Focusing on weight loss as a means to wellness goes against the grain for me. While I recognize that many (if not most) Westerners need to lose weight, I’ve never liked to focus on that aspect of health. It’s too easy for people to get wrapped up in numbers like scale weight, calories, minutes spent exercising, etc., and all of these are the wrong focus when it comes to wellness.
Incidentally, they’re the wrong focus when it comes to weight loss as well, but I haven’t wanted to go there in the past because focusing on weight loss never seemed like the right way to get people to truly change the way that they eat. Because I believe that following a plant-based, whole-food diet with little or no added oils is critical to achieve and/or maintain a healthy body weight, my mission has been to convert people to this lifestyle, regardless of their weight issues (or lack thereof).
Recently, however, I’ve come to recognize just how many health-minded people do need to lose weight in order for their bodies to function optimally. Often they are resigned about their weight, especially if they’ve tried a variety of diets or exercise programs and still maintain excess weight, or even continue to gain. Given the great need that so many people do have to lose weight in order to experience true wellness, I have begun to offer Beauty and Rejuvenation retreats in order to help them learn (amongst a great many other things) about:
- The Anatomy of Weight Loss
- The Physiology of Weight Loss
- The Biochemistry of Weight Loss
- The Psychology of Weight Loss
Counting calories is the most time-tested way to lose weight, but it is boring and slow. More importantly, calorie counting will not get all the weight off of you because some fat retention is due to the toxins in the body. And increasing exercise in order to burn body fat can be counterproductive as well. One of the most valuable things for us to recognize as we embark upon either weight loss or weight maintenance is that our bodies are not biochemically designed to gain weight.
Consider that the basic biochemical equations for food metabolism can be basically summarized as the following: Food + Water + Oxygen = Energy + Solid Waste + Urine + Carbon Monoxide
This process is catalyzed by the enzymes and micronutrients in our food, and it’s a system that’s designed to work beautifully. There’s no part of the equation that even allows for weight gain or weight loss. Energy and carbon monoxide don’t weigh anything, and solid waste and water should be eliminated from the body (although in the Anatomy of Weight Loss talk, I discuss how the modern diet does slow down the elimination process, and has us put on excess weight). Please visit my webinar on the intro to the retreat to hear more about this.
But the central issue to weight gain is the toxicity of our food, which creates a whole new biochemistry:
Food + Toxins + Water + Oxygen = Energy + Solid Waste + Urine + Carbon Monoxide + Stored toxins held with water + Stored toxins held in fat Burning excess fat as energy does allow some people to lose excess stored weight at a slow and steady pace, but it doesn’t do anything to address the issue of stored toxins. Until we rid our body of these toxins, we can never function at an optimal level and we will always struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
My first three retreats have all been huge successes, with average participant weight loss of 1 pound a day. One participant lost 24 pounds in 6 days! This sounds extreme because we’ve all been taught that 1 – 3 pounds of fat per week is the most that a person can healthily lose. In actuality, when detoxification occurs, and it’s combined with a plant-based whole-food diet, the amount of fat that a person can lose is far greater.
The other amazing fact is that these participants came out stronger and more flexible while achieving this kind of weight loss. Listen to first-hand accounts of what our participants experienced.
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