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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.

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!

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Awareness

Updates On The New Coronavirus Vaccine – Are You Going To Take It? Will It Be Mandatory?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple companies have started clinical trials and testing of potential vaccines for the new coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, will the coronavirus be mandatory, and what will be the penalty for those who refuse?

Special Note To Our Readers: We are concerned that our Facebook Page will be deleted, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list. Thank you. 

The coronavirus is taking the world by storm, and many pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop the vaccine that will be put into circulation for the public. Obviously, it takes some time to develop a vaccine, usually just over a year, but there have been some initiatives put in place to potentially fast-track the coronavirus vaccine. We will have to wait and see.

As of now, media outlets are reporting on multiple developments. For example, tests in mice of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus have shown that it does indeed induce an immune response against it, at levels that could possibly prevent infection. According to Global News,

A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Forbes is reporting that the second phase of human trials for a new vaccine from Moderna may start this spring. Moderna’s cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan told CNBC that, while it’s challenging to put a timetable on the vaccine’s progress, “We expect [phase two trials] to happen in the spring, perhaps early summer.”

The second phase involves expanding to hundreds of people in different groups based on certain characteristics like age and physical health. The third phase is potentially the last with the vaccine being given to thousands of people to test its efficacy and safety. Many vaccines also go through a fourth phase after they’ve been approved and licensed.

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And President Donald Trump had this to say:

We’re working with the best scientists, doctors and researchers anywhere in the world, we’re racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus, as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine and we’re making a lot of progress. (source)

The Big Questions

So, it seems to be coming. The big questions are: When? Will it be mandatory? Will You Take it?

According to organizations like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among people, parents, and yes, even health professionals and scientists. The latter was a big concern for some high-profile speakers at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit.

No longer a secret, challenging vaccine safety has become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization lists ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the biggest threats to global health security. This is discussed in the introduction of this study (one of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

This fact has been emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above.At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

So, the point is, vaccine hesitancy is increasing around the world. Given this fact, it’s safe to say that many people are not going to be interested in taking the coronavirus vaccine. This includes many scientists and doctors. Will it be mandatory as some vaccines are for children to attend public school?

The Greater Good?

The vaccine space right now is truly something else at the moment. Those who wish to maintain their freedom and keep informed consent in place are receiving a harsh backlash from Federal Health regulatory agencies who wish to take this freedom away, it seems, in the name of the ‘greater good.’

Scientists and doctors who are creating awareness and explaining why they don’t believe vaccines should be mandatory, or as safe as they’re marketed to be, receive a large amount of pushback and censorship. Platforms like Collective Evolution are having their social media platform distribution and reach completely cut. Physicians for Informed Consent is another one of many examples.

Because of all of the attacks and censorship of our ability to discuss vaccine safety concerns, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for “censoring vaccine debate.” You can read more about that here.

Again, we ourselves have also received a tremendous amount of backlash, demonitizaton and more as a result of sharing peer-reviewed research and expert opinion that questions the safety of vaccines.  There are many examples, the latest one being presenting the work of Dr. Christopher Exley, a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University. In our article, we explained why he believes aluminum is playing some sort of role in Autism. And no, he doesn’t mean that aluminum is directly causing autism, we made that quite clear. We also presented multiple other studies questioning the safety of the aluminum adjuvant in some vaccines. You can read that article here.

Why are we being censored for presenting such science? Why are scientists like Exley subjected to so much character assassination when his questions, concerns, and science is solid? This CE article about Exley was flagged by ‘fact-checkers’ as false news, despite the fact that it is scientifically sound and simply presents the opinion and research of multiple scientists and experts.

Since when is science supposed to stop asking certain questions? What was actually ‘false’ about the article cannot be adequately explained, and perhaps this is why Facebook or the fact checkers will not reply to us nor even have a discussion about it. They’ve simply flagged the article, one of many, and greatly reduced the reach of our social media platform without replying to our inquiries. We go into more detail about what we and others are experiencing, in the article Proof: Fact Checkers Are Misleading You.

We are actually worried that Facebook may delete our entire Facebook page, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, I didn’t want to go too deep into the issues that are being brought up with regards to vaccine safety, as much as I wanted to outline that a coronavirus vaccine is coming, while simultaneously pointing out that vaccine hesitancy is still on the rise. This combination no doubt will spark even more controversy and censorship in the near future, when really, there should be full transparency of all sides and the concerns raised.

Terms and  ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax” should not be used. Encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety is in everyone’s best interest.  After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. That’s just good science.

These times also highlight how much trust the public has lost when it comes to trusting government and federal health regulatory agencies. Perhaps this is not a result of misinformation, but a shift in consciousness and so many examples of lies and deceit. Our world is starting to question measures and actions like it never did before. People are waking, people are thinking, people are becoming much more intelligent, not the other way around.

Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.

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Awareness

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness & Prescription Medications

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Prescription drug sales and deaths are at an all time high. With side effects and dangers, and a lack of safety testing in some cases, are they always the best and only option for mental health treatment?

  • Reflect On:

    Why are alternative treatments for mental health lacking? Is it because they are not as effective as prescription medication or do not turn a profit?

A worrisome trend has emerged in the last few decades that many physicians are choosing to ignore: As the amount of psychiatric drug prescriptions increase, our mental health declines. It’s time we swallow the hard pill and ask ourselves, are psychiatrists doing more harm than good?

I know that, to some of you, this question seems absurd. Why would licensed medical practitioners purposefully harm their patients? But that isn’t really what’s happening here, as the issue relates more to the over-prescription and misuse of mental health drugs, and the corporately funded miseducation that prompts this behaviour, than any malicious intentions on the part of individual people.

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness and Prescriptions

In 2013, approximately 17% of Americans were prescribed at least one mental health drug, in comparison to only 10% in 2011. The amount of people on psychiatric prescription drugs has drastically increased over the past 10 years and now 12% of adult Americans are taking some form of antidepressants alone (source).

It’s not just adults affected by the over-prescription of these drugs; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. However, the American Psychiatric Association maintains that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007. The simple reason for this increase? Profit.

However, despite the fact that the number of mental health drugs prescribed increases every year, our mental health has actually decreased. The amount of people who are considered to be so disabled by mental illness that they require Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has increased by almost two and a half times between 1987 and 2007, from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. Not surprisingly, the rise in the number of children affected by this is even worse, with a thirty-five-fold increase in that same timeframe (source). So, if the number of prescriptions are increasing, why is our mental health declining?

This phenomenon is what Thomas Insel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, refers to as the “inconvenient truth” of mental illness. Suicide rates per 100,000 people have reached a 30-year high and substance abuse, especially with opiates, has become a national epidemic.

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Edmund S. Higgins, MD and Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, explains, “More people are getting treatment and taking medications today than ever before, so what is going on? I would argue that a lack of precision and objectivity in diagnosing and treating mental illness has stalled our progress.” Furthermore, Big Pharma has played a crucial role in creating the mental health drug epidemic.

Big Pharma’s Role in Increasing Prescriptions

This seems to be the general consensus of the North American population: If an advertisement or a misinformed MD says, “There’s a pill for that,” you take it. Our reliance on pharmaceutical drugs didn’t form by accident, however; it was carefully planned and funded by Big Pharma. The pharmaceutical industry manufactured it by heavily advertising drugs, bribing physicians, and funding health studies.

Big Pharma has done an excellent job of feeding the public propaganda through advertisements and education, as the more pills you take, the more money they make. The pharmaceutical industry has played a substantial role in increasing the amount of prescriptions and overall diagnoses of A.D.H.D. in the U.S. (read an article I wrote about this here) and other mental health illnesses. As Dr. Irwin Savodnik of UCLA explains, “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”

Doctors typically use the knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose and treat mental illness. But the DSM has had its fair share of criticism, as it favours the use of pharmaceutical drugs over therapy and other healing modalities. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report Daniel J. Carlat, M.D, criticized the DSM, stating, “In psychiatry, many diseases are treated equally well with medication or therapy, but the guidelines tend to be biased toward medication.”

Holistic mental health practitioner Dr. Tyler Woods further explains:

The DSM tends to pathologize normal behaviors. For instance, the label “Anxiety Disorder” can be given as a result of some kinds of normal and rather healthy anxieties but the DSM will have experts view it and treat it as mental illness. In addition simple shyness can be seen and treated as “Social Phobia”, while spirited and strong willed children as “Oppositional Disorder”. Consequently, many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical orientations, tend to follow the DSM as instructed. (source)

In fact, Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing our very definitions of mental illnesses and how they form in the first place. For example, the U.S. considers A.D.H.D. a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain, much like many other mental disorders. However, other countries such as France see these mental disorders, including A.D.H.D., as a social context issue rather than a biological one, with many contributing factors and recommended treatments other than drugs. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states:

When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug. For example, because Thorazine was found to lower dopamine levels in the brain, it was postulated that psychoses like schizophrenia are caused by too much dopamine. . . .

That was a great leap in logic . . . It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely).

Why Pills Cannot Solve All of Our Problems

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take prescription medication for mental illness; that’s something that you and your doctor should decide. However, if your doctor fails to address any other means of dealing with your mental health, always choosing pills first rather than as a last or even second resort, then perhaps you should think about finding a doctor who understands the benefits of at least considering alternative options.

It’s important to note that even if prescription drugs are the reason our mental health is worsening, they’re certainly not the only reason. We’ve increased our amount of time spent using technology, staying indoors, and being sedentary, as well as worsened our diets and overall physical health with fast food, chemicals, toxins, animal products, and more — all of which may contribute to this decline in mental health.

However, there’s no denying the fact that Big Pharma has had a tangible and worrisome role in the psychiatric drug epidemic. Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker addresses this “inconvenient truth” by using depression as an example. Depression used to be considered a self-limiting illness that, even in severe situations where a patient requires hospitalization, could be cured within six to eight months. Very rarely would patients relapse, and if they did it would typically be many years later.

When antidepressants hit the market, our outlook on depression completely shifted. Even though antidepressants may have been created with good intentions, the reality is that patients taking these drugs are relapsing more quickly and more often. Whitaker explains that many patients on antidepressants will only recover partially in comparison to the full recoveries he’s seen in people who never took them in the first place.

In fact, only around 15% of those treated with antidepressants actually go into remission and maintain their mental health long-term. The other 85% are continuously relapsing or experience chronic depression.

It is clear that in many cases, we need to stop looking for outside help when it comes to our mental health. Our mental health is just that — it’s ours. It’s controlled by us, whether we like it or not. Many mental illnesses don’t stem from biological issues, contrary to what Big Pharma wants you to think, but are rather the result of different stressors in our lives. So, if we were able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and actually get to the root of the problem, perhaps some of these disorders wouldn’t be so severe.

Related CE Content:

Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression

Almost No Children In France Are Medicated For ADHD: Here’s How They Define & Treat It

Professor Outlines The “Surprisingly Dramatic” Role That Nutrition Plays In Treating & Curing Mental Illness

Picture source. 

 

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Awareness

Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The idea that vitamin C can have some potential in treating and preventing the new coronavirus is being invalidated and even labelled as 'fake news' by some. If this was true, why are clinical trials for intravenous vitamin C underway in China?

  • Reflect On:

    Can we rely on our medical system to provide the best possible solutions, or will profit always come first? How much trust have they lost among the general population over the years?

An article published by LiveScience, a mainstream science website, states that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus.” Mainstream media has been attacking the idea that vitamin C could have some potential to prevent or even treat the new coronavirus. This rhetoric follows statements that have come out from government health regulatory agencies. Take Health Canada, for example, who recently tweeted that there are no natural health products “that are authorized to protect against” the new coronavirus. They go on to state that “any claims otherwise are false.”

This is a problem that’s plagued our world since the introduction of the mainstream medical industry. Arnold Seymour Relman, a former Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal, states this problem clearly: 

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

The question people need to be asking is, where does government loyalty lie? Perhaps it’s with the industry that spends two times more than any other lobby in congress. This is why nothing can be used as a treatment, for any disease, unless it’s patented and presented to us by a pharmaceutical company. “Alternative” treatments are always branded as ‘fake’ and even ‘dangerous’.

Vitamin C Trials and Treatment

This recent coronavirus outbreak might provide the latest insight into this matter. Going back to the statement above from LiveScience that states “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”: if this is really the case, then why would China start multiple clinical trials to examine whether or not intravenous vitamin C can be helpful in treating people with coronavirus?

The article in LiveScience did not acknowledge this originally, but they added an update stating that researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University had launched a clinical trial with 140 patients in February to test whether ultrahigh doses of vitamin C, delivered intravenously, could treat the viral infection more effectively than a placebo. The test group will receive infusions twice a day for seven days, with each infusion containing 12g of vitamin C. (The daily recommendation for an adult man is only 90mg.) The trial will be completed in September, and no results are yet available, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.

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That being said, Dr. Richard Cheng, MD, has been updating everyone via his YouTube channel about vitamin C treatment cases out of China. We have been covering his updates as he is in direct contact with this treatment and isn’t simply an armchair scientist at the moment. We feel at this time this is a very important detail as he is seeing and hearing results first hand, not simply theoretically. Dr. Cheng is a US board-certified anti-aging specialist. He claims that vitamin C is now in the Shanghai Government treatment plan.

Dr. Cheng was paramount in bringing high-dose vitamin C to the table as part of potential treatment and prevention measures. Unfortunately in the West, this option is still being denied by much of mainstream media and governments are not talking about it. Instead, it’s fear and chaos which we do not feel helps anyone to stay healthy or get better.

According to Cheng, 50 moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 infection were treated with high-dose IVC. Dosing of IVC ranged from 10,000 – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases. The first bit of good news was that all patients who received IVC improved and there has been no mortality. Secondly, as compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay of about 3-5 days shorter than the other patients.

In one particularly severe case where the patient was deteriorating rapidly, an extra dose of 50,000 mg IVC was given over a period of 4 hours and it caused the patient’s pulmonary (oxygenation index) status to stabilize and improve as the critical care team observed in real time. You can watch all of the updates from Cheng via his Youtube Channel.

Related CE Articles: Good Coronavirus News: High Dose Vitamin C Shows Good Results In China Hospital

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

So, at the very worst we can officially say that we don’t know, but there are some positive signs thus far, which again, is obvious due to the fact that they would even begin a clinical trial, and the explanation as to why such a hypothesis exists is explained within the clinical trial website listed earlier. To say that it’s false or extremely unlikely is, in fact, the false news.

Looking For Some Vitamin C?

For anyone looking for a high-quality vitamin C, we have been using and recommending liposomal vitamin C. There are many brands out there. We are using this one from PuraThrive as it is very high quality and has an incredible clinically proven absorption rate.

The Takeaway

Is it really safe and truthful to make the claim that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”? This is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from mainstream media sources for quite a while, and articles posted on social media providing evidence that it may show some promise are being flagged by fact checkers as fake news. Again, if it was extremely unlikely, why use so many resources that are required to start a clinical trial in the first place? Why are we getting a completely different perspective from an MD in China that’s providing the world with updates? These are important questions to ask, as this example simply highlights one of the biggest problems that plagues the mainstream medical industry, which is a complete denial of the potential of natural treatments. Because these treatments cannot be patented and turned a profit, they are ridiculed, ignored and brushed off.

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You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

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