I’m 33 years old and one thing I’ve learned in that time is that you cannot cheat Mother Nature. You may get away with bending the rules for a while but sooner or later it always comes back to bite you. Our nation’s current obesity epidemic is a great example of this. Americans have spent decades ignoring what our bodies need and were designed for and now many of us are paying the price. In a time when weight-loss cures and programs are being advertised on every channel it’s ironic that so many people are so ignorant of their own body’s basic functioning and needs. If you really want to learn how to lose weight you need only look at any college student’s biology book for answers.
Like it or not you are an animal in the literal sense, the same basic rules that govern other mammals apply to you as well. You were designed, tested, and made in the real world. You were designed to survive and prosper where other species could not. You were designed for movement and speed, strength and stamina. Human beings started out as a course on the menu but over time we changed and became predators. Our ability to hunt, run down, and kill meat is what enabled us to become the dominant species on this planet. Why then do so many of us spend so much time and effort denying this? Why do we treat our bodies like garbage dumps instead of the thoroughbreds they are? It’s because we’re stupid, stubborn, lazy, and in denial that’s why.
Carnivores eat meat almost exclusively. Yet they still get all the vitamins and minerals they need to function. They do this because they eat animals that graze on wild plants; these plants contain all the vitamins and minerals that we humans have to take supplements to find. When a lion eats a gazelle it also absorbs all the nutrients in that gazelle’s body as well. If a lion were to subsist on the farm raised stock yard meat we do, he couldn’t survive. His diet would lack too many of the vital amino acids and fatty compounds he’d need. Something else a carnivore eats a lot of is fat, rich, saturated animal fat! They do this because they need energy and no other source in their diet provides more bang for their buck. When you are called on to compete in the equivalent of a marathon each and every day just to get your food, you need fast energy.
We don’t run our food down anymore though; in fact most of us in America today don’t do much of anything. If we ate as much fat as a lion or even a bear it would kill us, we simply just don’t need that much energy. We need slow burning energy like that found in complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fat. This doesn’t mean we don’t need fat. The reality is that too many of us that are obsessed with weight-loss aren’t eating enough fat and its keeping us from achieving the results we desire. When we starve ourselves of fat in our diet it puts our bodies into panic mode, and instead of burning fat they lock down the stores we have to conserve it. Also it inhibits your body’s ability to manufacture essential hormones and chemicals. Your mental acuity slows; you become lethargic, and even depressed. Your body needs fat. if you want to convince it to burn body fat for fuel and shrink that waistline you’re going to have to convince it not to hold onto what it has but supplying it with a regular source of it.
This doesn’t mean you need to go binge on unhealthy foods, meats, and dairy products. It means you need to supply your body with a healthy alternative, like those found in nuts, some vegetables and lean meat. Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in naturally occurring grasses, grains, and plants along with seafood and farm raised cattle, and poultry. Don’t cut fat from your diet, switch it to a healthier variety and your body will let go of what it has stored for energy. Cut fat from your diet altogether and you will see a quick weight drop; as your body consumes its own muscles for energy. Body fat is the last resource consumed before starvation.
Something else animals need is water in fact if they don’t drink regularly they die and so will you. I can’t say this enough and I feel people just aren’t getting the message you must drink more water not only to be healthy but to lose weight. Water is literally your life, your blood is primarily water, become dehydrated and it thickens and slows, your blood pressure rises and sodium levels increase. Become dehydrated long enough and your brain will literally cook inside your own head as the elevated sodium levels suck it dry. Water is stored primarily in fat cells, when your body thinks it’s becoming dehydrated it locks the water in your fat cells, making them expand and ironically you become bloated.
Water is the highway that transports the minerals and compounds you need to function throughout your body. It cushions your joints and internal organs, fills your muscles and carries away waste when we workout. A muscle simply cannot function properly without water and your heart is a muscle. Water is also the medium that keeps your body clean, when you become dehydrated your kidneys, liver, and spleen fill with poisonous waste and chemicals. Gout, and stones are a condition birthed and aggravated by chronic dehydration. Are you getting the picture yet? Drink more water, stay away from caffeine and alcohol, these flush water out of your body. Put the soda down and drink water. Only reach for a Gatorade if you’ve been exerting yourself for over an hour or sweating heavily. A good rule of thumb, if your sweat tastes salty you need electrolytes! On the flip side of this when you’re running or working out don’t over-hydrate. If your run is 3 miles or less chances are you don’t need fluids along the way, finish your run then drink.
My last little lesson from biology concerns cholesterol. Did you know that at any given time 80% or more of the cholesterol in your blood stream is actually manufactured in your liver? Only 20% percent or less comes from your diet. What do you think happens when you cut it out of your diet altogether; that’s right your liver makes even more and usually the less beneficial type, because it’s easier to make and requires less energy. Cholesterol is a transport vessel for fat. HDL does a better job of moving it through your veins and arteries, LDL tends to break down and spill its cargo so to speak where it deposits in your vessels and slowly forms clots and blockages. If you want your body to make less LDL cholesterol; you need to provide it with healthier HDL in your diet. It’s a simple equation.
My information is based on the study of human biology and anatomy. My advice has been tested over the last 12 years, and compiled from the efforts of 20 friends and family I have watched over the years as they moved through their own weight-loss attempts some succeeded, some failed. I have analyzed what worked and what didn’t. I promote methods and routines that may be contrary to popular wisdom but I believe in taking advantage of the body’s natural mechanisms to lose weight and achieve fitness. The things I prescribe may not be for