1. Improper Food Selection (Nutrient Deficiencies)
It’s not about quantity as much as it is about quality! You may have heard the statement “not all calories are created equal”. If you eat the right foods, your body won’t need or crave excess! Healthy Ingredients in adequate portions and Plenty of Water can help maintain muscle, increase energy, control appetite, support metabolism and prevent cravings! Focus on eating primarily: Whole, Raw, Alkalizing, Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant-Rich, Nutrient-Dense, Organic, Naturally-Grown/Raised ingredients. Also, consider Basic Supplementation to ensure you are getting enough nutrients to function properly, especially when cutting calories (i.e. Multivitamin + Vitamin D, Omega Fatty Acids, etc.).
2. Stressed Lifestyle & Overworked Adrenals
Our adrenals are responsible for releasing stress hormones and are overworked when we stay in this “chronic” state. When cortisol levels remain elevated, the body is signaled to replenish food supply, which leads to feeling hungry and overeating. Cortisol activates fat cells to store fat, plus chronic stress also causes these cells to become resistant to fat loss! Also, this often triggers “emotional eating”, which leads to low willpower and high calorie “comfort foods”. In addition, stress disrupts the functioning of hormones that control appetite (i.e. leptin – makes us feel full and grehlin – makes us hungry) and causes a drop in the hormone that helps to increase muscle mass. Consider Stress Management Techniques as well as adaptogenic ingredients (ashwaghanda, rhodiola, shisandra) in an Adrenal Support Formula.
3. Blood Sugar Imbalances/Insulin Resistance
Insulin carefully controls blood sugar levels by bringing glucose into the cells to be used for energy. When our bodies get too much glucose, it leads to high blood sugar levels and a high insulin secretion response, which causes excess glucose to be stored as fat and cells that become resistant to both insulin and fat loss. A spike in blood sugar often then leads to a quick low, creating a vicious cycle of imbalance as people have energy crashes and cravings in an attempt to raise glucose levels again. In order to stabilize blood sugar levels, balanced meals/snacks should be eaten regularly (don’t skip meals) that contain adequate Protein & Fibre as well as high quality fats! Protein increases metabolism and fibre has a “Flush Effect” - for every gram of fiber you consume, about 7 calories gets eliminated from stool. Consider supplemental powders if necessary as well as natural Blood Sugar Management Ingredients such as chromium, chirositol, berberine, etc.
4. Poor Digestion/Gut Health
When food is not quickly and efficiently digested, gut bacteria becomes imbalanced (dysbiosis), tissues are damaged (i.e. leaky gut), overgrowth may occur (i.e. candida) and toxins are produced, leading to inflammation. Our gut health is as important as the foods we eat when it comes to how much fat/weight we will gain. The gut bacterial composition of obese people tends to be different from those of lean people. With the correct balance of gut bacteria we absorb fewer extra calories from food, store less fat and have fewer cravings! Inflammation also plays a big role in weight gain & retention. In order to gain proper gut balance we should Improve Digestion (enzymes, HCL, bitter herbs), replenish with Probiotics (foods & supplements) as well as Avoid Triggers that deplete good bacteria (poor diet, stress, chemicals, medications, common food allergens – i.e. dairy/gluten). Note that food sensitivities not only cause inflammation, but also promote the release of “ghrelin”, the appetite stimulant.
5. Congested Liver & Estrogen Dominance
The liver is in charge of filtering blood, removing toxins, breaking down fats, processing and packaging hormones, metabolizing food, and more! A sluggish liver is often bogged down by toxins (internal from constipation, poor digestion, candida or external from chemicals, heavy metals, medications & hormone mimickers in food/environment) and cannot keep up with detoxification at a fast enough rate. In this case, the liver cannot properly metabolize fats (leading to fat cell storage and resistance) and process hormones (leading to excesses/ imbalances – i.e. high estrogen levels). This is a common reason why women gain resistant weight in the abdominal section and men develop “beer bellies” and “man boobs”. Fat cells also store and manufacture estrogen! Consider a Liver/Colon Cleanse and be sure to Prevent Constipation (fibre, magnesium, herbs). Also, Minimize Toxins in food, environment, body care and cleaning products, as well as from infection/overgrowth. For hormonal support, look for a Hormone Balancing Formula with Indole 3 Carbinol, Calcium D Glucarate, Sulforaphane, etc.
6. Low Thyroid
Your thyroid controls your metabolism, which determines the rate at which you burn calories. Therefore, if your thyroid is under functioning, the body begins to store food as fat instead of burning it for energy. Symptoms of low thyroid include depression, difficulty losing weight, fatigue, constipation, etc. A TSH value greater than 2.0 can cause symptoms of low thyroid. Consider a Thyroid Support Formula with ingredients such as iodine, tyrosine and selenium.
• CLA – a fatty acid supplement that increases lean muscle mass and enhances fat loss.
• 5 HTP – naturally increases serotonin (our “happy hormone”) which has been shown to elevate mood, reduce appetite and prevent cravings!
• Green Tea Extract & Apple Cider Vinegar – help support metabolism
• PGX Fibre- reduces appetite, controls cravings, regulates blood sugar
Ask a health care professional or product advisor for more information on these natural treatment options & ingredients to help support your weight loss efforts!
This column is sponsored by Good 'n' Natural in Steinbach.-30-