I would estimate that 50% of the people who contact me about my nutritional consulting services are interested in weight loss as a primary goal. I am not opposed to helping a person to lose weight when it may be necessary, but here’s the catch: losing weight is NOT of primary importance. What is of primary importance is to support your body’s metabolic processes and to improve upon the basic functions of your body.
I want people to have more specific and more important goals such as improving digestion, stabilizing blood sugar, increasing stamina and vitality and making the machine run better. Improving upon these functions is what will result in improved health and vitality. Losing weight doesn’t necessarily correlate with improved health with all people.
The Benefits of Having Additional Body Fat
As a holistic health practitioner I am not concerned with helping a person’s vanity, appearance nor their dieting. I am concerned with helping a person to improve their health from the inside, to help them to restore and improve the basic, biological processes of their body. My desire is to help you to get on track and to restore function. Counting calories is not nutrition, nor should it be considered real nutrition in my book. Obsessing over scale measurements doesn’t have any benefit and will only result in added stress. Don’t get me wrong, in certain instances, reducing excess abdominal inches is important. In fact, reduction in waist measurement at the navel is correlative with a decrease in cardiovascular risk.
However, if I were solely concerned with weight loss, then I wouldn’t be a holistic health practitioner. If weight needs to come off, it should be done indirectly, with primary attention given to supporting metabolism and the biological functions of the body. In other instances, weight gain is much more important than weight loss.
I had to explain to a client recently that gaining 10 pounds of body weight is a good thing for her because she has osteopenia, a catabolic, degenerative condition. She initially became alarmed over her added weight, despite having significant improvements in her energy, how she felt and her ability to function.
I emphasized how fantastic it was that she gained 10 pounds of weight, and I suspect that this includes some increases in osteoblastic activity as well.
When you support the natural processes of the body, good things happen.
The Mis-perception That Leaner Is Healthier
At one point in history having additional body fat was a sign of beauty for women. That has faded away a long time ago. There is no doubt that societal pressures strongly influence a woman’s perception of what is considered attractive to her.
From a young age, a girl’s appearance is often times emphasized more than her intelligence. From a young age, society pressures girls to be concerned with appearance. All one has to do is to see the sexy women’s magazines at the check out counter to see how many of the images have been photo-shopped and altered to enhance appearance.
What makes the image of the emaciated model look attractive? Certainly not anything to do with how healthy she is. It is no surprise that decreased body weight is associated with excess catabolism and muscle breakdown. It is not uncommon to find that people underweight are dehydrated and lack adequate digestive functions.
Body fat stores toxins. I believe that adequate body fat correlates with a sort of protection from the bombardment of toxicity. Many of the most toxic and ill people I work with don’t have much body fat at all. And yet many people I work with who have additional body fat don’t seem to suffer as greatly from the effects of mercury and heavy metal toxicity.