Ask Dr. Ernst: Weight Loss as a Side Effect

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by Dr. Aaron Ernst, D.C. D.PSc.


Lose weight, gotta lose weight. Must hit the gym. Must eat less. Lose weight, gotta lose weight. Must hit the gym. Must hit the gym. Must eat less. Lose weight, gotta lose weight…. It’s an endless cycle of guilt and shame and overthinking and worry and stressing ourselves out.

What if we took a different mental approach? What if we just decided to live in a healthier way, just for the sake of health, and let go of this goal of weight loss? It’s rife with social pressures, insecurities and negativities: the magazine cover models, the unattainable six pack, the thought that you have to deprive yourself of any pleasure or fun in life.

Let’s begin thinking of weight loss as a side effect of just living healthier. So, below is a list of items and actions that are good for their own sake, and each one of them leads to weight loss—but forget about that for now. Just focus on being healthy.

  1. Drink lots of water. About 75% of us are in varying stages of dehydration at all times. The rule of thumb is to take your weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces of water per day. So, let’s say you weight 200 lbs. Drink 100 ounces of water a day. Water is the building block of your physical body. When you have enough, your organ systems function at their optimum levels, you’ll be surprised at well your brain works, you’ll sleep more deeply, your immune system will be better equipped to stave off disease. It’s truly a panacea. And yes, you’ll lose weight.
  2. Cut out sugar. It’s just bad for you. First of all, sugar is the favorite food of germs and cancer cells. Most of what ails you becomes only stronger with the introduction of sugar. It throws your body out of whack, causing insulin levels to spike (which prevents you from properly digesting and processing good nutrients), it literally kills white blood cells so you’re more susceptible to disease and it offers no nutritional value whatsoever. And if you get rid of the sugar, you will lose weight.
  3. Eat protein and vegetables. Protein is a necessary nutrient. It helps your muscles and tissues function and heal. It provides materials for the billions of chemical processes that keep your body functioning. Vegetables—particularly leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens—are full of the vitamins and molecules your body needs to function properly, fight disease, heal and everything else physically required of you. These foods are what make you, because you are a part of the same world that they are. Things like sugar and processed, laboratory foods are not a part of the world that created plants, animals and you. And, if you eat protein and vegetables, you’ll lose weight.
  4. Cook. How often do you eat out or order in? If you’re like most people, it’s probably once or twice a week. Of course, there are countless dining out options—particularly if you live in a large city—but for the most part, you’re relinquishing control over what you eat despite choosing something from a menu. Restaurant food is often high in sodium, sweeteners, flavor enhancing chemicals like MSG and high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats. It’s just not good for you. If you cook at home, you can choose every ingredient. You can take the time to include necessary nutrients and exclude things that are bad for you. And since you likely don’t have the time to make a cheesecake or torte every night, you’re probably going to keep the sugar consumption down a little bit. Consequently, you lose weight.
  5. Clean your gut. Having a clean colon is a blessing in itself. Your digestive system becomes more effective in general and is better equipped to absorb the good nutrients you put into your body. It decreases the overall amount of toxins in your body, meaning you just feel better already. It increases your overall energy because your body has to dedicate a lot of resources to getting waste through a clogged system. When all of this occurs, you lose weight. Plus, just getting rid of decades worth of compacted waste means the number on the scale is going to go down anyway.

These five healthy choices are just that: healthy choices. You should do them regardless just for the fact that you’ll feel better, have more energy and be healthier in general. And truth be told, none of this stuff is that hard. The added benefit is that losing weight and looking your best will come naturally.

If you want to learn more about Total Body Makeover and how to look great, feel good, get off medications, live longer and have more energy, join Dr. Aaron at his January 23rd event