Winning the battle of the bulge

Eliminate the "Other" Type of Fat  

Dear Friend,

Have you ever battled with excess weight that you just can't seem to lose, no matter how much you diet or how hard you exercise?

You are by no means alone. I've had many patients and friends struggle with their weight, and I know that it can be truly aggravating.

One patient in particular, "Louise," came to see me several years ago when she was about 35 pounds overweight.

She shared with me that she was an emotional eater and tended to binge on chocolate, cookies, potato chips, and French fries when she was stressed. Louise finally admitted that she needed to learn better ways to cope with her stress, as well as develop healthier eating habits.

To this end, she started to eat things such as whole-wheat bread with low-fat cheese and/or a little butter, cottage cheese, reduced-fat corn chips, and reduced-fat ice cream. But, while she was diligent about avoiding the very sugary and fatty foods she used to eat, she found that her weight wasn't budging.

Have you cut down on fatty foods and still nothing happens?

She wasn't gaining weight, but she wasn't losing any either. By the time she came to see me, Louise was at the point where many of her meals consisted of salad, slices of bread with a little bit of butter on top, and cheese. She estimated that she was eating only about 1,000 calories a day and still not losing any weight.

It became immediately obvious to me that the problem was less about the number of calories Louise was consuming, and more that her food choices were contributing to a condition called false fat.

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Check to make sure you do not eat any of these harmful foods.

 More types of fat you did not know about

Unlike the more common body fat, which is a result of consuming too many calories and/or not burning those calories efficiently, false fat is due to the accumulation of excess fluids, which leads to bloating and swelling. 

This condition is due to inflammation, a process that occurs when tissue is damaged or injured. All injuries—whether they're caused by trauma, bacterial or viral infections, toxins, or allergens—are characterized by an inflammatory response.

No matter where the injury occurs, the physical manifestations are the same—redness, pain, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion. Other consequences of inflammation are bloating and swelling, which lead to excess fluid retention in your tissues.

For example, when injury occurs in the intestinal tract, the abdomen and midriff can swell. In this way, the bread, butter, and cheese that Louise was eating produced inflammation in her intestinal tract, thereby causing false fat.

This is why one of the first steps in any successful weight loss program must include eliminating false fat. Doing so will not only make it easier to lose excess pounds, it will also improve your overall health.

How to Eliminate the "Other" Type of Fat

The most tell-tale sign that you have false fat is a thick midriff, and you may also find that your abdomen swells and bloats within about half an hour after eating. As the condition progresses, you may develop puffy weight gain in your face, thighs, and buttocks.

The spaces between your fat cells hold the key to weight loss

But even though this extra weight looks, feels, and "jiggles" like fat, it isn't fat.

Rather, it's excess water that has accumulated in the spaces between the cells of your tissues.

In contrast, regular body fat is made up of free fatty acids that have not been used as energy, and are therefore stored in the tissues to be used at a later time. When too much of this fat is stored and not enough of it is burned, it accumulates, adding unnecessary weight to the body.

While it's common for women to deal with regular body fat and false fat at the same time, you can have a fit physique with little body fat and still have a problem with false fat. As I stated earlier, the cause of false fat is inflammation, a reaction to injury—in this case, to the intestines.

It is caused by exposure to foods to which your digestive tract has developed a sensitivity. This results in inflammation in the mucosa, the specialized membrane that lines the insides of the intestines.

The mucosa's normal job is to let fully digested nutrients through its tiny, window-like turnstiles so that they enter the bloodstream, while at the same time hold back pathogens, toxins, and other undesirables.

But when the mucosa is inflamed, it swells, and that's where the real trouble begins. 

Inflammation: the main culprit to this other fat

You see, the average woman's intestines are about 20 feet long. That leaves little room for anything extra in the abdomen.

Even a little mucosal swelling along that length can cause significant bloating, distension, and discomfort. Every time you eat, that only adds fuel to the fire, especially if you consume acidic, inflammatory substances such as refined sugars; red meat; artificial flavorings, colorings, and sweeteners; and preservatives, to name a few.

The swelling can also cause gaps in the mucosa that allow pathogens, toxins, and inadequately digested molecules of food to enter the bloodstream, setting the stage for more inflammation and stronger food reactions.

Pro-inflammatory chemicals flood the system and spread the inflammation—and its telltale water weight—to those most accommodating areas of the body.

How Food Sensitivities Develop

You can be born with a food sensitivity, but you also can acquire one later in life.

There are four factors at the root of most acquired food sensitizations:

► A decline in the strength of stomach acid, which is worsened if you take acid-blocking medications such as Tagamet and Prevacid.

► A decline in the production of digestive enzymes, which are needed not only for digestion but also to combat excessive inflammation.

► An increased tendency for the body to overreact to even minor insults in an inflammatory way, causing ordinarily short-lived inflammation to become chronic.

► Eating your favorite foods three or more times per week, repeatedly exposing yourself to the same allergens.

When your digestive strength is impaired due to the first two factors above (a decline in the strength of stomach acid and in the production of digestive enzymes,) your intestinal mucosa is exposed to macromolecules—food molecules that are too big because they're incompletely broken down.

That can leave toxins still toxic, irritants still irritating, and allergens still allergenic. And, it sparks the inflammatory overreaction and food sensitivities that create and spread false fat.

Farewell, False Fat! The step-by step process

Three steps to eliminating false fat.

First, identify your culprit foods. The easiest way to find out which foods are aggravating your intestines is to ask your physician to submit a sample of your blood for food sensitivity testing.

I use Genova Diagnostics' ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) IgG Food Antibodies with IgE Food blood test (www.genovadiagnostics.com). This comprehensive test checks your sensitivity to 107 common allergenic foods, and it ranks your results according to how strongly your body reacts to each one.

If your physician would rather not register with Genova, you can contact the lab's practitioner directory at 1-800-522-4762 for a referral to a nearby health care provider who already has an account.

After you get your results, eliminate all the major "reactor" foods from your diet. Also eliminate alcohol and coffee, which stress your liver, and any foods you crave or consume three or more times per week.

By the end of the first week, you'll notice that you can fit into clothes that had become too tight, and you'll look and feel slimmer. You'll also stop bloating up after eating, and if you're taking acid blockers, you may find that you no longer need them (although consult your physician before discontinuing use).

Keep in mind that you can do this elimination diet even without being formally tested for food sensitivity. Just pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. If you feel bloated, swollen, sluggish, and just plain uncomfortable after eating, then your body is most likely negatively reacting to that particular food or one of its major ingredients.

Many of my patients have told me that they are very aware of which foods are causing problems. They noticed relief of symptoms and the reduction of false fat by eliminating some of the most common culprits, which include wheat, dairy products, rye, tomatoes, strawberries, pork, soy, eggs, corn, chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts, and shellfish. (getting these pictures from internet)

Next, heal your mucosa.

Once you've identified persistent reactors, avoid them entirely, especially for the first two weeks while your mucosa heals.

You may want to support the healing process by taking supplemental yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), a Peruvian root crop that contains high amounts of fructo oligosaccharides, a proven prebiotic (food for beneficial bacteria). Your bacteria, in turn, will secrete the nutrients that your mucosal cells need to heal.

I recommend 2 tablespoons of Yacon syrup or BEST Yacon Root Extract 1000mg serving 200 Capsules (NON-GMO & Gluten Free) daily (available at health food stores and Amazon to specifically help relieve intestinal irritation.

Finally, dampen inflammatory over reactivity with these supplements. You may notice reduced symptoms by taking just one, but many of my patients have found that they experience the greatest benefit when they take them all.

Enzymes and nutrients that can boost your metabolic rate

► Bromelain.

In addition to being important for optimal digestion, digestive enzymes are among the body's most efficient natural ways to calm an over reactive inflammatory response. I recommend 400-800 mg of Bromelain during or immediately after each meal.

► Quercetin.

A bioflavonoid abundant in apples and onions, it naturally inhibits the release of histamines and other pro-inflammatory chemicals that trigger the formation of false fat.

I recommend up to 600 mg of Quercetin once or twice a day.

Or you can take this product that combines both the Quecetin and the Bromelain:NOW Quercetin with Bromelain,120 Veg Capsules

► Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that also helps curb cravings.

I recommend 1,000-2,000 mg of mineral-buffered vitamin C in divided doses. Combine it with one of your Bromelain dosages to improve absorption.

► MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories from natural foods. I recommend 1/2-1 teaspoon of MSM granules twice a day with meals. You can try this brand which always seems to have great reviews: BulkSupplements Pure MSM (Methysulfonylmethane) Powder (250 grams)

► Prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) extract.

Although it's best known as a popular remedy for hangovers, this nutrient's more important benefits include liver protection, and anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties that speed the recovery of inflamed mucosa. In animal studies, it has been shown to reduce water retention by half, while preserving mineral content. I recommend 2,000 mg daily.

You can buy prickly pear extract online and at some health food stores. In addition to taking these supplements, I recommend eating a naturally alkalinizing, nutrient-rich diet that's free of acidifying and pro-inflammatory substances like sugar, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat. Instead, concentrate on organic vegetables, fruits, and novel whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and brown rice.

To help guide you toward delicious naturally anti-inflammatory recipes and menus, refer to my book, The Divine Alkaline Cookbook. (Coming soon.)

To understand more about the healthful benefits of getting a well-balanced body you also refer to my Acid-Alkaline Balance book.

Lastly, steer clear of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Despite their name, they heighten your digestive tract's sensitivity. In one study, severe shellfish allergy occurred when NSAIDs were taken around the same time as the food, but not when NSAIDs weren't taken  (Journal of Investigational  and Clinical Immunology).

Once you've eliminated false fat, you'll find it easier to lose body fat. You'll also dramatically improve your health because chronic inflammation is a physiologic stress that increases levels of circulating cortisol, slows metabolism, encourages the formation of visceral fat, and threatens cardiovascular health.

By addressing the inflammatory root of your false fat, you will not only look and feel better, but you will gain priceless health benefits. ■

Dr Susan


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About the Author

Best selling author and national speaker Dr. Susan has sold over 2 million books on health & wellness. She has appeared on numerous national and regional radio and television shows and has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She has Served on the clinical faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine and taught in their Division of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Richards became an ordained Christian minister in 2009 and, within a year, she began doing hospital ministry in the ICU's, critical care and rehabilitation units in the San Francisco area community three times a week. Her ministry is based on the supernatural healing power of God and Jesus Christ and she has seen many miraculous healings of seriously ill patients. The ministry receives over 20,000 prayer requests for healing each week which are answered by their faithful and devoted prayer team. She is currently developing the first Medical and Health Ministry Training Program of Supernatural Healing in the United States. Her medical ministry is at medschoolhealing.com

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