A healthy weight can only be achieved with a healthy body. Several factors contribute to your overall health that many people do not address when they are trying to achieve a healthy weight. These include: *Stress levels *Exercise *Diet *Hormone Balance *Quality & amount of sleep *Toxic chemical exposure (alcohol, processed foods, caffeine…)
Each of these factors influence metabolism either directly or indirectly. Metabolism is affected by lifestyle and hormone balance, not just heredity and caloric intake. From a naturopathic perspective, the foundation for successful, healthy weight loss and maintenance is through healing the metabolism. Most people who have trouble losing weight or maintaining weight loss have a damaged metabolism.
How does metabolism become damaged?
The main three areas to look at for a history of damaged metabolism are: *Past or current stress levels *Eating habits *Exercise habits
Long term damage occurs by the following common weight loss strategies: *Very low fat or low fat/high carbohydrate diets *Low protein diets *“yo-yo” dieting *Chronic under-eating *Excessive cardiovascular exercise **Traumatic or prolonged stress also causes long term metabolism damage.
Using these methods, a person would expect to lose weight as long as their metabolism uses up more chemicals and energy than it is replacing. In reality, weight loss occurs initially but continues only for a short period of time and results not from loss of fat but from breakdown of cell structures, organ tissue, bone and muscle. Eventually, the body reaches a plateau, where the body is exhausted and unable to respond. The body is built to adapt to deprivation but not to excess therefore, it will default towards conservation.
Once you are in this state: Calories IN < Calories OUT ≠ Weight loss
Yikes! How do I heal my metabolism???
It is first necessary to be healthy in order to lose excess weight (or more accurately, excess fat). Healing the metabolism must happen before fat loss can occur. The core components of becoming healthy include: * A balanced, whole-foods diet designed to decrease or prevent insulin resistance, improve insulin sensitivity and spare muscle tissue. * Nutrient supplementation prescribed to replace nutrient deficiencies and to help the body rebuild vital functional and structural proteins and fats. * Enough sleep: the most growth hormone (a key hormone) is released during sleep and is critical for repairing the body *Stress management which may explore issues such as self-image, emotional connections with food and state of mind when eating
The Gut Connection
Your gastrointestinal tract needs to be healthy in order to properly digest and absorb nutrients. In order to maintain a healthy weight and health overall, your body needs those nutrients. Nutrients fuel every cell in the body to perform their function. A large portion of the population is suffering from inflammation in the gut without even knowing it. Most of this inflammation has to do with the foods we eat. Think of your digestive tract as a tube. Nutrients are absorbed through the wall of the tube into the blood where they travel to the cells that require them. If that wall is covered in foamy slime (inflammation), the nutrients aren’t able to pass. Many conditions are rooted in this problem, including the tendency to be over-fat. So, exactly what causes this inflammation?
*Allergies/Sensitivities to food - offending foods cause an immune reaction in the gut *Toxic components in food i.e. preservatives, artificial sweeteners and pesticides *Enzyme deficiencies - the inability to break down certain components of your food so the body doesn’t recognize it or know what to do with it.
And so many more...but the first 3 are the most prevalent
Dr. Lisa's Healthy Weight Basics
Here are a few basics to get you started:
*Decrease stress—this will help decrease appetite, blood sugar levels, fat in the abdominal area, bone mass loss and so much more! *Bowel Movements—3 a day, easy to pass, one after each meal...get that gut functioning properly! *Water—8 glasses a day minimum. Spring or filtered. Flush out those toxins that are causing you to hold excess fat. Also, thirst is often confused with hunger. If you keep hydrated, your body won’t be so confused. *Identify food sensitivities—most people have a sensitivity and don’t even know it. The foods you may think are healthy for you may be causing you harm!
*Exercise—movement is needed everyday even if it’s just going for a 1/2 hour walk in the neighborhood. Exercise that builds muscle will result in a long-term boost to your metabolism. *Reduce—substances that are difficult for your body to process—alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, dairy, red meat etc. (difficult for the body = increased stress!) *Pump up the raw fruits and veggies—they contain lots of enzymes to help digest your other foods.
Now you’re on your way to feeling great and helping your body function better!
To get your healthy weight plan started call 905-257-5888 or go online to http://www.oakvillenaturopath.com/services-1
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