It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the temps are warming, and most people start working toward their ‘summer body’. Every year you see the ads, shouting at you to join this gym or use this diet plan. Each promises the same result, drastic weight loss results, and the summer body you’ve always dreamed of. The problem is, most weight issues are a symptom of a much deeper issue. Calorie restrictions only create more issues and even cause you to pack on more pounds in the future. Simply put, this method is outdated and ineffective. So what can you do? In order to answer that, let’s take a look at weight from a different angle and find out what really moves the needle when it comes to weight loss.
Why Calorie Deprivation Never Works
Most people think that weight issues are directly connected to the amount of calories that they consume. However, in my experience, this is often not the case. Rarely do we see patients in our clinics that are consuming extreme amounts of calories. In fact, it is often the opposite.
I know what you’re thinking, if we use more calories than we consume then we have to lose. But, that is just not the case. This is why it’s important to understand that weight is more than just a calorie in/calorie out issue and there can be many other factors at play. If you have tried all of the diets and still have not been able to lose more than a few pounds, you understand what I am talking about. Weight issues are actually a symptom of ill health. If there are systems out of balance, the body will put weight on. In this week’s email, I am going to cover what systems you need to take a deeper look at and what you can do to shed some of that extra weight and start working toward optimal health.
Obesity Is An Epidemic
- The obesity prevalence is 39.8% among adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.3% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 41.5% among adults aged 60 and older.
- As of March 2020, US obesity prevalence had increased to 30.5% to 41.9%. The prevalence of severe obesity has also increased to 9.2%.
- Obesity-related conditions include stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. All of these conditions are preventable and are among the leading causes of death in the US.
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was nearly $173 billion in 2019. Medical costs for adults who had obesity were $1,861 higher than medical costs for people with a healthy weight.
Do genetics play a role in weight issues?
I get this question a lot, and not just as it pertains to weight issues, but to any health issue. And the answer is yes, it can. However, we have the potential to control how our bodies express those genes through lifestyle factors (i.e. epigenetics). Just because your family members may be overweight or diabetic, does not mean that you have to be. The goal is for your body’s systems to be functioning optimally as they should be
Balanced Blood Sugar
Many of you know that this is one of the main pillars here at F8 and for good reason. Blood sugar balance is the foundation of optimal health. In my book, Blood Sugar Doesn’t Lie , I cover weight issues extensively and how blood sugar swings contribute. High blood sugar and low blood sugar, as well as their associated swings, can drive autoimmunity. Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune conditions in the US.
and as we all know, weight issues often accompany a low thyroid state. If you are dealing with any form of autoimmune disease, stabilizing blood sugar is that much more important. Each time you swing, it continues to drive that response.
Elevated Blood Sugar = Elevated Insulin
Elevated insulin often follows elevated blood sugar and over time can lead to insulin resistance. One of the main problems with insulin resistance is that it triggers leaky gut. If you’ve been following me for long, you know that leaky gut is one of the main precursors to autoimmune disease. It can also lead to widespread inflammation and creates a more toxic environment in the body.
Insulin resistance → Leaky Gut → Inflammation/Autoimmune → Weight Gain
Another thing to consider is this: Excess glucose is stored in the liver. Once that is full, the body will store the excess glucose in fat cells. So every time blood sugar spikes, your body packs on more fat cells. Our bodies do this because they are hard-wired for preservation. Once you understand how this system works, it is easier to make adjustments in order to help your body work more efficiently.
Monitoring your blood sugar is the best way to achieve blood sugar balance. Start by checking it 45-60 minutes after a meal and again at the two-hour mark. Levels should remain in the 85-110 range all day, whether you’ve eaten or not. Once you know how different foods affect you, adjustments can be made to your diet to support balanced blood sugar.
It is no secret that weight issues are common in those struggling with thyroid disease. As I stated above, the most common thyroid disease in the US is Hashimoto’s, and weight gain is one of the most common symptoms. This is largely due to the low thyroid state, which also means lower metabolism.
Running the proper markers and getting the answers you need is key to addressing Hashi’s. I am always astounded at the number of people I hear from who are dealing with low thyroid that have never been checked for Hashimoto’s. If you are not testing all of the necessary markers, you are missing out on the whole story.
As we hit briefly already, the liver plays a huge role in body composition. If you are overweight or obese, it’s likely your liver function is impaired. This can be due to a few factors. One of the biggest contributing factors is blood imbalance. Swings create a continual strain on the glucose storage process. High packs it in, low kicks it out… and the cycle continues. This is one of the main reasons we see fatty liver so often in patients who don’t really even drink alcohol.
Another vital marker for liver health is lymphocytes. This clue can tell us if you are dealing with chronic viral infections, like Epstein Barr. This actually impairs the natural detox process of the liver and hinders optimal function.
Gut & Microbiome
Studies have shown that the health of your gut has a tremendous impact on weight status. In fact, the health of the microbiome (the community of organisms living in your gut) is directly proportional to weight. Weight issues are uncommon in individuals with a healthy and diverse community, whereas the opposite is true for those with an unhealthy microbiome. Supporting your gut with a healthy, balanced diet is key.
If you are dealing with excess weight and just can’t seem to lose it, there may be a reason. Remove the guesswork and get the answers you need. To contact our team directly: https://fort-collins.f8wellcenters.com/
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