Eat Less, Move More… That’s It?
The “Eat Less, Move More” (ELMM) mantra has been pervasive in the weight loss arena for years… if we just eat a little less and move our bodies a little more, weight loss magically happens. So simple, right?
If you could just vacuum and grocery shop your way to a slim, trim body, then why the hell do we as a society have a serious obesity problem? Well… Because it just isn’t that simple. Because obesity is complicated, and therefore the solution cannot be minimized to an acronym.
The impact that obesity has on the gut is monumental. Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, increases the risk of a huge spectrum of digestive disorders such as GERD, NAFLD, gallstones, and pancreatitis as well as digestive organ cancers, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Plus, you just feel like garbage.
Potential Contributors to Obesity
Clean eating is one approach that many people take to eat fewer calories overall, and eating real food is a great first step in healing the gut, reducing overall inflammation, and regaining your former sexy AF body. So, great, we eat less and still those extra lbs. won’t budge. Why the hell not?
Whether we realize it or not, sometimes we consume too much food, for a variety of reasons: night eating syndrome, binge eating, and food addictions all can lead to munching without thinking and a shitload of extra calories.
Additionally, external factors are at play that can affect total caloric intake. We have an abundance of energy-dense, crap quality, nutrient poor foods and beverages available and their images are thrown in our faces hundreds of times a day. Restaurants serve massive portions, and we often eat as recreation or in social situations where it’s ok to walk out with a food baby. There is a lack of nutrition education and so much confusing information online regarding nutrition that many people become frustrated and just say “Oh well, I guess this is my new body”.
OK, so we’re eating more. What else? Well, we’re also burning fewer calories overall. Most people live sedentary lives, even if they do spend an hour at the gym each day, we still sit the other 23. To make matters worse, we’re not hunting our own food or moving around the way prior generations did… we drive instead of walk. We sit inside, often in front of a screen, where the temperature is nice and consistent, so we’re not shivering or sweating, and not burning the calories involved in those processes. We’ve gotten soft, and so we look soft.
Increased Energy Storage
And get this… certain factors can impact how much of the food that we eat gets stored vs. burned, and some of them you have zero control over. Oh yes, trauma, sleep, depression and anxiety, diabetes, menopause, hormones, inflammation, whether you were breast-fed, grew up in the city or country, whether you were the first born in your family, had your own kids, take certain medications, lead a high stress life, live in a crime prone area, yo-yo diet, don’t have access to medical care, and more all can lead to increased energy storage. Same food intake, more calories stored (as fat) than your neighbor.
Gut Microbiome Makeup
Another important consideration for whether a single leaf of lettuce causes weight gain or not is the balance of the microbes in your gut. The composition of the gut microbiota (bugs that live in the gut) can make it or break it when it comes to weight loss. Dysbiosis, an imbalance in gut organisms, is absolutely the most common cause of weight gain, fatigue, food intolerance, and bloating. Some bacteria (or lack thereof… we’re looking at YOU, Akkermansia!) can make it nearly impossible to lose weight, even with the best diet and exercise. Gut health matters.
Do Food Companies Want You to Be Obese?
Be aware that food companies are working like crazy to get you to eat their crappy food-like substances. And the government is helping them. You can’t control this but you sure as hell should be aware of it.
How are they doing this?
1. With subsidies – According to the US Public Interest Report Group study, with the money used to subsidize corn and soy junk food ingredients, the government could buy almost 52 billion Twinkies—enough to circle the Earth 132 times when placed end to end, or meet the caloric needs of the entire U.S. population for 12 days.Making real food like vegetables and fruit more affordable would be a giant step in the right direction.
2. With lack of food labeling restrictions – consumers are misled by manufacturers via tactics like using words commonly associated with positive consumer impressions like “healthy”, “organic”, and “whole-grain” and by adding pictures of veggies to a package of crap. I’m talking to you, cauliflower pizza crust. And you, Kellogg’s Corn Pops with vitamin D. Yep, that’s a thing. It doesn’t matter if Kellogg’s puts a gazillion vitamins in every box of Corn Pops, it’s still a box of junk.
3. With advertising to kids – Fast food “meals” with toys from popular movies, pop-ups online, ads on tv… it’s crazy the amount of advertising dollars that are spent trying to get your kids to eat complete garbage.
Many governments allow a pathetic amount of other manipulative bullshit too, like government/corporate partnerships, lack of controls on the weight loss industry, and promotion of the idea that physical activity is the solution for losing weight.
It helps, but guess what? You can’t outrun your food choices.
Let’s say you do have weight to lose… what is your solution?
Understand that food companies and most weight loss programs are selling you their one-size-fits-all program. And any time something sounds too good to be true, it is. When it comes to weight loss, you have to know what to do and how to do it that will work for YOU as an individual AND whether your gut microbiome is ready to weight loss. Support is key, whether that’s a friend, family member or a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist like me… hiiiiieeee! And choose wisely… most people doling out nutrition advice are not licensed professionals… in other words, they don’t know shit.
Some effective solutions:
- Fiber – super important for your gut’s wellness. Aim to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day, along with sufficient water. No, seriously, this shit matters. Get my favorite fiber right here, with a sweet discount… no bathroom emergencies.
- Polyphenols – these antioxidants may promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, get about 400 mg per day in the form of green or black tea, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, red wine and dark, barely sweet chocolate. Don’t whine, your palate will adjust.
- Test your gut microbiome to find out exactly what is holding you back from the weight loss success you deserve. Get info on the gut health test I love and use right here. It’s literally life-changing.
- If you want to give your digestion a rest, consider smoothies. Sign up for my newsletter right here and you’ll get our free Smoothie Guide to Weight Loss and Healthy Digestion. Go ahead and download it and get to blending up some soothing gut shit.
- Fermented foods can help as long as your gut isn’t overgrown in histamine-producing bacteria. Live microorganisms are found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and yogurt. The products in the refrigerated section are usually going to have live cultures, the crap on the shelf will not.
Obesity is a complex problem, and so are the solutions. What’s more, although there are best practices, the solutions must be individualized for each person. What works for your BFF may not necessarily work for you.
Need help figuring all this shit out? We can help you create a personalized plan including the best gut health test for you to improve your gut and finally drop those stubborn pounds. Reach out today, we’d be happy to help!
If you found this helpful, please share with a friend, enemy, or family member. We’ll fix all the guts!