The “Magic” of Weight Loss

March 30, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Treating Root Causes—Not Just Symptoms

Every day in my practice I see people with the desire to lose weight! Every day I hear that they have tried this diet or that diet, and that the diet worked very well! But… they regained ALL the weight they had lost prior to the diet, and sometimes they gained more weight. Every day I hear the frustration of people who cannot control their bad eating habits, and every day I give them the same answer: “There is no Magic Bullet! There is no safe diet pill! There is no universal answer!”

Statistics show that more than 90% of the people regain weight after dieting. Why? Because in every case of weight loss induced by Magic pills such as Cortislim, Fucothin, or by appetite suppressants, or by prepared balanced ready-to-go diet meals, or by detoxification programs or by crash diets, NO ONE is looking at the root cause of weight gain. If these “programs” were successful, then by now we should have been able to beat the obesity epidemic!

The Multiple and Complex Root Causes of Obesity

My comment to this is: “Of course we are not beating the obesity epidemic, because we are not looking at the complex and multiple root causes of obesity.” Instead we look at magic pills, magic diets, magic medications, magic surgery, all of which we hope will take care of the problem for us. The expression “Quick Fix” means that it gives quick and easy results. Unfortunately, there is NO, I repeat, NO such thing as a “Quick Fix” as it concerns weight loss.

Instead of a “quick fix,” we need to LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE. For the body to be able to lose weight, it requires that all the different functions, mechanisms and metabolisms function properly. So, let’s look at what needs to be accomplished, if you want a SUCCESSFUL AND LASTING WEIGHT LOSS.

Proper Nutrition & Digestion

1. Diet & Weight Loss

The First area to explore is of course what kind of food you put into your mouth. I am always prone to quality proteins such as grass fed beef, free range poultry, non mercury fish, and organic eggs. They need to be balanced with quality low glycemic-index carbohydrates such as vegetables (green, red, yellow, purple), fruits and whole grains. Also, not to forget quality fats such as olive oil, real butter (versus vegetable oil butter) and quality coconut oil. We want food that is organic, locally grown, and fresh. No prepared TV diners, no pre-packaged food, and of course no fast food. No hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners. Eat 3-square meals a day, do not skip any meal, and know that breakfast is the most important time to have good quality proteins.

2. Digestion & Its Effect on Weight Loss

In order to lose weight, you have to be able to digest properly the food you eat. This important statement seems so obvious that many people just don’t think about it. If you have any type of stomach issues, such as heartburn, hiatal hernia, G.E.R.D., or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gallbladder stones or even a sluggish liver or pancreas, then these need to be addressed first BEFORE starting on a weight loss program. Because if you don’t address these issues FIRST, then your body is not able to break down the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that you eat properly, which means that you will not lose weight.

3. Absorption of Nutrients

Assuming that you are eating good quality food, and digesting it correctly, then you have to be sure that you are absorbing it properly. Absorption happens mainly in the small intestines. This is where the nutrients go into the blood stream through special cells called Villi. If these Villi are disturbed by inflammation, then you will not absorb your food properly and you will become depleted, which can induce food cravings and metabolism imbalances.

4. Food Intolerances

Many people don’t realize that they have some type of food intolerance(s), which can impair their weight loss. If you are intolerant to dairy or wheat, the most common food intolerances, it will affect your digestive system, and create inflamed Villi in the small intestines. Thus, you will not absorb food properly, and you will become depleted. Once you are tested appropriately, you need to remove the foods that create inflammation to your system.

5. Elimination Problems & Weight Gain

How many people have chronic constipation! This problem is often due not only to poor diet, but also to digestion issues, absorption problems, or food intolerances. Without proper daily elimination, the metabolism will not increase and, the weight will not come down!

Blood Sugar Imbalances & Obesity

1. Hypoglycemia & Weight Loss Resistance

Hypoglycemia is also an epidemic because people are eating too many forms of sugars and starches, as well as skipping meals. Skipping meals because of a lack of time or laziness is not an excuse. It is absolutely imperative to eat at regular intervals to maintain blood sugar balances. The body is nearly “obsessed” with maintaining a fasting blood sugar level between 70 and 90. If no fuel is provided to the body on a regular basis in the form of food, then the body will “rob” sugar from any other tissue, including muscle tissue or brain tissue. Skipping meals, especially breakfast is a disaster waiting to happen. Over the years, the body will probably compensate by “robbing” nutrients from its other parts but then, it will start to run out of options and start to induce malaise, fainting, cravings or insulin resistance, and eventually weight loss resistance.

2. Insulin Resistance, Weight Gain, & Diabetes

What this means is that the insulin secreted by the body becomes either insufficient of inefficient. The receptor cells that are supposed to let insulin come in and penetrate into the cells start to malfunction. When this occurs, the sugar transported by insulin is not being utilized properly for energy. This leads to weight gain and diabetes.

3. Diabetes Impairs Weight Loss

It is now well recognized that high blood sugar impairs weight loss, and that obesity induces diabetes. However, many of my patients are able to control their blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet and staying away from sugar and refined carbohydrates. Insulin dependant patients are also able to reduce their needs for insulin shots in the same manner.

4. Inflammation & Weight Gain

All the medical literature is now talking about inflammation being the source of many diseases and disorders. This is true to some extent. The more your body is inflamed, the more you will gain weight, and the more you gain weight, the more you become inflamed. To determine if there is some type of inflammation in the body, I look at blood markers such as C – Reactive Protein and Homocysteine levels. If they are elevated, then we need to address the cause of this inflammation, which can be: food intolerances, high blood sugar, digestive issues, viral, bacterial or fungal infection, heavy metal toxicity, essential fatty acid imbalances, just to name a few.

Neuro-Endocrine Imbalances

I rarely see a patient who has trouble losing weight without any neurotransmitters and / or endocrinal imbalances. These two systems work together and are affected by all of the aforementioned above reasons.

1. Thyroid Malfunction & Weight Gain

The Thyroid gland regulates the metabolism. In other words, it regulates the rhythms at which the body is supposed to move, burn, and utilize energy. Thyroid issues are another epidemic, because the Thyroid gland is disturbed by so many chemicals in our environment, the first being Chlorine. Chlorine is in our water supply, in swimming pools, as well as used as a disinfectant in most households. Another contributor to Thyroid issues is Fluorine, added to water supplies and used in dentistry to prevent cavities. A third agent is Bromine, used in baked goods, as a part of stabilizer agent. These three minerals are heavier than Iodine in the Periodic Table, and they displaced Iodine from the body. Iodine is necessary for Thyroid function, but has now become a very common deficiency. Without proper Thyroid function, one cannot burn fat for energy, even on a very restrictive caloric diet with heavy exercise.

2. Adrenal Glands & Weight Gain

The Adrenals secrete hormones that are responsible for giving the appropriate response to a stressful situation. For example, a rattlesnake passes in front of you. Immediately your Adrenals secrete adrenalin which increases blood pressure and circulation, so you are able to run. This is fine and ideally should happen only on rare occasion. The problem is that most people’s Adrenals are over functioning because they have too many constant stressors in their daily life: stressful conditions at work, family issues, financial difficulties, commuting long distances, heavy traffic, overeating or skipping meals, over-exercising, chronic infections, or chronic inflammation. The Adrenals are also in connection with the Thyroid gland and will send a message to the Thyroid to slow down when they are overwhelmed. The increase of stress increases cortisol levels, which contribute to weight gain, especially in the waist area. We also tend to gain weight at the waist when we age because cortisol levels tend to increase with aging.

3. Sex Hormone Imbalances & Weight Gain

Either female or male hormones imbalances contribute to weight gain. Estrogen dominance can slow down Thyroid function, increase breast development and breast tenderness, and excite certain neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters then affect the hypothalamus gland which regulates appetite, thirst, mood, and body temperature. So, I hear patients telling me that the week before their periods, they absolutely cannot control their appetite. They become Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as if they had a double personality. They don’t understand why they were able to follow the guidelines of a healthy diet, but then suddenly NOW they cannot.

Toxicity

1. Heavy Metals

With the world of pollution that we live in, it is extremely rare to see a person without heavy metal toxicity. With nearly every new patient, I run a hair test analysis which reveals levels of Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Aluminum. When these heavy metals are present, they disturb the digestive system, the hormonal system, the brain function, as well as the balance of useful minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and so on. Before embarking on a weight loss program, it is absolutely necessary to address heavy metals issues.

2. Infections

Bacteria, fungus or parasites are equally important to remove from the body as are heavy metals. They are usually present in the digestive system and they impair proper digestion and proper absorption. They also create toxins by producing their own waist materials. Many uncontrollable sugar cravings are due to either fungal infection or bacterial infection, because these creatures need to be fed, and they usually thrive on sugar!

Viruses affect health equally, but most of them such as Herpes or Epstein Barr Viruses can only be contained. Once a person has been contaminated, the viruses stay in the system, which means that the best we can do is to boost the immune system in such a manner that the virus stays at bay. But if the virus is active it creates inflammation in the tissue, which as we seen above impairs weight loss.

Vitamin, Mineral, & Enzyme Deficiencies

Vitamin, mineral, or enzyme deficiencies will affect the entire metabolism thus affecting weight loss. For example Magnesium and B6 (very common deficiencies) are necessary in the Krebs cycle, which means that they are necessary to make energy. They are also precursors in neurotransmitter production, as well as hormonal production. They are necessary to balance out progesterone and estrogens. They are needed to support cardio-vascular function as well as necessary for blood circulation.

Zinc is another mineral extremely important for immune system function, Adrenal function as well as the stomach intrinsic factor production. But Zinc needs to be balanced with Copper. If there is too much Copper, then the guts are disturbed. If not enough Copper, then not enough energy production.

These are just common examples to give you a small idea of the importance of the rules of minerals and vitamins in our daily bodily function. The proper diet is of course the first source for these nutrients, but if deficiencies are severe, then replacement is necessary.

Lack of Exercise

It is now obvious for anyone who wants to lose weight that exercising is not an option…Exercise is a necessity. Our body is made to move: “If we don’t use it, we lose it!” Our ancestors used to move much more than we do in our modern society, because they had to: they had to walk or bike to go to work, they had to chop wood with an ax, they had to hand wash the laundry by scrubbing on a washboard, they had to harvest by hand, they had to walk the herds into the fields…etc. We have so much machinery and mechanics that continually spare us from almost all physical activity, that we have become lazy when it comes to walking a few yards to go shopping! Instead of taking the car, walk if possible, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs, instead of sitting in front of the T.V., go for a walk or take a hike, etc. If you are not the kind of person that likes to go to the gym, you can always go for a 30 minute walk. Or maybe bike or even go for a swim. The FACTS are CLEAR: You MUST find a way to increase your physical activity!

A Holistic Approach: Whole Body, Whole Health

The bottom line about any and all the Weight Loss programs is that none of them will work unless ALL of the above issues are addressed. There is NO Quick Fix, and there is no Magic Bullet. You have to LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE, and you have to be helped by the appropriate health care professional. Any type of commercial, advertising, or TV spots or print ads that promise you to lose a certain amount of weight by doing “this or that” are just there to sell you and take your money. Commercial weight loss programs are historically a huge source of revenue for any company that claims to promise you wonderful results if you follow their “programs.”

But, NONE of these programs are looking at your individual health issues, and NONE of these programs will help you to find the source of your individual problems. Hence, if you are really serious about losing weight, and you are not looking for a quick fix (there simply are NONE!), then my professional counsel for you is to seek help from a health care professional that will look at your health from the whole body perspective! Then, do whatever is necessary to rebalance your body functions and regain your health, be consistent and persistent in your program, and just remember: You will need to stay on a healthy balanced diet for the rest of your life, not for a few weeks or months! This is the only way!

Yours in Health,

Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath
Menlo Park & Monterey, California
Videoconference & Phone Appointments Available

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The entire contents of HEALTH AWARENESS are based upon the opinions of Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath, unless otherwise indicated. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as an offering and sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath within the U.S. and Europe. Béatrice Levinson, Naturopath encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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