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Want to lose weight? Lay Off the Laxatives.

The Simple Truth:

You can’t trick your body into losing weight by taking laxatives; your body is smarter than you. Those two pounds you lose after taking a laxative are not fat. What you see in the bowl is mostly water. In a few days, as you rehydrate, these lost pounds reappear.

What are laxatives and where do they work?

Laxatives contain substances that flush out the contents of the large intestine and colon. There a five different types: bulking agents like psyllium fiber, stool softeners, lubricants, saline and irritants like the herb cascara sagrada that stimulate peristaltic action.

Your lower digestive system, the colon and large intestine does not digest food. It just holds the undigested remains and absorbs water from it until it’s defecated. By the time food reaches your colon and large intestines most of the calories from your last meal HAVE ALREADY BEEN ABSORBED BY THE SMALL INTESTINE and are well on their way to being incorporated into your body! Some calories are used to replenish your immediate energy needs and are burned quickly. But if you eat more than your body needs all those extra calories get stored as fat.

So using laxatives to flush fat out of your body is useless and it’s downright dangerous. Repeated use starts a nasty chain of events: dehydration and electrolyte imbalances occur which then leads to constipation, water retention and eventually permanent damage to the nerves of the large intestine.

Fat storage is a built-in survival process

Let’s face it; it’s programmed into our genes. This was how our early ancestors adapted to periods of famine. Their bodies learned to store fat in case their food sources ran out. Today we are still hard wired to create fat reserves. Studies have shown that our bodies conserve energy and store fat whenever we go without food for 4 hours or more.

Messing with fat storage, some interesting alternatives

In a nutshell, if you consume more calories than your body needs they will go into storage as fat. If you want to get rid of fat you need to metabolize or burn it out of your system. The simple ways to do this are through exercise, stress reduction, and avoiding junk food.

Modern medicine has two radical methods to remove fat or prevent it from forming in your body. Liposuction mechanically removes fat by vacuuming it out of your tissues. In gastric bypass, the surgeon staples shut most of the stomach and leaves only a small working pouch to receive food. The upper part of the small intestine, the duodenum, which absorbs most of the calories and nutrients from food, remains attached to the shut portion of the stomach, and the lower part, the jejunum which does not absorb as well, gets attached to the small, stomach pouch.

So which method would you choose? Cultivating a healthy lifestyle through exercise and wise food choices or the surgical quick fix?

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