By Dr A.W. Martin DC, PhD, RNCP ,DNM
The new year is a time for resolutions and setting goals, looking to make healthy changes in our personal lives. For a lot of people weight loss is often their number one priority. So often, weight loss can be a very frustrating experience and I have met thousands of patients over the years who have experienced what we call yo-yo dieting. This is where the person loses weight temporarily, but gains it back shortly thereafter.
This article provides a weight-loss check list and takes a look at roadblocks to lasting and healthy weight loss.
Roadblock # 1: Attitude
Often people who make resolutions are not prepared to pay the price to actually make changes into their lifestyle. That is why gyms are full in January and empty in February. I always remind my patients that it takes 21 days to form a habit. For example, if I tell one of my patient’s that I want them to cut sugar from their diet I remind them that it takes three weeks to lose that sweet tooth. Rome wasn’t built in a day; it takes time to form healthy habits. The three Ds of success in any change in lifestyle includes desire, determination and discipline.
Roadblock # 2: Leaky gut
Leaky gut can be a real hindrance to weight loss. Study after study has shown that if your bowel is not right then it becomes nearly impossible to lose weight. Leaky gut is a malabsorption syndrome with increased permeability of the small intestine caused mostly by the overuse of antibiotics. The bowel leaks garbage into the bloodstream causing a systemic yeast (Candida)infection. Candida will then make a person bloat, giving major sugar cravings and making weight loss a much more difficult task. By the way, children who take antibiotics often have a much higher incidence of obesity as they age.
Roadblock #3: Estrogen
Estrogen makes a woman a woman and a man a woman too! Unfortunately estrogen has become so dominant in our society today because of xenoestrogens from pesticides, plastics, soy products, household cleaners, lotions creams, etc. As a rule of thumb, once body fat of a female exceeds 32 per cent there is an increased chance of estrogen dominance. The more fat cells we have the more estrogen we make. This makes for a vicious cycle in relation to fat loss. A woman who suffers from estrogen dominance, for example, will often hit a wall after only a few weeks of starting a weight loss program, initially losing a few pounds, then fat loss stops in its tracks.
Roadblock # 4: Lack of sleep
Did you know that 70 per cent of North Americans struggle to get a good night’s sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep the body secretes cortisol, the stress hormone. Having elevated cortisol over an extended period of time leads to the storage of fat, especially in the belly area. When individuals can’t get a good REM (recuperative) sleep they will have a difficult time trying to shed pounds. However, taking sleeping pills to artificially induce sleep actually hinders weight loss, according to research.
Roadblock #5: Vitamin deficiency
Medical research indicates that up to 40 per cent of the population is deficient in vitamin B12. Most people do not realize that B12 is essential for one’s metabolism to function properly. Three main reasons for this epidemic of low B12 is poor digestion, lack of red meat in the diet and the overprescribing of medication. Almost all drugs will deplete the body of B12, antacids being the worst culprits. Low B12 means a sluggish metabolism, which really hinders weight loss. A B12 supplement should be considered when starting a weight loss journey.
Roadblock #6: Sluggish Thyroid
The thyroid has often been described as the body’s gas peddle or the body’s internal thermostat. Millions of people deal with sluggish thyroids in this country, but are often misdiagnosed by their family doctors who rely on traditional blood tests that are only really designed to find pathology of the thyroid. A sluggish thyroid gland makes losing weight an enormous challenge.
Roadblock# 7: Acidic pH
And acidic pH in the body makes it almost impossible to lose weight. The ideal pH in the human body is 7.4; remember your body is almost 75 per cent water. The pH of the water surrounding the cells, if it is alkaline, will help you lose weight much quicker. One of the major causes of acidity in the body is dehydration. People just don’t drink enough water. Remember only water is water. A good weight-loss program must include drinking at least two litres of natural spring water daily. You can kickstart your metabolism by drinking half a litre of water in the morning before you eat.
The Right Start
1) If at all possible get tested to see if any of these roadblocks to weight loss are present in your body before embarking on a health enhancing adventure.
2) You can never go wrong by cutting back on carbohydrates. Remember fat doesn’t make you fat, but carbs do. As much as possible cut out or cut down on breads, pasta, cereals, sugar, sweets, pastries and milk.
3) Supplements such as probiotics, vitamin D3, B12, iodine for thyroid function have all shown to help in weight loss. Natural sleep aids like melatonin, magnesium, valerian root, 5- HTP, all have proven to be fat busters.
Dr A.W. Martin DC,Phd,RNCP ,DNM, is certified by the Board of Integrative Medicine and practices in Sudbury at the Martin Clinic. He is the author of several books including his latest Are you Built for Cancer. He hosts the radio show The doctor Is In on KFM radio throughout Northern Ont www.martinclinic.com