There are a lot of damaging lies about health and nutrition, but none as physically and emotionally crippling as this: the lie that being fat is the problem we need to solve.
It isn’t. In fact, fat is a sign that your body is out of balance and desperately trying to cope.
The ways and reasons that excess body fat accumulates should be paid urgent attention, much more than the “muffin top” or “saddlebags” we wear. An overloaded liver, unbalanced hormones, excessive stress levels, and nutritional deficiencies are just a few of the reasons our bodies are forced to create and store fat. And all of them have much more serious ramifications than we often believe.
But perhaps the biggest concern of all is that we believe fat is a matter of willpower, or lack thereof. We think that if we just stay off the sugar and carbs and spend our lives at the gym then everything will be in balance and we will be the picture of trim, slim, health and perfection.
This is far from the whole picture — and the whole picture is far more terrifying.
Today I’m going to give you a glimpse at this whole picture, a sort of overview on why body fat isn’t the thing you should be worried about the most. Because while you need to get your mind away from the guilt and loathing surrounding weight gain, more importantly, you need to understand just how your body gets so out of sync, and why it’s absolutely crucial that you pay attention now.
To give you this overview I’m sharing the words of Dr. Patrick Nemechek, an Internal Medicine specialist based in Buckeye, Arizona, with over 25 years experience in treating patients with complicated medical issues. As he says on his website, “I treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. … I am not distracted by quick fixes or endless medical testing. I have gotten back to the basics where I attack and reverse the disease process itself.”
The following words (shared on his Facebook page) perfectly explain why nutrition isn’t just about being fit or fat — it’s about your life, and whether you want to have a long, healthy one or not.
And if you’re ready to make changes in your life, sign up to take a Healthy Little Changes nutrition or cooking class to learn once and for all how to get control of your nutrition and take charge in the kitchen.
Choosing How You Die, One Meal at a Time
by Dr. Patrick M. Nemechek and Jean R. Nemechek
Too tired to fight with the kids over healthy food and snacks? Too tempted by tasty sugars and carbs to cut them from your diet?
Let’s call your diet what it really is: It is your choice of death.
Everything would be easy if we could really walk on the treadmill 30 extra minutes to erase a bowl of ice cream, if swallowing vitamins really “made up” for poor nutrition, or if medication actually “cured” a symptom.
But that isn’t how it all works, and we can no longer pretend our choices aren’t creating the diseases that will eventually kill us. So let’s look at how we die and then work backwards.
Most of us will die from a long list of diseases caused by metabolic inflammation that include cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and hypertension.
We will feel the symptoms of metabolic inflammation for years before our diagnosis: sleep apnea, arthritis, depression/anxiety, heart arrhythmia, cataracts, insomnia, and blood pressure regulation issues.
We will see the warning signs of inflammation and insulin resistance in our yearly labs as low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, high uric acid, and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP). The symptoms of excessive hunger and a failing body will eventually become undeniable.
Men will get low testosterone, carry fat that makes them look pregnant, or grow man-boobs. The women will get altered menses, PCOS, infertility, and muffin tops.
Others will never gain weight and will stay thin no matter how badly they eat, being the unlucky few who lack the ability to make fat and thus have no visible warning sign of their poor nutrition and over-consumption.
There simply is no such thing as a “lucky metabolism.” Thin people who over-consume yet do not gain weight are like smokers; they look fine from the outside but they are decaying on the inside.
Tragically the earliest warning signs of inflammation will most likely be ignored. Heartburn, headaches, and intestinal distress will be dismissed because we can buy over-the-counter remedies to ease those discomforts. Frequent urination, food intolerance, dizziness, and poor memory will wrongly be attributed to getting older.
We will wear the outward signs of inner troubles in our bad gums, flawed skin, brittle hair and progressively worse eyesight. The body will hurt, wounds won’t heal, and women will never fully recover after having a baby.
Opportunities for early intervention and prevention will be lost.
In the years leading up to all of those warning signs our bodies and our hunger will have been changed through an accumulation of antibiotics, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, physical and emotional traumas, excess omega-6 fatty acids (from fast food and processed foods), and various nutritional deficiencies. The stress from these events and food accumulates and eventually breaks our healthy bodies.
Silently, daily, the extra energy and excess nutrients that we over-consume saturates and damages our cells. Whatever genetic weakness we might have for any particular disease gets turned on. It is our own death, by our own hunger.
Unhealthy food doesn’t just make us fat; it makes us sick and old. We are becoming chronically ill faster and at younger ages as this over-nutrition fuels the inflammation. Diseases that used to only strike the elderly are now routinely seen in young adulthood and childhood.
We got lost along the way. We were willing to try any new pill or exercise program to lose weight or get healthy but we refused to do the one thing that works: permanently change our food. The depressing and unavoidable truth is that the food is making us sick.
And as boring, inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming that it may be to eat fresh, unprocessed, or chemically nutritious foods, therein lies the key to your future health.
It is never too late to change your food. Even if you feel you are broken or are on medication there is much that you can do to regain your health and normalize your hunger.
Stem cell regeneration, stimulating the bodies’ natural defense mechanisms, and re-balancing the intestinal tract and nervous system can reverse many disease processes and put inflammation into remission. We do these things in my office each day.
Need an example of a life-and-death choice some people have every day, at every meal? Cancer is one disease that gets “turned on” when metabolic inflammation reaches a certain level. Unless you turn off that metabolic inflammation, cancer will return again and again no matter what body parts you have cut off or how much chemo/radiation you endured.
What feeds cancer cells? Carbohydrates and sugars. So we take away all of cancer’s food and we do everything we can to turn the metabolic switch off. The kitchen becomes more powerful than the operating room.
It is that simple for the rest of us, too, once we realize that inflammation (like cancer) never takes a vacation day and that we make the decision to be healthy at each meal. Every day. It’s simple, sobering, and empowering.
Choosing how you die, one meal at a time.
© 2014. Dr. Patrick M. Nemechek and Jean R. Nemechek. Call Dr. Nemechek at 623-208-4226 for an appointment.