How Overweight Problems Begin
Becoming overweight or obese has become more of a problem over the past 20 years. In order to comprehend how one can go from normal weight levels to unhealthy ones, we need to understand what our metabolism is, how it works and all of the organs involved in metabolic function. Optimal metabolic health is possible in both old and young as long as nutrition and stress are both kept in check.
Simply put, the metabolism is a group of chemical transformations that take place within a cell. These transformations allow the cell to grow, reproduce and respond to the environment surrounding it. The chemical reactions involved with metabolic activity allow any living organism to take in nutrients and break it down into smaller parts so that it can be used by our cells. This transformation takes place through several steps. The final products in this process serve as material the body will use for a variety of functions. Generally speaking these final products fall into three different categories: lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids. All of these are vital for sustaining life.
Once the cell has access to the lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids, the metabolic processes shift to focus on the utilization of these molecules to make parts that will be used to repair damaged cells, regenerate and create new cells through mitosis or use them as an energy source. There are more than 100,000 different types of molecules that are either derived directly from the food we eat or that are made by the body through utilizing the nutrients and micronutrients found in the food we consume.
Part of the metabolic process includes catabolism. Catabolism occurs through existing large molecules that are created by our cells. Coenzymes and enzymes are large proteins created by the cells and play large roles. They are both involved in a group of chemical reactions that break down nutrients quickly and effectively. Inorganic minerals and water also play pivotal roles in catabolism.
Digestion is a common term used that is a large part of metabolic activity. The human body requires different sections of the digestive tract to initiative separate parts of the digestive process. The entire process begins with cells in our tongue and mouth. Certain bacteria that live in our mouths also contribute to initiating the digestive process. The brain is also heavily involved with every part of the digestion. As we chew the brain sends messages to tissues in our mouth that release specific enzymes. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to take time to chew our food and not eat quickly. As chewed food goes down, cells in the esophagus receive messages from the brain to produce additional enzymes and initiate muscle movement to push the food down.
As the food makes its way down the esophagus, the stomach receives a different set of messages from the brain. As a result, new chemicals are produced by stomach cells that assist in further breaking down of the food we’ve eaten. Once completed, the stomach produces movements that send components of what we’ve eaten to the small intestines. Once in the small intestines the pancreas and gallbladder get involved in sending hormones and gastric juices to the intestinal tract continue reducing the size of the microscopic nutrients we’ve consumed. This makes it possible for the cells that make up the small intestines to absorb those nutrients and pass them on to the bloodstream and to the liver.
Certain bacteria in the intestinal tract also use some of the carbohydrates and as a byproduct produce additional enzymes and chemicals that help throughout the digestive process. Throughout the entire process the brain is actively involved. Due to how the metabolism is closely regulated, there are many moving pieces that to keep enzyme activity balanced, including a number of internal signaling that produces hormones that travel through the blood stream and send additional signals and messages to different cells throughout the body. The health and efficacy of all these hormones have a direct effect on how well our metabolism works.
Neurotransmitters chemicals also travel from the brain and through the nerves directly to tissues involved in the digestive process. Any problem with hormone production impairs digestion. Imbalance of neurotransmitters also affects digestion. It is important to note that constant stress has a direct impact on hormone production and neurotransmitter levels.
A healthy metabolism will also have healthy kidneys and urine activity. The kidney plays a pivotal in protecting the body as it is involved in glucose homeostasis, blood flow and other functions such as removal of toxicity and waste. The total amount of water available in our body is also influenced by the kidneys as they interact with other organs in the body to optimize metabolic function.
Lack of water can also be a huge problem for the metabolism. Water, when combined with the components of salt and natural essential trace minerals, makes it possible for nutrients to be processed correctly. Pure salt (not processed salt) stimulates peristaltic movements and supports the production of different chemicals that regulate proper metabolic function. Our cell membranes also use the corresponding electrical charge of salt as a gradient in order to transfer chemical nutrients in and out of the cell. This makes it possible for our bodies to remain stable and maintain homeostasis. Lack of water intake, pure sale and essential minerals creates problems for our digestive system, leading to disease. Regarding water intake, we should take in 8–10 daily cups of water. If we live an active lifestyle, that amount should increase depending on our level of activity.
When we hear people refer to having a slow or fast metabolism, usually we think of a person referring to somebody that is either overweight or fit. Most of us start off in good health with a “fast metabolism” and feeling fit. How do we go from being fit in our younger years to becoming overweight and carrying around extra fat around our waistline? The fat we typically find in problem areas (waist, thighs, arms, etc) can be difficult to burn even with exercise because the body has saved it as storage. Even in extreme situations where people skip meals hoping to lose weight, the body will first go to its muscles and digest some of the tissue in order to provide nutrients to the rest of the body. Skipping meals is one of the worst ways to quickly lose weight and actually does very little, if anything at all, with excess fat in problem areas. While it may sound crazy that’s the way the body works.
For anybody looking to lose fat or reverse weight problems, it’s important to understand that although eating unhealthily will certainly accumulate fat, the problem begins with stress. Stress can alter our physical life early as a child and can be continuously present well into our adult years and our old age. Stress causes over-activity to occur with the neurons in our brain, causing damage that have repercussions on hormone production and neurotransmitter balance. This alteration affects eating habits, enzyme production and sleep patterns, which also cause slight hormonal changes. Additionally, dopamine levels diminish causing a loss of passion and motivation to do things that bring purpose and substance in our lives. This is critical because dopamine plays a large role in creating an internal desire to actually do things that we enjoy.
Decreased dopamine levels diminish our desire to be active in any sort of physical activity. In an effort to release dopamine, the body will create the desire or craving to eat food since eating food that tastes good releases this important chemical. However, stress creates the urge to eat items such as sugar, bread and fat laden foods. Chronic stress specifically creates a strong urge for sugar and eating late. The extra food we consume is converted into fat by the liver in an effort to avoid an increase in sugar levels in the blood. The fat is then transferred to adipose cells for storage. It’s important to note that certain cells in the body produce hormones that induce hunger, while a separate set of hormones create the feeling of being satisfied after a meal, if you’ve received the nutrients necessary. The production of these hormones are also affected when stress. This is due to the production of cortisol, which interrupts the hormones that the body uses as tools to balance hunger and satisfaction.
The array of imbalance that occurs among hormones and neurotransmitters also affects the intestinal tract, stomach, esophagus and even our taste buds. These hormonal changes also create a change of pH levels, affecting flora bacteria which play an important role in metabolizing food. Stress also causes the body to produce crisis signals that cause the body to burn muscle and store fat. Under these circumstances we fall into a cycle that’s difficult to escape. As stress causes the body to feel as if it’s in danger, certain biological switches slow down the metabolism as it begins to create excess fat storage in an effort to survive. Stress continues to produce cortisol which binds to an important hormone – known as leptin – that helps control eating. Because cortisol is bound to leptin, the overall size of the molecule is enlarged, keeping it from being able to pass the brain barrier. In these scenarios leptin never arrives to the brain to provide a message that the body is satisfied and full and overeating becomes common. The inability for leptin to reach the brain also interrupts the thyroids ability to produce certain hormones that are important as part of the metabolic process.
All of these factors affect our body as nutrients are unable to be absorbed. Additionally our taste buds change and crave more sugar and fat which leads to an increase in consuming unhealthy foods. This creates additional problems as now our food intake and diet changes as we crave foods that lack important nutrients the body needs to work correctly. As a consequence more fat is created. Because the body is lacking important nutrients it begins to think it is starving and secretes a survival hormone known as RT3 that prohibits the body using the existing fat for energy; muscle tissue is also lost as fat mass increases.
All of this excess fat is stored in special cells known as adipose cells. Initially the extra fat is stored around the belly and around important visceral and organs such as the liver, pancreas, intestines and stomach. As mentioned earlier this fat is hard to remove due to the processes mentioned earlier. There is however another issue that goes beyond what we can see on a scale or in a mirror. All the additional fat that is being stored causes the adipose cells to increase in size and eventually become inflamed. This leads to chronic inflammation because the inflammation won’t go away until the fat in the adipose cells decrease. Under these conditions, the cells constantly produce components of cytokines which puts the immune system on constant alert. Constant production of cytokines leads to progressive damage because the immune system becomes overactive and attacks the entire inflamed area. This includes the organs surrounding the adipose cells. It’s also important to note that when adipose cells are inflamed they’re not able to produce important hormones that support the metabolism.
Although these microbiological conditions are damaging and chaotic, under these circumstances we don’t automatically break down right away. We can still work and appear to be living a normal and healthy life. While there may not be any major manifestations or symptoms on the surface, the constant internal damage is very real. As we’ve outlined, there are a number of connections throughout the entire metabolic process that link the brain through nerves. As such a weak metabolism also affects the brain. If nothing changes, after some time very serious complications occur in other organs as chronic diseases develop. Eventually years of internal damage come to the surface through chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, liver or kidney issues, etc. This is of course assuming that nothing changes in our lifestyle.
As a company we understand very clearly the relationship between stress and weight issues. Through years of research, we’ve created protocols to control stress and help the body restore its metabolic function to remove undesired excess fat. By combining protocols for sleep, nutrition and other tools, the body is able to reverse its stored fat so that it can be used as energy. We’ve been able to put this in the hands of thousands of people who have successfully had their physical and emotional health turned around. Our weight loss protocol supports the body’s natural ability to use its existing fat – which is nothing more than excess carbs and proteins that the liver created – and have the liver convert it back into energy to be utilized as such. It is an effective way for fat to be used without forcing the body to go beyond its normal biological capacity to metabolize faster than it is able to.