One indicator I used to try and figure all this out were pop. culture beliefs with regards to losing weight. People do appear to lose weight on a calorie restriction diet on the surface. However, it if commonly noted that subsequent and often additional weight may be gained back later on.
This brought me to decide that calorie restriction is not the answer to obesity. So, if people aren't fat because they eat too much, then why are they overweight? The only answer I could come up with was that it is because of a buildup of toxins.
My final (for now) question ended up being, if I believe that people are heavier than they should be because they're toxic and not because they eat too much - then why would a 'conventional weight loss diet' (cwld) work?
Here are my thoughts:
The definition of junk food seems accurate to me, in conventional weight loss diets (cwld). Accurate but incomplete. And this is part of the reason that people will lose weight until they 'go off' the diet.
A person's list of 'junk food' needs to include individual sensitivities that play into their weight gain. For example, since I've had my children, my food sensitivity indicators increased (as often happens after childbirth). As these indicators increased, so did my weight.
Now, I'm not a calorie restrictive kind of girl because I just like my food too much. So, it was a real surprise to me that when pulled my 'dangerous ingestables' (di - gluten), I was able to actually lose a few pounds without trying and without calorie restriction. However, I wasn't feeling like the lithe, vigilant, vibrant human that I thought I should so I was wondering what else I should isolate.
I was also not feeling as good as I should have been because, although I lost many of my symptoms with removal of gluten, the small of my back kept hurting, especially at night when I was lying in bed.
Now, looking at my children, one of them has night time issues (multiple) if they consume too much dairy (see that ridiculous food pyramid to define 'too much').
So, I deleted all dairy and guess what... My diet is still high fat (coconut, nuts, eggs, meat, etc.) and high calorie but that last bit of weight fell off and I'm now back down to the weight that I was in highschool. I still eat chips on the weekend, popcorn on our special family t.v. night and chocolate bars around my period (which by the way causes my lower back pain to flare - yes, I still have my moments of idiocrity).
So, calorie restriction is not necessarily the 'working factor'. I say this because, if you reduce your calories, you also reduce the amount of 'dangerous ingestables' (di). The minute you give in to hunger pangs and eat something 'extra', you increase your di.
So, in my case, I did not decrease my calories - I just chose 'safe ingestables' (si) and made sure, freakishly so, that my si's were not laced - in any amount, with my di's (gluten, dairy and potatoes).
Please note, this also does not mean I was on a low carb diet. I was still ingesting all kinds of other vegetables, rice, twice a week (at least) and corn twice a week (at least, in the form of corn chips).
And voila - 5"4' and 115 lbs - Down from 134 lbs. No calorie restriction. No extra exercise.
Why would this work?
Well, my theory is that the body 'holds' water in order to dilute toxins/damage. Think about it:
When you get a cut, you get swelling.
When you get a bacterial infection, you get swelling.
When you get bruising, you get swelling.
Ever hear of water on the knee? Painful.
Ever hear people cracking their joints? What is it that they're popping out? Fluid.
Why do they crack their joints? In my case, it was because they got stiff. I used to crack my back, neck, fingers, knees and ankles. Now I don't have this need... and even when I've tried, I can't anymore. Why not? I think it's because I'm not retaining fluid anymore.
This leads to part 2 of my theory derived from pop culture beliefs on how to lose weight - exercise.
Yes, it uses up calories... but it also makes you sweat. If you sweat, you are purging your body of toxins.
When I was eating my di's all the time, I sweated a LOT. If I took out the vacuum, WATCH OUT! No kidding... we're talking flying sweatballs. I know TMI (too much information).
In highschool, I was on the speed swimming team and every morning through winter, we'd have a two hour practise. Back and forth, back and forth, sprints, etc. Almost every morning I got the weird feeling that I was actually sweating into the water. I now suspect that all this sweating was what kept me from being completely debilitated from joint stiffness and migraines. (Though by the time I was 18, the codeine pills I was getting from my local Emergency Room for migraines was helping too.)
Nevertheless, sweating is a natural detoxifier.
It has been used in many cultures for many centuries. One quick example is the Native Canadian/American practise of using a sweatlodge. Historically speaking, it has often been part of any 'friendship/merging' event. Everyone comes out calm, happy and agreeable. Why? They've sweated out their toxins and that makes for a happy brain.
What about the business 'deals' that are made today in what we now call 'saunas'. Same thing really.
The only problem is, it doesn't last very long if the deal-makers go out and gorge themselves on di's. Pretty soon the joint stiffness, grumpiness and everything-else-that's-bad comes back. Then they think, "I just need more sauna's."
There's no doubt that if you're sweating out toxins, you're probably losing some good stuff too. so re-hydrate and re-stock yourself with si's (safe ingestables) to max out the potential that a good sweat creates.
In my opinion, it is better to have some chicken soup instead of bread that laced with sugar and yeast. Or have a good wholesome juice drink, either homemade with lots of veggies and a few fruits for sweetening. Or, if store-bought juice choose organic if possible, with veggies included if possible and definitely with no sugar added.
If I'm really hungry afterward, I go after the avocados and nuts (while getting dressed or in the car on the way home); or a chicken dinner with cauliflower and green beans. This way I'm not refilling with di's and avoiding the need to speed up the timeline for my next good sweat. Also, my body seems to be in great 'absorption mode' and since I don't want it absorbing di's I make sure to only use si's for more reasons than I have time to list.
Now, I still sweat but not near as much. But perhaps it's because I don't need to. Interestingly enough, when I do sweat, it doesn't smell the same. Is it my odour that's changed or my smelling ability? I don't yet know. I'll write something about that when I feel like I've come to some fair conclusions.
References and good reads:
Components of practical clinical detox programs--sauna as a therapeutic tool.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;13(2):S154-6. Crinnion W.
Sauna-induced acceleration in insulin absorption from subcutaneous injection site.
Br Med J. 1980 Jun 14;280(6229):1411-3. Koivisto VA.
Benefits and risks of sauna bathing.
Am J Med. 2001 Feb 1;110(2):118-26. Hannuksela ML, Ellahham S.