Jon Gabriel has one of the most remarkable weight loss transformations we’ve seen.  Over just 2.5 years, he has lost 103 kilograms and more importantly managed to keep the weight off for over 10 years.  Sharing his weight loss success with us, Jon has developed his own holistic approach to weight loss that steers away from the traditional thought that in order to lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more.

With his ‘Gabriel Method’ Jon has emphasised that chronic weight gain is not simply about the food you eat, but is caused by a combination of physical, emotional or environmental triggers. Some may experience one or several of these fat triggers and unless you identify them, the struggle with weight control will continue.

Here we share with you Jon’s top 10 common fat triggers that could be inhibiting you from shifting the weight.

1. Sleep apnoea

In a 2012 study by CQ University on Australia’s sleep habits it was found that 96 percent of Australian’s wakeup in the morning tired and nearly 40 percent of participants admitted that they had actually fallen asleep at work or during meetings.

In sleep apnoea your body is essentially starved of oxygen leaving you chronically exhausted.  This increases your cortisol levels, stimulates cravings for junk food and in turn results in weight gain.  It’s a vicious cycle as sleep apnoea can cause weight gain and weight gain worsens sleep apnoea.

Getting tested for sleep apnoea and committing to the treatment of the condition is an important step in your weight loss journey.

2. Past trauma

Jon Gabriel with Dr Ajaka

Jon Gabriel with Dr Ajaka

Physical and emotional trauma can have a drastic effect on anyone’s life, especially in regards to their health. Often the body deals with unresolved trauma by using weight as its coping mechanism.

Whether you have lost someone close to you, were emotionally or physically abused, or were inflicted with pain at some point in your life your body tries to protect you.  For a large majority of people, it does this by gaining weight.

3. Emotional stress

Emotional stress is one of the greatest fat triggers affecting those who want to lose weight.  Insecurities or fears may not only be holding you back from achieving your goals in life, but also stopping you from achieving your weight loss goals.

These emotional stresses could translate in a fear of losing someone you love, of stepping out into the unknown, or of losing your job.  Your insecurities could revolve around your talents, abilities or even your personality.

This emotional stress acts a lot like chronic stress by spiking your cortisol levels which tells your body to replenish energy, even though you may not have used up many calories.  When the cortisol levels accelerate your body is prone to storing more fat, in particular visceral fat.  This fat surrounds your organs and acts to release fatty acids in your body, hiking up your cholesterol and insulin levels increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease in the process.

4. Lifestyle stress

Today more than ever, people are experiencing stress on a daily basis in both their personal and professional lives.  Lifestyle pressures builds up overtime and can develop into chronic stress.  Your stress may be physical or emotional, it may be present or buried deep within your unconscious.  Regardless of the type of stress, your body reacts to it the exact same way.

Our body responds to chronic stress as it always has throughout history.  In the hunter gather days, this response was beneficial as when winter came and the temperatures dropped and food was scarce.  In these times we simply activated our fat stores to help survive.

Today our stress of work, relationships or money don’t carry the same life threatening consequences.  We also don’t have the shortage of food, so when we stress and our cortisol levels activate our Fat Programs and we gain weight.

Addressing your lifestyle stresses and using treatments like meditation, yoga and healing therapies to overcome them will eventually tell your body that you’re protected and that you’re not going through a life threatening situation.

5. Toxicity

Every day our bodies are being hit with toxins from the food we ingest to those in our environment.  These toxins are stored as fat cells in the body.  The more toxins you expose your body to, the more fat your body creates.

Toxins gradually destroy your hormone balance and can often change the way our hormones function, as well as create a bacterial imbalance in our gut.  Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol and insulin can all be disrupted through decreasing or increasing the amounts produced or blocking it altogether and changing the speed at which it works.

People overweight or obese tend to have higher levels of toxins in their body.  When the body stores these toxins as fat cells, each time you accumulate more toxins additional storage space is required so the body holds onto the fat cells.

When you cleanse your body of these toxins, your body won’t require so much fat and it will make losing the weight that much easier.

6. False beliefs

Your mind is very powerful and it could be the very thing that is stopping you from losing weight.  If your mind is filled with false beliefs that you’re unable to lose weight or not worthy of doing so, you’ll never drop the excess kilos.

For some of us, these false beliefs have developed from a very young age and have shaped who we are today.  For others, these negative thoughts could be formed later in life as a result of social circles or negative experiences.

Regardless of how long you have been fostering these negative beliefs, unless you resolve and change the way you think of yourself you’re not going to lose weight.

7. Chronic dieting

Without a doubt anyone who is looking to lose weight has tried a fad diet at least once.  Then there are the many of you who have yo-yo dieted for most of your adult life.  What the majority of us don’t realise is that this chronic dieting may actually be perpetuating your weight problem.

Chronic dieting translates to unsustainable results.  You increase the exercise to battle overeating which leads to exhaustion. You cut out foods which leads to feelings of deprivation and your lifestyle is turned upside down.  Not to mention the fact that your body is continually put into a state of famine, which guarantees you’ll put back on the weight, if not gain a little more once you stop.

8. Nutritional starvation

When you deprive your body of proper nutrients it goes into starvation mode which can result in health problems like inflammation and weight gain.

By feeding your body with foods that lack nutrients, your digestion gets impaired.  This is because these foods are digested rapidly and don’t even make it to the gut bacteria leaving them starving and irritable.  Your body continues to send signals for more food until the nutrient need is satisfied and the good bacteria is nourished.

In an attempt to satiate hunger and satisfy the endless food cravings, many grab for sugary sweets, fatty foods and processed carbs.  Upon each consumption of these sugary and high-carb foods your blood sugar levels spike and overtime your body develops insulin resistance.

With insulin resistance your body in unable to keep your blood sugar levels balanced which can lead to the chronic condition of type 2 diabetes.  Ultimately, the more insulin your body continues to make, the fatter you get as it is the fat-storing hormone.

9. Medication

We live in an age where mediation is dispensed at an incredible rate.  And while medication is an important component of our health, may forget that changes in their diet and lifestyle may also improve their wellbeing and in some cases reducing the need for a pill at all.

A common side-effect of many medications like anti-depressants, insulin, steroids, contraception and hormone replacement is weight gain.  If you have an existing weight problem, taking medications like these can often accelerate your weight gain.

Some medications are unavoidable, but it is important to keep communicating with your doctor to ascertain whether the condition has healed, and when the time may be to reduce or eliminate the drugs altogether.

10. Digestive problems

Today, our knowledge of our gut and the bacteria that lives within it is growing at an exciting rate.  We have a much better understanding of how our diet and lifestyle choices are effecting our digestion and impacting our health.

Weight gain, inflammation, allergies and health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome are increasing and a poorly functioning digestive system is a common culprit.  There are several factors that contribute to digestive problems including:

  • Modern farming and the introduction of chemicals in the form of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
  • The lack of nutrients and digestive enzymes in processed foods
  • Antibiotics wiping out both the bad and the good bacteria in our gut

As most people often will be grappling with multiple fat triggers, like chronic dieting and emotional stress, the key is to take a holistic approach to your weight problem.  This means working step-by-step in addressing and reversing the root causes of you weight gain.