Math is an all-or-none discipline. The answer is either right or wrong. There is no gray area. No in-between. A single misstep can undermine the entire outcome. I think we can all relate to spending an hour on a problem, only to later learn that we miffed on the second step. As above, so below.
Such is the case with fat loss. While diet and exercise are so loudly espoused as the sole elements of the fat loss equation, they rarely solve the problem.
Dr. Bryan Walsh, ND, goes beyond diet and exercise in his outstanding e-book Fat is Not Your Fault. Don’t let the title fool you. In no way is Dr. Walsh suggesting that one day you slipped, fell, and landed on fat. Taking personal responsibility for your health is still the first step to attaining it. Instead, he details those physiological dysfunctions so often overlooked in our modern fat loss dialogue.
My social media inboxes overflow daily with questions from frustrated individuals whose fat loss plans (typically diet and exercise alone) have either stalled or never worked in the first place. Each wishes to know why the fat refuses to budge despite two hours of daily exercise and a low-calorie diet. The answer is simple:
I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine.
My answer may surprise many of you, but it’s simply the truth. Any practitioner, nutritionist, or trainer who knows exactly why your fat loss has stalled without gathering an immense amount of information from you, conducting a Health History Review, and/or recommending and interpreting necessary lab testing has no idea what he or she is talking about. Run from this person!
Your war with fat will likely rage on without end if you have no concept of who the enemy is.
Is your fat a matter of blood sugar imbalances that leave insulin levels elevated, keeping fat locked inside of your cells?
Is stress (mental/emotional, overexercise, smoldering infections, etc.) elevating cortisol levels thus increasing blood sugar, resulting in MORE insulin release and MORE insulin resistance, and MORE fat storage?
Or is your gut flora so imbalanced that you are unable to activate 20% of your thyroid hormone. Losing one-fifth of your metabolism can’t be good for fat loss.
Maybe you can’t lose fat because your testosterone is low. How’s your libido been lately? Will you be happy being thin but still having no sex drive?
Is your fat a product of an autoimmune disease destroying your thyroid gland? Is your consumption of gluten exacerbating this process?
Could your fat be a dopamine or serotonin deficiency in your brain causing loss of motivation, depression/anxiety, and sugar cravings?
How about a toxic liver with the inability to clear excess hormones from your body? High estrogen in men causes fat gain. High testosterone in women does the same.
Is your ongoing struggle with constipation making you fat? Poor elimination is yet another path to hormonal imbalance as hormones intended for removal are reabsorbed.
Is your stressful lifestyle causing a breakdown of your digestive lining, allowing undigested food particles to go places where they shouldn’t be? These undigested proteins floating around in your bloodstream generate an immune response thus causing inflammation, stress, cortisol and blood sugar release, high insulin levels, insulin resistance, and fat storage. And more fat creates more inflammation! Talk about a vicious cycle!
I can go on and on.
Last question: How many of the above can be solved by diet and exercise alone?
Hopefully, the imaginary light bulb above your head just turned on full blast. You can STOP banging your head against the wall out of fat loss frustration. You likely don’t have a diet and exercise problem. Actually, you may not be eating enough and are exercising too much!
Fat is Not Your Fault is your missing fat loss manual. Not only does Dr. Walsh describe physiological fat-storing dysfunctions with such clever simplicity, he also provides you with solutions. His book ranks up there with Paul Chek’s How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy for its conciseness, readability, and overall practicality. It brings the missing puzzle pieces to the table, showing you how one piece affects the others and how the optimal function of each is the key to effective fat loss and most importantly overall health and well-being.
Fat loss is not the simple math problem it has been made out to be. It goes well beyond calories in and calories out. In fact, if it were a math problem, for some it would be impossible to solve “long-hand”. To find the correct solution, a little technology (bloodwork, stool testing, adrenal stress indexes) may be in order. Without this empowering health information, you are likely looking to solve your fat loss problem with most of the buttons missing from your calculator. You’re going to get the answer wrong every time.
Knowing what you know now and continuing to walk the beaten path of diet and exercise alone is a certain exercise in futility. In that case, your fat is your fault.
Comments: Loved it so much, I read it twice! Good work, Dr. Walsh!
Sean Croxton, CMTA, FDN