Maintaining a healthy body weight is a key component to an individual's overall health. Many factors can affect an individuals ability to gain and lose weight causing frustration and confusion when goals are not met or results are not being seen. Here are some frequently discussed topics and options regarding weight loss.
Hormones and Weight Loss
Hormones play a major role in weight gain and weight loss. Cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, insulin, and thyroid hormones all impact fat retention and metabolism. Stress and sleep are key factors in balancing these hormones and regulating your bodies ability to perform optimally.
Unbalanced sex hormones, such as estrogen dominance, can increase belly fat and insulin resistance. Symptoms of insulin resistance include increased hunger, increased food noise, and fatigue. Testosterone is also a key hormone for both men and women. Low testosterone levels are associated with fatigue, muscle loss, and a slower metabolism.
We will review these hormones prior to starting the weight loss program and throughout your weight loss journey.
Moving your body every day is not only beneficial for weight loss it has been shown to improve mood, increase energy, and stamina.
We recommend prioritizing strength training. Start with large muscle groups and compound movements.
Gut health is monitored with a test from Genova called the GI effects Profile. This is not necessary for every patient but if you are interested talk more with your provider.
We can also monitor nutritional status with a test called NutraEval. These tests are not billed through insurance.
Glucagon-Like peptide 1 (GLP-1s) are the most effective drug class for long term weight loss on the market today. These medications were first indicated for diabetes but are now being used for weight loss due to their high success. GLP-1s have shown to help people reduce their weight by up to 20 percent. They help people feel satisfied with a smaller amount of food, decreasing food cravings, and reversing insulin resistance. Examples of these medications are: Wegovy, Semaglutide, Ozempic, and the newest to the class, Mounjaro. Mounjaro has the added benefit of a GIP which helps reduce “food noise”.
A drastic change in dietary intake is not necessary for every patient, however it is crucial to monitor intake and to be aware of what you are putting into your body.
Achieving a minimum daily protein goal is essential. We can help you calculate your protein requirements based off your current weight and activity level. This will help your body reduce insulin resistance, maintain muscle mass, and achieve a feeling of fullness throughout the day.
Fiber is also a vital nutrient in maintain and optimal weight. This will also help to maintain a feeling of fullness and help to prevent constipation and promote gut health.
“Good fats" are essential for brain health and mood. Be sure your intake of fats is from sources such as fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Your total calorie intake while losing weight needs to be taken into consideration once your goal weight is met in order to adequately prepare for the long-term maintenance phase.
Toxin Consumption & Exposure
Avoiding known toxins is important in promoting gut health, inflammation, and weight loss.
Each year a new list of the “Dirty Dozen” foods are published. These foods have the highest concentrations of pesticides and known carcinogens. Avoid these or only buy organic. Similarly there is a list of the “Clean Fifteen”. This is a list of low pesticide foods to enjoy.
Eating all organic is not a requirement but less processed and more whole foods are preferred.
At some point your weight loss will stall and potentially stop. This may last a week or even a month. Do not panic. It may be time for a dose adjustment. It may also be stress, hormones, constipation, or several other factors.
Stimulants may aid in weight loss by increasing metabolism and decreasing hunger. These medications have been used for decades and when done correctly are safe and effective. Perhaps the most well-known stimulant for weight loss is phentermine.