It is no secret that obesity and other weight-related issues are serious concerns for Americans today. The World Health Organization defines "overweight" as someone who has a body mass index over or equal to 25, while obese is determined as a BMI equal or greater than 30. Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control find that 70.7 percent of adults over 20 are classified as overweight, while 37.9 percent in the same age group are obese.
For children and adolescents with obesity, 20.6 percent are aged 12 to 19. Meanwhile, 17.4 of six- to 11-year-olds are obese, with 9.4 of two- to five-year-olds being in the same weight category. These high numbers of overweight and obese children and adults have put pressure on the medical community regarding preventive care and nutritional professionals to help treat and solve this epidemic.
"Poor dietary choices are the leading factor contributing to obesity."
Many factors contribute to overweight and obesity problem
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that obesity occurs when people take in more calories over time than they burn off through diet and exercise. However, lifestyle choices are not the only contributing factor in weight gain. Although diet and exercise do play significant roles, additional factors like genetics, medical conditions, prescription medications, age, and emotional health can also significantly contribute to gaining weight.
Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation regarding what is considered "healthy" in mainstream nutrition, leading to total confusion for most people on how to take control of their health. According to Authority Nutrition, many health and nutrition organizations around the world are sponsored by major food and beverage retailers, such as Kellogg's and Coca Cola. Essentially, nutrition recommendations are being issued by corporations that are profiting from skewed advice.
One of the biggest deceptions revolves around fats and cholesterol. Proposed in 1953, the diet-heart hypothesis linked foods high in cholesterol directly to heart disease and clogging your arteries. However, since then, this hypothesis has been scientifically proven wrong. A recent study funded by the Western Vascular Institute supported that lower cholesterol levels were actually linked to higher mortality risk. In addition, many nutritional professionals continue to debunk the "fat makes you fat" myth as well. Contrary to mainstream health guidelines, the right types of fats (including saturated fats) are absolutely essential for brain health, neurotransmitter and hormone production, cell-to-cell communication, and vitamin/mineral absorption. Fats also slow the absorption of glucose into the blood stream from carbohydrates, eliminating sugar spikes.
GAPS Diet and Weight
Some common reasons for weight fluctuation are fat mass, water weight, muscle mass, and food and beverage consumption. While the GAPS Diet was not formulated specifically for weight issues, some individuals have experienced positive weight changes, both losing weight when needed and gaining weight when needed. The GAPS nutritional protocol is not necessarily a program every person needs to follow.
However, some of the core principles, such as eliminating refined sugars, highly processed carbohydrates, and replacing with nutrient-dense whole foods such as grass-fed meats, organic eggs, fish, organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats can have a truly positive impact on overall health and weight management.
Dr. Campbell-McBride has stated that some individuals may initially lose some weight due to the removal of processed carbohydrates and iodized salt, which can have an impact on water retention and overall inflammation. Healthy fats can help stabilize blood sugar levels as well, resulting in feeling full longer in between meals and eventually eliminating sugar cravings. High-starch and high-carbohydrate diets can lead to immediate insulin spikes, followed by a big drop.
This cycle can lead to constant hunger and cravings throughout the day, without any actual nutrition. In addition to healthy fats, animal proteins can also keep you feeling fuller, longer. Finding your own balance between fats, proteins, and healthy carbohydrates at each meal is essential for keeping up energy levels, due to genetics and biochemical individuality. This is generally done through trial-and-error, and it may change depending on the weather, seasons, illness, etc.
For additional information about the GAPS Diet and how to get started, you can consult with a Certified GAPS Practitioner and visit our website today!