Why do I think you need a weight loss doctor in the first place?
You might not need a weight loss doctor, but you might. Let’s explore. Of course, I’m assuming that weight is an issue if you’re reading this article. As I always say, the best weight loss programs are individualized person by person. The questions I have for you are:
Have you been trying to lose weight for “years”?
Have you lost and gained meaning do you “yo-yo?”
Do you find that you are “good” for a while and then “blow it” when on a “diet”?
Do you have cravings, eat fast foods, eat processed foods, use food to calm yourself down, pep yourself up, or entertain yourself when bored?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you need a special weight loss doctor.
Someone who has been trained to deal with cravings and metabolism mishaps.
Someone who knows the difference between 100 calories of potato chips and 100 calories of egg whites.
I mention the potato chip thing because a popular weight loss franchise advertises you can lose weight while eating potato chips and pizza.
You can, not easily, but possible. Then, you’ll have an even worse metabolic mess on your hands if you do. You’ll gain it back so quickly you will just not believe it.
What should your weight loss doctor do first?
Metabolic issues and illness can cause weight gain. So a check-up with labwork is in order first. But what you might not know and your doctor certainly doesn’t know is that markers of inflammation need to be checked and oxidative stress needs to be considered. If you are overweight, your inflammatory markers are up for sure. That’s why someone like me, an A4M doc, is the only physician who is going to be an excellent weight loss doctor for you.
Because we’re the only doctors, who check all sorts of inflammatory markers and correct them. Inflammation impedes weight loss in case there was doubt in your mind as to where I was going with this. Oxidative stress does too which I discuss all over this blog. You can think of OS as not eating enough servings of colorful fruits and veggies with some toxins thrown in for good measure.
Anything else while we’re at it? Yes, your GI tract:
Well, yes indeed there is. There are I should say. I’ll save the leptin/ghrelin issue for a bit later as it’s a little complex. Now, here is something few people know. If you are over 30 and have ever had medication such as heartburn medications, allergy pills or antibiotics you have a disordered GI microbiome. Oh, and it’s not just taking drugs that will do this! A typical sugar-laden American diet will do it too. However, it’s easily fixed with (generally) just prebiotics and probiotics. Those having GI tract symptoms need a good spray detox too. But -get this- studies have shown that toxic bacteria slows metabolism, and good bacteria speeds up metabolism. That’s right. And there’s more to this story which I’ll get into with the leptin-ghrelin story coming up soon.
And what about your diet plan?
The whole problem with “diets” is that you go on, and then you go off them. What you need is an eating plan for life. I know you think you need special foods for when you want to lose weight and then you can go back to your old way of eating but you just can’t. Has it worked thus far? What if I say you can not only get used to eating healthfully, but it will allow you to “listen to your body,” lose cravings eventually and make you look younger and better facially too? What if I tell you it will not always be this big battle between you and the scale or the mirror or your skinny jeans. It’s true. So, let’s discuss what you should eat.
Eat healthfully for life:
If you are new to this site, you might not be aware of the anti-inflammatory diet plan. It is your diet plan for life. In fact, at the end of this article, I’ll give you a copy of my weight loss book with the whole plan and the ketotic version in it. Get the book.
It’s free, so just get it, OK?
To summarize, you eat real, whole foods. You avoid fast foods, highly processed foods, sugar (you won’t miss it!), starchy carbohydrates and processed and/or grilled meats. You’ll start feeling and looking better after two weeks of eating this way. Here is some help with quick and easy recipes.
As your weight loss doctor, I can guide you through how to eat and the supplements to take (more to come on this) so that you don’t “fall off the wagon,” or have cravings for the pure junk you used to eat. I will confess to you that during my days as a marathoner/triathloner, I used to stop at the 7-11 and get a pint of Hagen-Daas or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream each night AFTER MY RUN! (Ewww!)
No, I wasn’t overweight but, wow, did I eat a lot of bad stuff years ago. No more. It’s not just weight; it‘s about your health. I never crave ice cream anymore which was MY big sugar craving years ago. I do eat a square or two of dark chocolate nightly, though. It does the trick for any trained, sweet tooth, honestly!!
Next, fix the hunger hormones:
If you do not use the services of a good weight loss doctor, they will have no idea what this is. Well, they may have heard of it, but they will not know how to deal with it. I promise you that.
The two “hunger hormones” are ghrelin and leptin. Levels of ghrelin are supposed to fall after a meal. The drop in ghrelin sends a signal to your brain to tell it you’re full. An increase in ghrelin, tells your brain that you are not full and that you should continue eating.
This leads to overeating and weight gain. Many people with low dopamine levels and or (more commonly) “unbalanced GI tract microbiomes” from poor diets and pharmaceuticals have increased ghrelin levels after a meal.
That’s why many people feel as if they are “always hungry.” This is fixable. I have to ask: how many doctors or weight loss program “counselors” have even broached this subject with you?
Leptin is the hormone which controls how your body stores fat.
If you gain excess weight, the additional fat produces extra leptin. This leptin is supposed to alert your brain something is “awry.” It should tell your brain that your body is storing too much fat too. When this is “working correctly,” signals are sent to your brain to stop eating. When you become “leptin-resistant,” your body doesn’t hear these messages. Therefore, you remain hungry and then your body stores fat.
How exactly does this happen?
Overexposure to high levels of leptin leads to “leptin resistance.” If this happens, your body cannot hear leptin’s signals correctly.
So, you keep on eating and gaining weight. This happens when you are overweight, or if you are eating an inflammatory diet, or if your GI microbiome is not balanced. In fact, you can become leptin-resistant by eating a diet full of sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. All of these foods will upset the balance of bacteria in your G.I. tract. All of these foods create a perfect environment for health-harming, weight-packing-on bacteria to thrive.
A note about Antibiotics
According to research- 18 months after antibiotics are used there is a:
6-fold increase in post-meal ghrelin release!
20 percent increase in leptin levels (remember leptin is the hormone produced by fat tissue).
5 percent increase in BMI (body mass index)=you are gaining weight!
To emphasize, the entire problem with antibiotics and/or a poor diet is what is happening in your GI tract. You don’t even have to have one symptom of any gastrointestinal issue for any/all of this to happen, either.
Why are antibiotics so bad for your G.I. tract?
When you take antibiotics, you are basically wiping out normal healthy bacteria lining your G.I. tract and replacing them with toxic bacteria. When you do this, you will affect the two hunger hormones discussed above. Not only THAT, but it has been recently shown that toxic bacteria slows metabolism, while good bacteria speeds up metabolism. I know I said this before but do you get it?? Your toxic GI tract is slowing your metabolism, adding to weight gain or inability to lose weight!
How to Optimize Your G.I. tract to reverse the Ghrelin and Leptin Issues:
The first way to begin optimizing your G.I. tract bacteria (“flora”) is through your diet. The vast majority of people need to reduce sugar and non-sprouted grains rather drastically. In addition, you’ll want to avoid processed foods, genetically engineered ingredients, pasteurized foods, and chlorinated tap water. A little-known fact is pasteurized foods can harm your good bacteria. It’s pretty intuitive (isn’t it?) that sugar promotes the growth of pathogenic yeast and other fungi everywhere, including your GI tract.
Grains containing gluten are damaging to your GI tract flora as well. Chlorine in your tap water kills pathogenic bacteria in the water, and also the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
So, besides a set of dietary changes, you need to do a good GI tract “clean-up” which includes taking a good prephage probiotic supplement. Probiotics don’t work without prebiotics, and that’s because probiotics need the prebiotics to clean out the “bad guys” continually or they just cannot set up shop. To resume, let’s get back to leptin/ghrelin as there is more than a GI clean up that is needed. Altering your diet positively will help the cause, and there are supplements which speed up the process. Of course, we have a great supplement which is in our medical weight loss kit.
Next, see if you have excess hunger and need an appetite suppressant:
If your neurotransmitter dopamine is low, you might feel “hungry all the time.” We can fix this with dopamine amping supplements l-tyrosine and SAMe, but we do best against the non-stop hunger beast with a good natural appetite suppressant or two as well.
If you don’t have a weight loss doctor who knows about this stuff, how well spent is your money for Weight Watchers for instance?
By the way, don’t get me started on all the processed foods they and other programs sell which are processed to the max! They cause hunger and rebound dieting as much or more than they promote actual weight loss.
Their desserts are aspartame sweetened. Aspartame is a brain cell killer and an appetite stimulant. Nice. I love Oprah too, but it doesn’t thrill me that she is endorsing “them.” I hate to say this but watch, after the WW party is over, Oprah will gain it back. Again.
And what about metabolism?
It’s true. Yo-yo dieting does lower your metabolic rate, but it’s not because your body is “getting used to whatever.” It’s because this sort of dieting seriously cuts into the muscle mass to fat ratio.
The more you yo-yo, the more metabolically active muscle mass you lose. You lose muscle and gain fat.
This goes on for years, and you have a severely impaired but fixable metabolic rate.
So, you need to get fat down and muscle up.
This is helped with acetyl l carnitine supplements, the right diet (above) and weight training.
We’ll get into weight training in the fitness section below.
To amp up metabolism in the meanwhile we use metabolism boosting supplements.
And what about cravings?
This topic isn’t as complicated as one would think. We have cravings of different sorts due to just two brain chemicals or neurotransmitters, serotonin, and dopamine. That’s the whole story. A good, trained weight loss doctor is aware of what causes sugar cravings, what causes compulsive eating and what causes any non-hunger eating. Suffice it to say I can fix all of this. I have done it countless times with neurotransmitter precursors which are basically better alternatives to anti-depressants. So, a cool side effect of weight loss with me is that you will feel happier. I am so excited to have done a consultation with labs (YAY that they were great!) on an amazing friend from college, yes college! She is going to have her dopamine and serotonin amped up, and I am genuinely excited to see the results.
How’s your Stress?
When’s the last time you had a fasting cortisol checked? Maybe, it’s NEVER. That’s OK because no one has other than the rare person I meet with an A4M Physician. I don’t want to bore you here and give you a la-de-dah about stress so here’s the science. Stress raises cortisol levels. Cortisol puts belly fat and body fat on you through a complex series of biochemical mechanisms. If you’re under pressure, drinking energy drinks for energy and trying to lose weight but can’t, there is your most likely answer. Now, do you see why you need a special weight loss doctor and not one of these franchises for weight loss?
And you are exercising- right?
Don’t worry; I’m not going to ask you to be an ultra-marathoner or anything close! Food is the more important part of the equation than exercise. Now, that said, exercise is mandatory for health, and we’re all about health here. If you exercise, weight loss will be incredibly easier. If you do not, it will be much harder and here’s why. You have lost muscle mass. You need to get it back. The only way to do that is to do resistance strength training.
I have written a muscle and fitness article giving you all the weight training choices which exist so check back on that for (no pun) “the skinny.” Then, you need some cardio.There are tons of articles in this blog about exercise, and I always say the easiest thing to do is to see if you are a dog-lover. If yes, there’s your exercise answer. Just adopt a dog, and that dog needs a daily walk. Dogs reduce your stress, dogs are plentiful and need to be adopted and will be ever-so-grateful when you do. You will not be able to look your dog in the eye and tell him/her that you don’t feel like going for your daily walk. This is why a dog is the best exercise insurance you can get, and you get some love on the side. How great is that?
So, are you going to blow more money on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or “other” again? Do you “get” that weight loss is a lot more complex than these big companies make it out to be? We’re a country in crisis, and it’s getting worse because not enough doctors like me are getting in this mix. I have talked about what you need for weight loss. You have the diet and an article with all sorts of strength training options. You are also thinking of getting a dog or have a dog or finding an alternative for cardio. Now search the site for any other information you need.