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The One Thing That No Amount Of Exercise Can Fix For Weight Loss

It occurred to me yesterday while I was giving a nutrition talk that I should really spend more time this year providing coaching and instruction on the most overlooked area of weight loss.

I want you to think about this for a second. What do most people focus on when making a game plan to lose weight? Diet and exercise right? Something along the lines of restricting calories and doing a certain amount of exercise.

While it makes total sense on the surface, I’d like to challenge the widely held assertion that weight loss is simply a matter of eating less and exercising more.

You may have tried following this strategy yourself and been left frustrated and confused when it didn’t work very well with producing significant lasting weight loss. Maybe at one point in time during your life (likely when you were younger), you were able to go on a “diet” and just do a bunch of cardio for the pounds to begin melting off.

Then one day the “way” you were able to lose weight in the past, stopped working altogether. Further restriction of calories didn’t make a difference, more time on the treadmill didn’t make a difference.

In desperation maybe you start looking at pills, shots, or other so called solutions to break through the plateau. Stop! Stop all of it right now.

At least long enough to hear me out.

Perhaps the way you’ve been looking at weight loss all along has been missing a critical piece of the puzzle that you’ve overlooked. A factor that no amount of exercise or dieting would ever be able to fix.

What am I talking about? Stick with me as I want to engage you in a discussion that hopefully helps to tap into your own intuition.

The human body: a machine like no other, but in many ways like all the others with several parts working together with synergy.

In many ways we can say the human body is like a machine, arguably the most magnificently designed machine ever created. The inner workings of which still have a lot to be discovered and understood.

None-the-less, we can easily see how the human body works with an integrate series of systems working together in unison. All the inner workings of organs, glands, the central nervous system, everything humming along under the influence of hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.

I believe we simplify things far too much when we look at the body gaining or losing fat stores through mere calories in versus calories out.

Whenever excess fat is being stored, the body is not doing so by chance or accident. It’s being triggered to do so for a reason. If the individual is not intending to store extra body fat, perhaps for things like preparation for a hard winter, food shortages, etc, then the weight gain is always the result of one or more imbalances.

A body in balance, with all the systems working in optimal fashion and with the right amount of energy coming in to meet demands, does not store excess fat.

If it has something has gone a-rye. It’s out of balance, all the way down to the basic cellular level.

Losing weight, or better stated, getting the body to release excess fat stores will likely require a return to balance on several levels.

It’s not just a matter of starving the machine of fuel or trying to run it harder.

For the sake of discussion let’s say you’ve got an engine, be it in your car, boat, motorcycle, lawn mower, whatever. And this engine is hard to start, runs rough, and obviously needs a rebuild or a tune-up.

To get the engine working again in optimal fashion you wouldn’t rebuild the motor, fuel system, or whatever, and leave the gummed up lines and filters intact. That wouldn’t make much sense right? You’d likely wind up right back where you started. Of course you’d want everything to be cleaned and free from built up gunk.

After all it’s an engine with all the various parts working together, all dependent on one another to make it run optimally.

Do you see where I’m headed with this? Your body functions just like that engine, expect the fuel and parts are different.

So why is it that when we look to lose weight we merely focus on restricting fuel and trying to run our engine (the body) harder with more exercise?

Maybe this works for a minute, but then progress comes to a halt, and we tell ourselves we just need to try harder.

Here’s the reality, your body won’t function any better with clogged up filters, gummed up lines, and damaged parts, than any engine would with the same.

So what’s the real secret to producing a significant change in body composition and making it last?

Work from the inside out instead of the outside in!

Going from 3000 calories a day or more from junk foods to 1200 calories a day from so called “healthier” junk foods (Lean Cuisine’s and the such), doesn’t do ANYTHING to fix the root problems.

You’ve merely lowered the incoming energy and changed the fuel source slightly.

The same thing can be said for trying to exercise your way there. All the cardio in the world won’t do a thing to fix a digestive system that poorly assimilates nutrients, or glands and organs that are overburden with metabolic waste and toxins, and the list goes on.

What I want you to see is that weight management goes all the way down the cellular level, down to the smallest functioning units of your engine, the human body. If you want to be effective at getting your body to release excess fat stores, you must address the health and function of ALL the working parts.

What you put into that engine (food for energy and fuel), how you care for that engine (cleaning it out, not over-working it, etc), all makes a difference.

So instead of just looking to go on a “diet” and ramping up how many calories you burn with exercise, start first with looking cleanse, rejuvenate, and repair the inner working parts.

How do you do that? Well there’s many ways, but the common denominator is providing your body with natural, whole foods, it can use to cleanse and repair.

No I’m not talking about a colon cleanse or any of that stuff. I’m talking about getting things working efficiently all the way down to the cellular level. That starts with making sure you can deliver the cells with the tools they need to rebuild and repair themselves (vitamins, minerals, miconutrients, etc).

Your gastrointestinal tract is where the majority of nutrient assimilation takes place. If you’re out of balance there and all gunked up with metabolic waste and toxins, you’re going to have an extremely difficult time delivering nutrients where they need to go.

This is what I refer to as “cellular starvation.” Regardless of the number of calories you’re eating, you could literally be starving your cells with the nutrients they need.

All the hormonal and other systems depend on the body getting adequate nutrition down to the cellular level. When this doesn’t happen, things start to break down. You may not see it, but it’s happening.

Over time, the symptoms start to be seen and felt. Your energy goes in the tank, the pounds start creeping on (even with dieting attempts), you get sick more frequently, you age quicker, start seeing more wrinkles, lose muscle mass, experience a loss of libido, and the list goes on.

The “fix” for weight loss needs to come from the inside out!

Don’t just “diet,” but rather change the way you fuel your body and what you provide it. Eat more high fiber foods from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and the like. Perhaps do an herbal cleanse or a juice detox and cleanse.

Make a significant change in what you eat, allowing your digestive tract and organs to be cleansed and healed, allow them to restore balance.

I for one wouldn’t fare well on a raw vegan type diet of exclusively plant foods for very long. I’m 240 lbs with a fast metabolism and a desire to build and maintain lean muscle. That’s just me, I’m going to eat animal proteins and not look to exclude entire food groups from my diet. There are a few exceptions as I tend to better with certain foods being minimized or avoided (such as wheat, pasteurized dairy, processed sugars, etc).

Having said that, there are times when I look to cleanse and detoxify by using predominately raw foods, typically juicing them. It’s something I do most days as a way to get in vital phytonutrients and enzymes from live foods, in part of a mostly Primal Blueprint type diet.

However, if I were looking to really cleanse and detoxify I’d do more of it. The thing is I think a lot of people steer away from such things as juicing and raw food cleanses, because they don’t feel they could do it long term. I believe that’s missing the point. I won’t necessarily do it from a lifestyle diet perspective either, but I see it as a very valuable tool.

You see once balance, cleansing, and restoration has occurred you can go back to more of a traditional diet with a wide variety of natural food sources. Even some of the non-supportive sensible indulgences can be included with moderation if the body is in balance.

The key is getting the body in balance first, and that’s going to require some sacrifices and changes. My recommendation is to give yourself 30 days to really cleanse, heal, and rejuvenate from the inside out. Give up the food and drink that’s not helping in the process, you can have it again in moderation later.

By focusing on your health from the inside out, you’ll be attacking weight loss where the root problems lie. Sure the exercise will be helpful, just don’t look for it to be a fix all. And for heaven’s sake stop trying to starve yourself as a way to get healthier.

Hopefully, something I’ve just talked about resonated with you and it’s helped to provide a wider perspective at how you look at weight loss.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions. The dialogue is always welcome and I’m happy to help in any way I can.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.