It seems we focus our attention on speeding our metabolism or watching calories and even the type of exercise, however so often the basics are often missed. In today’s blog I will be discussing the importance of bowel movements and liver function in relation to managing your weight ( especially when you are over fifty).
It is about time that we let go of the counting calories model and focused on the nutritional needs of our cells. When our cells have their needs met then they actually function with vitality and energy…..gee, sounds like me when I get my needs met. If you reduce your intake of quality foods, do not enjoy your meals or your life, I would imagine you may become a little resentful and if this is the case you will be missing the whole point of living your life. What does this have to do with bowel function? ……Everything !! If you are not content with your life, there will be a reduction in your energy, a resistance to the natural order and flow and this can mean a drop in basic functioning of the body. Whenever we resist something we are not in the flow of life, now that does not mean we always have to agree, but there is a difference when we resist, it is like we put the brakes on and everything is affected, especially our “gut”.
You know, when I do my talks, I have people repeatedly tell me they only pass a bowel motion maybe once or twice a week and then they are having trouble sleeping, waking up between 1 and 3 am in the morning, struggling withweight and then tell me that their thyroid is underactive and they are not exercising…..yes, you get the picture. When I suggest to them that they need to get their bowels moving, they generally get frustrated with me as they have been told that it is “normal” for them and it is not why they have a weight problem. I generally say at this point, “does that make sense to you”? Also, if the thyroid is struggling that will have a huge impact on bowel regularity. Just because you are on thyroid medication does not mean it is actually supporting the cause of your imbalance. I have discussed thyroid issues before, so please check previous articles.
It is important to know that when our bowels do not move at least once (if not twice) daily then we are not efficiently removing the waste from our colon, when this happens it leaves us very vulnerable to many diseases, let alongweight gain and tiredness. One of the roles we have, for our body is to take in nutritious food, absorb that food and remove the waste. If this simple plan is not followed and waste is held in the body longer than it should be, it places unnecessary pressure on our liver. The liver has to cleanse one and quarter litres of blood every minute, when you are holding on to waste for a long period of time in the bowel it leaves you more vulnerable to a condition called “Leaky gut syndrome” , this is when toxins from the bowel leak into the blood stream, giving the poor liver a heavydetoxification load, thereby leading to heavier workload for fat metabolism and hormone regulation ( other roles of the liver) Another issue is, when bowels are not moving sufficiently it can lead to re absorption of the so called “bad ” oestrogens, once again leaving us more vulnerable to many diseases, especially around the menopausal years. Many of these conditions are often blamed on hormones, and in some respects it is, however hopefully you can now see one of the contributing factors could be bowel function. Even if you are “going” everyday, is it actually a competed movement. So, I am suggesting that you begin looking at your habits and see if your bowel movements could be improved.
Here are some tips to encourage a healthy bowel motion (or two) each day
- Drink at least 1-2 litres of water a day (a way from meals)
- 2. Move your body daily (minimum of 20-30 minutes)
- 3. Eat small regular meals, including good fibre from fruit and vegetables.
- 4. Include foods such as chia seeds, linseeds, pysllium husks and even coconut oil.
- 5. Reduce consumption of processed foods ( you know what, get rid of it all together )
- 6. Have a glass of lemon and water on rising and at least 2-3 glasses of water.
7. Choose a time of the day that seems best for elimination and make a habit of going to the toilet at the same time of the day . This does not mean forcing anything, but more like re educating your body into what is needed, just like you would for a two year old with toilet training. For many it is just poor habits.
8. A good supplement like Magnesium can assist with healthy peristaltic movement of the bowel.
9. Look at emotional issues and keep telling yourself to ” let go”.
Many times the basics are overlooked when it comes to weight management and hormone regulation. Get the foundation right first and then look at hormones, etc. I have many more tips and I am than happy to discuss any concerns you have in a personal consultation and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0422952944.
For more information about managing weight after the age of fifty, I encourage you to read “Ageless Vitality” , this is my book available at my shop at http://www.agelessvitality.com.au/shop/softcover/