More than 50% of Americans feel that they need to lose weight. Over a third of adults are obese. The diet industry in this country is HUGE- a multi-billion dollar industry. To its benefit, most "quick fix" weight loss solutions and fad diets are temporary, keeping us endlessly chasing after the next weight loss trend.
And you know what? That doesn't necessarily exclude juice cleanses. Yes, you read right. Please excuse the cliche, but lasting weight loss truly is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you want to get real with yourself about why it is hard to lose weight , you need to start thinking on a cellular level.
Do you count calories, try every fad diet, obsess over weight loss tips, exercise whenever you get the chance… and still, see very little difference in your weight? Have you experienced significant weight loss on a juice cleanse, then gained it all back once you resume your usual eating habits? Then there’s something you need to be aware of: You're probably malnourished.
The Calorie Counting Con
Sure, we as a nation are overindulgent. Yes, we eat too much junk food. Our portions are indeed absurdly oversized. Generally speaking, we’re pretty freaking lazy. But if you’re struggling to lose weight, obsessing over calories is making your journey so much more difficult and tedious than it needs to be.
To blame the overweight epidemic on excessive calorie consumption just isn’t telling the full story. Contrary to common misconception, malnutrition is not a condition that exclusively affects those who are impoverished or body dysmorphic. Malnutrition is not necessarily the result of a lack of food; it's a lack of nutrients.
A few years ago I got a panicky phone call from an old college frenemy (informally defined as: “a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry”). Her general practitioner had just harshly scolded over her BMI- which now officially qualified her as obese. She immediately called me crying for advice. Having recently overcome my own (albeit much lesser) weight complaints, I was eager to share my nutritional epiphanies with anyone who would listen.
“I just don’t get why I can’t lose this weight,” she groaned, “I jog! I’ve been obsessively counting calories every weekday for the last two months! I never go over my allowed amount. And I only drink on weekends!”
I asked her what exactly she was eating.
“Today all I had was an English muffin with LOW FAT cream cheese and a coffee with FAT-FREE creamer for breakfast, a chicken caesar salad for lunch with the dressing ON THE SIDE, and a turkey burger WITHOUT THE BUN for dinner! Oh, and a low-fat yogurt and a 100-calorie cookie snack pack. See what I mean? I watch what I eat every day! It’s like The Universe just doesn’t want me to be a thin person! I mean, I have always been a big-boned...”
“What about fruit and vegetables?”
“Psshhht. I can’t eat fruit! All that sugar! And I just told you I had a salad for lunch! Forget it. You’ll never understand how hard it is. You just don’t have fat genes like I do!”
I cited a few of my overweight relatives and that time in college that I gained 25 pounds in one semester (which looks and feels a lot worse than it sounds when you're 5'2 and eternally built like a pre-teen). She insisted that my body was simply genetically designed differently. Well, of course it is. We’re all unique little snowflakes, but dammit, you're missing the point.
The point is, this quarrel is a microcosmic representation of the mass confusion towards nutrition that plagues our society. Your genes are totally to blame/thank for your broad shoulders, voluptuous figure, and even the rate at which your body burns fat, but... slow your roll. Let's not get carried away.
Homeostatic imbalance is the primary reason why so many people find lasting weight loss to be an insurmountable challenge. What does that mean? The human body has a very delicate environmental equilibrium that it’s always striving to maintain in order for cells to function properly. This includes its hormone balance and its pH level (your body wants to stay in the range of slightly alkaline to neutral). When these factors are thrown off, it becomes exceedingly difficult to manage your weight.
So what causes homeostatic imbalance? First, there are the lifestyle and environmental factors that are unrelated to your diet:
- Cigarette smoking
- Lack of sleep
- Chemicals found in ordinary products like household cleaners and beauty products that absorb through your skin
Then there are dietary factors. Eating too many acid-producing foods is the ultimate culprit. Acidic foods are:
- Fried foods
- Processed foods and artificial additives
- Grains with gluten
However, even if you’ve cut out the worst offenders when it comes to promoting acidity and hormonal imbalance in the body and you follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet, you’re not guaranteed weight loss success. In addition to our toxic environment, there’s nothing we can do to stop the human body’s never-ending production of acid waste products. It’s a result of the process of metabolism. Therefore, there is always going to be an excess of acidity present in the body that must be countered in order to achieve homeostasis. The only way to do that is to consume a variety of alkaline-forming, nutrient-rich, detoxifying foods every day.
Okay, do you see what I'm driving at? The key to sustainable weight loss isn't just eating less junk and fewer calories. You need to eat a VARIETY of raw, plant-based foods.
When you don’t get enough of the essential plant-based nutrition that your body yearns for, your whole system becomes unbalanced and your body's cells begin to malfunction. Your body perceives the lack of adequate nutrients as a famine, clinging to fat even more to overcompensate, regardless of the calories you’re eating. Worse still, a hostile internal environment triggers chronic inflammation which affects the body’s ability to regulate appetite and metabolism.
There is one simple rule to achieving and maintaining homeostatic balance: The closer your diet is to nature, the more balanced your body will be.
Industrialization and Obesity
Over the last 50 years, convenience and affordability have increasingly become the factors that determine our food choices. As a result, our diets have gotten further and further away from nature. So it's not a coincidence that obesity rates have more than doubled in the last half-century! If our weight was merely the result the genetic lottery, this just wouldn’t be the case.
Aside from the artificial, non-nutritious nature of our food, our bodies now have to deal with an increasingly toxic, polluted environment. Environmental toxins become embedded in our bodies, and when our cells are laden with these toxic substances, the body tries to cope by trapping them in fat cells where they cannot cause further harm. In this state, the body actually clings to fat so as to have somewhere to store away excess toxins, protecting itself and preventing further damage.
If we eat following the biological laws of Nature our body is able to shed weight and heal itself naturally and easily…. But most of us don’t!
Due to our toxic lifestyles, most of us have compromised digestive systems. As a result, even when we do eat the right foods, our damaged digestive systems prevent us from properly absorbing all of the nutrients.
That’s why raw cold-pressed juices are so effective at promoting rapid weight loss. They provide your body with plant-based nutrition in its purest, most powerful form, and there's no need for digestion. Juice rapidly reaches your vital organs, revitalizes your body's cells, helps balance your hormones, neutralizes the unhealthy, fat-promoting acidic state caused by the typical American diet, and flushes out fat. Nothing is more nutritious and absorbable.
Flood your cells with unprocessed, nutrient-rich juice, and your body will quickly recognize that it doesn't need the fat it’s been holding onto anymore. The famine ends. Your body starts burning your stored fat for energy.
Are you part of the 50% of the population that doesn’t understand why it is hard to lose weight but wants to lose weight and keep it off for good? A juice cleanse will jumpstart your healthy weight loss, but if you want to keep your results going the distance, you need to dose your body with enough raw nutrition... Every. Single. Day.
Does that sound like a tall order? Don’t be discouraged, it’s easier said than done, especially in this modern world where there’s a fast food joint on every corner, yet finding a nutritious food option to eat amidst your hectic day is like playing Where’s Waldo.
So what to do if eating an adequate amount of raw fruit and vegetables every day sounds about as realistic to you as does, say, teaching your cat to speak Japanese? Set a goal to drink at least one cold-pressed juice each day. Cold-pressed juice is a highly concentrated source of the raw nutrition your body needs to stay in balance and succeed in achieving lasting weight loss!