Tired, Hungry, and Overweight? Here’s Why.
Do you regularly feel tired? Do you have trouble losing weight? Are you hungry all the time? If so, you are not alone.
As Americans, we are confused about how to lose weight, and how to optimize our body composition. The weight loss industry has grown tremendously over the last twenty years, with little success to show for it. Consider these statistics(1):
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight.
- The prevalence of obesity more than doubled, from 13.3 to 30.9 percent, between 1960 and 2000, with most of this rise occurring in the past 20 years.
- From 1988 to 2000, the prevalence of extreme obesity (BMI ≥ 40) increased from 2.9 to 4.7 percent, up from 0.8 percent in 1960.
- In 1991, four states had obesity rates of 15 percent or higher, and none had obesity rates above 16 percent. By 2000, every state except Colorado had obesity rates of 15 percent or more, and 22 states had obesity rates of 20 percent or more.
- Obese individuals have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of death from all causes, compared with normal-weight individuals.
And while all this has been occurring, the weight loss industry has grown to a $40 billion dollar a year industry. And although we are told that the answer is simple (proper diet and exercise), even with professional help, estimates show only a five to ten percent success rate of commercial programs. While we know that the right nutritional consumption and activity level works, why are so many people struggling to have success?
Let me explain from our perspective why this is the case. As chiropractors, we recognize that the body is intelligent. When there is a disease state, such as obesity, this is seen not as a failure of the body, but as a sign that it needs to be cared for properly.
Why is the solution to the obesity crisis so challenging, despite the well-known solutions?
I will let researcher Dr. Robert Lustig provide an answer based on his research:
“Insulin’s job is to make you store fat, by shifting energy, or calories [in the form of glucose and fatty acids], from the blood into adipose [fat] tissue. Whatever you don’t burn, you have to store. When insulin goes up, you store fat and the more insulin goes up, the more fat you store. When your fat cells get larger, that is supposed to raise your level of another hormone called leptin, which in turn activates the sympathetic nervous system to burn it off. But, apparently that’s not happening in obese people because insulin does another thing as well–and this is where my research comes in. We have found that too much insulin actually blocks the leptin signal at the level of the brain. Your brain thinks you’re starving all the time. You feel crappy, you certainly don’t want to exercise, and it drives you to eat more.”
In other words, there is a very specific reason that so many of us are in the fix that we are in. When your body is triggered to produce high levels of insulin over time, the signal to your body to stop eating – and start moving - is blocked. In a healthy body, high levels of energy storage from food diminish hunger and increase our desire for physical activity. Sound like something that you need more of?
The good news is that it is possible to re-establish normal, healthy signalling inside your body. Come to Dr. Stephen Franson’s “Fifteen Pounds Healthier in Fifteen Weeks” workshop on February 23rd at 6:45 PM in the Cummings Center, Room 221E, in Beverly, MA, to find out how.
1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control. National Center for Health Statistics. 1999–2000 National Health and Nutriiton Examination Survey (NHANES). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm