If you think weight loss requires counting calories you're only partly right. To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. However, this way of looking at weight loss is a little simplistic. Your body is a system with all kinds of built in survival mechanisms designed to correct imbalances and keep you alive for a long time. Too much stress due to overindulgance in junk foods can create a system that is unable to right itself as it was designed. This means you need to pay as much attention to the type of food you eat as you do to how many calories it contains.
One of the ways your body stays well is by maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance. While either extreme is a threat, most of us are at the acid end of the spectrum. When you are healthy your body is able to neutralize excess acid, but if you get too acid, it can't keep up. The result is impaired communication between your cells and a build up of toxins which threatens your immune system and causes inflammation in your organs and tissues according to Leigh Erin Conneally, a physician who is often interviewed and quoted on this subject.
How does this affect your ability to lose weight? One way is that if the thyroid becomes inflamed, it no longer works efficiently. The result is a slower metabolism, which makes it harder for you to burn calories and promotes fat on your hips, thighs and abdomen. Your body may also convert or retain fat for the purpose of protecting your organs from inflammation.
An acid body can also interfere with your cells' utilization of blood sugar. When your body is working as it should your pancreas releases insulin in response to an influx of sugar, such as when you eat a delicious dessert. The insulin opens the way for the sugar to be utilized by your cells.
When you are too acid your cells are unable to respond to the insulin and your blood sugar remains high causing your pancreas to create even more insulin leading to insulin sensitivity and diabetes. In addition, when your cells are not able to efficiently utilze blood sugar, your body interprets this as impending starvation and begins immediately storing calories as fat, says Conneally.
The solution to excess acid is to change your diet to one that is more alkaline. The rule of thumb is to have a diet that is at least 60% alkaline and 20%-40% acid. Alkaline foods include vegetables, many fruits and nuts, but not peanuts. As you might guess, much of what Americans typically eat is acidic, including meat, coffee, alcohol, sugar and most grains. Acid and alkaline food charts are readily available online.
Mineral supplements can also help as can green foods such as spirulina or chlorella. Any kind of dietary change can be challenging because it involves altering long held habits. However, there are many benefits of an alkaline diet. Not only will it be a lot easier to lose weight, but you will be creating a much healthier body. Some of the health conditions associated with acid bodies include cardiovascular disese, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and infections of all kinds.
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