Weight loss can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. Especially for those who feel as though they are doing everything possible, ‘by the book’, but the scale simply doesn’t budge. Even worse is when you seem to be gaining weight despite all the planning, exercising, measuring, and counting. So much effort with few, if any, results. Unfortunately, weight loss doesn’t always equate to calories in and calories out. It’s not always so simple.
Besides feeling hopeless and discouraged, you may be feeling like your body is your enemy, but I promise you, it is not.
Your body is your friend and it wants to work with you to achieve your ideal weight and optimize your health. You don’t have to be a math whiz or super human to bring your body back into balance and to start enjoying a healthier more energized and thinner self.
The key word is BALANCE.
Did you know when your hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid function, are out of balance it becomes extremely difficult to lose weight, no matter what you do? Beyond that, difficulty losing weight can be attributed to insulin resistance, leptin resistance, exposure to environmental toxins, genetic predispositions, micronutrient deficiencies, etc.
Wow. Who knew so many biological mechanisms were so intricately connected to weight management?
All these imbalances and disturbances within the body can lead to your body hoarding fat, or being unable to flush fat from your system. What makes the integrative medical approach to weight loss unique is that it addresses all causes of weight gain. Not merely caloric intake and output.
That is why at VitalityMD, we try to address all the causes of weight gain. Our programs are comprehensive and tailored to your individual needs, based on 'who you are', what your blood chemistry shows, and we follow you on a weekly basis. Because handing you weight loss program guidelines, or ‘rules’, are nothing without the weekly wellness and lifestyle coaching that must accompany any successful weight loss journey.
If you are one of those people who endlessly researches healthy eating guidelines, exercises, prepares healthy food at home, snacks mindfully and still can’t figure out why the weight won’t disappear, don’t give up just yet. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation to discuss how our weight loss programs and various options can benefit you.
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If you are just beginning your journey and would like some quick tips to get you started, keep reading.
The Healthy Living Basics
Beyond the obvious - don’t smoke, get up and move your body, avoid sugar, and so on – weeding out the plethora of conflicting and often complex nutrition advice you find online can be more of a headache than it’s worth.
So here are a few of the basics to get you started.
Eliminate Sugar. Including artificially sweetened drinks, yes that includes fruit juices, and candy. But let’s take that one step further by drastically cutting your intake of inflammation causing starchy carbohydrates such as white breads, potatoes and pasta.
Cut the Fat. Not all fat is created equal. You may have been following the recent debate about coconut oil. Is it healthy or not? The answer is complex since coconut oil can increase LDL (bad cholesterol), but it can also increase HDL (good cholesterol). And even that is oversimplified. What we are more concerned about in Integrative and Functional medicine is inflammation causing agents, since inflammation is the leading cause of disease, such as heart disease and arthritis. It also causes weight gain.
Again, to oversimplify, for the sake of keeping this article concise, stay away from hydrogenated oils and “trans-fats” found in processed and packaged foods, but make sure to get a healthy dose of good fats from olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish.
Don’t Skimp on Protein. Make sure to get enough protein every single day and preferably with every meal. Limit red meat and dairy to a few servings per week, instead focus on leaner cuts of fish and fowl.
Did Someone Say Blueberries and Broccoli? Fresh organic fruits and vegetables should make up most of your diet. Always wash produce to clean off the dozens of chemicals that find their way onto their delicate skins. It doesn’t matter if they are organic or not, chemicals seem to find their way. Stick to berries and other brightly coloured fruits and vegetables to get in enough antioxidants and nutrients. Don’t forget to include lots of fiber rich foods to help you flush waste and excess hormones from your body.
Keep an Eye on Your Portions. Try to avoid eating everything on your plate, especially when eating out. So many restaurants serve plates that could feed two or more. When you’re at home, you can use smaller plates to help control the portions you serve yourself.
Don’t Know How to Cook? It’s Time You Learn. If you don’t cook then learn to! Preparing fresh, healthy meals for you and your family will make your weight loss journey so much easier. Not to mention it’s one of life’s simple pleasures.
Do you need assistance with meal planning or meal preparation? Book a consultation with our Registered Dietitian or Holistic Nutritionist today.
Move Your Body. Even though I mentioned that calories in and calories out doesn’t mean weight loss is always a guarantee, exercise is still a key component to weight loss and optimizing your health. You don’t need fancy expensive equipment or the latest designer workout gear. You must start moving and having fun. Do some aerobic and some strengthening activities 3 – 4 times a week. In between those sessions go for walks in nature or do some yoga.
If you sit all day at the office, set a reminder on your apple watch to get up, stretch and walk around a little. Taking a few short walks during the day counts and will add up to a significant amount of exercise throughout the week. Remember that many metabolic pathways and hormones rely on exercise to activate the systems that help build muscle and stimulate weight loss. Try some of out exercise classes to help get you moving.
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Get Enough Sleep. I Mean It. Sleep is highly under-recognized, but plays a huge role in weight management. Most of our beneficial hormones that improve metabolism are produced while we sleep, such as thyroid, testosterone and growth hormone. Also, appetite signaling hormones are thrown out of balance with limited or disturbed sleep and can cause your appetite to increase.
Has sleep been eluding you? You can try taking a magnesium supplement. Many people who are deprived are lacking in Magnesium. Stop by our centre to purchase a high quality magnesium supplement soon.
Reduce Stress. By effectively managing stress you control the fat promoting hormone, cortisol, which causes weight gain, especially around your midsection. What causes you stress, what triggers your emotional responses to stress? Recognize these stress factors and eliminate or dramatically reduce them from your life. In moments of high stress, try taking a walk, breathing deeply for 5 minutes, meditate, or try restorative yoga to change your physical and emotional state from “fight or flight” to calm and relaxed.
We also offer stress coaching and both group and private meditation classes. Give us a call to book your free consultation.
You Reflect the People You Surround Yourself With. Your social circle can have a huge influence on your well being. Even your weight loss. Do you find yourself eating out and drinking with friends regularly? Or maybe you find your social circle doesn’t enjoy the fresh outdoors. Don’t dismiss your beloved friends, but try to be the positive influencing factor in your relationships. If that doesn’t work, look to expand your social network to include people who will join you in your healthy lifestyle endeavours.
Beyond a Healthy Lifestyle
There are other mitigating factors preventing you from losing weight as easily as you want to and could be. These are genetic and physiological factors that require a little more investigative work from your Functional Medicine Practitioner.
You may want to consider genetic testing for weight loss. This test evaluates 46 gene SNPs that can affect out weight and health. Ask us more about this genetic test or book your initial appointment now.
Back to Hormones
After the onset of perimenopause and until the end of menopause many women gain weight and don’t understand why or how to manage it. Sometimes, some women will gain 20 – 30 lbs, or more, due to deficiencies of the ovarian hormones. Women are not the only ones. Men, usually by age 50, start to show signs of low testosterone manifesting as more belly fat and less muscle. They go through their own menopause called andropause. Identifying and restoring hormone balance is important to weight control.
Once the investigative work is complete and a comprehensive diagnosis and plan is in place, your doctor might recommend using supplements or medications to assist you in managing and stabilizing your hormones.
Intestinal Health and Leaky Gut
Intestinal health is another important factor in easy and effective weight loss. Conditions such as leaky-gut or a disrupted gut bacterial ecosystem can have negative effects on nutrient absorption and metabolic vitamin production. If you have an undiagnosed and delayed food allergy, you may find it more difficult to lose weight. Often when patients adopt a food allergy elimination diet, they will lose anywhere from 10 to 20 lbs. Insufficient nutrients, overloaded detoxification pathways and genetic mutations called polymorphisms are other areas we can test and treat.
Added Weight Loss Boosters
Depending on your unique and personal medical findings, there are other options to help boost your weight loss efforts, which your doctor will discuss with you after your lab results have been analyzed. But to give you an idea of what other options are available to you we offer B12 injections combined with the fat-burning trio of compounds called MIC (methione-inositol-choline), a specially formulated Slim Down IV Therapy treatment, detox sauna packages, fitness programs, and prescription based pharmaceuticals combined with a restricted caloric diet to promote rapid fat loss as it is burned for fuel.
If you are struggling to lose weight and are thinking about taking a more integrative and functional approach to weight loss, give us a call. Our compassionate and expert medical staff is here to guide you and support you through this journey. You are not alone.
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