We get really excited when our friends and colleagues write books that we know you, our Calton Nutrition family, is going to enjoy. We don’t like just throwing every new book at you. Just those that we feel you can get something tangible from– Books that will add value to your lives. Our friend, Dr. Alan Christianson, will soon be releasing his new book but we wanted you to hear from him first, as a means of introduction, so he was kind enough to put together this article for you. It’s fun, informational and will give you a taste of the amazing work our colleague is doing with hormones (especially adrenals). More to come on his book launch later. Enjoy!
In the 1990’s, as the global obesity crisis was starting, I was hard at work in medical school. One of my physiology professors spent about a week bringing us up to speed on all the research to date about why people gained weight. The conclusions were that people who are heavy did not accurately report their food intake and were less active than ideal. At the very end of it my friend quietly wisecracked that our professor could have saved us the time and just said that researchers think heavy people are lazy liars. It is sad how many still believe this lie and stigmatize others or themselves.
Over the coming years information starting to emerge that challenged this idea. Between 1990 and 2010 body weight was carefully measured in a group of over 20,000 animals from 24 different populations. Some animals lived in the wild, some were domesticated pets, and some lived in laboratories with controlled amounts of food and exercise. When hundred percent of the species studied gained weight at unprecedented rates.
Chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives, showed an 18 fold increase in obesity during this time frame. Seriously, 18 times the obesity on animals whose food was measured and whose exercise was controlled. The researchers concluded:
“The claim that obesity is a disease of willpower is now completely unsupportable” 1
If willpower is not to blame, then what is, And most importantly what can be done about it? Today’s top scientists suspect different causes for obesity including pollutants, processed foods, pressures of life, electromagnetic fields, artificial light, and shift-work.
The one common thread among all these proposed factors is that they all disrupt the delicate rhythm of our adrenal glands leading to growth of the dangerous visceral fat around our organs. In fact the more visceral fat someone has the more their adrenal hormones get out of sync leading to a vicious cycle of fat growth.2
I did a clinical trial showing that a diet alone could reset this rhythm. The basis of it is clean foods like those recommended by the Caltons. We then created a unique carb-cycling schedule to help retrain the adrenal glands to return to a healthy rhythm.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Start your day with 30 minutes of bright light from the sun within an hour of waking. This is not possible for part of the year, find a light box that emits 10,000 lux of light.
2. Eat a high-protein, low-carb breakfast. Two very favorites include wild salmon and protein powder. Aim for 25 or more grams of protein and under 10 grams of carbs.
3. Eat two servings of cruciferous vegetables each day. These can help your body regulate adrenal hormones. Great options include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, radish, collard greens, arugula, and turnips. An especially powerful one is broccoli sprouts.
Stay informed and never give up on yourself. Things can improve. Always remember that your body’s natural state is one of vibrant, thriving health and if it is not there yet, it is still possible.
Alan Christianson, NMD is the author of The Adrenal Reset Diet.
1. Klimentidis YC, Beasley TM, et al.“Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics.” Proc Biol Sci 278(1712):1626-32. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1890.
2. 2. Kargi AY, Iacobellis G. Adipose Tissue and Adrenal Glands: Novel Pathophysiological Mecahnisms and Clinical Applications. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:614074.