Is Obesity a dirty word and how can you prevent the accumulation of body fat?

The word obesity makes people uncomfortable. When we have conversations about obesity, the way we frame the conversation has a huge impact on the effect that it has on others.

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Even though obesity is an important concern for modern humans, I don’t believe that it is proper to label an individual as, “obese.”

I can’t imagine myself — where I am today — ever telling a person, “you are obese.” That seems so rude and insensitive. The word obesity carries a significant stigma because medical researchers have produced alarming studies that suggest there are many dangers of carrying excessive adipose tissue. If you take an objective look at the research, it is undeniable that there are real risks associated with existing in a much larger body for a long period of time.

Nobody wants to be objectified.

This is why I understand the powerful emotional response of people who have been told by doctors or other professionals that they are obese. It’s hurtful and de-humanizing to be judged for your body alone and this can be true in many contexts including romantic and professional.

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Many people who have struggled with weight issues feel that they are being unfairly attacked in all areas of society simply for existing. For anybody who has ever struggled with weight, we know that it’s not so simple as just waking up tomorrow and eating better. There are very powerful beliefs that we carry with us that either help us move forward, help us maintain, or cause us to regress. We need motivation, inspiration, and support.

It’s your beliefs and values that help you achieve the body that you have today.

Even though we are inseparable from the messages that society sends us, I know that the most successful people in life are those who take responsibility for their own beliefs without blaming others for their failures. I look at my personal failures and I own them. It doesn’t feel good to think about my mistakes, but it feels good when I stop making the same mistakes that have held me back in the past.

Fat shaming is highly inappropriate and rightfully offensive. However, only you can choose to take responsibility for your own choices. Attempting to change other people will only frustrate you and cause you to lose focus on what really matters. Think about changing the ways that you let other people affect you and perhaps you will become empowered. Nobody can affect you unless you let them.

Life is about balance — but some of us are already way too far out of balance.

It’s a fair analogy to say that being overweight is like being in debt. Carrying excess adipose tissue is literally a metabolic debt and the worst part about being in debt is having to pay interest on your debt.

People don’t realize that body fat is metabolically active and quite dangerous in the long term. Excess body fat releases inflammatory compounds which stimulate the immune system, cause stress on the body, and make it even harder to lose weight. Just like accumulating interest on a credit card balance, the longer you carry excess body fat, the more challenging it will be to pay off the metabolic debt. That’s why it will, “cost more,” metabolically speaking for an overweight person to consume high sugar because it adds to the debt, which adds to the accumulating interest payments which comes in the form of high inflammatory compounds.

People who’ve existed in larger bodies for a longer period of time may benefit from looking at the situation just like a person who has been in financial debt for a long period of time.

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How to get out of debt?

Stop spending on things you don’t need: sugars, high saturated fats, alcohol etc.

Start increasing your wealth/income: consume the most nutrient dense foods like green vegetables and probiotic foods.

Focus on yourself: people who are broke are often that way because of their beliefs about money/spending. People who are overweight are often that way because of their beliefs about activity/eating. It won’t get better unless you get better.

The term obesity is meant to be used in the context of the population, not so much as an application for the individual.

Obesity is “diagnosed” using the body mass index, which I am not a big fan of. Body mass index is simply an index of height and weight, leaving no other data to give us indication about the health of an individual.

 

Because we come in all different shapes and sizes, a person who is “obese,” on the body mass index could be very much a healthy person. That’s why obesity should be spoken of in the context of population-scale issues instead of applying the term to an individual. I personally don’t like labels in many capacities because I find labels to be self-limiting.

How we talk about our bodies and the bodies of others is definitely an area of opportunity for most people, especially parents. Self talk is always an opportunity for all of us.

There is no ideal body, only your ideal body.

I think your ideal body is one which helps you feel empowered, confident, capable and allows you to do whatever you want to do in life. Much of your ideal body has to do with your beliefs about your body and your beliefs about food.

You know you have achieved your ideal body when people’s comments no longer affect you. You know you’ve reached your ideal body when you feel that your existence is a blessing to others and this may even have nothing to do with your physical shape and everything to do with the love that you have for yourself and the love that you share for other people.

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How to Lose 40 lbs in 8 weeks: Celebrating Orangetheory Fitness Seattle Weight Loss Challenge Winners 2017

How committed are you to lifestyle change?

While weight loss is the goal for many people, I truly like to emphasize the many reasons and benefits for lifestyle change in itself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when people lose a ton of weight, the valuable part isn’t the fact that they lost weight — instead the most valuable part is that these individuals were able to change their habits and challenge their discipline day in and day out.

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Orangetheory Fitness Seattle, Lower Queen Anne’s Winter 2017 Weight Loss Challenge Winners and some of our coaches

 

 

 

Every Body is capable of healthy changes, both inside and out.

Even though the human body can be seemingly complex at times, the formula is simple.

Step 1: Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

Step 2: Get 8 hours of sleep

Step 3: Have an active lifestyle and cultivate an athletic mindset no matter what level coordination you have.

The most challenging aspect of lifestyle change are the thoughts that go on inside your head. That’s why I believe it is fundamental to surround yourself with encouraging, positive, and motivating people who share some layer of goals with you.

You can definitely lose 30-40 lbs in eight weeks by exercising and working out with me.

On the flip side, you could also work out all of the time and still not lose any weight if the nutritional habits are poor. It’s just a fact of the matter that you cannot out-train a bad diet. Workouts are challenging and often give immediate gratification and sense of accomplishment once the workout is complete, yet your nutritional habits are responsible for the vast majority of your results.

Nutrition is responsible for all human biological function and linked strongly to gene expression as well as the state of your human ecosystem (read: trillions of bacteria cells that live in and on us).

As I mentioned earlier in this post, every body is capable of fat loss. There are genes that regulate how much fat you can lose and how fast you can burn that fat so yes every body is different in that regard. However, we are learning more and more that certain foods (nutrient dense foods) are actually able to increase the gene expression of genes which are responsible for fat loss. You are not limited by your genetics as much as you are limited by your mind. You must challenge your limiting beliefs about food so that you can cultivate a lifestyle which supports healthy nutritional habits as part of your core values.

Moreover, for your biological processes to be in a healthy, functioning state, you must digest healthful, nutrient-dense foods on a regular basis. Food contains lots of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, amino acids, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other currently undiscovered components which likely support human health. I know this, because I know that which I do not know. The wisdom of nature must be valued, so let thy food be thy medicine. Hundreds of thousands of years of human knowledge should be honored. Millions of years of evolution suggests that plants are good for us and chemicals (aka processed foods) are not. I’m sure there are parts of an apple that are good for us that science will never discover, and that’s okay. Don’t overthink it.

Of course you need to decrease your calories in order to achieve weight loss.

That doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to fall into a dangerous mindset of restriction. I 100% believe that healthy nutritional habits are far more realistic to sustain when you are able to have an abundance mentality. You literally have an abundance of healthy food options if you are willing to be creative and seek knowledge. Never settle.

In our modern era, we have access to more nutrients than even our paleo ancestors. The difference between paleo ancestors and ourselves is that we seem to have become burdened by choice. Even worse, there are multi-billion dollar corporations which prefer to mislead us through advertising and through government lobbying and these groups certainly do not have our best interests in mind.

Here is your challenge: Get the MOST amount of nutrients with the fewest calories.

If you eat the most nutrient dense foods, then you will always have an abundance of food that fills you up, energizes you, and gets you ready for a successful tomorrow.

Nutrient density = the highest amount of overall nutrient value for the lowest amount of caloric value.

When I think of nutrients I think of:

  • Fiber (Try to get at least 30 grams per day which is the government recommendation to reduce risk of colon cancer. Fiber also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar / diabetes management, also insulin senstivity and feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut… of course all of these things are related to fat loss and health).
  • Protein
  • Saturated fats like Medium Chain Triglycerides (coconut oil source)
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Omega-9 fatty acid, some Omega-6 fatty acid
  • Water
  • Major minerals (like calcium/magnesium)
  • Trace Minerals (browse Amazon, best minerals product)
  • Antioxidants (red, yellow, purple, blue, green, orange)
  • Phytonutrients (natural components that support healthy hormones, we are learning how broccoli/b-sprouts/cabbage/cauliflower helps fight cancer)
    • Sidenote: If you can support a healthy immune system and gut function, you’ll likely be able to burn more fat and be able to train harder, thereby making even more fitness gains
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds (often these are antioxidants, such as those found in tart cherries, leafy green vegetables, herbs like ginger/turmeric/garlic).
  • Probiotic potential or live probiotics (pre-biotic foods like foods high in fiber that feed healthy gut bacteria or actual live probiotics found in raw sauerkraut and real kefir)
  • Various types of acids that are health promoting like Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cardiovascular supporting compounds (I love beets because they are packed with nutrients despite containing natural sugars. Beets are a nutrient powerhouse that act as a methyl donor to support the remethylation of homocysteine, something that most people will never learn about — but basically is crucial for healthy cardio and managing risk of ever having a heart attack or stroke.)
  • Enzymes — even though our bodies can create enzymes, our ability to do so decreases as we age. A prominent doctor in Japan argues for a sort of mythical “source enzyme” that once is depleted, then we die. So you must eat foods that support healthy enzyme production (such as the foods listed above). Additionally, you can also eat foods that contain active enzymes which are raw foods and raw probiotic foods. Cooking and the heating process tends to kill enzymes (even though cooking does release/enhance other nutrients), so you still want to get some raw food and raw probiotic food in your diet. Related: Top Probiotic Food / supplements
  • I’m sure there are other nutrients to consider, these are just the considerations that come to the top of my head when I’m choosing foods to eat mindfully.

The key is to educate yourself because you’ll find yourself making better choices simply by having a better foundation of knowledge.

Knowledge truly is power. I encourage you to read about the benefits of real, natural foods and I also encourage you to read about the harmful effects of processed, junk, sweets, etc even if it is uncomfortable to read about. Take time in your day to follow my blog, and/or follow other trustworthy sources online or otherwise.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Growing up, my father would always say, “everything in moderation.” I believed in that phrase for a while, but now I realize that there are some things that you should simply never do or never have. And that’s okay. Some things are just. not. worth it.

The important point is that you are caring about yourself in your lifestyle. If you have to be 100% on and then when you fall off you go food binge and drink, then that says that maybe you’re an on again off again type person who isn’t willing to be committed to themselves. Let yourself have a lifestyle that allows for mistakes, forgiveness, and moving forward.

If you think that you have to be on a restrictive diet to be successful, then why aren’t you successful yet? If it has worked for you in the past, but only temporarily, then did it really work for you? I want you to engage in thought processes that allow for long term success.

Sometimes your thoughts will come crashing inside like waves in a storm and that’s when you just need to hunker down and care for yourself, otherwise you’re going to drown. Those are the hard times.

Other times, your thoughts will be like an oasis in the desert where you think everything is just perfection, but maybe it is just a mirage? Those are even harder times because it forces you to face the truth: Sometimes you have to stay hungry. And that’s okay too. But if you’re planning your meals properly, then you’ll have nutrient dense food waiting for you around the next corner.

How much do you really care about yourself?

We all have struggles. I just need you to take a moment to think about all of the actions that you take on a daily basis that demonstrate self-care. When you are mindful, when you plan for success, and when you surrender your entitlement, then you will find yourself in a whole new reality of empowerment.

Love is action. Good luck, my people! Stay tuned for more, subscribe to my brand new YouTube channel and click that Follow Blog button on the top left (show sidebar for mobile users).