• 24-02-2020

    10 reasons for stubborn weight loss

    Are you feeling frustrated by the fact that you are “doing everything right” but the scale isn’t budging? 

    Is it my metabolism?

    Is it my genetics?

    Is it my age? 

     

    You aren’t wrong in thinking that something else must be going on. There are fundamental physiological reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight.  Let’s break it down

     

    10 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

     

    ***Before we get into some underlying causes of weight concerns, make sure your fundamentals are there:

     

    1. Portion Distortion - I am not a fan of counting calories per se, but I am a fan of knowing the basics of what you are putting into your bodies… so over time you get to a point where you are conscious of your choices and no longer need to “count”. I love my fitness pal for this reason and encourage all my patients/you to input a week’s worth of food so you can visibly see where you may be going wrong. 
    • People can overdo it 100% on “Healthy foods”. Prime Example: Nuts. Nuts are a healthy addition to your diet- healthy fats, anti-inflammatory, source of protein, fiber etc.  BUT one serving of Brazil nuts is 2 nuts! A serving of almonds… 6 almonds. So, if you are eating nuts like popcorn, you aren’t going to lose weight.  Same goes for other “healthy super foods” like avocado, chia, flaxseeds, hemp hearts, coconut products etc. etc.  Sugar/carbs and sodium matter too, potentially more than calories/fats

     

    1. Mindless eating- Snacking while you are cooking/prepping a meal can translate into eating an entire meal before you sit down for your meal. Stay mindful of this. Along with other downfalls including  licking a spoon, licking the knife you made your PB sandwich with, eating your kids food they didn’t finish ETC

     

    1. Real VS. Fake Ingredients — beyond the amount you are eating, is what you are eating. Many people who are trying to lose weight stick to “low calorie” food items, which are usually loaded with chemicals and ingredients that your body can’t recognize. If your body can’t recognize an ingredient, it will store it. Always remember, when you take an ingredient out to make it “low fat”, “gluten free” “sugar free” etc., other ingredients have to be added in to help maintain the flavor and texture profile… these added ingredients are usually processed. 

    Weight loss is often about moving into a whole food, anti-inflammatory food plan that includes foods your body can recognize and therefore utilize efficiently.

     

    ***Now that we have covered some fundamentals, let’s talk about underlying health concerns that can affect weight loss efforts: 

     

    1. Chronic Stress/ Cortisol and Adrenals — Stress is a major factor for stubborn weight loss. We live stressful, fast-paced lives, more stressful than our body was ever designed or intended to handle. Stress elevates cortisol and adrenaline, hormones responsible for “fight or flight” in what your body perceives as an emergency —this is a healthy stress response. Chronic stress, however, creates a constant increase in Cortisol levels, which cause the body to “store and reserve” resources for a later time when we will need them. This is the Cortisol Belly or spare tire in the midsection people have a hard time losing when they are under stress. 

     

    1. Hormone Imbalances/ Estrogen Dominance-Our Sex Hormones’ are Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone and DHEA and all need to properly balanced for adequate weight management. 

    Estrogen Dominance — too much estrogen relative to progesterone (Since balance is key here) plays a role in weight gain. Estrogen is a fat storing hormone, whereas Testosterone is a fat burning hormone. Females who have high Estrogen levels (Xeno-Estrongen exposure in our environment too; Animal Products, Parabens, Plastics and BPA’s etc.) are more likely to hold weight/fat around their thighs, butt, back, arms and bellies. Estrogen dominance can cause increased cravings and decrease metabolism. The balance here is lowering estrogen while increasing progesterone. 

    Low Testosterone — Not only is Testosterone a fat burning hormone, men and women lose it as they age ( Peak levels decline after 25yoa) T is required for muscle mass, and we all know how metabolically active muscle mass is. The drop in T can cause an increase in body fat, insulin resistance, heart disease and even certain cancers. Exercise is crucial here to help build T levels (Along with other support I can provide) but maintaining muscle mass and activity in the gym will maintain these levels quicker. 

     

     

    1. Lack of Consistent Quality Sleep —Poor sleep habits and sleep loss can boost cortisol levels and accelerate pre diabetes and insulin resistance. Being on our phones before bed with the bright lights affects our ability to get into deep restful REM sleep. Furthermore, when you’re tired, your body craves sugar for “energy” and calories. Notice when you are tired, you inherently want to eat more. 

     

    1. Food Sensitivities and Inflammation — undiagnosed food sensitivities may contribute to weight gain or the inability to lose weight, fluid retention, increased appetite and Inflammation.  One (of the many) weight loss hormones is called Leptin, which is responsible for regulating your body’s appetite and metabolism. In healthy people, the production of leptin signals the brain to suppress appetite and speed up metabolism—leading these people to feel less hunger, burn more calories and lose the excess fat. Chronic inflammation, however, impairs the brain’s ability to receive leptin’s appetite-suppressing message.

     

    1. Thyroid Dysfunction —One of the more common imbalances I see in my practice is Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, is characterized by unexplained weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. To find out if your thyroid gland is functioning properly, we need to do a blood test with all your thyroid markers; TSH, T3, T4, Thyroid antibodies. (Best bet is to do this privately so you get the whole panel) Cofactors are also involved in proper functioning of your thyroid such as Selenium, Iodine, Zinc, B vitamins. The key here is looking for “optimal”. Not “normal” or “in range”. The reference range for Thyroid health is quite large, so getting to an Optimal TSH is key.  

     

    1. Insulin Imbalance — if your blood sugar levels and insulin are off, you may experience intense carb cravings, a rollercoaster highs and lows of hunger/blood sugar and energy levels, difficulty losing weight and excess belly fat. Insulin resistance means your cells can’t absorb the extra blood glucose your body keeps generating from the food you eat, and your liver converts the glucose into fat. Processed foods high in carbs and refined sugars (even natural sugars- think dried fruit) play a role in insulin resistance. Insulin imbalance can give rise to Type 2 diabetes so it is important to get those numbers under control. One of the most helpful ways to reduce blood sugar levels ( aside from the more obvious getting rid of carbs/sugars) is to practice Intermittent Fasting. This 16 hour “fast” helps your body burn off glycogen stores that may be contributing to weight gain. 

     

    *** Lastly, address the mental-emotional and psychological reasons behind your eating, and the effect they are having on your weight loss efforts: 

     

    1. Heart, Head and Habit Hungers VS. Healthy Hunger — the terms I have coined in my practice for the psychological reasons people overeat and turn to food. 

    Healthy hunger: Hunger as we know it

    Heart Hunger: Emotional eating

    Head Hunger: Scheduled eating

    Habit Hunger: Habitual eating

     

    • 19-02-2020

    How to navigate a Keto Flu

    What to expect during your first week on the metabolic ketogenic reset

    Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight and fat loss, lower hunger levels, and improved energy levels. Since most high sugar foods are eliminated, controlling your calories becomes effortless. 

    Those who have joined the ketogenic movement can attest that the early weight loss comes with a potential toll. The first week on a low carbohydrate intake can be challening - mentally and physically. As your brain and body adapt to a life without glucose, you may notice minor changes in your mood. 

     

    Brain fog 

    The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be brain fog. As your body switches from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, the fog will slowly lift as your body adjusts. Keep active to help keep your circulation flowing. 

     

    Keto Flu & How To Help

    “Keto flu” is a term for the fatigue some people may experience during the first few days of a low carb diet. Your body is withdrawing from carbohydrates and adjusting to running on fat. For some, this adjustment comes seamlessly without many symptoms. For others, the adjustment period can me more intense and come with a series of symptoms. The “flu” usually sets in between day 3 and 7. It typically ends between days 10-14. The symptoms may be exacerbated if you have previously sustained a high carb diet, are dehydrated, not supplementing with electrolytes or under excess stress paired with adrenal insufficiency. 

     

    Symptoms of Keto Flu are:

    ●     Headache

    ●     Dizziness

    ●     Heart palpitations

    ●     Nausea

    ●     Diarrhea 

    ●     Muscle cramping 

    ●     Weakness

    ●     Decreased athletic ability 

     

    The best and easiest place to start with Keto Flu is water and electrolytes. This helps flush the system. Be sure to include electrolytes such as magnesium and pink or white sea salts. 

    Beyond Keto Flu, there are a few other potential side effects to note, some may appear rapidly while others have a slower onset. Regardless, these are signs and symptoms of your body talking to you. If ignored, your body will talk louder and louder until you address whatever is going on. Some other things to watch out for are:

     

    ●     Skin changes: your skin is your largest organ and one of the main sites for detoxification. Because of this, any time you dramatically alter your diet or embark on a detox plan, your skin may get substantially worse before it gets better. It might be in the form of acne, rashes, itchiness, dryness or flaking 

    ●     Bowel changes: Any dietary changes can affect the natural digestion and elimination schedule you are used to. FOr some, detoxing and supplementing with MCT oil plus increased fats can lead to loose stools or diarrhea. Some people may also report constipation or more hard stools. The body often needs transition time until things normalize again. When symptoms persists we have many options whether it be herb, nutrient or botanical extract to assist the body in digesting and breaking down the foods you are consuming. It may also be a food intolerance from something new you have introduced. 

    ●     Bad breath: one hallmark sign of being in ketosis is bad breath. It is often temporary and can be masked with proper breath mints or sprays and impeccable oral hygiene. We have many options of mints and gums that will help you get around this during your transition. 

    ●     Hair loss: you may experience hair loss with rapid weight loss. However, there is usually an underlying cause for the loss and once the root issue has been addressed and corrected your hair will grow back quickly. A proper workup for hair loss includes iron deficiency, hypothyroidism and nutrient deficiencies. You must also ensure that you are eating adequate calories and are avoiding any extreme calorie restriction periods. 

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