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Weight loss – More than just diet and exercise

Don’t think you are alone on the seemingly never-ending journey to lose weight – it can certainly take its toll and by no means is it easy and straight forward for everyone!

Have you;

  • Tried lots of weight loss programs that simply haven’t worked, are too hard, don’t fit in with your life values, or are just too expensive?
  • Tried “eating healthy” but the weight doesn’t shift?
  • Lost weight successfully but easily put it all back on and some?
  • Lost weight in the past with diet and exercise but this no longer works for you?
  • Hit menopause and no matter what you do, the weight is not budging?

There are many factors that can sabotage your weight loss goals including being too busy to food prep, poor habits, lack of understanding of what works for you, emotional issues, learnt behaviour’s, unbalanced hormones, stress, and genetics. 

There is no doubt that what you put in your mouth, coupled with the amount of exercise you do are significant factors when it comes to weight loss and body size, however there are other factors to consider!

Inflammation

Inflammation and oxidative stress are major contributing factors in diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune conditions, endometriosis, osteoporosis, infertility, autism and heart disease.

Inflammation and oxidative stress can be minimized simply by our food and lifestyle choices; however, our genetic pool has a big role to play in how well our bodies deal with these stressors.  Some individuals have a quick response while others are slow and more sensitive to persistent irritants like alcohol, smoking, environmental toxins, poor food choices, and allergens.

Note; if you continue to eat processed foods, high in sugar and carbohydrate, live an inactive life and continue to drink too much alcohol and sugary drinks – it’s not going to matter how favorable your genes are, you will eventually end up with one or more of the above conditions!

Inflammation can also come from aches and pains, poor digestion, and infections. High inflammation can increase cortisol levels, thus increasing the likelihood of fat storage, particularly in the abdominal region. Allergies or food sensitivities can also be a source of inflammation. Therefore, it is important to address underlying inflammation for weight loss and may require clearing up low-grade infections, identifying and removing allergenic foods or environmental triggers. 

Hormone imbalance

Low thyroid function, low oestrogen, post-menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, pre-menstrual cravings and some less common hormone imbalances (like Adrenal tumors such as Cushing’s syndrome), can have a negative impact on even the best intentions.

The thyroid controls metabolic rate and under activity can lead to weight gain and fatigue, among other symptoms. If you suspect your thyroid is sabotaging your best intentions, speak to your GP or Naturopath and get your thyroid tested!

Stress, let’s not forget this elephant in the room! The constant drive to regulate your stress response involves an increase in hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Short-term stress can be well managed by the body, that’s what it is designed to do but long-term stress will increase your fat storage i.e. weight gain.

Stress management, in times of stress may seem unattainable but if you want to live a long healthy/skinny life, something has to give! You’ve probably heard it before but the health benefits of implementing techniques like meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, a walk-in nature can have profound effects to your stress levels.

Metabolising carbohydrates, proteins and fats

There is more to weight loss than energy in and energy out. Some people are genetically more prone to carrying extra weight so the one size fits all approach to weight loss doesn’t always work.

Your genes influence your metabolism in a number of ways including how effectively you metabolise and absorb fats, carbohydrates and protein. Your genes also control your appetite through hormonal regulation (e.g. leptin).

When it comes to weight loss we need to rethink our approach and if you, like many others have tried an array of different diets with no significant, or permanent result you may be interested in genetic DNA testing?

Genetic DNA testing is a unique way to determine your individual diet and exercise responsiveness, optimal macronutrient distribution for effective weight loss and optimal exercise intensity for weight loss using your genetic profile!

Genetic testing for weight management

Testing includes genes associated with: 

  • Inflammation
  • Absorption and metabolism
  • Energy homeostasis
  • Carbohydrate responsiveness
  • Fat metabolism, obesity and satiety
  • Regulation of metabolism and feeding behaviour
  • Regulation of energy intake
  • Exercise responsiveness
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Fat storage 

As you can see weight management is an interplay of many factors and requires thorough assessment to address many possible contributing factors. Weight maintenance requires long term healthy eating coupled with strategies targeted to your individual requirements.

If you would like to know more about what we can do to help you with your weight management goals, please call to make a booking on 0405 537 335.

Written by Karen Mason BHSc

Naturopath

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