What you need to do to lose weight is not count calories but stabilize your hormones. The only way to get rid of the problem is to understand its underlying causes.
This is the story of Jon Gabriel, a former Wall Street broker.
“Back in 2001 I weighed more than 400 pounds. I tried every diet I could think of to lose weight.
Every diet I tried ended up the same way. There would be a whole list of foods I wasn’t allowed to eat. I’d follow the diet to the letter. I’d lose a little weight through sheer brute force and willpower.
Then there would come an inevitable point when I couldn’t take it anymore and I’d have a huge binge. Whatever weight I had lost on the diet would come back in a matter of days, and a week later I’d be 5 pounds heavier than when I started the diet.
This pattern of losing 10 pounds and gaining 15 pounds started in 1990, until by September 2001 I reached my peak of 409 pounds.
Then I had turning point. On September 11, I narrowly missed being on UAL flight 93. That experience left me feeling like I was living on borrowed time. Here I was, killing myself working in a high-stress Wall Street job that I hated, and the universe had just given me a second chance.
So I decided to get off of the dieting roller coaster once and for all, and I resolved never to diet again. Instead I was going to try to figure out why my body seemed to be forcing me to gain so much weight. I decided to find out what I could do to get it to want to be thin again.
Armed with a solid background in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, I spent 12 hours a day researching everything I could about the hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and chemical massagers that cause weight gain.
I learned that losing weight sustainably isn't about counting calories, but about creating the proper hormonal environment in your body that’s conducive to weight loss.
Over a two-and-half-year period I lost 220 pounds, without dieting. I’ve been the same weight now for over 10 years and I still don’t diet. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
These were the 7 keys to my transformation:
1. I stopped dieting and started nourishing my body.
I learned through my research that my body was chronically starved for certain key nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, live foods and high-quality proteins. I made sure I gave myself as much really high-quality nutrients as possible.
If I wanted junk foods like candy, chips or pizza, I would eat them whenever I wanted, without hesitation.
Eventually I lost my taste for all junk food as my body learned to prefer high-quality, nutrient-dense foods.
2. I healed my digestion.
I discovered that one of the reasons why I was so badly starving for nutrients is that my digestive processes were compromised, so I was unable to effectively extract the nutrients from the foods I was eating.
Digestion problems can also cause inflammation and the inflammatory hormones put our bodies into fat storage mode. I started eating lots of fermented and cultured foods, and taking probiotics and digestive enzymes in order to normalize my digestion.
3. I got a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many overweight people. It creates a hormonal environment in the body that encourages weight gain by causing elevated cortisol levels, which leads to junk food cravings and insulin resistance.
Sleep apnea is easily treated with a CPAP machine. The machine blows air into your nose and mouth to keep your windpipe open, so you can sleep through the night without problems.
4. I started using mind-body practices to reduce stress.
Just like sleep apnea, stress causes elevated levels of cortisol and inflammatory hormones. These hormones lead to constant cravings and put your body into chronic fat storage mode.
I began meditating and visualizing every morning, which I found to be extremely effective for reducing stress.
5. I created a much more sustainable life.
I also lowered my expenses, moved to a more affordable house and started growing some of my own foods. My life felt much more sustainable and I felt calmer and more supported.
6. I worked through some important emotional issues.
Some people feel safer with extra weight on their body. It’s as if the body actually uses weight as a buffer from the world. I was in that situation and I knew I had to address the emotional issues that were making my body feel unsafe.
I started doing visualization practices that helped to resolve past traumas and to get my body to feel safer in letting go of the weight.
Over the years I’ve found that 65-70% of the clients I work with are using weight as a form of protection. I call this ‘emotional obesity.’ When you work through the issues that are causing emotional obesity and break the association that fat equals safe, the body is much more willing to let go of the weight.
7. I detoxified my body.
After I had lost about 180 pounds I started doing a lot of research about toxins and how the body processes and deals with toxic chemicals. It turns out the body uses fat cells to store excess toxins.
I realized that the last 40 excess pounds that my body was holding onto was because it was a storehouse for accumulated toxins. I started flushing my body with lots of alkaline liquids, like water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, green juices, super greens and lots of salads and sprouts.
That did the trick, because I lost the last 40 pounds much more quickly than I lost the first 40 pounds, so the rate of my weight loss continued to accelerate to the very end.”
Many people have followed these methods and lost weight without having to resort to any fixed diets. So why not give it a try?