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Can We Really Outsmart Our Bodies?

Can We Really Outsmart Our Bodies?

Can we really outsmart our bodies?  Probably not.  Automatically closing our eyes when we sneeze is the perfect example of how the body just knows what to do.  Less involuntary are the subtle signs that the body gives when trying to rebalance itself; thirst, hunger, exhaustion and chills are good examples.  How is it that we think we can just exercise more or eat less without the body suffering any consequences?  We think we are outsmarting the body when we convince it to shed weight during a diet.  But when it makes us pay for the inconvenience by returning the weight AND an additional 10%, who gets the last laugh?

The body seems to think that more is better and, as we age, our weight and body fat tend to increase.  No doubt the body has its reasons.  Our bones achieve their greatest density around the age of 30, so perhaps the addition of weight causes the stress needed to sustain bone and prevent osteoporosis through the later years.  Muscle tissue develops until around the age of 40 at which point we generally arrive at our ideal, maximum weight.  We forget that fat is very light and, though it looks plentiful around our bellies and hips, it weighs very little.  If the above is true, convincing the body that it wants low calorie salads and fat free products to reduce weight would be detrimental to our health.  Are we destined then to fatten?   Do we have no defense against conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes?

Not exactly.  Two things are certain.  One is that the body knows exactly what it needs.  Feeling hungry means the body needs replenishment.  If, however, you give it something it will readily digest, it’s going to ask you for more.  Feed the body foods that slow the digestion process and keep you satiated longer.  This means foods that have protein, fat and/or fibre in them. A food that is predominantly carbohydrate can cause the body to send the same hunger message over and over again.  Secondly, looking at the impact that the food has on the body is far more important than looking at the food itself.  Lean meats are a great source of protein but not as beneficial without the fats so essential for tissue repair and healthy skin.  Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals but can also raise blood sugar and cause the body to produce too much insulin.  Grains, such as wheat, can cause similar effects but if we avoid them completely, we risk depleting our serotonin stores leaving our bodies very unhappy – literally! 

50 years of “diet promotion” has taught us that unless a person’s food preferences are aligned with those of her / his body’s, weight loss is unsustainable.  Reducing calories or burning too many through exercise clearly upsets the body’s equilibrium.  Listen to what your body wants – stick to whole foods and take advantage of the benefits of activity when feeling energized.  There is no doubt that if humans have been on this earth for 6 or 7 million years, the body probably knows what it is doing.

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  2. Kashif Ansari  March 4, 2015

    give the body a reason and it will probably shed some weight in response. the problem is that the exercises needed for fat loss are not very easy to do. they are very fast sprinting and very heavy weight training. and the occasional sunlight that produces a cocktail of hormones in the body not to mention immersion in very cold water which again raises the metabolism. as far as food is concerned it has to be satisfying. no wussy green salads or leafy green veggies will do. we all deserve a break from the ten thousand stupid incomplete diets that are touted by those so called experts in the form of expensive books on store shelves. a little common sense here goes a long way. eat what your great grand parents ate since that is real food and not the 200 odd fake foods that have invaded the supermarket shelves in the past three generations or so.

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  4. Hosting  June 4, 2016

    We can use the excuse that we don’t have time to exercise, but if you really try then you can always find the time. Shift your mind set from “I have to exercise,” to “I get to exercise,” and your body will take action! Look forward to your workouts as a perfect solution to not having your alone time. It’s just as important as getting everything else done.

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