Winning the Battle Against Fat in the New Year

Friday, January 23, 2015 | 8:11 pm

Every New Year 7 out of 10 Americans decide to improve their health. We think about losing a few pounds and getting in better shape. However, change isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to eating habits and lifestyle routines. Even worse is finally buckling down, starting a diet and exercise program and still not losing the extra weight – or quickly regaining what you’ve lost!

Understanding how and why the body gains weight, especially as we get older, is an important first step to winning the battle against fat. It will help you avoid the common mistakes that people make when they try to trim down.

Yes, It’s True: Bodies Change As We Age

Bodies change over time, both externally and internally. For many older adults, internal changes include an increase in fat around the mid section, which is unsightly and dangerous, and a decrease in both muscle and bone density.

As our estrogen (women) or testosterone (men) levels start to drop, the fat will begin shifting to the body’s mid-section.

Body fat, especially belly fat, if not addressed effectively using natural means, can put you at a higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, strokes and in menopausal women: breast cancer. In addition to: gallstones and gall bladder disease, degenerative arthritis of the knees, hips, and the lower back, and sleep apnea (failure to breathe normally during sleep, lowering your blood oxygen).

Body Fat & Calories

As a general look, body fat increases when you eat more calories than you are burning up. A calorie is a unit of energy – the amount of energy we get from what we eat or drink. For example, one apple = 75 calories = 75 units of energy. The body needs calories (energy) to survive.

Calories are “burned” through a process called metabolism. During metabolism, the oxygen in your body releases the energy units from the food you ate or fat you store. This energy is used by the body for digestion, breathing, thinking, circulation and many other functions.
How many calories your body uses to keep itself running depends on various factors, including age, sex, body size and activity level.

Food, Energy & Fat

Food is primarily meant to provide energy for your body to work. If this is in doubt, try not to eat anything for a while and you will feel your energy decrease dramatically (initially, then it rises again as the body adapts to using its own fat for metabolism).

So why is some food converted to fat instead of energy?

When the body has excess energy, it stores the energy in a dense form so it can be

1) carried more easily and 2) used at a later time when it is needed. That dense form of energy is what we call “fat.”

Back in the old (really old) days, we needed fat to survive harsh winters, long hunts and failed hunts. Today, our hunting consists of walking into the kitchen and foraging through the fridge for something to eat.

The amount of energy that is being used is somewhat less than chasing, killing, skinning, carving, preparing and storing a buffalo.

The problem is, even when people eat less, they still get fat.

That is when trying to lose weight can get frustrating, illogical, hopeless and even depressing. IF YOU ARE EATING LESS, WHY ARE YOU STILL FAT?!?!

The reason is that, even though you are eating less your nervous and endocrine systems are still generating signals that no energy is needed so your body continues on with its fat preservation mode. This can be diagnosed and corrected easily using natural means for most people.

Turning On the Fat-Burning Switch

When your nervous/endocrine system generates the signal that energy shouldn’t being used, your body holds onto (and ads) to its fat reserve. When your nervous system gets the signal that energy is needed, it converts the fat (and any new food) to energy.

If you try to force a change in these signals by depriving the body of the food it needs (or thinks it needs) – also called low carb diet, or low fat diet, low calorie diet, etc. – your body will start to shut down (insufficient energy) and weight regain is inevitable. You will feel hungry, tired and in most cases have strong food cravings for foods you shouldn’t eat. At one point you will give up and get back to your old habits and routine and simply gain more weight.

When you take drugs or get shots to lose weight, you are overriding the body’s own signals to eat and store what it eats (body fat) for later use.

Bypassing these signals can weaken the body’s natural ability to manage its weight for years to come. This is evidenced by the fact that once you are off the pills and shots, your body will again demand whatever food it believes it needs to work properly.

When it comes to weight loss, trying to suppress or ignore the body’s internal mechanisms regarding food intake, use and storage will only lead to weight loss (and health) failure.

Changing the Signals

The easiest, healthiest and best way to lose weight – and keep it off permanently – is by changing the signals themselves, so that your body only wants and needs the food that it can actually use to build abundant energy and stable health.

When the signals are changed, your “fat-burning switch” will also be reset.

Once the signals are changed and your fat-burning switch is reset, your body will automatically get rid of stored body fat.

The “Fast Energy” Mechanism

Here’s something else you may not know: your energy needs to be quickly available when it is needed.

Fat takes a long time to convert to energy that you can feel. So does food. Your body solves this problem by changing food into a molecule called ATP. The ATP molecule has a lot of energy that can be released very quickly.

These molecules are stored inside the cells. When you need energy, they can be used right away.

What is it that causes the release of energy from the ATP molecules inside the cells? WATER!

More Water, Please

When your cells don’t have enough water (dehydration), you will feel tired, lethargic and have difficulty focusing. When your cells have a sufficient supply of water (hydration) you will feel more alert, vital, focused and energetic.

In regards to weight loss, when you are hydrated on a cellular level, you BURN FAT!

The Missing Ingredient

Right now you may be thinking, “Great! I’ll start drinking more water!” or “That doesn’t make sense. I drink water all day long. I am not feeling more energetic and I am definitely not losing weight!”

That’s because water does not operate alone. It cannot remain in the cells of your body unless it combines with other substances. These other substances are minerals. Without minerals, any water you drink will go right through you.

People have actually had heat strokes while drinking a lot of water! The reason is that the water did not go into the cells where it was needed due to a lack of minerals. Water alone is not enough for effective cellular hydration! The missing link is MINERALS. Minerals cause water to move in AND out of the cells causing the release of energy.

Other Weight Loss Barriers

Your body needs both sufficient oxygen and water (water+minerals) to burn fat. In my years of helping people get healthy and achieve permanent weight loss, these are two of the five most typical barriers to weight loss. There are three other weight loss blocks that can make losing weight difficult, if not impossible: inadequate nutrition, body toxins and poor sleep.

It’s Still All About Energy

No matter what pills, potions, surgeries, or behaviors we undertake to rid ourselves of excess weight, controlling our energy intake is still the basis for healthy weight. This does not mean that we have to deprive ourselves of good food. In fact, this is actually counterproductive because the body also thrives on pleasure and eating food can be very pleasurable. It simply is a matter of understanding how the body works, and then aligning what you eat and how you eat to its internal processes. Then you can eat whatever you want!

Dr. Claude Matar received his MD in 1986, and was certified as a naturopathic physician and clinical nutritionist in 1998. He eventually left the medical field to pursue his growing interest in alternative health solutions. Dr. Matar’s research into the underlying causes of illness and disease led to the development of The Matar Method, a natural weight loss program, and the founding of the Pasadena Weight Loss Center ( His natural weight loss approach has helped thousands of clients of all ages, genders and body types rapidly shed unwanted pounds and improve their health. The program educates clients on how to use food to achieve fast and permanent weight loss by naturally changing the body’s energy-making and fat storage signals, improving oxygenation and increasing hydration. Additional weight loss barriers, such as body toxins and poor sleep , are also addressed. All programs are tailored to meet each individual’s specific needs and lifestyle, and include meal plans using food from all four food groups that can be purchased at your local grocery store. You will never feel hungry or have food cravings. The center also provides 1-on-1 coaching and fast fitness – a unique and proven method of easily getting in shape with workouts that take less than 1 hour per week. Clients who have completed the program, in addition to reaching their ideal weight, consistently report significant increases in their energy, health and well-being, as well as having obtained the knowledge and ability to easily maintain their weight for life. A free weight loss consultation can be scheduled by calling (626) 844-4686.
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