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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

‘8 Weeks to Wellness’ Taught Me What Makes Us Fat. It’s Not Saturated Fat. It’s Sugar.

In March, I wrote in my YourHub column that I had lost 25 pounds in a program called 8 Weeks to Wellness. Now, seven months later, I can report that I have not regained any of that weight. I weighed in the 240’s before the program and today I still weigh in the 210’s. I’ve continued to lose fat and gain muscle by continuing to have two training sessions a week in their fitness center (right). I now wear Large instead of XL shirts and I had my slacks and belts taken in about 3 inches — and I feel better.  Rita also lost over 20 pounds, but has regained about five pounds due to her slow recovery from a knee replacement, which kept her, until recently, from exercising and working out the way she’d like.

On July 28 in this space, I wrote about three couples who read my YourHub column and signed up for the same program. They experienced similar weight loss and, like Rita and me, have managed to keep off most of the weight they shed.
The reason, I’ve concluded, is the dietary education we all received during the 8-week program. Whether or not you want to sign up for 8 Weeks to Wellness as we did, you’ll want to learn about good fats vs. bad fats and good carbs vs. bad carbs.  Drs. Scott and Leah Hahn, who offer the program locally, helped us and can help you to improve your health and shed excess body fat.
Americans have a fat phobia and a complete misunderstanding about calories which can be attributed to a faulty science study in the 1950s that blamed body fat on dietary fat. The government took that study as true and created dietary guidelines based on its “findings.”
In line with those now-discredited and partially withdrawn government guidelines, food manufacturers removed the good fat and replaced it with bad fats (trans, esterified, or polyunsaturated fat). When foods are processed to decrease or remove fat, they don’t taste very good. To improve the taste (and thereby increase sales) sugar is added. Because of this, low-fat or fat-free diets have added sugar and/or starches which convert to sugar. These foods tend to make you hungry for more. As you eat more and more, the sugar levels in your blood go up and up.  Because of this, your body rapidly converts the excess sugar to fat. It’s no wonder Americans are getting fatter and fatter. 
The story of how this happened is well-documented in a book I’m reading by Mark Hyman, MD, called Eat Fat, Get Thin. I recommend it. That Sugar Film, which you can view online, also dramatizes what our low-fat, high sugar diet has done to us.

Saturated fat and other “good” fats satisfy your hunger, feed your brain (which is 60% fat), and fight disease naturally. Sugar is literally addictive. Not only does it not satisfy your hunger, it makes you hungry so you want to eat more.  Rita and I have experienced this personally. When we cut out sugar and started eating the high-fat Paleo-like diet that is part of 8 Weeks to Wellness, we ate smaller servings and found we were less hungry.  This is not what we thought dieting was like!

The average American eats from 130 to 170 pounds of sugar per year, and roughly the same amount of flour (which rapidly converts to sugar in the body) — almost one pound per day. Your body can’t burn that much sugar, so it stores it as fat.
Americans are, practically speaking, digging their graves with their teeth, supporting a food industry which profits from our addiction to sugar. In turn, they are supporting a pharmaceutical industry which sells drugs to address the resulting symptoms and illnesses, both physical and mental.
As before, I strongly urge you to learn about 8 Weeks to Wellness. It’s a holistic approach to wellness that balances this kind of nutritional education with personalized training to build muscle, not just lose fat, along with chiropractic adjustment, massage, and meditation to reduce stress. This program is offered locally by Body In Balance Wellness Center at 755 Heritage Road in Golden. They’re one of the only chiropractic offices you’ll find which has a fitness center with personal trainers on staff who get directions (like a prescription) from the doctors to customize the workouts of clients so they get the most out of each one-hour cardio and strength training session.
Attend a free introduction to 8 Weeks to Wellness at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Body in Balance’s office. Call 303-215-0390 to reserve your seat, and ask about other classes. Meanwhile, read Dr. Leah's blog at   You will change your life for the better.

Published Sept. 29, 2016, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post

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