You’re not losing weight, and it’s not your fault!
Now that we are about a month into the New Year, the high from January has started to ware off. Those New Years goals aren’t quite as exciting, and maybe have even become a little frustrating. For those who are trying to lose weight, this is often the case. You may have knocked off a few pounds during the first few weeks of your diet, but since then you have plateaued out. It seems that no matter what you do the fat just won’t budge. If you are reading this and are ready to give up feeling that your weight loss quest has been hopeless, hold on! Don’t reach for the Ben & Jerry’s yet! Keep reading and let me explain why you aren’t losing weight despite your best effort, and what you can do about it.
I see a lot of patients come through my office for weight loss, and their stories are rather similar. They’ve dieted, they’ve exercised, they are counting calories, they are taking the latest miracle weight loss supplement (whatever Dr. Oz recommends this week), and yet still they can’t seem to get rid of the fat. Essentially they are ready to give up, and just accept their weight. Until that is I explain to them that weight loss is not as simple as calories in vs calories burned. Our bodies are a complex group of system that all interact and intertwine with one another. Believe it or not nearly every system in the body has an influence on weight loss.
One thing to keep in mind is that the inability to lose weight is a symptom of a bigger problem. Just as if you had indigestion, chronic headaches, allergies, etc… Those are all indicators that something is off in your body, and storing excess fat is no different. We should all be able to maintain our genomic weight. Think back to what you looked like when you were in your early 20’s. Are you the same weight? You should be.
So what exactly is blocking you from achieving your weight loss goals?
1. You are full of toxins: The older we get the more toxins we pick up. And unfortunately, young kids today are already born with heavy loads of toxins, but that’s another topic… Heavy metals, chemicals, GMO’s, and pesticides have bombarded our body. They are in our environment, our food, our water, medications and vaccines, body products, and even in our home. The level of toxins have risen so drastically in the past 100 years that our bodies can not handle the toxic load. They are one of the main reason why autoimmune disease, heart disease, depression, and autism have become so prevalent. Now keep in mind that your body is smart. So when it see’s these toxins floating around your system it tries to encapsulate it to protect you. How does it do this? By using your fat cells. Yes, your fat cells are trying to keep you alive by trapping these toxic elements. This is why of the main reasons why so many people have a hard time losing weight. If those fat cells are full of toxins they aren’t going anywhere! It is only when you start to detox from these harmful elements, that your fat will start to dissolve as well.
2. Your body isn’t properly absorbing and digesting food: 95% of people in the United States suffer from malabsorption. When you eat a healthy meal of veggies, fats, and protein your body is suppose to break it down and extract from it vitamins and amino acids. However, if your gut is compromised that mechanism does not happen. What occurs instead is that the food you are eating is stored as fat, or simply passes through your stool without ever having been absorbed. When this happens your appetite increases. Since your body isn’t receiving the nutrients that you just ate, it begins craving more, and soon you find yourself hungry even though you just ate. In our office we run a series of lab test to show exactly what is off biochemically. It could be leaky gut, a deficient enzyme production, the lack of cofactors, or heavy metals which block the conversion of nutrients. Until those issues are addressed the body will continue to lack the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which will not only lead to weight gain, but a host of other serious health issues as well.
3. Your body is eating your muscle: One thing that we talk about with patients is the concept of “Muscle Sparing” not ” Fat Loss.” To summarize a complex system of chemical reactions, your muscles burn fat as fuel. The more muscle you have, the more calories your burn. This is how it is suppose to work. However, if you aren’t absorbing your nutrients, as we mentioned above, and you are lacking in amino acids, your body will go to the muscle as it’s fuel source. So if you are exercising every day, thinking that you are burning tons of calories, you may just be burning muscle. Your body needs a proper supply of amino acids to support you during your workout. And if it can’t get it from your diet it will get it from your muscles. Also keep in mind that as long as your fat is full of toxins your body is going to keep choosing your muscle over your fat as fuel.
4. Your adrenals are burnt out: Whose aren’t? Your adrenals help you manage stress. Whenever you are in a stressful situation your adrenals release cortisol which puts your body on high alert. This is a good thing if you have to get away from a wild animal that is chasing you. This is not a good thing if you are stuck in traffic and are stressed because you are going to be late for work. Your adrenals don’t differentiate between every day stress and life threatening stress. They keep pumping out cortisol just the same. Excess cortisol is not only inflammatory, but also leads to weight gain, especially around the belly. The more stressed, the more cortisol, the more fat.
5. Your thyroid is sluggish: Your thyroid is what regulates and turns on your metabolism. If it is running a little slow, then you are more likely to gain weight as well as a host of other health problems. Your adrenals also directly influence your thyroid. So if you are adrenals are compromised it is a good chance your thyroid is too. On top of that heavy metals block the absorption of iodine and other important nutrients that are necessary for your thyroid to run properly. This is why it is important to address heavy metals if you are working on your thyroid. If you are wondering how your thyroid is running start taking your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. It should be between 98.2-98.6. If it is below that, you have a sluggish thyroid.
6. Your liver is overworked and overwhelmed: Your liver has a really tough job. It is responsible for detoxing toxins, medication, alcohol, and all of your unwelcome organisms like parasites and candida. With the heavy load of toxins in our body the liver is completely overwhelmed. This is a problem as the liver influences a multitude of functions in our body such as blood sugar, cholesterol, hormones, and our thyroid. If the liver isn’t happy, no organ is happy. If you want your liver working for you, you have to lower the load of toxins in your system and provide it with the right nutrients to support it. Remember that the liver is responsible for detoxing the body and breaking down all those toxic fat cells. So if you want to lose weight, you have to address your liver as well.
7. Your sex hormone levels are irregular and deficient: Don’t worry it’s not just you, everyone’s hormones are off. While hormones are definitely a case by case basis, in general both men and woman tend to be deficient in testosterone, and have too much estrogen stored in their fat tissues. This is a recipe for weight gain. Not to mention depression, fatigue, accelerated aging, and inflammation. Balancing your hormones is essential to optimal health, and a must if you are trying to lose weight. But please do not run to your nearest HRT doctor for hormones just yet. You need the proper testing and evaluation to accurately reflect your current levels, before you take anything. To learn about the different types of hormone testing call our office at 941-806-8548 and we will guide you towards the proper tests for the most accurate results.
9. You are hanging on to resentment and won’t let go of the past: No it’s not enough to just detox your body to lose weight if you aren’t going to detox your mind. Holding on to old anger and sadness causes heaviness in the body and stagnation. When emotions aren’t expressed or processed they are stored. Just like the chemical toxins stored in the fat cells, toxic thoughts are no different. The majority of my acupuncture treatments are focused on releasing old resentment and letting go of the past. This releasing process can literally help you feel and be lighter.
Believe it or not there is actually even more to weight loss then the 9 factors I listed above! But I didn’t want to overwhelm or bombard you with too much information, so this is a good place to start for now. Of course it goes without saying that diet and exercise have a profound influence on weight loss, but it is not enough on it’s own. Without addressing all these areas of the body it is going to be difficult to maintain your ideal weight.
If you want to continue your weight loss journey and have no idea where to begin, I encourage you to reach out to our office. Detoxing is not as simple as picking up some supplements at Whole Foods, and trust me you don’t want to attempt to do this on your own. This is why we put together a team to work with you and guide you through this process. To learn more call 941-806-8548, or email me Lauren@LaurenGraceLiving.com