This article examines and explains the necessary steps to successful natural
(steps 1-4) is now available online.  
Click here to view.

Step 5
The fifth step is to examine the individual’s neurochemistry. Weight loss is not
always about willpower but rather turning our lives around by adjusting our
biochemistry.
Overlooking the connection between serotonin, cortisol, and food “crashes” is
one of the big mistakes made by conventional diets. Other neurotransmitters,
specifically norepinephrine and epinephrine, are also very important when it
comes to metabolism.
These brain chemicals are managed by the hypothalamus and directly affect
appetite. Most prescription and over-the-counter appetite suppressants, like
phenylpropanolomine (the active ingredient in products like Dexatrim), work along
this same pathway by stimulating the release of norepinephrine.  

Step 6
The sixth step is to the role inflammation plays in weight gain. Usually the source
of inflammation is a stressed digestive tract. Good digestion improves the fat-to-
energy conversion rate and supports the rest of your system. Allergies, food
sensitivities, parasites, yeast overgrowth, and emotional stress can all inflame the
GI system. One of the first signs accompanying inflammation is digestive upset.
We know that a diet high in sugar and the wrong kind of fats (the typical
American diet) feeds inflammation like crazy. It also promotes the growth of free
radicals and encourages the body to burn sugar and not fat for fuel. This has a
direct effect on he body’s ability to make muscle and lose weight.

Step 7
This brings us to the seventh step: Building muscle and losing fat

As a species, we are meant to be active. Our ancestors had to walk, run, dig and
till for their food. Over and over again, the magic pill that everyone is looking for
appears to be exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to become a fanatic, but
you do have to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. The right
amount or style will, again, depend on your individual circumstances and
metabolic profile.

Your body stores energy in two ways, as fat and as glycogen. Glycogen is
glucose (sugar) stored in the liver, muscles and other tissues. Regular exercise,
both aerobic and anaerobic, depletes these stores at a faster rate, forcing the
body to dip into fat reserves. On a calorie-restricted diet, it is not unusual to drop
5–10 pounds right away, but it is primarily glycogen and water loss and not fat.
Once you resume eating regularly, those pounds reappear as quickly as they
went away.

A diet high in simple carbohydrates and sugar means that your body has a ready
supply of glucose and rarely has to burn fat. A balanced diet that includes more
protein, micronutrients, and fiber reverses this process and builds muscle.

Muscle strength depends on good bone health and nutrient absorption, as well
as a healthy demand for work. One nutrient that often gets overlooked is oxygen,
in the form of air and water. In one study, subjects were able to increase their
rate of exercise by 25% after drinking a few mouthfuls of water.

Step 8
Hydration is also critical when it comes to the 8th step: ridding your body of
toxins. Let’s go back to the garden metaphor for a moment and imagine your
rose plant choked with weeds. Depending on the species, it’s possible that your
plant will continue to grow for a while. Eventually, however, those weeds will take
their toll.

It is amazing to me that in this day and age, when our lives are fraught with
dangerous toxins and stressors, more attention isn’t paid to cleaning out our
systems. Allergens, heavy metals, unhealthy bacteria, pesticides, and the
cumulative effects of toxic exposure over many years directly influence how well
everything else in your body functions. It is the piece that ties everything together.

How well you are coping with your “toxic load” is highly individual, but weight gain
is a telling sign that demands are outweighing support. The health of your liver
and kidneys, your essential detox organs, should be addressed as part of any
good weight loss plan.

Step 9
And finally the last step: Putting it all together

So now you know all the factors that can play into your weight-loss blueprint. The
question then becomes what to do with it all. In my practice, I have discovered a
basic plan that builds a foundation of support for most men and women. The plan
is successive, hitting each of these steps and moving through them
progressively, even if you’re not losing weight — because problems at the next
stage may be blocking your weight loss.

The goal of this plan is a firm, healthy body that is glowing with health and
stability. We want your body to learn to defend a new, lower set point and to
recognize a balanced biochemistry as its normal state. This means a different
weight for every individual, but the right weight for you. Focus on getting healthy,
feeling good, and building muscle — not on attaining some magazine’s idea of
the perfect body.
Nine Steps To Weight Loss That Is Healthy, Effective, and
Lasting (PART 2)
Articles & Facts
From The Center: Natural Health Specialists
*Article submitted by Jennifer Kaumeyer, Naturopathic
Physician