Most of our patients come to me with a desire to lose weight or fat. Most doctors would have you believe that weight loss is ALL a matter of calories in and calories burned. Let me tell you that it is much more complicated than that. For example, we have all known the person who can eat as much as they want, never exercise, and yet stay slim. In this bIog post, I want to explain the 15 key concepts to real and permanent weight loss.
The first key concept to real and permanent metabolic weight loss is losing a consistent 1-3 pounds every week. If you need to lose a lot of weight, the first 5-15 lbs will usually come off quickly following our Functional Medicine solutions. At Beyer Natural Health Solutions, we
After this initial weight loss, the goal to long term HEALTHY weight loss is 1- 3 lbs per week. Anything over 3 lbs and you are running the risk of burning muscle along with some fat. This is called catabolism and let me say that it is NOT good for you.
If someone does not lose this initial 5-15 lbs, it does not mean that they are not benefiting from the program. It simply means they have several of the issues I’m going to cover in this blog post, and we have to go about identifying and correcting them before weight loss can occur.
Muscle tissue burns calories by just sitting there! One pound of muscle can burn 50 calories per day. If you times that by 365 days in a year that is a whopping 18,250 extra calories you will burn simply by adding 1 lb of muscle to your frame, which is pretty easy to do. There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat. In other words, you have to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat.
If you divide 18,250 by 3500 that equates to 5.2 lbs of fat you can burn every year just by gaining 1 lb of muscle. The two take home messages are very clear:
You will NEVER get to your desired weight if you are inflamed! This means you have to do the following:
The female body needs about 25 times more progesterone than estrogen in the body to be healthy and lose weight. Most female patients do not have enough progesterone to balance estrogen. This is a situation known as “Estrogen Dominance”. When this ratio is below 25/1 it becomes increasingly difficult to lose fat. In addition, this can cause many other unpleasant symptoms and conditions. Males need to watch their testosterone to estrogen ratios. This should be about 20:1. Many men are converting too much of their testosterone into estrogen, making it extremely difficult to lose fat.
Just about everyone understands this one. The problem is that there are dozens of ways your thyroid function can be low and traditional medicine only looks at one of them. There are over 25 million Americans suffering from under-active thyroid and only half of them are diagnosed. Besides not investigating all of the ways the function can go low, doctors do not run enough markers and they are comparing you to lab ranges rather than functional ranges. It’s maddening!
Most of our patients that come to us are so toxic that the liver and gallbladder (if you have one!) are “limping” along. Let me tell you that you will never lose fat if these organs are not working well. Your liver is your fat burning organ. It tags fat with bile and flushes it out through the gallbladder into the stool. And if you are constipated, bloated after you eat or are taking medication for acid reflux, this doesn’t happen.
Carbohydrates Are The Enemy. Americans eat way too many carbohydrates in the form of sugars and starches. Your body cannot handle all of these carbohydrates and readily converts them to triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL’s. A classic symptom of converting your carbohydrates to fat is drowsiness after a meal. You should never be drowsy after you eat. One of the best metabolic strategies to losing weight is eating no carbohydrates at all (except from veggies) after 6 p.m.
I already mentioned that extra carbohydrates get converted to fat. Many would have you believe that maintaining good blood sugar is all about diet and exercise. Now I agree that diet and exercise are important, but when it comes to blood sugar, there are many “players” in this game.
These players include: proper adrenal, liver, pancreatic, thyroid, and brain function. Also, any inflammation will elevate blood sugar as will many nutritional deficiencies. When the body is too acidic it is next to impossible to burn fat. The number one use of this is, you guessed it, systemic inflammation!
Certain medications make it almost impossible to lose weight. A common side effect you may see on various medications is weight gain. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of many common types of medications, including but not limited to:
Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain when you are full or satiated. This hormone is made in fat tissue. When we have excessive fat on our bodies it is common to have excessive amounts of leptin.
Whenever a hormone level is chronically elevated the brain and body will start to “tune-it out” or, in other words, will stop listening to it. This is called hormone resistance. When you have resistance to a hormone, due to it’s chronically high levels, it’s as if you actually have low levels of that hormone due to this resistance. With leptin resistance, your brain will think you are hungry all the time, leading to cravings, overeating and obesity.
Whatever the cause of your digestive disorder, two things are sure to happen. One is that you will be inflamed and we already discussed how inflammation is the archenemy to fat loss. The second is that you will not absorb your nutrients. When this happens, the brain senses you are nutrient deficient and you will develop cravings, which lead to overeating.
In addition, if you are constipated you will reabsorb the toxins (especially used up estrogens) that your body is trying to eliminate through the stool, setting you up for an overworked liver, inflammation, and hormone imbalances.
The mitochondria are organelles in your cells that make energy. They are the powerhouses of your cells. These organelles require several B–vitamins, amino acids, minerals (especially magnesium), and enzymes to function.
Also, systemic inflammation, low cholesterol, low glutathione, and high homocysteine levels will shut down your mitochondria. This means you will NOT burn your carbohydrates/fats for fuel and they will be stored as fat. We look very closely at your mitochondria function with testing.
These are your stress glands located on top of your kidneys. Under the direction of your brain’s response to stress (physical, chemical, and emotional stress) they emit very important hormones that regulate blood sugar, inflammation and minerals in the body. One of these hormones is called cortisol. If your cortisol levels or rhythm are off it can make it very difficult to lose weight, sleep, and have proper thyroid function.
During sleep the body repairs and the brain recharges. When sleep is impaired the body and brain will become out of sync. One of the biggest consequences to this is hormone dysregulation. You will never get your thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels to optimal levels without adequate sleep.
In addition, lack of sleep is a HUGE stress to your body and upsets your adrenal hormones. Also, growth hormone levels, which are huge fat burners, will drop without sleep.
When you exercise you burn calories and your metabolic rate stays elevated for hours afterward, creating even more burned calories! It is amazing how little exercise we really need to do when we get our metabolic problems in order.
I recommend 20 minutes of daily exercise with a heart rate of 180 minus your age. In addition, I recommend resistance training 3 times per week to gain fat burning muscle mass. In our metabolic weight loss program, we discuss a program specific to the patient.
Please request more information on how functional medicine may apply to your specific condition, make sure to contact us at Beyer Natural Health Solutions today.