So many people come to see me with the problem of not being able to lose weight despite hard work, going to the gym, and following a diet
Frustration is the result. But, there are a number of key body functions that need to be working well for weight loss to occur. If they are out of balance or not operating well your efforts will be poorly rewarded. Understanding this can make a massive difference to losing weight, but unfortunately, it’s not something mentioned by Doctors and weight loss organizations very often.
KEY AREAS TO FOCUS ON FOR SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS
1) Bile and liver function
Bile is produced by the liver and released from the gall bladder into the digestive tract. It helps us digest and breakdown fats as well as acting as a laxative and transporting waste and toxins from the body. Insufficient bile production will make it harder to lose weight. I find that the gall bladder will almost always be an issue where weight loss is difficult. It contributes to hypothyroidism, constipation, hormonal imbalance and weight gain.
2) “Eating fat makes you fat” is a myth
In fact healthy fats like flax seed, olive oil, coconut oil (both cold pressed and virgin), grass fed butter, avocados, and eggs all help your body produce hormones that reduce inflammation and aid metabolism. This is important because a faster metabolism means your body will be burning up fuel more efficiently. In addition, reduced inflammation results in many health benefits and helps to allow the body to lose weight.
3) Hormonal imbalance
Excess estrogen contributes to gall bladder disease and fluid retention among other health problems. If there is excess estrogen in the body, this in turn puts an extra stress and load on the liver and gall bladder, which, as mentioned above, will have a knock on effect on the body’s ability to lose weight.
4) Fluid retention
Commonly, 3-4kg of extra unwanted weight is actually trapped fluid in the body. Hormonal and mineral imbalances as well as lymphatic congestion will contribute to this. By taking natural remedies, such as celery seed and juniper, as well as other minerals, excess fluid can be eliminated from the body.
An under active thyroid will mean your metabolism will slow down, in turn holding onto more weight. Mostly this is related to an autoimmune condition, but when reading this information I think you’ll see how other factors, such as hormonal imbalance, liver and gall bladder function will also impact your thyroid function.
6) Adrenal exhaustion
Adrenal exhaustion will interfere with progesterone production thus allowing excess estrogen to dominate. Fatigue can be another side effect. As mentioned above, this excess estrogen will put an extra load on the gall bladder and liver function, while also affecting the thyroid.
7) Blood sugar balance
If you have erratic blood sugar swings you can gain weight easily. When insulin is high sugars and carbs in your diet get converted to fat, and the body will store this fat typically around the waist, but will also start to find other places, such as the liver and even the arteries.
Eating a low carb/sugar diet reduces stress on your liver and blood sugar levels. Avoiding or limiting high carb foods (bread, pasta, potato, rice, alcohol, cakes and biscuits ) to lose weight is a key step. If you do want to have some carbs, have them for dinner rather than breakfast and lunch, as this will be less of a problem for weight loss.
Another issue is that gluten, found in a lot of high carb foods, will contribute to an under active thyroid, which in turn makes weight loss harder.
Intermittent fasting, which means eating during a small part of the day (eg from 4-8pm), results in less insulin being produced, so less fat storage. If you would like any advice on this let me know.
Exercise helps hormonal balance and of course burns up energy. But remember, if one has a banana and a muffin for breakfast you will need to run about 10 kilometres to burn it up. That’s a lot. Exercise helps with weight loss, but too much emphasis is put on calories and exercise, and not enough on having your body working in balance, unhindered, paving the way for easier weight loss.
You can probably see a picture starting to form here, whereby different parts of your body need to be in balance in order to achieve effective weight loss. Just trying to target one of these areas alone will have minimal results.
If you want to lose weight, look at all of the above in its entirety. However, the most important single factor is having low carbohydrates, as this will mean that less insulin is produced in your body and less inflammation – allowing your body as a whole to operate more effectively.
Having good energy levels will help achieve a good metabolic rate. As you can see there is a strong digestion and hormonal link too.