Focusing on what foods work and don’t work for your body is critical for reaching your health and fitness goals. At Clean Health, we only classify a food as ‘bad’ if it causes gut distress and inflammation for some this may be foods that include gluten or dairy. Surprisingly vegetables cause people gut distress, but would you consider vegetables to be ‘bad’ foods? It depends on the person and the intolerances or allergies they may have, individuality is everything.
On the topic of gut health, the process of digesting food is an important factor to understand when determining what might be causing issues hindering your results.
The first phase that is taught is ‘mastication’, which is the chewing of the food. However, the true first phase of the digestive process technically occurs in the brain, which is known as the ‘cephalic phase’. This is where our body salivates and releases digestive enzymes in anticipation of consuming a meal. Digestive problems can be greatly reduced when eating in a relaxed and mindful state. If you eat when you are distracted or stressed for example in front of your computer at work, those digestive enzymes needed for assimilation are not secreted to their full potential. The key takeaway from this point is to eat mindfully, in silence and focus on your food whether you choose to step out side your workplace and eat in fresh air or simply sit in the staffroom and eliminate phone usage whilst you are eating.
Body fat is an endocrine organ which excretes its own hormones such as leptin and cytokines. Cytokines are pro inflammatory hormones which have a direct relationship with body fat levels. It is speculated that inflammation is caused predominately by certain foods, but majority of inflammation is a result of high body fat. To put this in perspective if you eat gut friendly foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha but you have high body fat percentage, you will still have high levels of inflammation, due to adipose tissue cytokines. The key is to lose fat then inflammation will be decreased.
Body fat houses our key hormone to satiety, leptin. Leptin is crucial in determining the rate of fat loss. When leptin is high, fat loss is fast, when leptin is low, fat loss slows. So if leptin comes from fat and leads to increased satiety and fast fat loss, then why do overweight people struggle to lose weight? Well the fact is, when you have high body fat and eating in a calorie surplus, you actually are leptin “resistant”. It’s there, but you can’t use it! How do we fix this? A simple calorie deficit will lead to a person now becoming leptin sensitive. Congrats – you are now a fat burning machine and have high satiety. Overweight people can handle aggressive deficits for this very reason!
Yours in health,
Mark Carroll / Global Head of Education
Clean Health Fitness Institute
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