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All Posts in Category: Health Basics

The crucial 3 reasons people eat too much

We all know the feeling of stuffing chips in our mouths way past the moment of knowing it’s time to stop. It feels out of control, and we make excuses and justifications until it feels normal. For some, this is occasional. For others, it’s a daily battle. In my practice, I work to decide what is at the heart of that battle. Once we treat the medical issues, there are still 3 core issues to face:

  • Compulsive thoughts
  • Impulsive thoughts
  • Emotional eating

1. Compulsive thoughts:

Compulsion is a repeating though or idea that forces you to keep coming back to the same place. There’s ice cream in the freezer. There’s ice cream. Ice cream…It keeps going until you can’t ignore it. Compulsion often comes from low serotonin. Sometimes treating food addiction is as simple as identifying why the serotonin is low and how to bring it up. Antidepressant meds are not always the answer. Many even cause weight gain.

2. Impulsive thoughts:

Impulses are the actions that you take without thinking about consequences. You’re stuffed from dinner and never want to eat again. Then you see cookies and instantly eat 5. Regret seeps in but it’s too late. Impulses are often tied to dopamine, which impacts attention, addiction, and mood. Some people are born unable to regulate this pleasure seeking chemical, and those people need some help with that to control the eating.

3. Emotional eating:

Obviously, all three of these issues can overlap. Some people simply medicate with food. How often do you see parents offering a cookie when a child is hurt? In hospitals, they give crying babies pure sugar to calm them down. It works, and using sugar and food is a learned behavior. Unlearning this behavior takes focus and help. On a simple level, find something that “medicates” you and doesn’t do any harm. You may need a therapist to help with that. I recommend that you start with finding something else to bring you joy. If you are not sure what that is and can’t see a therapist, think about a book like The Miracle Morning. I find that process very helpful for finding meaning.

Thinking about food

Thinking about food

Compulsive, impulsive, and emotional eating are at the heart of many weight problems. Understanding this is half the battle so you know where to direct your energy. You may need to have an in depth analysis of your metabolism to understand your eating patterns, but if we overlook the mind, we are overlooking a critical piece of the puzzle.  Click here to book an appointment or a free 15 minute consult if you need to dig deeper.

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deadliest thing

The deadliest thing on your plate

If you could do one single thing to slow aging, what would it be?

Get a handle on sugar.

Why is it so important?

That carb load we get from sugar simply doesn’t exist in nature. We are not designed to handle it. Without control mechanisms in our body, the sugar would quickly cause damage to every organ and every tissue, clogging all the tiny vessels and slowly suffocating your toes, eyes, kidneys, brain, heart, and genitals. Every part of you is susceptible to this. Insulin puts us into storage mode to survive, so instead of clogging our vessels, we store the sugar as fat.

The consequence is weight gain.

This year, I committed to a year without sugar. I don’t eat a whole lot anyway, but I’ve never gone a year without chocolate. Nothing else in my diet changed. So far, I’ve noticed my “set point” weight has dropped about 15 pounds (below my high school weight). My appetite is lower than ever. My sleep is better. Hormone balance is better. My mood is better. Digestion is better. My skin is better. I find myself so incredibly relieved to not desire the sugar at all. I’ve thought that maybe at the end of the year I’ll just keep going. It’s not because I don’t like sugar, I’m just like anyone else.

It just feels so much better to avoid it completely.

I know that I am one chocolate bar away from forgetting how much better I feel, so I don’t make exceptions.

Scattered Sugar image

Sugar image showing scattered sugar

I don’t expect you to quit sugar forever. My perspective is different, I see people suffering from their sugar intake all day. I get constant reminders, and I watch people suffer as they are powerless against it. I am reminded of the terrible addiction that people face and I don’t want it. I think about Type III diabetes (more in another blog) and think about my keeping my brain healthy and that alone makes me want to keep going. I see people who will trade their self-esteem, mood, energy level, weight, sleep, work function, favorite clothes, skin, hair, and teeth for sugar. They will give up anything before they give this up. Literally, people will give up their happiness because they are afraid they will be unhappy without sugar. I would argue that nearly every non-violent cause of death in the US is more likely with sugar consumption. I would argue that the biggest thing you can do to live a longer and healthier life is to cut or at least reduce sugar. We eat it because we like it and because we are addicted.

You think you’ll stop if you develop a disease caused by sugar?

Lots of people can’t. You may wonder why people smoke or drink excessively. You may look at them and think about what they are giving up for that habit. What are you giving up for sugar? What could you have if you quit it? The truth is, so many things will improve for you that you won’t even know until you try it. I will challenge you today to go for 21 days without sugar and see how it makes you feel.

For my patients, I recommend the 21 Day Sugar Detox book.

It is easy to read and has helpful recipes and ideas. If you get through that, you are just getting started on realizing that cutting the worst thing on our plate may not be that hard after all.

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4 Simple Rules to Fix the Microbes

This is arguably the most important part of healing naturally, so learn why:

Think about this. All day, you eat mouthfuls of bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and plants that need to be modified by the body to make it safe and usable. The gut absorbs the good and gets rid of the rest. That’s the goal anyway. The acid barrier fries as much of the living bacteria as possible. Then bile and the enzymes in the small intestines break it down and we absorb fuel.

About 1% of our body weight (so 15ish pounds) is bacteria.

They should be in a symbiotic relationship with us. They help us digest and prevent the bad stuff from living there. In that context, imagine the gut as literally the front line for the immune system. That’s where the biggest battle is. Most of our immune tissue is located right there on the front line. So what happens if the immune army looks out and sees armies of bugs that don’t belong? It sends a message back to everyone: get ready for a fight. That means increase inflammatory mechanisms.

What does that look like? Fatigue (for rest), mucus (for protection), bowel changes, skin flares, joint pain, even changes in thoughts and behaviors. And just think about that.

We have all had the flu and had a hopeless feeling so intense that we thought it might not get better. That feeling is chemical and it’s measurable. It’s all part of how we force ourselves to rest. Name literally just about anything and ask if it’s made worse by having the wrong 15 pounds of bugs living off of your food. The answer is probably yes. And think about that. Those good bugs, our allies, live off our food. A natural human diet. Just real food. Plants. Animals. Nuts. Eggs. The basics. Throw anything else in there, and now you’re feeding stuff that doesn’t naturally live in a human. You can take a probiotic, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still feeding the enemy and breeding big beastly armies. The only way to successfully repopulate is this:

  • Kill
  • Starve
  • Replace
  • Feed

If medications like hormones, steroids, excessive antibiotics are in the mix, you need help.  If you’re missing major functions of digestion (stomach acid, gallbladder, less than one bowel movement daily), you need help.  But here’s the basic 10 week strategy:

Kill:
Take a strong antimicrobial herb


Starve:
Eliminate simple carbs and sugar as much as humanly possible, even fruit. One or two fruits per day is fine


Replace:
A good probiotic has 20 billion living organisms and more than one strain


Feed:
Eat plants. That’s what the good guys eat. Eat food that will rot if you leave it out. If bacteria in your kitchen won’t eat it, the good guys in the probiotic cap probably think it’s gross, too.

What about all those diets that say no olives, mushrooms, vinegar, etc.?? Let’s be real. I’ve done with hundreds of people. The problem isn’t olives. It’s super processed food that our friendly guys can’t eat, antibiotics, sugary alcohol, steroid hormones, and simply a lifetime of people not eating people food. 10 weeks on this plan, in the absence of the med history or missing piece of digestion, is all you need to reset. How strict to you have to be after? Depends on how healthy you want to be. Deciding how that looks based on your needs is usually a one on one convo with me. If you’re more complicated, you might need help beyond what I can do here, but it’s still very doable!

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Is Testosterone Dangerous?

Is testosterone dangerous?
There has been some concern in the media over testosterone supplementation. My initial reaction was to wonder “Did the testosterone cause heart attacks and stroke, or did the studied men simply require testosterone because they already had a serious health problem?” The research on this topic suggests that this theory may be correct. A recent analysis published in A…pothagram by Bruce Biundo, RPh, pointed out some flaws in the studies. The most recent study that is being quoted actually states that there is no excess risk for men younger than 65 who supplement with testosterone and have no history of heart disease. Another recent study showed than men with the lowest testosterone have a higher risk of all-cause mortality. Studies that connect heart disease and stroke with testosterone include patients with AIDS, HIV, drug abuse, liver disease, lymphoma, metastatic cancer, and renal failure. In that same study, 20% had a history of heart attack, 50% had diabetes, and 80% had coronary artery disease. 36% had testosterone injections (before we understood the flaws associated with injections). It appears that we are at risk of doing the same thing we did with estrogen. Rather than look rationally at the data, we immediately panic and think testosterone is bad. Our hormones are not bad for us. They are not a flaw in our design. They are essential controllers of our behavior, mood, metabolism, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system. Emerging research continues to suggest that low hormones are a significant problem. Does that mean we should carelessly overdose men on Testosterone therapy? Of course not. Do all men need a prescription to raise their testosterone? No. Let’s not lose sight of the reason for the increasing popularity of testosterone use. Men’s levels are getting lower, and having a normal level feels better. As with any manipulation of the endocrine system, if you do it wrong, the results are unpleasant. When done safely and with experience, the results are life changing.

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