Weight loss solutions that may have never crossed your mind!
You might not need innovative weight loss solutions, though. But, then again, you just might. I’m assuming weight is an issue if you’re reading this article. In my opinion, the best weight loss programs are individualized person by person. Can you guesstimate what I will be talking about and do it without the help of a real, qualified weight loss doctor? Certainly, you can. I’m just saying that if you try and don’t succeed it’s because you need guidance, that’s all. So, let’s start with a few questions.
Have you been making your “best attempt” to lose weight on and off for more than five years?
Do you eat fast foods or highly processed foods?
Do you have cravings for starch foods or sweets?
Are you “always hungry”? Do you find that it’s hard not to “eat too much?”
Do you use food to get energy when you feel sluggish, to calm yourself down when you’re upset or anxious or even to entertain yourself when you get bored?
Do you find you are “good” for a week or two and then “over-indulge” to the max when dieting, causing you to abandon efforts for a while?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you need some special innovative weight loss solutions. These solutions work. Big diet companies want you to keep coming back for their foods, their memberships, and so on. So, there’s no way for them to give you real, lasting weight loss solutions. No way. Here’s why.
Here is just a sampling of what you need:
You need to know that there are natural supplements you can take to address all of your cravings.
You need to fix leptin-ghrelin hormonal issues if you have yo-yo’ed and especially if you overeat or feel hungry a lot. I will explain fully.
You need your metabolism boosted if you have been “trying for years” and/or if you yo-yo. Also, you need to know the “right” metabolism boosting supplements which do not cause adrenal stress and therefore elevate your cortisol level. Speaking of cortisol, you need to figure out if yours’ might be high. Yes, I’ll get “into that.”
You MUST learn that there is a big difference between 100 calories of French fries and 100 egg white calories.
You very well may benefit from an effective natural appetite suppressant.
You need to know weight gain, and lack of weight loss is caused by an unbalanced GI tract microbiome- easily fixable. You also need to know weight loss is hindered by inflammation and oxidative stress- also easily fixable. So, it’s not as easy as counting points and buying frozen, processed meals, is it? No, but it’s not all that complicated if you actually learn what I’m teaching. I’m going to review things you likely do not know about or do not know how to fix first. Then, I will go over basics for you. I’ll cover everything other than eating disordered weight gain solutions here.
What should you do first?
Yes, I know I just “rammed ” through a whole bunch of things you may or may not have heard about. Let’s tackle the most important things first. Metabolic issues and illness can cause weight gain. You might have undetected hypothyroidism or liver inflammation or something else quite fixable. So, a check-up with lab-work is in order. What your “regular” doctor 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 will indeed be elevated. If no markers are measured, just assume that you have some chronic inflammation. This will be apparent to you in a moment.
Causes of chronic inflammation:
Inflammation risk is much greater if you are obese or overweight.
Overweight or obese men and women have more elevated inflammatory markers (info on this to come) than men and women of the same age who are not obese or overweight.
The very strange phenomenon with bodybuilding is vital organs consider all of that lovely muscle mass to be obesity. Obesity, coupled with the intensity of working out with huge muscles, causes bodybuilders to have often elevated inflammatory markers.
Inflammation drops when men and women lose weight. Researchers at a major cancer research center in Seattle, Washington found that postmenopausal overweight or obese women who lost only 5% or more of their body weight had measurable falls in levels of inflammation markers. (More on how to decrease inflammation to come).
Your diet is causing inflammation:
The vast majority of Americans eat an inflammatory diet. Oft-consumed food products, which are all processed and therefore considered to be inflammatory foods, are all foods containing sugar or HFCS, high-industrial fat containing foods, high-gluten foods, and/or highly-processed carbohydrates. These include bread, cake, and pasta, as well as “snack food” such as crackers and chips.
To round out the “bad foods” list, we have just about everything other than the occasional salad at the fast food “restaurants” where many Americans eat on a daily basis.
Excessive omega-6 intake:
Omega-6 fats are the precursors for what are called “inflammatory eicosanoids,” which are the largest part of the inflammatory response. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in meats and dairy products. Omega-3 fats are found in fish.
High omega-6 status (and more so when the same person has a poor omega-3 status) means more production of inflammatory eicosanoids.
Insufficient omega-3 intake:
Conversely, omega-3 fatty acids are the precursors for anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. Poor omega-3 status means the insufficient production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids which then increases inflammation. This overall poor eating pattern not only causes inflammation- it causes oxidative stress which in turn worsens inflammation. (I’ll get to oxidative stress as soon as I’m done with inflammation). The answer is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet which is in the book I’ll leave you at the end of this article. Get the book- it will jump start your diet plan! Not to mention, you’ll find a nice surprise when it’s emailed to you. Now, back to the other things which cause inflammation.
The things that cause you stress also cause inflammation:
Life is indeed stressful, isn’t it? Work, bills, current lousy politics of the U.S., or a bad boss or spousal relationship sure adds up, doesn’t it? If it becomes “too much,” your body will have a physiological, inflammatory response to emotional stress. Not only that, but the stress and weight gain connection isn’t just about eating when you’re stressed. The “stress hormone” cortisol will pack pounds on your body and even more on your belly. The answer to this is to try to do what you can to bring down your stress levels. Search this blog for help and then, check out the kits for stress relief supplements, aromatherapy and more.
Poor recovery and/or Over-training:
Excessive exercise with too little rest and recovery is what over-training is. Over-training is another way to cause chronic inflammation. This is rampant in the elite triathlon population (as I was) unless they are very careful. This is also very common (over-training) in bodybuilders leading to inflammation and high cortisols as well as even symptoms of adrenal fatigue. (If you haven’t heard of this, it’s fatigue, sleep disturbances and just feeling pretty lousy). Obviously, the “cure” for over-training is to be aware of the problem and cut back appropriately.
Lack of sleep:
Poor sleep is a widespread problem in the U.S.
We either go to bed too late, have so many thoughts in our head we have trouble falling asleep, or we wake up too early. So, we do not get enough sleep.
We often use too many electronics late at night and disrupt the quality of what little sleep we get.
Some of us awaken in the middle of the night, get up and work for 2 hours. Some suffer from all of these things. Please get my sleep book if this describes you.
Poor gut health:
The GI tract is where most of the human immune system “lives.” When your GI tract is unhealthy, so is your inflammatory regulation. (I’ll talk about how to balance your GI tract in a bit!)
To sum up, all of the above contributes to inflammation and inflammation seriously impedes weight loss. This is such a little-known fact that I wanted to cover everything that adds to the “inflammation pot.” Even inactivity adds to it! The proper diet, weight loss, anti-inflammatory supplements such as a good curcumin and omega-3 fish oils will help tremendously. Now, let’s move on to oxidative stress which is not just something that adds to weight gain. “OS” plus inflammation also add to disease propensity.
Oxidative stress and your weight:
Oxidative stress can be thought of as not eating enough servings of colorful fruits and veggies. You can go ahead and throw in toxins, pollution, air travel and drinking water too. Also, add things like smoking and excessive exercise. If you want more detailed information about free radicals, antioxidants and oxidative stress you can return to the linked article on OS. To clarify, the simple definition is “met” by the majority of Americans who all could benefit from good, potent antioxidant powders, whether or not weight loss is needed.
Next, let’s talk about leptin and ghrelin:
Ghrelin and leptin are known as the two hunger hormones.
Levels of ghrelin are supposed to fall after you eat a meal.
This decrease in ghrelin signals to your brain that you’re full.
However, an increase in ghrelin, tells your brain that you are still hungry.
Many people with low dopamine levels (we’ll get to this when we discuss cravings) and or (more commonly) “unbalanced GI tract microbiomes” (coming right up) have increased levels of ghrelin.
This is the reason many people feel as if they are “always hungry.” This is 100% easily fixable. Let me ask YOU-how many doctors or weight loss program “counselors” have told you there was a physiologic reason for your excess hunger and that it could be cured? No worries-stick with me. You’ll always get the truth.
Leptin controls how your body stores fat. When you gain weight, the extra fat produces extra leptin that is supposed to alert your brain your body is storing too much fat. Signals are subsequently sent to your brain to stop eating as much food. If you become “leptin-resistant,” through over-exposure to high leptin levels, your brain doesn’t “hear” the signals. Therefore, you remain hungry, keep eating and your body stores, even more, fat.
High levels of leptin and, therefore, resistance occurs when you are overweight, and/or if you are eating an inflammatory diet, and/or if your GI microbiome is “out of whack.” Now that I’ve mentioned your GI tract again, I think you are probably curious as to how to fix your GI tract which leads to normalizing leptin, ghrelin, and metabolism.
But one last word about leptin and ghrelin.
More than a GI clean-up is required.
Just altering your diet to a “clean” diet will help as will doing “ketotic days.” “Ketotic” means eliminating grains and basically all carbs. There are also supplements which speed up the process. Of course, we have a great supplement in our medical weight loss kit.
How to Optimize Your G.I. tract
A bad GI microbiome generally is the result of inflammatory diets and pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics. If you are 18+ years of age and have taken medications such as allergy pills, heartburn medications, or antibiotics you have what is called a disordered GI microbiome. However, the problem isn’t just about drugs. The typical American diet will do it too.
Start to optimize your G.I. tract bacteria “flora” by changing your diet. The process starts when you reduce sugars and grains, especially gluten. You’ll want to avoid processed foods, GMO-foods, chlorinated tap water and pasteurized foods. Pasteurized foods can harm your good bacteria. Chlorine in your tap water kills pathogenic bacteria in the water but also kills the “good” bacteria in your GI tract.
Then, you need GI tract “clean-up” which includes taking a good prebiotic and probiotic supplement. Probiotics don’t work without prebiotics. You can get a combo pre-pro supplement, but if you only use probiotics, you won’t get the full results. Why? Because probiotics need prebiotics to clean out the “bad bacteria” or the “good bacteria” won’t take hold. Most people need a continual pre-pro combo. It’s not just about leptin and ghrelin, either. It’s about the health of your immune system, brain, and even your mood! Lastly, studies show toxic bacteria slows metabolism, and good bacteria speeds it up!
And speaking of metabolism:
What you’ve heard is true. Yo-yo dieting does indeed lower your metabolic rate.
However, it’s not because your hypothalamus is “re-setting” which is a popular urban myth.
It’s because yo-yo dieting significantly lowers the amount of muscle mass you have.
The more you yo-yo, the more metabolically active muscle mass you lose. You lose muscle and gain fat.
Why is this so significant? Well, a pound of fat burns two calories per day while a pound of muscle burns a good 50 calories.
Although this is debatable in some circles, as someone who has supervised diet programs and owned fitness centers, I can’t believe there is any controversy.
Go ahead and lose 25 lbs of fat and put on 5 lbs of muscle. Then, tell me if it’s easier to keep the weight off. How about that? You can accomplish this with all of the information in this article, helped with acetyl l carnitine supplements, the right diet (below) and weight training. To amp up metabolism while we wait for the muscle I always recommend safe and natural metabolism boosting supplements.
What about cravings?
Let me get back to ghrelin for a moment. Remember I said people with low dopamine often have high ghrelin-that true hunger hormone? Well, it’s true. Low-dopamine people tend to be either/or/sometimes all: addictive/depressed/quick to anger/irritable/low energy/always hungry. Wow, that’s a lot of things we can fix by normalizing dopamine, isn’t it? Recall dopamine is a “happy brain chemical” as is serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters are responsible for sugar cravings (usually serotonin a bit more, but everyone is unique).
This whole issue of cravings isn’t as complex as you might think. We have cravings of different sorts due to just two brain chemicals, serotonin, and dopamine. That’s the whole story. A well-trained A4M weight loss doctor is aware of what causes what we term “non-hunger eating.” The great news is that it’s all fixable. Either you can “figure it out” and decide what you need or let me be your guide and tailor a plan for you. The building blocks for these neurotransmitters sure beat taking anti-depressants, don’t you think? Fixing your cravings is always a part of my weight loss solutions. Always.
And what about what you’re eating?
The problem with “diets” is people conceptualize them as an eating plan you go on and then off when they have lost weight. The problem with that is you always weigh yourself, are always “on guard” and it’s just no way to live. Everyone needs an eating plan for life. Most people think they need special foods to lose weight and then they can go back to their old foods. Well, you just can’t. Has it worked so far? Honestly, you can get to a point where you enjoy eating healthfully. Doing so will allow you to “listen to your body.” You’ll eventually lose your cravings. You’ll even look younger. So, let’s visualize what that eating plan for life should look like.
Eat for health and sustenance for life:
You want to eat real foods which are whole foods. You want to avoid fast foods, starchy carbohydrates, highly processed foods, sugar and processed and/or grilled meats. You’ll start looking and feeling better after just two weeks of eating this way! Try it! Go grocery shopping today for “real food.” Again, the complete anti-inflammatory diet plan is in the book at the end of this article. It’s free, of course, so be sure to nab it!
Next, see if you have excess hunger and need an appetite suppressant:
Recall the principal reason people feel hungry all the time is because your neurotransmitter dopamine is low. Review the above symptoms and patterns and see if you think you are “low-dopamine,” if it’s a leptin/ghrelin issue or both. We can correct dopamine issues with the supplements l-tyrosine and SAMe, but we do best against the non-stop hunger beast with the addition of a good natural appetite suppressant or two as well.
I am just throwing that out there for consideration.
Remember, many “organized big business weight loss plans” sell and hook you on inflammatory processed foods and desserts sweetened with aspartame- a brain-cell-killing appetite stimulant!
I honestly think these companies do not have any real weight loss solutions. In my opinion, they have solutions to keep you as one of their consumers for life. Period.
A note about hormones:
As we age, testosterone levels usually start waning in men when estrogen levels start going down for females around age 50. Low-T packs on pounds for men. Women have a more complicated reason for menopausal weight gain. Progesterone levels drop anywhere from 25 to 45. The norm is 40-45 years of age. Some women have PMDD and sleep issues as a “clue.” Some develop belly fat. However, the whole picture for post-menopausal women is a combination of low progesterone, low estrogen, rising cortisol and leptin/ghrelin issues. All these issues make it harder for a post-menopausal woman to get the weight off and keep it off without the advice of someone like me.
Just checking- you are exercising, aren’t you?
However, exercise is mandatory for health. Studies show exercise is indeed equal to food choices when it comes to keeping weight off.
Besides, if you exercise, weight loss will be a whole lot easier. If you do not, it will be much harder. Here’s exactly why.
You have lost muscle mass. You need to get it back. Remember the fat and muscle conversation at the beginning of this article?
Well, you need more muscle and less fat.
The only way to accomplish that is with some sort of resistance strength training.
I have written a weight workouts article giving you all the weight training choices which exist- so no excuses.
You need “cardio” too. Why not just adopt a dog and give your new best friend his/her daily walk? A dog is the best exercise insurance you can get (and you get love on the side). Get this-studies show when you look into your dog’s eyes, you both get an increase in the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin causes animal to human and human to animal bonding. It also increases human to human bonding. And-wait for it-it helps decrease sugar cravings. Woof!
So, are you going to spend more money on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or “something else” again? Or is it now clear that weight loss solutions are a lot more complex than these big companies make them out to be?