How nutrient deficiencies sabotage weight loss

How nutrient deficiencies sabotage weight loss
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a weight-loss summit, called the truth about weight loss, produced by Better Life Summits. 
One of the speakers I had the opportunity to listen to, was Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, a seven-time New York Times bestselling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods.  As a leading expert in nutrition, Dr Fuhrman not only believes in food addiction, but also treats it. His books, The end of "Dieting," and "Fast Food Genocide," really get to the heart of additive and emotional eating. 

One of the most interesting things I heard in Dr. Fuhrman's talk was his take on nutrient deficiencies. Dr Fuhrman states that our body requires adequate antioxidants and phytochemicals from the food we eat, in order to properly metabolize and detoxify from the process of metabolism itself. 

When we eat food, no matter what we eat, the process of breaking down food into energy produces waste products. These waste products must be removed from the body through the process of detoxification, which occurs in the liver.  This detoxification process is a normal and natural part of the metabolic process. However, Dr. Fuhrman points out that whole foods, like fruits and veggies contain all the necessary antioxidants and phytochemicals to manage this detoxification process inside of them. Processed foods, do not. 

There are some important things to emphasize here. 

1. When we eat highly processed foods, they do not provide the necessary micronutrients for the breakdown and detoxification process. That means, after eating processed food, the detoxification system is overwhelmed and needs time to remove the metabolic end products like free radicals, and because the processed food does not provide the micronutrients to aide in the detoxification process, the excess production of free radicals over-burdens the system. This leads to inflammation and inflammation is at the root of essentially all disease processes. 

2. The second point we want to make here, is that there is a natural detoxification process that takes place after we eat. Therefore, when we switch to a healthy diet, we might actually feel worse for a little while as the body starts to detoxify and health itself.  The longer we have been burdening our system with processed food, saturated fat and added sugars, the longer the detoxification process might take. Dr Fuhrman believes this is an important point to make for those trying to lose weight, we have to let the body do its thing and detoxify itself. We didn't become addicted to food overnight after all. 

3. If we overload our metabolism with crap that gunks it up, like glycation end products which becomes the sticky stuff of atherosclerosis, when we don't allow the body time to properly detoxify. Not only does processed food not provide adequate micronutrients to complete this process, but, these highly inflammatory foods will also deplete the body of precious vitamins and minerals in an attempt to detoxify. 

4. Highly restrictive diets often do not provide adequate nutrients for the metabolic process. If we don't have the right micronutrients in our diet, then, the body cannot process food properly and remove the harmful end products that are a natural part of the metabolic process. Now, we are nutrient deficient and still hungry, because the body is starving for the proper nutrients, causing us to eat more than we need, and eat the stuff we shouldn't be eating. 

Dr. Fuhrman says that eating the standard diet of high calorie, low nutrient foods, and low-fiber diets, we are turning ourselves into "calorie consuming monsters." The toxic, metabolic end products build up in the system and cause us to crave more food, because we are craving the accurate mix of micronutrients to ward off all this toxicity. Rather than getting energy from our food, our food is making us sick.  

Dr Fuhrman says that is nutritionally adequate is the only way to start any diet. We want all those precious micronutrients to be present to maximize our immune function, health and mental health. 

Dr Fuhrman also discussed the rate of dysthymia linked to the standard American diet.  Dysthymia is alot like a low grade depression. We eat like crap, so we feel like crap. Like a fine engine, it really does matter what fuel we use for food. 

As a health coach, I am always trying to help my clients choose whole foods that will improve their micronutrient levels. Dr Fuhrman's work confirms that whole foods are necessary fuel, they provide the appropriate mix of micronutrients to aid the detoxification process. While calorie restriction is a good weigh to lose extra pounds, if we restrict our calories too much, we may be causing more damage than if we ate healthy all along. 

Diet Weight-loss Nutrient Deficiencies