  Although exercise is very important for good health as well as for a nicely toned body, it still should never be the only tactic, especially for women. 

“We have to stop applying 20th Century thinking to 21st Century problems. We need to take back control, empower ourselves and re-educate ourselves away from our fear of disease and right back down the curve to optimal health.” –Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

For thousands of years people got only fat through crapulousness. Therefore cutting down on the amount was the only way of losing weight back then. But today we live in a complex world with complex problems. We have hormonal problems, we have a toxic overload, we have food intolerances, we live in an overradiated world where our sleep is constantly disturbed. No longer is diet the only cause of weight gain, actually, with so much healthy food we have today it hardly ever is. And therefore it seldom is the solution either. It can sometimes be part of an overall weight loss strategy, but even then you would look behind the eating habit and ask “Why?” Very often overeating has deeper causes, some are of physical nature (i.e. a parasite overgrowth) and other causes are psychological. 

Complex problems call for complex solutions. So let’s start right away by eliminating one cause after the other, like pealing an onion. 

Now allow me to change one of Dr. Chatterjee’s statements and adjust it to the topic weight loss:

If we do that (take back control, empower ourselves and re-educate ourselves away from fear to optimal health) – you and I together – we can not only change our weight and health,  the weight and health of our families, next the weight and health of our communities, and eventually the weight and health of the entire world.

Happy weight loss!

6 Daily Habits That Are Worse Than Smoking & Make Fat

6 Daily Habits That Are Worse Than Smoking & Make Fat

Since a few years we are occasionally being told that there are some bad habits that are as bad or even worse for our health as smoking.

For decades I thought that smoking is the unhealthiest habit of all, but apparently there are other habits that are as unhealthy as cigarettes. Scientists and researchers say that some habits expose us to the same toxins we get from cigarettes. Other habits can increase the cancer rates as much as smoking does. And worst of all, the habits we are talking about today also make you fat. 

The good news is that fixing those habits is easier than quit smoking.

According to scientists, the worst of all bad habits – besides smoking – is a sedentary lifestyle. Frankly, I have no doubt that sitting all day is very unhealthy. You don’t have to be a physician to understand what sitting all day can do to our body. But what are the alternatives when you have an office job? There are a few ways you can do about that:

  1. Use the breaks to for a short walk.
  2. Use a standing workstation in your office.
  3. When commuting to work, park your car further from the door so that you’re forced to walk a few steps.
  4. Instead of wasting your time in front of the TV, go for a walk in the evening. You will see that this will improve the quality of your sleep.
  5. If you want to do something very good for your body, go to the gym twice a week. 30 minutes each time is already enough.
  6. For the sake of weight loss, going on a daily 45 to 60-minute walk and going to the gym twice per week is enough.
  7. Maybe your issue is not the time but your own weight. If you are too heavy to move, then there is a beautiful thing called water. The heavier you are, the better you will be carried by water and you can move in ways you could never move outside of the water. Swimming therefore is not also healthy, it is also easy on your joints. 

Although eating a good amount of protein is important for weight loss, many people eat far too much meat. The biggest problem is the growth hormone IGF-1 farmers use to raise their animals for bigger profits. That substance can promote the growth of cancer cells.

Ways to do it better:

  1. You don’t need meat for each meal. Reduce it to two to five meals per week.
  2. Only buy meat from organically grown free-range and grass-fed animals from licensed organic farms. You will see that their meat tastes much better. Although it is more expensive than the meat you buy in your supermarket, by reducing the amount you can reduce the costs and make the higher quality more affordable. Besides, since organic meat contains no or less toxins, you save money in health costs in the long term.
  3. Instead of meat you can eat several fish meals per week. In order to be on the safer side regarding toxins, I recommend to go with freshwater fish. Try to eat as much fish you eat meat. That way you get the best nutrients from both. 
  4. Any kind of beans have very high protein levels and beans are ultra cheap. By adding two or three bean meals per week you can better afford the more expensive organic meat and fish. There is a large variety of legumes: red beans, Borlotti beans, white beans, green beans, lentils in all colors, peas, etc. and they are all high in nutritional value. 
  5. Another very good source of proteins is eggs. Here too I highly recommend to only buying eggs from organically raised free-range hens. After a few times of eating organic eggs you will not want any others.
  6. Dairy products is another way of adding proteins. Cheese is great for that purpose. If you are intolerant to dairy products, you can go with Buffalo milk products, they are better to tolerate. 

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I personally loved cooking on my gas stove when I was living in Canada. Many households in North America are equipped with gas stoves. But did you know that every time you cook a meal, you’re getting a dose of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde? But not only that. According to scientists, these three contaminants released from gas stoves exceed public health guidelines.

Here is how to avoid that:

  1. While cooking or baking, open your window and/or use your vent hood. This can reduce pollutant levels dramatically. If you only have a vent hood and no window in your kitchen, use the back burners to make sure your vent hood captures the most of the pollutants.

Unfortunately it gets worse regarding cooking. The by far worst and most health hazard habit is using microwave ovens. And it doesn’t matter whether you just defrost some frozen food or heat the food in the oven. First of all, although the manufacturers will tell you, that their ovens don’t leak, they do. Secondly, as soon as you switch on the oven, the electromagnetic radiation goes up dramatically – in other words, they radiate a lot. Thirdly, microwaves alter the DNA in your food and thus your body does not recognize food as such but as toxins. Within only three minutes of eating something microwaved, your blood tests positive for cancer. I know scientists who call microwave ovens “The kiss of death”.

Alternatives:

  1. Use your electric kitchen range to cook and bake.
  2. Heat pre-cooked food in your fry pan with a little bit of healthy oil.
  3. Invest in a steamer oven. They are as convenient as microwave ovens with the difference that the heated food tastes much better than the microwaved food and secondly, they don’t have any of the disadvantages microwave ovens have.

Using bad oils to cook is another health threat. For several years now health experts are warning from using the wrong oils. Most of the time these are cheap ones. When heated, they release compounds that are found in cigarette smoke, such as aldehydes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Healthy oils:

  1. For heating food I use organic, native coconut oil/fat.
  2. For my self-made salad dressings and to sprinkle over the food to give cold and cooked meals a Mediterranian taste I use organic virgin olive oil.
  3. Since I love the smell and taste of butter, for baking and adding to vegetables and smashed potatoes, for example, I use organic butter (from organically fed and grass-fed animals). Do not use the other king of butter. 

Many Americans are insanely sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation leads to symptoms like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and obesity. Studies show that poor sleep or sleep deprivation can speed up the growth of tumors.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Learn a methodical relaxation method like Autogenic Relaxation.
  2. If you feel tired in the morning, you are not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep. Listen to your body and the alarm signals it’s giving you. Take this seriously.
  3. Ask your doctor to send you to a sleep laboratory to get tested for sleep apnea.
  4. During the day, drink enough water. During the night the body intensively detoxifies and cleanses, and that requires enough water. Not drinking enough water can diminish the quality of your sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep anymore. .
  5. Don’t watch dark or action movies before going to bed because this causes a lot of stress in your nervous system.
  6. Instead of watching TV, you can go for a short walk around the block or get a dose of fresh air in your back yard. 

Of course, I would never recommend to rather smoke than falling for the mentioned habits. Smoking is still a no go regarding health in general and weight loss in particular. I do understand that there are health experts and doctors who are telling you that just smoking a few cigarettes per day is not dangerous. I vehemently disagree. Especially with an addiction like smoking you can’t just be a little addicted. Either you are addicted or you’re not. And it is my deep hope that none of my followers, readers and clients is a smoker. Smoking and vaping is one of the worst addictions and far more dangerous than we are being told.

Be it smoking or one of these 6 habits, they all contribute to weight gain…some more and some less. Eliminating these habits ASAP will certainly make it easier to lose weight once you will have chosen a sensible weight loss strategy.

Happy and healthy slimming!

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Which one is winning? Your overweight You or your slim You?

Which one is winning? Your overweight You or your slim You?

No time of the year is so predestined to reveal whether a person is living in her “Slim Self” or her “Overweight Self”.

It starts before Thanksgiving when millions of women begin to worry about their weight and the outlook of gaining even more weight between Thanksgiving and New Year.

What most women then do is deciding to go the “easy route” and eat as much as they can during the Holiday and then to go on a diet January 2nd. These women are living in their “Fat Self”.

They constantly focus on weight gain.

Even thinking about going on a diet is living in the “Fat Self”. It’s the typical mindset of an overweight woman.

I don’t know who the author of this quote is, but he or she is spot on. No one could have said it better, shorter and clearer.

The body achieves what the mind believes.

There is no other way. This is how we humans have been created.

We are creators by nature. We create through the combination of our thinking and the emotions. When a thought and an emotion meet, that’s when we are creating our life circumstances….our fate.

The same is true with our health and weight.

Your current weight totally reflects your thinking in the past a 100%. What you have been believing about food and weight in the past, your body realized and you can now see it as a “fact”.

Living in your “Fat You”

A woman who is living in her fat self is somebody who constantly counts calories, worries about food, worries about her weight, worries about how she is looking. I have met thousands of women who’s thinking constantly circles around food and weight all day long without being fully aware of.

Such a person is living in her “Fat Self”. She is living and breathing weight gain. She constantly nourishes her creation tools – her thoughts and her emotions – with information regarding GAINING weight.

Living in your “Slim You”

No slim woman would ever do that, unless she had just lost weight and is now afraid of gaining it back. But then she is still in her “Fat Self”.

Women who live in their “Slim Self” have completely different thoughts about food. They ask themselves what they can eat to remain healthy and energetic. They are on the lookout for healthy, natural food.

Around the Holidays their focus is on enjoying their loved ones and being with their family and friends. Their focus is on joy, not on food stress.

Maybe they don’t want to eat too much because it makes them feel stuffed and they don’t like that feeling. So they enjoy eating in moderate amounts, but not out of worry but out of care for their health and because they want to feel good in their body. Feeling good in her body is what matters most for her.

By the way, people who truly enjoy the eating and every bite of it, can hardly over-eat.

Or she may choose to drink a glass of water before each meal to help her body to digest the food better.

Women who are operating from their “Slim Self” are constantly on the lookout for what is good for their health and have no focus on the weight. When they choose healthy food they constantly choose out of wisdom (not out of fear); and when they choose to exercise they do so because they want to stay healthy (not because they want to burn some calories).

Maintainable weight loss begins in your head

Let me share an example that one of the members of my Facebook group has experienced during Thanksgiving week. She ate everything she wanted and enjoyed being with her family. Yet during that week most overweight women fear, she has lost 5 pounds and 6 inches. Two days ago she informed me that she could maintain that weight loss. 

How did she accomplish that?

By taking each and every daily baby step I have layed out in my Facebook group and by doing the inside work. Again, 80% of your weight loss success is beneath the surface: in your psychology and unconscious mind. 

It is my deepest hope that you are beginning to understand how much maintainable weight loss is a mindset game and not a calorie game.

It’s true that 80% of your weight loss success is about your psychology, about what is going on in your mind (not in your digestive track).

Developing the right mindset requires a lot of self-discipline, but it’s a different kind of self-discipline than the one required for diets and easier to come up with.

When you’re on a diet, you can come up with as much discipline as you want, your subconscious mind is always going to win the battle and you’re going to lose. You have no chance, no matter how strong your discipline and willpower are.

But coming up with the discipline of the right thinking, that’s where your success begins. That’s where your discipline will be well “invested” and fall on fertile ground.

Happy Holiday…and happy slimming!

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