One of the first things that occurs when the body is out of balance is a fluctuation in weight. Sometimes it will be weight loss, but for most people, it is weight gain.
Weight gain occurs for different reasons. Sometimes it’s as simple as eating too much for a person’s level of activity. Food is often used as a reward, which can set up a pattern of eating to reward or nurture oneself when under emotional stress.
Weight gain can result from eating foods that are difficult for the body to process, digest or eliminate. Even foods that are supportive for the body can be stressful to process if they are consumed at times when the body doesn’t have the energy to digest or assimilate them.
Some popular diet programs are a form of starvation, such as drastic reduction of caloric intake. While this may temporarily work for some body types in producing weight loss, once the diet ends and normal consumption resumes, the body will gain back what it lost and then some extra, preparing for the expectation that there will be another “famine” cycle.
Seeing this pattern in my patients is why I researched and developed the 25 Body Type System. My goal was to provide a practical nutrition program which addressed these sources of weight gain without harsh dieting. I realized that people have different nutritional needs and digestive patterns and that this would not be a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
Ultimately, the ideal program for losing or managing weight requires a multi-faceted approach.
Emotion is often a factor in weight gain. Stress produces cortisol, warning the body that we don’t feel safe, and causing the body to retain fat in preparation for difficulty ahead. When we don’t know how to resolve those emotions, we tend to feed the problem with comfort eating.
Foods that are used for comfort, or as a reward, are usually sweets that contain refined sugar. The biggest problem with refined sugar is its lack of minerals. When refined sugar is ingested, the body has to pull minerals from other areas to process the sugar, resulting in a depletion of minerals and empty calories, leading to weight gain. Solutions include choosing healthy supportive foods like fruit, or drinking hot tea, as your comfort or reward. When something crunchy is desired, choose a low calorie snack such as popcorn, or make chips from vegetables.
You can also find other ways to nurture or reward yourself like getting out in nature, reading or taking a hot bath. Ultimately, identifying and releasing the sources of stress will help reduce weight gain from comfort eating. Resolving emotional stress involves identifying the core emotional issues, realizing the truth about the problem, and releasing the energy that holds it in place. Once the energy is released, a plan of action surfaces.
Individualized nutrition is the sustainable way to support the body while maintaining an ideal weight. It involves eating the right foods at the right times of day. These two factors can be very different for people with different body types. Knowing which foods support you and which are stressful to your digestive system empowers you to make healthy choices and work WITH your body instead of fighting against it.
Many foods that are generally considered healthy and supportive can actually be stressful for certain body types. Almonds can be very stressful for the Pineal body type and Thalamus body type, while olive oil is stressful for those having a Blood body type. Peanut butter is supportive for Kidney and Spleen body types, but not for Balanced, Gonadal or Pineal body types.
Time of day can make even supportive foods stressful to digest for certain body types. Those with a Pituitary body type are better off consuming most of the day’s protein before 2:00 PM when their body has the energy to assimilate it, while those with an Adrenal body type do very well having most of their protein at dinner. The best time of day to eat fruit is also a major consideration for each body type, as fruit is high in glucose, which is a sugar.
Gas, bloating, a heavy, full feeling or wanting to take a nap after eating are common symptoms indicating your body is having difficulty digesting what you have eaten. The most important element in digesting protein is salt because sodium is essential for the manufacture of hydrochloric acid necessary for protein digestion. However, the salt used in most prepared or commercial foods has been heated, iodized, and ground through a nickel screen. This nickel stresses the body, even in trace amounts.
Better choices are sea salt, Himalayan, grey, or specialty salts. My favorite is Pink Salt by Premier Research Labs. It contains Hawaiian and Mediterranean air dried sea salt which includes supportive trace minerals. Designs for Health makes a very good product, Hydrolyzyme which is also excellent for digesting protein powders.
Many people have difficulty digesting fats. Fats contain essential fatty acids essential to life. Fats are needed in order to digest protein and carbohydrates. “Good fats” are found in olive oil, coconut oil, fish oils, butter, avocado, nuts and seeds. Bile is needed for digesting fats. This is important not only for nutrition, but also because the body stores what it can’t digest as fat. Bile is produced in the gallbladder, and low-fat diets can result in a gallbladder attack and gallbladder removal. My favorite product for digesting fats is Bilemin by Apex.
Enzymes are the other component in digestion. Enzymes are present in raw foods and are killed by heat, so cooked foods require enzymes from your body’s stores to digest. A good all- around digestive aid is Digestzymes by Designs for Health. It contains hydrochloric acid, bile, salts and enzymes.
A key benefit from proper nutrition is steady, consistent energy throughout the day. Coffee is a popular stimulant many use to “get going” in the morning. The problem with coffee is that it can also rob the body of nutrients. Many body types can still enjoy their coffee if they add coconut oil or butter. A popular alternative is green tea which contains caffeine and is a powerful antioxidant.