Only in a food system this weird would the above recommendation be necessary.
Seriously, who would ever imagine that vanilla and raspberry natural flavorings were derived from secretions from the anal glands of beavers?
Maybe an even better question is who discovered this. And how?
It is a little-known fact that the natural and artificial flavors listed on ingredients labels are a whole list of chemical nastiness themselves.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to see them since they are protected by trade secret laws. To be honest, if I were a food manufacturer I’d want to keep the whole beaver anal glands thing a secret, too.
Maybe that’s the solution. Maybe we should push for the elimination of these trade secrets, thus requiring companies to include what their flavorings are really made out of. Reading a label and stumbling upon the words “beaver ass” may be exactly what we need to get people to think about what they’re putting into their bodies.
You know, that duck in your head that quacks pretty much all day long, telling you how much you suck and just how worthless you are.
We’re all ducked. Some of us have ducks that are louder than others, going out of their way to really duck with us.
The duck is part of the human machinery. You can’t dodge it. You can’t duck it. But you can turn the ducking volume down on it.
I should know. My duck used to quack at full blast. From the moment I woke up until I fell asleep, those negative, self-defeating thoughts raced through my mind. In fact, sleep seemed to be my only reprieve for the quacking. That is, when my duck wasn’t keeping me up all hours of the night.
Another of one of life’s certainties is that there will always be people — sometimes even those who are supposed to support you the most — who will do all they can to keep you down. They go out of their way to sabotage your diet and exercise program. They do all they can to tear you away from your significant other. For some reason, they can’t seem to be happy for you no matter what awesomeness may be occurring in your life.
That’s a hater.
Yet, little do we know that our biggest hater may be, in fact, that three-pound noodle between our ears.
Last night, I decided to pluck one of my favorite books, Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear, off the shelf. In it, author Dr. Srini Pillay breaks down the science of fear and why even though we know what we want, we just can’t seem to act on it. We get stuck.
This reminds me of a Facebook status update I posted a couple of months ago, in which I asked my peeps what they would do if they were guaranteed to succeed. The responses were some of the most amazing aspirations I had ever read. Yet, when I later inquired about why they were not pursuing these inspiring endeavors, the almost-unanimous response was fear.
But where does this fear come from?
The human brain is quite the survivalist. Although we have developed higher order functions like speaking, thinking, and, of course, blogging, our brains still possess primitive forces remaining ever-vigilant for signs of danger or threat. It is these latter forces that may lie at the root of what I call the game of start-stop-start-stop-only-to-start-again-and-stop-again when it comes to moving toward our goals.
There’s a lot more to fat loss than meets the eye.
I’ve sat through many conferences, read hundreds of books, and spoken with countless experts about the causes of and potential solutions for our modern obesity epidemic.
Everyone has their own opinion. Some make sense. Others are overly simplistic — take the calories-in/calories-out fat loss formula, for instance. And most completely miss the point by approaching the topic with extreme tunnel vision.
In my opinion, solving problems usually calls for some lateral thinking, or what I call thinking outside of The Box. In other words, getting to the bottom of obesity requires that the conversation move beyond just diet and exercise alone.
This conversation can go in many directions. We could talk about the effects of sleep deprivation on weight gain, the role of stress in blood sugar dysregulation, or even how infections contribute to insulin resistance and thus fat storage.
But one leading cause of obesity that often gets lost in this ongoing discussion is how the abundance of toxic chemicals in our air, food, water, and even those lurking in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets are making you fat.
It is blatantly obvious that obesity has steadily risen as our food supply has become more processed and refined. I think we can all agree on that. Yet during this same period the number of chemicals in our environment has exploded in lock-step with our waistlines. For instance, in his fascinating-yet-kinda-scary book The Hundred Year Lie, author Randall Fitzgerald states that in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control involving 2,400 adults and children, more than two hundred synthetic chemical toxins were found in the subjects’ bodies, with a hundred more chemicals suspected to be present.
The human body was never intended to deal with this kind of chemical assault. In fact, when you think about it, your body is a highly complex machine within which literally thousands of biochemical reactions are taking place at all times. If you’ve ever taken a laboratory course in Chemistry, you know that mixing random chemicals together can be a bad idea. You never know what you’re gonna get!
According to a growing number of research scientists studying obesogens, the chemicals we inhale, eat, drink, and lather ourselves with during and after a shower are making us fat.
It’s definitely not as easy as calorie-in/calories-out. That seldom works from anyone in the long term!
Why? Well, because your body is super smart and wants nothing more than to ensure your survival in times of famine (either real or self-induced).
Since it’s the giving season (isn’t it always?), here’s a section on the forgotten fat loss hormone leptin from my ebook The Dark Side of Fat Loss. The only thing you’re missing are the really cool graphics that go with the text.
If you’re not much of a reader, you can watch the video instead.
Chapter 2: It’s All About the Hormones
The Dark Side knows that dieting makes you fat.
It knows that every time you go on a diet, you end up heavier than you were when you started. This is no coincidence. It’s just basic human physiology with a dash of logic.
Your weight gain is not a simple matter of overindulgence and indolence, but of survival and miscommunication. You are NOT a gluttonous sloth with a predisposition for stuffing your face all hours of the day while planted firmly on your backside. There is a perfectly good answer as to WHY you eat too much and move too little. It’s just that no one bothered to tell you until now.
The answer is not one of psychological defect — you just want to be fat — or thermodynamics, but of hormonal imbalance.
Getting All Hormonal
Hormones are the chemical messengers that tell your cells what do. Since your body is made up of 50-75 trillion of these cells, you certainly want to be sure that they get the right messages and do the right things. Your health depends upon it.
Hormones do it all. They are what make you a man or woman. They put you to bed at night and wake you in the morning. They govern your heart rate and blood pressure. They calm down your anxieties and relieve depression. They help you digest your meals. They control your sex drive. They fight stress and infections. They regulate your blood sugar. And they are also responsible for the burning and storage of fat. Any and all attempts to lose fat without first restoring the proper function of the fat-burning and fat-storing hormones will be in vain. Hunger and hardwiring trump willpower every time.
Many volumes and literally hundreds of thousands of pages have been written on how hormones impact human physiology, function, and fat storage. In fact, the human body contains more than 100 different hormones. This stuff can get pretty darn complicated! So in this chapter, we will cover the basics. If you wish to go deeper down the hormonal rabbit hole, please refer to the recommended materials and scientific references at the end of this chapter to further your understanding.
While we’ll keep it rather simple here, I guarantee these fairly basic concepts will go well above and beyond anything you’ve ever heard or read before regarding how your body burns and stores fat. I even recommend you break out a pencil and paper for note-taking. As you take notes you’ll likely end up with a messy sheet of paper with arrows pointing from each hormone to several others, demonstrating their interdependency. This hormonal interplay exemplifies the extraordinary balancing act your endocrine (hormonal) system must perform in order to keep your body’s fat burning furnace fired up.
The interdependency among hormones is both a gift and a curse. Like dominoes, when one hormone falls out of balance, others soon follow. Imbalances can be a matter of excess or deficiency. In other words, you don’t want too much of a hormone and you don’t want too little.
To illustrate this concept of too much or too little, let’s consider the amount of water you drink. If you drink too little, you become dehydrated and your body begins to shut down. If you drink too much, you can throw off your electrolyte balance – a condition called hyponatremia – and end up in the ER. Neither situation will lead anyone to believe that water is bad for us. The problem resides in its excess or deficiency.