So many of us struggle with weight issues, and many get discouraged and give up. Why is this such a difficult battle? And what’s the solution?
Excess weight is much more than a cosmetic issue. Being overweight increases our risk of all the major diseases of the western world. That’s right, heart disease, strokes, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and autoimmune disease are all increased very significantly when we are overweight. There is hope! We now have excellent strategies available to take control and take the weight off.
Keep this in mind: Eating good fats does not make us fat (more on this later).
For many of us being overweight has become an unwelcome fact of life. We have tried various unpleasant starvation diets, and multiple herbal, vitamin or protein remedies and they have not worked or we lost weight briefly and gained it back promptly. The food industry, the FDA, the food pyramid and the mainstream medical establishment have lead us in the wrong direction for the last 40 years. We need to eat differently and to analyze weight issues differently. Here are some of the most important factors.
If you are overweight, wake up exhausted and are unable to exercise, you need to be tested for sleep apnea. Most people with sleep apnea have no idea that they have it. People often tell me that they do not snore but then they ask their spouse and find out they do. Also, you can have sleep apnea without snoring. If you get treated for sleep apnea you will increase energy and lose weight.
Undiagnosed low thyroid is extremely common. It’s important to look at thyroid very carefully; many people have suffered years of fatigue/overweight and never been fully tested for low thyroid. Tests needed include a free T3, free T4 and a reverse T3. When treated low thyroid many people will have increased physical and mental energy, then metabolic rate will increase and often weight loss will follow. Many people who have never felt like exercising will actually want to exercise and will begin to turn their fat into muscle and weight loss will follow.
High insulin foods
Sugar and grains, especially white flour, increase our blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin needed to process sugar and carbohydrates can become toxic and inflammatory. Even high fiber whole grain foods can significantly raise insulin. Chronically high insulin levels create the condition known as Insulin Resistance in our cells and this creates inflammation which holds on to excess water and weight; and can cause muscle or joint pain, headaches, fatigue and depression. This inflammation creates very tiny chemical messengers called cytokines, leukotrines and prostaglandins, throughout your entire body. These messengers of inflammation increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and arthritis.
NO GLUTEN, NO DAIRY NO SUGAR and off other allergenic/toxic foods if necessary
Again, this is one of the most unrecognized problems. Low grade chronic food reactivity causes weight gain in many people. This can be very difficult to diagnose because the reactions can be continuous or occur hours or days after exposure to the food. This can result in chronic water retention and excess weight and inflammation that can leave you achy, tired, depressed or brain foggy. A trial off gluten and dairy is a very good starting point. For the more dedicated a full elimination diet excludes sugar, alcohol, soy, corn, citrus, peanuts and pistachios, eggs and nightshades for 3 weeks. This can be a life changing experience. All toxic foods: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, MSG, and all trans fats( partially hydrogenated fats) need to be eliminated.
Fix the Gut
A sick intestine can make you fat in many different ways. With leaky gut, small bowel overgrowth, yeast overgrowth, intestinal parasites or poor digestion we can end up with significant inflammation and nutrient deficiencies causing both weight gain and food cravings. Here’s the tricky part: you may have a sick gut without significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Generally, you will need to work with a doctor skilled in functional medicine to help you diagnose and determine the appropriate natural treatments to remedy your gastrointestinal problems and get your GI tract working for you and not against you.
What’s left to eat?
We need a high vegetable, high quality fat, high protein, no sugar and low grain or no grain diet. The message from the food pyramid and the food industry is just wrong. Low fat is not a good diet for weight loss or weight control. It increases hunger in many of us to eat low fat. This low fat program shows the lack of understanding among many weight loss groups and conventional doctors about the issues that underlie weight gain.
On the following food plan most people will lose weight without being hungry:
No sugar, no alcohol, no grain, no dairy, 5 to 8 cups of green vegetables daily, moderately high animal protein, and high healthy fat. Fats will include: coconut oil, olive oil, clarified butter, nuts, nut oils, nut butters, seeds, seed oils and avocado.Animal protein also contains fat. Avoid canola and other vegetable oils. This is a general guideline. If you have fat intolerance you should discuss this with a doctor who is skilled in nutrition. You will need to adjust your intake of all nutrients to your physical activity level.
For some of us there are excess sources of toxicity. An accumulation of heavy metals (like mercury from tuna, or other large fish), fat soluble toxins, environmental xenoestrogens , toxic plastics like Bisphenol-A, can impede our body fat loss. Aspartane and saccharine, trans fats(partially hydrogenated fats), and high fructose corn syrup need to be considered toxins. We may be on medications that impact our hormones and make it difficult to lose weight. We may have genetic issues that impede out ability to rid the body of toxins. We may need an individually designed detox program. I do not recommend fasting. If you have tried all of the above strategies you can consider: a week of all dark green vegetables and doing saunas followed by body scrubs. This can give you a head start on detoxification. You will want to clear it with your physician before you try this or find a physician who is skilled in nutrition based functional medicine.
hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin
I have adopted the hCG program for my practice for carefully selected patients. For many years I avoided all so-called weight loss programs. But hCG is the only program I have ever seen where the weight stay off and stays off long term. The use of hCG for weight loss was pioneered in the 1950’s by Dr A.T. Simeons in Rome Italy. For 2 decades patients came to Rome for treatment and doctors came to learn his method, from all over the world. His book, Pounds and Inches, is available on-line to download for free download. We offer this treatment in our office and have found it extremely successful in most, but not all clients. This is a high intensity program that requires a tiny daily injection of hCG and a very specific low calorie food plan, and is only for those with a very high commitment level. Women on this program generally lose ½ pound a day during the 23 to 43 day program. Men often lose a pound a day. This is a highly successful program.
Give our office a call if you would like to discuss any of the above options.