Since I am in the natural cosmetics business, I am always open to new findings about toxins in the environment and their effects on one’s health. I was intrigued by the title of a new book called, The Body Restoration Plan: Eliminate Chemical Calories and Repair Your Body’s Natural Slimming System by Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton. The summary of the book says that “chemical calories” are present in everything from our air, food, and water to packaging, cosmetics, and household products. Over time, their debilitating effects can make weight loss impossible. Wow! This could explain why so many children and adults are overweight these days. From 1960 to 2000, the percent of overweight adults has almost tripled! In like fashion, the production of synthetic chemicals has increased tremendously in the past 50 years. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are only at risk if you are exposed to them in a work setting. Simply eating foods that are contaminated or using products that are “treated” could put you at risk. In other words, chemicals can make you fat.
Some examples of exposure to chemicals are: pesticides in foods, preservatives in foods and cosmetics, additives, pollutants, and contaminants from food containers. These toxins can be absorbed through water, absorbed through our skin as in cosmetics, bodycare, treated wood, sprayed plants, golf courses, and swimming pools. They are inhaled from car fumes, industrial waste, and from environmental pollutants. There is nowhere to hide! The chemicals causing these pollutants can be divided into 2 categories: toxic heavy metals and synthetic chemicals. I will focus on synthetic chemicals. The production in the US alone is over $101 billion. It may surprise you to know that most synthetic chemicals start out as natural substances like crude oil, or coal. Because the raw ingredients are products of fossilized plants and animals, our bodies can recognize them. The problem lies in the fact that their new properties make them act in an unnatural way. In other words, synthetic chemicals can mimic natural substances and fool the body. Their continual disrupting effects can cause major health problems.
Dr. Baillie-Hamilton is an expert in human metabolism. She set out on her own to research a possible link between chemicals and body weight. She says in her new book that she never dreamed there would be such overwhelming evidence that chemicals can cause weight gain. A common example of this theory is seen with beef farmers. The farmers raise the cattle to sell for slaughter. The more it costs the farmer to feed the cattle, the less profit he makes. It is known that farmers use powerful synthetic fattening chemicals to increase an animal’s weight. These weight gain inducing chemicals act by altering an animal’s metabolism so that less food goes much further. So the farmer can spend less on food, and have cattle that weigh more. What happens to these chemicals? We consume them when we buy the meat from the farmer! This is just one example of a finding by Dr. Baille-Hamilton. She spent months and months digging through medical journals and academic papers. These papers revealed to her how growth promoters, pesticides, synthetics, toxic chemicals, and a whole range of common pollutants are making us fat.
When Dr. Baille-Hamilton found a paper that showed a link between the most commonly used pesticides in food and growth promoters to fatten animals, she knew that she was onto something. Although some of the growth promoters are now banned from use, we are still being exposed to them. Other common substances that are used to fatten up animals is antibiotics. One would assume antibiotics are used in animals to kill bacteria that would cause them to be lower in weight; but to her surprise, she found that in very low doses the antibiotics given to animals can actually promote weight gain by damaging the weight control hormones. Hence more evidence of what you eat is making you fat! Perhaps the most “fattening” group of synthetics is organochlorines. This group of chemicals has the ability to cause continual damage to our weight control systems. The best known members of this category are DDT , lindane, and PCB’s. Although these have been banned, they have accumulated in our body tissues and can remain for decades. The following are the “Chemical Calories Hit List”:
1st place- Organochlorine pesticides(DDT, lindane)
2nd place- PCB,s and industrial pollutants
3rd place- Heavy metals
4th place- Plastics and PVC, styrenes
5th place- Solvents
So now that we understand these chemicals are making us gain weight and are not allowing us to loose it, what can we do? According to Dr. Baille-Hamilton, we all have a natural “slimming system”. This system is made up of the control center, or brain, “slimming hormones”, body structure, and a good supply of nutrients. These parts of the Slimming System are highly interdependent, with changes in one affecting all the others. In a nutshell, willpower is not enough to loose weight. Failure at weight-loss is due to your body’s inability to deal with toxins in your food and in the environment. These are the steps necessary to allow your body’s Slimming System to work properly.
In her Body Restoration Diet, Dr. Baille-Hamilton designed a program which has 4 basic principals. Firstly, you must feed the body’s detoxification system by eating enough of the right foods to help your body to detox, and also take supplements. Secondly, your intake of raw foods, especially vegetables should be maximized. Thirdly, reduce your exposure to chemical calories (see list below). And fourthly, restrict foods mildly rather than drastically due to the fact that if fat stores are mobilized too quickly, it is hard for the body to detox. One to two pounds of weight loss per week is ideal. It is also vital to exercise, as this is the way to naturally lower your body weight.
By now you may have realized that chemicals can affect us at a more deeper level then was previously known. Dr. Baille-Hamilton spent long hours doing research to obtain an approach to a non-traditional weight-loss program. To recognize that we are contaminated with Chemical Calories is the first step we can take. Once accepted, it is easier to follow these guidelines. For the first time ever, you will have the power to control your own weight-by actively reversing damage done by many years of chemical injury. Dr. Baille-Hamilton’s approach is not only beneficial to losing weight, but is a life long plan that should be followed to maintain optimal health and well-being!
TIPS FOR RIDDING YOUR LIFE OF CHEMICAL CALORIES
- Eat meat and produce that is organic. Even though the food may be certified organic, this does not mean it is 100% “chemical calorie” free. It would be impossible to expect any food that is grown outdoors to be free of any chemicals, due to effects of polluted air.
- Eat foods with low Chemical Calories (worst offenders are butter, salmon, spinach, strawberries, cream cheese, raisons, apples, dill pickles, summer squash, green peppers, collards, processed cheese. Exception to this list is if the products are organic.)
- Use organic or chemical-free cosmetics whenever possible.
- Drink filtered water and bathe with filtered water.
- Look for household cleaners that do not contain chemicals.
- Wear natural fiber clothing and avoid clothing that is flame retardant, and “easy care”.
- Have an air filter in your car, and stay at least 4 car lengths away from vehicles when driving.
- Use air filters in your home.
- Fill your rooms with plants that absorb toxins such as spider plants.
- Use natural bug repellants.
- Use gloves when fueling your car with gasoline.
- Take your supplements on a regular basis. (suggested to take multi vitamin-mineral supplement, CoQ 10,Omega-3 essential fatty acids, Tyrosine, Methione, Glutahione, 5HTP, Milk Thistle, soluble fiber, and grapefruit pectin.)
- Look for toys made of natural materials.
- Don’t store food in plastic containers. Fat acts as a magnet for chemical calories.
- Do not use cling free wrap or plastic containers when heating food in a microwave.
- Don’t drink hot beverages from polystyrene cups.
- Avoid using “non-stick” frying pans.
- To speed up the “out-gassing” of a new refrigerator or stove, leave inside small containers of vegetable oil to absorb the toxins.
- Avoid chemical hair dyes. If you must use them, take extra vitamin C and E and a dose of soluble fiber before your visit.
- If you eat a meal that is high in “chemical calories”, take some soluble fiber as soon as possible to reduce the absorption.
Baille-Hamilton, Dr. Paula, The Body Restoration Plan: Eliminate Chemical Calories and Repair Your Body’s Natural Slimming System, (New York, Avery, 2003).
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