Did you know the biggest barrier to your weight loss is located right above your kidneys? They’re called your adrenal glands. More than being critical to life, they are a large culprit for the fat on your body that never goes away.
Your adrenals produce the all-important hormone called cortisol. Other than regulating your blood sugar and thyroid, it helps breakdown fat in your body. It wouldn’t be an important component if it weren’t for the fact that most people today have adrenal fatigue. Some symptoms include: needing that cup of coffee to keep you going, difficulty sleeping, and having low stamina. Most hormonal imbalances are also indicative of weak adrenals, as I discussed in my previous article. In fact, your adrenals help determine what specific diet your body needs to burn fat the best! But first, you need to know whether your body is driven by your nervous system, or your cells. Or famously, as Dr. William Wolcott calls it, you’re either autonomic dominant or oxidation dominant.
1st century BC Roman poet Lucretius was the first to coin the later popular saying, “what is one man’s meat, is another man’s poison.” Meaning? Not everybody was born to function best on the same diet. According to physician Gabriel Cousens, 60 percent of people’s bodies are driven by how well their cells oxidize or “burn” food. They’re oxidation dominant. When you’re not “burning well”, it’s difficult for you to lose fat and gain lean muscle. Slow oxidizers have slow adrenals, so they burn slow. Fast oxidizers, have adrenals that work too fast, so they burn too fast. The rest of the 40 percent? They’re mostly driven by their autonomic nervous system, so they’re called autonomic dominant. This controls all of the involuntary actions of your body, from your heart rate to your digestion. There are 2 branches to this nervous system. When you’re scared, everything is sped up, and your sympathetic branch is stimulated. When you’re calm, everything slows down, and your parasympathetic branch is stimulated. You’re either sympathetic or parasympathetic dominant. But all of these fancy terms boil down to you being one of three Metabolic Types: a Protein-Type (fast oxidizer or parasympathetic dominant), a Carbohydrate-Type (slow oxidizer or sympathetic dominant), or a Mixed Type (a mixture of all types).
A Protein-Type needs their diet to be higher in fat and protein, but lower in carbohydrates. A Carbohydrate Type the opposite. They need more carbs, but less fat and protein. You’re probably wondering why I talked about “oxidation types” and “autonomic types,” when there’s really only 3 diets. That’s because there’s one more concept left! (I told you it’s multi-faceted, so bear with me). This is your body’s acid-base balance. You see, when your body is too acidic or alkaline, you’ll have difficulty getting the weight loss that you want. It’s critical for your body to be operating at an optimal pH or else your metabolism suffers. The amazing thing is knowing whether you’re oxidation dominant or autonomic dominant, directly determines what foods make you acidic or alkaline!
Lastly, I wanted to talk about the importance of exercise. I’m not an exercise guru, but most people know that physical activity burns fat. There is just no replacement for the benefits of working-out: it improves your insulin sensitivity, increases your bowel movements (my favorite topic), and stimulates your metabolism. But working-out properly is also multi-faceted. Darrin D’Amico is an example of an excellent local personal trainer who understands the holistic approach from a fitness perspective. We’re actually teaming up to better serve the fitness and weight loss interests of the Northern Virginia population.
No doubt, weight loss is a complex topic. But from these 2 part series, I hope I made it simpler. Just always remember your keys to success: colon, insulin sensitivity, adrenals, metabolic type, and of course, exercise.