Weight loss is one of the major concerns we hear from our new patients at Wise Woman Wellness. It is almost always listed among the various symptoms that bring frustrated women to our doors. The over-simplified equation of “eat less, exercise more” is not working for them and their resolve is dwindling. There has to be more to the equation…and there is!
The “eat less, exercise more” philosophy is not without merit, but it doesn’t paint the entire picture and without the rest of the picture, weight loss efforts can fail and send women to the “why bother” camp. There are many things that can sabotage weight loss efforts and correcting them can help the exercise and nutritional changes you make work more effectively for you.
It is critical for the body to be given the appropriate amount of down time. Sleep allows the body to restore itself and it is also a vital part of our circadian rhythm, which signals our body to release specific hormones at determined times. These hormones play a role in our feelings of being full or hungry and in resisting certain cravings. A 2016 study at the University of Chicago confirmed the connection between sleep-deprivation and appetite. “We found that sleep restriction boosts a signal that may increase the hedonic aspect of food intake, the pleasure and satisfaction gained from eating,” said Erin Hanlon, a UChicago research associate in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. “Sleep restriction seems to augment the endocannabinoid system, the same system targeted by the active ingredient of marijuana, to enhance the desire for food intake.”
Hormones are our chemical messengers. They carry the instructions to each and every one of our cells on what, how and when they should be functioning. This hormonal balance is often compared to a symphony because they all work together and throwing off just one of these hormones impacts the rest of them. Major hormones like insulin, cortisol and adrenaline have are significant players in weight loss or gain. Unbalanced hormones can undermine any efforts toward losing weight.
Metabolism is your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy. Metabolism is regulated by the thyroid. It is important to have a balance, healthy thyroid in order to maintain a healthy weight. Testing your thyroid function should be performed at the cellular level to provide an accurate picture of the available thyroid hormone in the cells, where thyroid function occurs. A normal TSH blood test result does not necessarily mean one’s thyroid function is normal but often is all that is looked at in the conventional medical setting. This is why Wise Woman Wellness uses reflex testing along with symptom mapping and lab tests to develop an accurate picture of thyroid function in our patients.
Leaky gut is hyper-permeability of the lining in the small intestine. This permeability allows undigested food particles, toxic waste products and other unwanted substances to leak through the intestine and enter the blood stream and other parts of the body. The body tags them as foreign substances to be destroyed and launches an autoimmune response. This causes inflammation and disease and becomes a vicious cycle. Systemic inflammation interrupts metabolic function and messages sent to the brain for fullness and hunger.
It is no great secret that our bodies require the proper nutrients to survive and thrive. However, the typical American diet DOES NOT supply us with an adequate amount of these nutrients. The grocery stores are stocked with processed foods that are quick and easy and void of the ideal nutritional values our bodies need. And food that does provide the nutrition we need, is less potent because years of industrial farming practices has stripped the soil of many nutrients. In general, if you are not supplementing your diet with pharmaceutical grade vitamins and nutrients, you are most likely NOT getting the right nutrients and this will affect weight gain. Lacking nutrients can cause slow metabolism, fatigue, poor sleep, and cravings for unhealthy, high-caloric foods. This becomes a vicious cycle. Proper nutrition is key. The following nutrients have been identified as important to maintaining a healthy weight, yet deficient in most adult diets: magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and Omega 3s.
Many of the items covered in this article are discussed at length during our End Hormone Havoc Seminar. We invite you to join us at an upcoming seminar to find out more about hormones, nutrition, thyroid testing, lifestyle changes and more. The next seminar can be found on our calendar of events at wisewomanwellness.com.