Essential No. 1: Maximized Mind

Harvard University—A recent study investigated the power of one's mindset in losing weight. The findings of the study shocked psychologists stating that "weight loss is not only possible but probable." Ellen Langer said "If you can put the mind in a healthy place, you can have dramatic physiological consequences". In other words, a critical component to losing weight is your mindset.

Mental / Emotional Stress and Cortisol

Cortisol is a very important hormone in the body that is secreted by the adrenal glands and regulates the following processes in the body:

-Glucose (sugar) metabolism
-Blood pressure regulation
-Immune function
-Inflammatory response

Prolonged levels of stress cause an elevation of cortisol in the blood stream that has been found to increase abdominal fat. Abdominal fat has been associated with severe health conditions that include heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and elevated levels of bad cholesterol.

The good news is that your body naturally knows how to respond to stress, if it is given the chance to do so. Your body has an innate ability to know exactly how to respond to stress and challenging situations.

The Effects of Stress and Aging

As we "age" the cumulative effects of physical, chemical and mental stresses take a toll on your body. These effects cause your body's response to stress to diminish and to become overwhelmed. When your body is no longer able to handle the stress your body's processes begin to shut down and the medical tests become positive.

In many cases a weight loss program may seem like a daunting task, aka stress. One of the most common stresses during a weight loss program is not achieving the results as fast as you desire. This will add an additional stress load on your body that will impair results. Your mindset has a powerful effect on your hormones, impacting weight loss.

Maximize your mind, improve your mindset and create a clear, specific plan of action is the first step in any weight loss program.

Essential No. 2: Maximized Nerve Supply

The principle nerve supply to the glands and organs is derived from the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is made up of two major components, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems control bodily functions such as your heart beat, digestive function, breathing, blood vessels and hormone production.

The main purpose of discussing these two systems is to understand the role they play in weight loss. We previously discussed the effects of physical, chemical and mental stresses on the body and its damaging effects. The inability to lose weight is commonly a nerve condition.

As we get older it is very common to have a small problem that progressively gets worse over time. Many of us may have fallen down thousands of times when we were first learning to walk; we fell off our bikes and played sports growing up. Others may have experienced car accidents or our jobs challenge our posture and create a significant stress on our bodies.

These accidents may or may not have caused pain, symptoms or knowledge of a problem, but it did add additional stress and strain on the muscles, bones, joints and most importantly the nerves. As we age, stress and injury accumulation start producing symptoms. This is the phenomenon that we call "aging".

The Stress Response and Weight Loss

Compounded stress and injuries produce what is called the stress response. The stress response is activated by the autonomic nervous system in the body. This system is what controls organs and glandular function in the body. When the nervous system is damaged, the organs such as your pancreas, thyroid and adrenal glands no longer function properly.

The thyroid gland is responsible for the function of your metabolism. It is very common for people to say "my metabolism isn't what it used to be". It's true, in many instances one's metabolism does diminish, because there is a long-term, silent, underlying condition that progressively gets worse over time. When your thyroid hormone is low, it is very common for people to struggle to lose weight.

The Spine and Nerve System

The spine surrounds and protects the spinal cord and nerves that make up the autonomic nervous system. Many people that have difficulty losing weight have been diagnosed with low thyroid hormone and put on medications. In many cases the individual never investigates their spine or nervous system in order to see if that is the underlying condition.

Restoration of the integrity of the nervous system and the spinal column is one of the most important factors in balancing hormones and losing weight. The correction of the underlying nerve condition will aid in your body's ability to respond to stress, diminishing the stress response. When the stress response is diminished, your body's hormones are balanced and your metabolism is restored.

Essential No. 3: Maximized Quality Nutrition

We have all heard the saying "you are what you eat". That is not entirely true. You are what your body "absorbs and assimilates". The key difference is the health and function of your digestive system. It is common for someone to experience diarrhea and/or constipation with elevated levels of stress. This is also true when your spine is shifted out of its normal position; it affects the nerves that travel down the middle. When the nerves are damaged that go out to your digestive system, the quality of nutrient absorption is affected.

Cellular Health

The quality of our nutrients is directly responsible for feeding and providing energy for every cell in the body. The food that we eat provides the building blocks for every new cell in the body. That is why they have said "you are what you eat".

The quality of our nutrition also plays a significant role in how our bodies heal and function. Quality nutrition simply means the nutrition that is ideal for your body to be healthy. You can start by identifying what is "all natural" versus artificial.

We experience the power of nutrients every day. If we choose poor choices we can see the impact that it has on our energy levels, immunity, weight gain, sleep patterns and how we overall feel. When we place quality nutrients in the body, the body knows how to absorb and assimilate it. The new challenge is the damaging effects of the processed food items on not only our digestive system, but our entire body.

Your Health Crisis

The level of nutritional intervention is dependent on the level of health crisis you are in. A more advanced eating plan is required for individuals that are overweight, have high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, diabetic and inflammatory conditions such as pain and arthritis. These conditions are all affected by stress and your body's diminished ability to respond properly overtime. That is one of the reasons that these conditions are more common as we "age".

We need to be consciously aware that our food choices not only impact our health today, but also tomorrow. Your future health status is dependent on the daily choices we make. It is not about achieving perfection in our diet, it is about constant, continual improvement over time.

Essential No. 4: Maximized Oxygen and Lean Muscle

Exercise is a necessity for weight loss and healthy living. The type of exercise is the important factor however. The most common styles of exercise include resistance and aerobics. Aerobic type exercise is classified low intensity, long duration style exercise. This form of exercise includes walking, running, biking, ECT. Resistance type exercise has higher intensity, but commonly it is still long in duration for most. Weight lifting is an example of resistance exercise.

Is Classic Aerobic Exercise Healthy?

Aerobic exercise has been found to be great for your heart, but bad for your body. This style of exercise raises stress hormones in the body that break down muscle, increases fat storage, slows metabolism and inhibits immune function and exercise recovery. It has been found to decrease testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH), both necessary for building muscle and burning fat.

Common Weight Lifting Mistakes

Most people, especially as they age start thinking that lifting weights is not for them. It is very common for people to go to the gym and not know how to use the weights or machines properly (low intensity/long duration). Many people also use the gym as a social gathering place.

Resistance training is called resistance because it challenges and "stresses" your muscles, bones and joints. It is very common for people to go to the gym to "relieve" stress. Exercise has been found to be a very efficient form of stress management and reduction, but it also places stress on your body. As we "age" and the body's ability to handle stress diminishes. A question could be asked, is exercise without the other essentials be damaging to your health?

A New Hope

High intensity, short duration has been called the "new aerobics". This type of exercise has been found to be great for your heart, and great for your body. It does not have the negative factors associated with classic aerobic exercise as mentioned above. The short duration piece saves you significant time when trying to fit exercise into your busy schedule.

The type of exercise is the key to compliment the other essentials and improves how the body heals and responds to stress. With the "new aerobics" you get in the best shape of your life while restoring health, healing and function to your entire body.

Essential No. 5: Minimized Toxins

We live in a toxic world. We are exposed to artificial, manufactured toxins on a daily basis. Minimizing toxins is one of the most important of the essentials when trying to lose weight. Conditions such as thyroid conditions, diabetes, adrenals deficiency, depression and weight loss resistance is all associated with toxicity in the body.

Your body has natural detoxifying mechanisms. Many people do "detox" programs, but is there more to detoxifying your body than juicing? Exercise is a very efficient way of aiding in detoxification systems in the body. Have you ever thought about what controls detoxification systems in the body? The nervous system; this system controls every organ in your body, identifies toxins and helps aid in excretion through many mechanisms.

One of the major problems with toxicity is bio-accumulation. This means that as we "age" the amount of toxins in our body continue to elevate. Your body knows how to eliminate toxins up to the toxic breaking point. This breaking point is where the body can no longer handle the amount of past toxins and the addition of new toxins in the body. This chemical stress on the body wreaks havoc on the hormones of the body. Weight loss is a hormone problem.

In Summary

The 5 essentials to lose weight are called essential for a reason. They are not classified as good ideas or potential factors to lose weight. When you think of it, our bodies are truly amazing. You may have struggled to lose weight in the past because you have not known of all the 5 essentials. New research has been focused on the power of the brain and how mindset impacts not only weight loss, but all health topics.

The neurology of the body is a common missing link in many people's lives and weight loss endeavors. They think "what does my spine have to do with my thighs?" Now you can see the direct connection to the organs, glands and the stress response the body produces. Weight loss is a hormone condition; you need to look at all aspects that control healthy hormone production in the body.

The most common item that is misunderstood in the world today is the effects of stress. We all have stress, but it's how our bodies respond to the stress that matters. As we "age" the accumulation of physical, chemical and mental stresses bring our bodies to the brink of disaster. Regardless of our age, our genetics or our social circles, we need to take care of our bodies to the best of our ability to ensure not only a healthy weight, but a healthy body.

Author's Bio: 

Cory Couillard has owned two private practices and has been the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Brand Officer for the largest privately owned clinic. He is active in professional development, mass education programs and implementation of healthcare delivery systems.

Cory is currently a professional healthcare speaker and writer for newspapers, magazines, websites and other publications. He is also involved with the development of two international television health programs.

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