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14 Common Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

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I will admit to being reticent to tackle this subject. Our culture is obsessed with weight loss and infatuated with slimness, and I have no desire to perpetuate this machine fuelled on our own insecurities. In general, I prefer to talk about muscle gain than weight loss, and lifestyle changes rather than diet.

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But I would be lying if I said that nobody in the world needs to lose weight. We all know that carrying around excess weight leads to a whole host of health problems (I don’t need to describe them in detail). So I would like to frame this article in terms of working towards being healthier and fitter — whatever that looks like for you — rather than ways of getting to a size 0.

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Because our environment really is against us — between the food-like objects being sold to us in grocery stores and the prevalence of sedentary desk jobs, amongst many other factors, staying within a healthy weight range is getting harder and harder. Below are some reasons why you might not be reaching your goals.

As with all things related to nutrition and fitness, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one person may not work for another, so take all of these tips with a grain of salt. Some people respond well to more cardio and some to less, etc. The important thing is finding what works for your unique body. 

1. Maybe You Are Losing Without Realizing it

Working out and eating healthily but your weight hasn’t budged? (Or worse, it has only increased?) You wouldn’t be the first one to complain of this problem, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t making strides towards your goal. The reality is, the number on the scale is not the only, or even the most reliable, measure of your progress.

First of all, our body weight tends to fluctuate by a pound or two each day. The foods you eat, the state of your hormones, and the amount of water you’re drinking AND retaining (particularly so for women) can all play a role here. You may find it more helpful to weigh yourself once a week rather than every day.

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When you weigh yourself is also important. It should be before you’ve eaten or had anything to drink and ideally after elimination. Had a glass of water? That’s going to skew things, and by a lot more than you’d think. I’ve weighed myself first thing in the morning and then again after having water and a coffee, and the difference was 2 pounds!

More importantly, it is possible to gain muscle while losing fat, particularly if you’ve just started exercising. And this is exactly what you want: a change in body composition, not simply body weight.

For a true measure of your progress, use something other than the scale. This can be as simple as considering how well your clothes fit — your jeans never lie! — or as precise as taking body measurements and getting your body fat percentage measured each month.

You can also try looking in the mirror. Do you see more muscle than there was before? Then well done!

2. You’re Not Keeping Track of What You’re Eating

This one is tough, I know. Nobody wants to feel like they’re on a schedule or have to count every calorie, and I don’t recommend doing this all the time, because it can be unnecessarily stressful. I’m a firm believer that you should be able to enjoy a dinner with friends and family every so often without having to agonize over calories or macros or any of that. Life just doesn’t work that way, and you will eventually fatigue if you never give yourself a break.

Tracking your food intake for one week really should be sufficient to give you a snapshot of how much food you’re actually eating, and you can do this every few months to check in and see where you’re at.

The reason this is so beneficial is that it creates awareness and it forces you to be accountable to yourself. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, being conscious of what you’re eating is always a good thing. And despite what we may think, most of us actually have no idea how many calories we’re consuming. Study after study has shown that people consistently underestimate how much they eat in a day, often by around 30%! That’s a huge margin of error. It happens for a number of reasons: we don’t actually know how many calories are in a food item; we forget about snacks in between meals (which are often the problem, not our meals themselves); we downplay unhealthy foods (and maybe are ashamed to admit to eating certain things, or in certain amounts); or we don’t consider the calories in beverages. All of these and more make food diaries unreliable, particularly in the long term.

But studies do show that keeping track of your diet helps with weight loss. People who use food diaries or track their meals in other ways consistently lose more weight than people who don’t. (12) Doing so forces you to take an honest look at your habits and to be conscious of what you’re actually putting in your mouth.

3. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for both weight loss and weight maintenance, as it helps to reduce cravings for sugary foods and promotes satiety, ensuring you don’t feel the need to snack constantly between meals. Protein is much more satisfying than carbohydrates in general, and it has the added bonus of working with appetite-regulating hormones, such as ghrelin, to keep you feeling fuller for longer. (89)

Deriving 25-30% of  the calories you eat from protein can boost your metabolism by 80-100 calories per day, and since you’ll be snacking less, you’ll be eating fewer calories, too.  (34567)

Protein is also, of course, essential for the building and maintenance of muscle mass, so getting enough of this nutrient will make your exercise regime more effective. It also helps prevent metabolic slowdown – a common side effect of losing weight – and weight regain. (111213)

The easiest way to include more protein in your diet? Switch our your carbohydrate-heavy breakfast for something more substantial. Studies have shown that people who eat a high-protein breakfast are less hungry and have fewer cravings throughout the day (10). (I can certainly attest to this fact from personal experience. Anytime I’ve ever had pancakes and maple syrup for a special breakfast or brunch, my sugar cravings for the rest of the day are noticeably more intense.)

4. You’re Eating Too Many Calories

Many people who struggle with losing weight are simply eating too many calories, and while this does not mean that calories should be your main concern — eating 500 calories of potato chips is not the same as eating 500 calories of vegetables — it does mean you should be mindful of what you’re eating, even if it is healthy.

I’m a big fan of almond butter, for example, but I know that a 2 tablespoon serving (very easy to make disappear in an instant) clocks in at around 180 calories. If I smother my apple in almond butter the way I’d like to, what should have been a healthy snack turns into a full meal — and not one that is satisfying like a true meal.

As I mentioned before, we tend to underestimate the calories we consume, consistently and significantly. (141516) So if you are eating healthy foods and exercising but still not losing weight, you might want try tracking your calories, just for a little while. You may be surprised by how much you’re actually eating.

Here are some helpful resources:

  • Calorie calculator – Use this tool to figure out how many calories to eat.
  • Calorie counters – This is a list of 5 free websites and apps that can help you keep track of your calorie and nutrient intake.

Tracking in this way is also beneficial when trying to reach a certain nutrient goal, like getting 30% of your calories from protein, as mentioned above. It’s really difficult to do this all in your head.

And as I mentioned previously, you only need to do this exercise for a short period of time to gain a sense of how much you’re actually eating.

5. You’re Not Eating Whole Foods

This may be the most important one of the list. The calories-in-calories-out theory is all well and good, but if your calories are nutritionally void, you aren’t going to lose the weight. More importantly, you will not achieve optimal health.

Eating healthy foods will make you feel and look better, regardless of your weight, and feeling this way can motivate you to make other changes in your life.

Eating healthy foods also helps regulate your appetite and reduces your craving for junk food, particularly as your palate adjusts to the taste of real food.

But keep in mind: “health foods” and healthy foods are not one and the same. Healthy foods are minimally processed and whole foods which contain as few ingredients as possible. Healthy foods require you to cook at home. “Health foods” are often quite unhealthy, full of sugar and processed ingredients disguised as beneficial ones.

6. You’re Not Lifting Weights

I cannot stress this one enough. The very best thing I ever did for myself — for my health, my physique, and my confidence — was take up weight training. It makes me feel so strong and so powerful, and I always walk away feeling like I can take on the world. That sense of empowerment affects every single area of my life, motivating me to work harder at everything that I do, including maintaining a healthy diet. And it makes working out fun, because seeing myself get stronger is more rewarding than spending an extra 5 or 10 minutes on the treadmill ever was.

Then of course there are the physical benefits. Muscle burns more calories than fat, meaning the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, so you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve left the gym. It can also help prevent metabolic slowdown. (18)

And let’s not discount how great muscle tone looks on the body. I would rather be muscular and weigh a little more than skinny for the sake of skinny, with no tone or strength.

7. You’re Binge Eating (Even on Healthy Food)

We’ve all been there before. We were really ‘good’ for a whole week, or a month, eating only the foods we deem to be healthy. And then a special occasion comes up, or we simply decide we’ve earned the right to indulge a little. But we lose control, eating way more than we meant to or ever should in one sitting.

If we’re operating in a state of deprivation, binging is going to be the inevitable consequence. This is why diets don’t work. You need to think in terms of making a lifestyle change — something that is sustainable in the long term and allows you to feel like you’re still enjoying food and enjoying life.

8. You’re Not Doing Cardio

Cardio has gotten a bad rap in recent years, and I know I’m at least a little guilty of perpetuating that in my own life. I used to do tons of cardio and very little weight lifting, and accordingly saw negligible results at the gym. Lifting weights turned everything around for me, so the challenge now is finding the right balance between lifting and cardio. Because getting your heart rate up is still really important, both for weight loss and for achieving overall health.

And cardio can be great for burning belly fat, the harmful “visceral” fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease (1920).

Here is what an optimal and balanced training program which incorporates both weight lifting and cardio might look like, courtesy of Girls Gone Strong:

  • Strength training two to four times a week, generally lasting 45 to 50 minutes
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)/Metabolic Conditioning one to two times a week, generally lasting five to 20 minutes
  • Moderate Intensity Cardio (MIC) one to two times a week, generally lasting about 30 minutes, with your heart rate at 120 to 140 bpm.
  • Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio, whenever possible. This is any kind of leisure movement you enjoy—from yoga to hiking to biking to walking—and should be restorative, not strenuous. Your heart rate should remain below 120 bpm, and this activity should be relaxing, and not stressful to your body. This also includes general human movement like taking the stairs, standing instead of sitting, etc.

Keep in mind that some of these days can be combined to allow for two to three full days off each week.

9. You’re Still Drinking Sugar

This one should be a no-brainer at this point, but unfortunately, many people still haven’t gotten the memo. Our brains don’t process liquid calories in the same way they do solid food, and so that soda, or fruit juice, or even your favourite green juice contributes to your daily caloric load without making you feel as if you’ve eaten any more. You therefore don’t compensate for these extra calories by eating less, and you certainly don’t feel any less hungry after consuming them. (2122)

And this says nothing of the terrible effects of processed sugars on the body.

Even fruit juices or green juices with fruit juice in them can cause problems, containing way more sugar than you’d ever imagine and contributing to an expanding waistline in the process.

The takeaway here is to be mindful of everything you drink and reduce where you can. A typical latte at Starbucks, unflavoured, can clock in at 100 calories or more easily, and this really does add up over time. One solution is to have a cappuccino, which has significantly less milk in it, and to do without the sugar, or work to slowly reduce the amount of sugar you include over time. A touch of cinnamon can go a long way here!

10. You’re Not Sleeping Well

Getting enough sleep is arguably the single most important thing you can do for your physical and mental well-being, and this includes managing your weight.

Studies show that poor sleep is one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity. Adults with poor sleep have a 55% greater risk of becoming obese, while children with poor sleep have an 89% greater risk of becoming obese. (23)

Sleep deprivation creates a cascade of reactions which all promote weight gain. Short sleep duration is associated with decreased leptin — the hormone which promotes satiety — and increased ghrelin, the hormone which promotes hunger. In other words, not getting enough sleep makes you feel hungrier and causes you to eat more food to feel satisfied, particularly foods with a high carbohydrate content — a double whammy.

Just one sleep deprived night also leads to raised levels of glucose in the blood and can increase our risk for type 2 diabetes:

Recent work also indicates that sleep loss may adversely affect glucose tolerance and involve an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

In young, healthy subjects who were studied after 6 days of sleep restriction (4 hours in bed) and after full sleep recovery, the levels of blood glucose after breakfast were higher in the state of sleep debt despite normal or even slightly elevated insulin responses.[3] The difference in peak glucose levels in response to breakfast averaged ±15 mg/dL, a difference large enough to suggest a clinically significant impairment of glucose tolerance.

Poor sleep also affects digestion. As someone who has struggled with IBS for a number of years, I can say confidently that inadequate sleep worsens my symptoms significantly. So not only am I hungrier when I don’t get enough sleep, I am more bloated and less able to eliminate regularly, too.

11. You’re Not Cutting Back on Carbohydrates

And you’re not eating the right kinds. You might think that by avoiding sugary treats you’re in the clear, but most breads and pastas do just as much damage, causing blood sugar spikes and raising cortisol, both of which lead to increased belly fat.

Focus on eating unprocessed whole grains like oats, millet, and brown rice (not whole wheat or even whole grain bread, which is still full of starchy flours) and eating them in small portions. This may require you to measure out your servings for a while, but eventually you should be able to visually determine what a proper serving looks like.

Whole grains won’t create blood sugar spikes the way refined carbohydrates will, and they help promote satiety.

How you prepare your grains is also important. Most people don’t realize that it is necessary to break down whole grains (and beans, nuts, and seeds) before consuming them by soaking them in water. For thousands of years, traditional cultures have practiced sprouting grains, somehow knowing that cooking simply isn’t enough to render them digestible. Grains on their own are dormant seeds, with all their nutrients waiting to be ‘activated’ by water. They contain anti-nutrients such as phytic acid which bind to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing the body from absorbing them, which can lead to mineral deficiencies. Unsoaked grains are also much more difficult for the body to digest; a lifetime of eating grains in this way can lead to a whole host of digestive problems. Simply by soaking your grains in warm water overnight, preferably with a splash of something acidic, like vinegar, you make the nutrients in the grains more bioavailable and make their digestion much easier on the body.

12. You’re Not Drinking Water

Drinking water is incredibly important for maintaining optimal health in general, and for achieving weight loss.

In one 12-week weight loss study, for example, overweight people who drank half a liter (17 oz) of water half an hour before before meals lost 44% more weight (32) than people who did not. One reason for this could be that they needed to eat less during the meal in order to feel full.

Drinking water has also been shown to boost the amount of calories burned by 24-30% over a period of 1.5 hours. (3334)

Ever stand up too quickly and feel dizzy or lightheaded for a minute? That’s your body telling you to drink more water.

Feeling hungry is often the first sign that you’re thirsty, too. The next time you feel like you need a snack or are ready for your next meal, try drinking a glass of water first. You may be surprised to find out that you weren’t hungry after all!

13. You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are notoriously high in calories, particularly when combined with sugary mixers to make our favourite cocktails. Beer, wine, and sugary mixed drinks and liquors are the worst culprits here, almost inevitably leading to bigger bellies when consumed regularly or in excess.

Because alcohol is a liquid calorie, we also tend to underestimate how much we’ve ingested. One night of heavy drinking really can undo a week’s worth of efforts in the kitchen and in the gym. And it’s no secret that we tend to eat more after a night of drinking, and pick the worst foods, too. So not only are we consuming extra calories from the alcohol, we’re compounding the problem by eating greasy, fried foods afterwards.

If you want to enjoy the occasional drink while still maintaining or losing weight, stick to pure spirits like vodka or gin, and skip the sugary add-ins, opting instead for sparkling water and a splash of lemon or lime.

14. You’re Too Focused on “Dieting”

As I mentioned previously, diets are rarely, if ever, successful in the longterm. If anything, they actually cause people to gain more weight over time, and yo-yoing between between weights puts a major strain on the body, too. (42)

Putting all your attention on the foods you can’t have will only make you crave them more. It’s like telling yourself not to think about elephants. You can’t think about anything other than elephants now, can you?

Focus instead on the new, healthy lifestyle you are cultivating. Think about all the foods you get to include in your diet — more vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats — rather than the ones you must exclude. Let weight loss be the natural and happy side effect of nourishing your body properly.

Do you have any other weight loss tips you’d like to share? Please post in the comment section below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

COVID-19 Has A 99.95% Survival Rate For People Under 70 – Stanford Professor of Medicine

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently shared that the survival rate for people under 70 years of age is about 99.95 percent. He also said that COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there such a large divide between so many doctors and scientists with regards to the response to the pandemic? Why is one side constantly ridiculed and censored by Big Tech companies? Should governments have the authority to mandate lockdowns?

What Happened: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently appeared on a JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Network conversation alongside Mark Lipsitch, DPhil and Dr. Howard Bauchner, who interviews leading researchers and thinkers in health care about their JAMA articles.

During the conversation, Dr. Bhattacharya said that the survival rate from COVID-19, based on approximately 50 studies that’ve been published providing seroprevalence data, for people over 70 years of age is 95 percent. For people under the age of 70, the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.95 percent. He went on to state that the flu is more dangerous than COVID-19 for children, and that we’ve (America) had more flu deaths in children this year than COVID deaths.

Obviously, his comments are open to interpretation and similar comments floating around the internet have been refuted by Facebook ‘fact-checkers.’

Bhattacharya has cited this study, published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization to come to his conclusion, along with, as mentioned above, many more.

These facts and many others are what inspired Bhattacharya, along with Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology to create The Great Barrington Declaration.

The declaration strongly opposes lockdown measures that are being and have been put in place by various governments around the globe. The declaration has an impressive list of co-signers from renowned doctors and professors in the field from around the world, and now has nearly 50,000 signatures from doctors and scientists. The declaration also has approximately 660,000 signatures from concerned citizens.

The Declaration states,

The Declaration was written from a global public health and humanitarian perspective, with special concerns about how the current COVID-19 strategies are forcing our children, the working class and the poor to carry the heaviest burden.  The response to the pandemic in many countries around the world, focused on lockdowns, contact tracing and isolation, imposes enormous unnecessary health costs on people. In the long run, it will lead to higher COVID and non-COVID mortality than the focused protection plan we call for in the Declaration.

The declaration also states that as herd immunity builds, the risk of infection to all, including the most vulnerable, falls. Bhattacharya has explained that he and his colleagues don’t see herd immunity as a strategy but as a simple “biological fact,” adding, “It will eventually happen. That’s how epidemics end. So, the only question is how you get there with the least amount of human misery, death, and harm.” The best way, he said, is to “acknowledge who actually is in danger and devote enormous creativity, resources, and energy to protect them.”

The Declaration recommends implementing measures that protect the vulnerable without locking down the entire population, shutting down businesses and limiting people’s access to health-care.

Stefan Baral, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said he supported adaptive interventions to protect at-risk people rather than broad lockdowns of entire populations. He said his mother lives in Sweden and “there’s nowhere else I would have wanted my mom to be. I love my mom and I feel she’s safe there.”

A report published in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May . According to the data, Covid-19 only accounts for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article suggests and also quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because Quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Bhattacharya has also cited an estimate from the United Nations World Food Program indicating that pandemic lockdowns causing breaks in the food chain are expected to push 135 million people into severe hunger and starvation by the end of this year.

These are just a few  many examples and concerns the declaration is referring to.

Another perspective on these survival rates? According to  Professor Robyn Lucas, head of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University,

Survival rates and the percentage of the population who have not died are two very different numbers, “They are using the whole population, rather than the number who have diagnosed infection. So this is not really ‘survival’ – to survive a disease you have to have the disease in the first place,” Prof Lucas told AAP FactCheck in an email. (source)

Why This Is Important: Never before have we seen so many renowned doctors, scientists, and experts in the field oppose the recommendations and actions taken by the World Health Organization and multiple governments to combat a health crises. The fact that there is a great divide among the scientific and medical community makes one ponder how governments can have the mandatory authority to lockdown our planet when there isn’t really a scientific consensus to do so.

What’s also quite concerning is the fact that big tech companies, like Facebook, have been actively censoring and flagging information and opinions that oppose those of the WHO and government health authorities. Unpopular opinions and recommendations aren’t really given any attention by mainstream media either, and they’re often ridiculed by them. The Great Barrington Declaration is a great example.

Because of all the discrepancy, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for governments to simply present the science and make strong recommendations and leave the citizenry to do what they’d like to do. To each is own, that’s just my opinion. I believe we are more than capable enough, and intelligent enough to determine the right course of action for ourselves. A lot of people have lost trust in their government and this is because actions taken by them have simply called into question whether or not they make decisions with humanities best interests at heart.

Are they really executing the will of the people?

When it comes to COVID-19, we’ve seen that this may not be the case. Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has published an article about COVID-19, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine in the British Medical Journal.

It it, he states the following:

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

When we allow governments and give them the power to use force when so many people disagree with their recommendations, it makes one question just how much power do thee entities have? And why? Why do we choose to be governed in such a way? Why aren’t we free to make our own decisions?

More important than facts is our ability to get along with one another and see from the perspective of another. We must understand why those who disagree with us feel the way they do, and they must try to understand us. Constantly arguing and disagreeing with each other and always being in a state of constant separation doesn’t solve anything. Now more than ever we need to respect one another and try see from a perspective that’s not our own. Can’t we find some middle ground and all get along? It’s ok to ask questions and challenge our governments, in fact, it should be encouraged.

Many of us are feeling the loss of freedoms, and even with new measures like that which is presented in this article, we are now seeing how our reality may become limited should we choose not to participate in certain measures we don’t agree with. The trouble we seem to be having is determining how to communicate about COVID, the fears we have around it, and how to come together as a community to ‘draw a line’ as to where we may be taking things too far.

Can we truly accept that controlling everyone’s lives and what they can and can’t do is the best thing to do with an extremely low mortality virus? Does this indicate the level of fear we have towards life? The issues with our general health? If the worry is straining health care systems, are we seeing the limitations of how our rigid social infrastructures can’t be flexible and maybe it’s time to look at a new way of living within society? Perhaps a new way built on a completely different worldview?

No, I’m not talking about no Great Reset here, I’m talking about something much deeper. I’m talking about re-examining the deep questions of who we are, why we are here and what type of future we truly want to create. Questions that we may have forgotten about as we have gone on chasing what our current worldview and system dangles in front of us. Perhaps it’s time to take a breath and see the crisis’ in front of us as a call to ask some much deeper questions than common conversation invites us to ask.

A great place to start with these questions, and something I deeply urge people to consider doing, is doing something like a media/news fast that includes important questions and reflections designed to re-imagine and examine your worldview. I have just released a new short course on CETV called How To Do An Effective Media Detox. Check out CETV and this course as a great place to start. – Joe Martino

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones

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New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.

In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.

The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).

Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.

EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.

The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.

Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”

“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”

Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.

“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing portrayal of glyphosate as a benign chemical with no negative impacts on human health,” said Landrigan.

EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.

Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:

EDC’s can:

  • Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
  • Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
  • Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone receptor expression
  • Antagonize hormone receptors
  • Interact with or activate hormone receptors
  • Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
  • Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone synthesis
  • Alter hormone transport across cell membranes

The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two:  “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.

Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.

The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.

The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.

The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical,  particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.

U.S. government documents show glyphosate residues have been detected in a range of foods, including organic honey, and granola and crackers.

Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.

Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”

Written by Carey Gillam, research director of U.S. Right to Know, where it was originally posted. 

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Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?

What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ  by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”

To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.

The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”

The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.

He goes on to mention another study:

In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.

So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.

But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.

That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:

In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).

The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.

Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.

  • 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
  • A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
  • 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
  • 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.

Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.

At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.

We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?

In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.

When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.

The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.

In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.

The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?

When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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