Why is Losing Weight So Difficult for Americans?

During many patient consultations, I have heard my poor patients say with frustration: “I cannot lose weight… I have tried everything.”

It makes me sad how much bad information is out there. Our society has become so calorie and point obsessed, but in reality where has it gotten us? Americans still have the highest obesity rates in the world yet the so-called health industry makes a fortune telling us what to eat, not eat, what to supplement, etc. First there was the no fat/low fat diet, then there was no carbs diet, and now people are as confused as ever. In my opinion, it is simply madness.

During my workshops at Aligned for Life Chiropractic in Beverly, I teach my patients that health should always be our main focus. Losing weight, having more energy, feeling good are just side effects. We need to stop dieting and start making better lifestyle choices.

Why is it that we can travel to places like Italy, where they eat breads, pastas, and cheeses, but are not fat? I recently travelled to Ireland where I was shocked to see the amount of food (especially meats) and alcohol they consume and yet they are not nearly as overweight as the typical American… except for the “beer belly” found in many men. As I drove across the country, I loved how green the country was: simply beautiful! Interestingly enough, everywhere I looked, I would see cows and sheep roaming around while grazing along the pastures. Five years ago, I drove across America and guess what I saw… corn, corn and more corn. It is very rare that you see animals grazing like they do in Ireland. This was a major ah-ha moment for me.

The Major Anti Weight Loss Problem: Pesticides & Hormones

The problem is not the food itself… It’s the way we process, grow, and feed it! It’s our own fault! The old adage is right: “You are what you eat” but I will go one step further: You are also what you eat eats!

Our meat: Go for Grass!

There are plenty of books and documentaries that show the disgusting process of how American meat goes from the farm to your plate ie. Supersize Me, Forks to Knives, Food Inc, etc. The images are so gruesome that it will make you a Vegetarian. American livestock does not roam nor eat grass. American cows are pumped with hormones (to get them bigger and have more milk production), pumped with Antibiotics (because the conditions are so bad), and fed corn (not grass). Cows are not supposed to eat corn. In fact, the gas they produce when they eat corn is so toxic that it pollutes our atmosphere… grass fed cows don’t create this problem. Corn is EXTREMELY inflammatory in our bodies which is the basis for all chronic diseases. On a weight loss note, corn is sprayed with pesticides which I will get into more detail later why it’s so bad for you. So if you are a Paleo diet person eating non grass fed organic meat… you are defeating the purpose of a healthy diet.

Hormones makes us Fat!

If you have ever known anyone who has gone off synthetic hormone Birth Control Pills, she will tell you that she dropped weight instantly. In the American diet, there are two nasty hormone inducing culprits: pesticides and meat/dairy. Like stated earlier, cows are given synthetic hormones so that they produce more milk. When you eat red meat, drink milk, or nosh on cheese you are consuming these hormones. Free hormones in the body have been linked not only to cancer but will prevent you from losing weight. It’s one of the reasons why preteens are starting their menstrual cycle earlier than ever before and why we see many men with the unfortunate side effect of “man boobs.” Even small amounts can add up. Eating a piece of hormone filled cheese here, a scoop of ice cream there is just the same as taking small amounts of hormones for birth control. And we wonder why infertility has become such a problem???

Pesticides also mimic estrogens in the body. Eating fruits and veg are great but go for organic. It’s really not that much more expensive. I am tired of people standing in line for the next $100/month phone but won’t spend 50 cents more on organic produce… give me a break! If finances are tight, you can always google “the dirty dozen” and see what you can get away with buying conventional. Don’t forget about Coffee! Have you ever noticed how bugs just love coffee? That’s why it’s one of the most pesticide soaked products ever grown. Think about the pesticide coated beans that you blend up and soak in hot water. Guess what you are drinking? Switching to organic coffee is crucial and less expensive than buying it in a coffee shop/cafe. Organic produce and coffee are now more available and more affordable than ever.

Stop drinking yourself fat!

Did you know a frozen ice blended coffee drink runs around 500 calories? Love splurging on sugary cocktails? A margarita has the same amount of calories. Now, like I said before, it’s not the calories that are the problem… it’s the emptiness of these calories. There is nothing healthy in soda! Sodas and even some juices contain high fructose corn syrup. Your body does not know what to do with this chemical and eventually stores it as fat. HFCS is also found in many products from sodas to ketch-up to applesauce. Sodas, in particular, not only cause Cancer, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis but they are way more expensive than water! Diet sodas are even worse. Aspartame, Nutrasweet, found in diet soda stimulates the parts of your brain that makes you hungry so studies show that you are actually going to consume more calories in the long run. Oh p.s. it is also a Neurotoxin meaning that it kills your brain cells, causes brain cancer and is extremely addictive. There is NOTHING diet about diet soda!!!!  Bottom-line: drink water with lemon. Use the money you save from buying these drinks and spend it on organic products!

Don’t forget about your spine!

A healthy spine and nervous system is even important for weight loss. I would never claim that adjustments will make you lose weight; however, a side effect from decreasing the stress response in your body is a decrease in cortisol. High cortisol levels will make you prone to excess body fat in your mid section. By increasing proprioceptive input to your brain through the healthy movement of your spine, chiropractic adjustments will decrease the stress response in the body! If you have misalignments or subluxation in your spine, the stress response will be activated in your body thus making it difficult to lose weight. Chiropractors are spine doctors that are trained to check your spine for subluxation. Get checked by a chiropractor today!

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share it or give feedback!

Yours In Health,

Dr. Jamie