By Dr. Erik Reis
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said that all disease starts in the gut. And today, almost three centuries later, the world’s leading scientists have come to the profound conclusion that our most debilitating, costly, and life-threatening health conditions actually start – you guessed it – in the gut.
Learning how to improve your gut health can be the most important thing you can do to restore your health, achieve sustainable fat loss, restore mental clarity, and improve your overall vitality. Here’s how it works.
The gut is a long protective tube that runs through your body. It starts at the mouth, where everything you eat and drink enters the tube. But only a portion of what you eat actually enters your body.
Sound confusing? Well your gut is full of enzymes and friendly bacteria that help break down the food you eat in order to extract its usable nutrients. Those nutrients are then transported across the intestinal wall and into the body for essential nourishment. However, this wall also serves as a barrier to keep all the bad stuff we consume from getting into our body. Things like toxins, pathogens, chemical food additives, bad bacteria and viruses. 75% of our total immune system is housed in our gut in order to identify and kill these types of foreign invaders. Everything that is not essential to life is then eliminated as waste at the other end of the tube. And when properly supported, our Gut health provides the foundation for optimal health and performance.
But, the US has become one of the sickest, most tired, and most overweight countries on earth. And, it’s the abuse that modern life puts on our gut that is at the core of this phenomena.
Most of what we eat, drink and breathe today is, simply put, full of too much bad stuff and too deficient of essential nutrients. Did you know that 90 cents out of every dollar spent on food in the US is used to buy a processed food product?
That’s shocking. The combination of poor nutrition, toxic chemicals in practically everything we eat and drink, and the stress of our modern lifestyles, results in an all-out, daily assault on the health of our Gut.
And when our gut’s ratio of good to bad bacteria becomes compromised, the protective walls of our intestines begin to deteriorate, and all that bad stuff can begin leaking out into our bodies. This causes a steady auto immune response in our body called chronic inflammation. Time magazine called chronic inflammation the “secret killer”, because while you can’t feel it, it is now recognized as the root cause of practically every poor health condition, including obesity. That’s because chronic inflammation promotes the release of stress hormones called cortisol that can contribute to insulin resistance, which causes your body to convert more glucose into fat.
Chronic inflammation has also been shown to inhibit the function of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain to burn fat. This has led researchers to the conclusion that being overweight or obese has more to do with hormones than calories, a staggering revelation to a weight loss industry, that for decades has built its diet regimes and products on the false doctrine of calories in and calories out. And, by suppressing the body’s immune functions, chronic inflammation provides the perfect environment for disease to manifest and flourish in the body.
In the 21st-century it’s no longer a question of whether or not you have inflammation, it’s a question of how much. But here’s the good news.
Chronic inflammation in the body is like having bugs in your computer, where all its normal operating features become so compromised, that it eventually just ceases to function. So what does your computer guy always tell you to do to restore the normal function of your computer? That’s right – REBOOT! And just like your computer, you can actually reboot your entire metabolism by improving your gut health.
To be clear, this isn’t a strategy for healing chronic inflammation. Instead, Rebooting is a program designed to help support your own healthy gut operation, and one of the key strategies for keeping your gut healthy, is to feed your good bacteria while starving the bad. So,
Rebooting requires eating the right blend of whole foods, that provide the right levels of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, soluble fiber, and healthy proteins, while avoiding processed foods, trans fats, synthetically made nutrients, and of course sugar, and sugar producing simple carbs.
Research shows that 60-70% of your total calories during a reboot should come from healthy fats, while the remaining calories should come from complex carbs, fiber, and protein. Eating high amounts of healthy fats and minimizing your non-fiber carbs will help convert your metabolism from primarily burning sugar to the efficient burning of fat.
Now you might be saying, “Wait a minute, I thought we’ve been told that high protein regimes like the Atkins diet and more recently, the Paleo diet accounted for rapid weight loss. Well they do, but the weight lost on high protein diets can consist of 50% fat and 50% lean tissue, and since lean tissue is required to burn fat, the loss of lean tissue can drop your overall metabolic rate, setting you up for weight rebound.
In addition, excess protein in your diet can be converted to sugar, making it harder to shift to a fat burning metabolism. So, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you have to eat fat in order to support your body’s ability to efficiently burn fat. One of the many benefits of rebooting on this food plan is that it provides the ideal support for mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are the engines in our cells that combine our sugars and our fats with oxygen to provide energy.
Optimal mitochondrial function is key to a well-functioning metabolism. Let me remind you that rebooting is not a weight loss program. It’s a health and gut support program. Efficient fat burning is simply a byproduct of a healthy operating gut.
The biggest challenge that I’ve seen to eating reboot friendly meals is that it’s just not convenient to eat that way three times a day, and skipping meals can work against a metabolic reboot. So I encourage you to consider the Evolv Health Total Reboot kit for the most advanced, economical, and convenient solution.