Beyond Health’s approach to weight loss, presented in Raymond Francis’ Never Be Fat Again, (NBFA) is based on the theory of one disease and two causes. We say there is really only one disease—malfunctioning body cells, and two reasons why cells malfunction—they are deficient in needed nutrients and/or they are being poisoned by toxins. Overweight is a type of disease, and as better health is achieved, the body will naturally lose excess weight.
Intuitive eating (IE) is an anti-diet approach to weight loss which seeks to help people regain a lost or weakened ability to “hear” and respond to body cues relating to hunger and satiation. Regaining this ability, it is hoped, will lead to losing excess weight.
Both IE and NBFA agree that diets don’t work. Thought they can lead to short-term weight loss, most of this weight is regained over time. They also agree that diets are usually harmful and enforce the bad habit of overriding internal body cues.
Following the strategies of IE that we’ve described in the past few Newsclips chronic dieters can recover their ability to “hear” and respond to natural body cues. Studies have shown that IE can also help them recover from binge eating, emotional eating, and eating in response to external cues. IE has also been shown to increase self-esteem and psychological well-being, quality of life, and even metabolic fitness, including better blood pressure and cholesterol measures. But, with some exceptions, IE hasn’t been effective in helping people lose weight.
This indicates to us that although IE is a step in the right direction, it’s only part of the puzzle.
While we don’t have studies to show that NBFA leads to permanent weight loss, we do have many anecdotal reports from people who’ve been successful using our approach.
What are some of the other puzzle pieces needed for success?
Deficiency and toxicity both lead to hunger cravings and instruct the body to store fat by interfering with body chemistry, including the body’s ability to regulate appetite, fat storage, fat burning and weight.
A calcium deficiency, for example, can turn on fat-storing genes. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids (which we get from fish oil and flax oil) also turns on fat-storing genes and also produces hunger cravings even when calories are adequate.
Many food additives, like MSG and aspartame, can make you feel hungry when you don’t need food. Toxins also tend to increase levels of fattening hormones like insulin and steroids and reduce slimming hormones such as thyroid, sex and growth hormones, and catecholamines.
Exercise also has a huge effect on appetite and weight control functions; it resets your metabolism to burn more fat.
Food addictions can fool the appetite, making you crave foods you’re allergic to even if you’re not hungry. Simple sugars can do the same thing.
IE doesn’t address these and many other factors that may be crucial to your winning the weight loss game. If you’ve tried IE and it hasn’t led to the results you’d hoped for, consider combining it with Beyond Health’s approach to weight loss as described in Never Be Fat Again.
Warren JM. A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews. December 2017;30(2):272-283.