Life in the 21st Century is speeding up. People are hyper-connected, over-scheduled and under-relaxed. It's quite the conundrum we're in. How can you lose weight, become healthier, develop a new eating routine, find time to exercise and have enough time to give love to your spouse and family? Oh, and don't forget about the work week.
It's no surprise that many of my clients are facing the same issues:
I don't have enough time to relax, I'm just too busy right now.
I want to eat healthier but I just can't stop my addiction to sugar, it's really worrying me.
I can't sleep at night, the stress is killing me.
These are just a few of the recent TOCs (Topics of Concern) that have surfaced. If you resonate with any of these, realize you're not alone.
You can assume that if you're struggling, so are thousands and thousands of other people.
So what do you do?
First, I want you to take an average size breath, inhaling through the nose, hold it, now exhale out of your mouth while parsing your lips like you are exhaling through a martini straw.
Repeat this a couple times.
You should feel a profound sense of awareness and relaxation beginning to take over. This is the parasympathetic state. Your nervous system enjoys being in this state.
This is the default state of our nervous system if we are living according to the laws of nature. Unfortunately our modern way of life and the natural laws set by our ancestors are very far apart. Don't give up hope yet, we have great potential.
Take a warm bath twice per week
How does taking a warm bath help you lose weight? By inducing relaxation. I encourage you to add 1 cup of epsom salt and bubble bath. It can be the extra detail that makes your bath THAT much more rejuvenating. It would also benefit you to use a bath water filter and/or Vitamin C dechlorination tablets. It takes a few investments, but your skin will feel much better. Clients with eczema and other skin related issues have seen a noticeable reduction in symptoms after filtering the toxins out of the contaminated tap water. Dr. Ford and I cover eczema in detail here if you need help.
Take a warm bath with epsom salts and bubble bath for 15-20 minutes twice per week.
This simple action will be a catalyst for reducing your stress hormone levels and enhancing detoxification. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) has the ability to pull out toxins from the body while leaving you relaxed and ready to cuddle with your loved one.
For the client who can't sleep at night, a prescription of warm baths was enough to shift her mindset towards relaxation at night. Instead of becoming depressed and stressed thinking about tomorrow's tasks, she was able to calm her mind and body down enough to settle into a slumber. This is the beauty of the natural world. Water has healing qualities both inside and out. Which leads us to the next key point..
Drink more spring water
While some may begin to reduce stress with baths, therefore inducing a lower stress response and giving the body the ability to burn fat, some people are just plain dehydrated. Drinking more spring water is an essential part of any weight loss and detoxification program.
Water makes up 55-60% of our total body mass. The body can produce 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes but the remaining 92% of our water intake must come from beverages we drink and foods we eat. Water is found in all tissues of the body. Water improves oxygen delivery to our cells and acts as a transporter vehicle for nutrients. Waste removal and digestive processes are a water-intensive process. To flush out toxins that may be stored in our fat cells, we need water.
As you've just learned, many bodily processes require water just as a car requires fuel for it's operation. You can think of adequate hydration as lubing up your engine and cleaning out the gunk that is preventing your engine from operating at full efficiency. After all, water improves cellular communication. If your body's cells can talk to each other, they can begin to increase their detoxification capability, leading to toxin (weight) loss.
Most people in the alternative health community are fans of herbal teas, coffee and other assortment of naturally-caffeinated beverages. I am much happier to see tea on someone's food journal than a soda, but they both act as diuretics. Consuming any of these beverages adds to daily requirement for water consumption. Add in the amount of sweating and natural water loss that occurs throughout the day from respiration and exercise and it's easy to see how dehydrated we can become.
Dr. Batmanghelidj, or Dr. Batman if you can't pronounce his full last name, wrote a book called Your Body's Many Cries For Water that should be on your bookshelf.
In this book, there are incredible stories from his patients and their incredible weight loss progress and health improvements achieved simply by drinking more water.
He even goes as far as to claim that many diseases and hospital visits are actually just the result of chronic dehydration. After reading this book, you won't want to leave the house without your sacred thermos full of spring water.
Nutritional Therapists can make general recommendations about water consumption:
Take your body weight divided by 2. This is the minimum number of ounces you should drink each day.
A 160 pound person should drink at least 80 ounces a day. That's a little over 3 of your 24 ounce sport bottles. Sip throughout the day, don't chug. Make sure the water is spring water. It not, make sure it's at least carbon filtered.
Eat more fat
If you find someone making blanket recommendations for the specific macronutrient percentage you should be eating, run away. People have widely different metabolic rates and should not follow the same protocol most of the time.
An 85% fat diet may work for some people, while switching to that same diet quickly may put a heavy burden on someone's gallbladder and liver and make them feel nauseous. If you experience this, lemon water before a meal may help.
Generally speaking, if you'll allow me to bend my own rule a little bit, we all could use more fat. After seeing a "healthy food journal" that contained nothing but chicken breasts and spinach, I was not surprised that this client couldn't lose a pound!
If you don't consume dietary fat, your body thinks you're in a famine, so it holds onto fat to keep you alive.
If you want to get up right now and go enjoy a tablespoon of almond butter, I'll be right here when you get back.
To start the weight loss process, increasing your fat intake will do it. Your body will think, "The famine is over! Let's dump some of this belly fat!" So enjoy some grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCT oil and grass-fed beef on your dinner plate each night.
If you really need help figuring out how diet relates to your mood, fat loss progress and sleep quality, my sleep program REM Rehab contains extensive coverage on it.
Don't be afraid of adding another tablespoon of grass-fed butter or coconut oil to your veggies. Avoid hydrogenated fats and oils at all costs. Coconut oil is your best friend for topical and internal use.
This is just part one
I wanted to really zoom in on some recurring issues from the newsletter community and there will be more zooming in to come.
Although I've covered dietary aspects of weight loss and health here and here, we can delve into these topics in the following weeks.
If you have specific concerns or topics you'd like covered here, please submit them here.
Use these simple but effective tips in your routine, along with anyone who will listen to you. They will be begging for your "secrets" when they see your results. These are habits of our ancestors that came with ease. Now we've got the chance to instill them once again.