There is so much information and misinformation about weight loss on the internet that it is hard to wade through it all. Everyone has a different theory – it is fats, it is carbs, it is meat, it is dairy, it is preservatives, it is too many calories, it is not enough exercise, it is an inevitable part of aging, it is estrogens, it is not enough testosterone, it is mercury in retrograde… blah, blah, blah… Surely someone must have some answers!
Well, ten years of nutritional practice has taught me that no one has all of the answers. If you find someone who claims otherwise – RUN the other way! Weight loss science is constantly changing and it is as mercurial as the people who espouse individual diet plans. Quite simply, there is no quick fix and there is no single plan that will work for 100% of everyone. Period.
What I can tell you is that there are certain hormones that play key roles in many people’s weight gain or inability to lose weight.
1. Your body is not producing enough adiponectin. Adiponectin is a protein specific to fat cells and it is believed to play a role in the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. Typically, the more body fat you carry, the lower your adiponectin levels, with increased levels of visceral fat (that fat hidden in your abdomen, packed around your internal organs) being especially correlated to decreased levels of adiponectin. Almost every symptom associated with metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance can be directly tied to adiponectin, so – how do you make more of this hormone and head off these problems? First, you need to increase your magnesium intake with supplements (like BioCleanse, or magnesium glycinate) and magnesium rich foods (raw spinach, pumpkin seeds, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, fish, brown rice, bananas, figs, avocados, dark chocolate, etc.). Second, you should look into fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid) supplementation and exercise to increase your adiponectin levels.
2. Insulin imbalance. Think of insulin as a key that unlocks your cells so your body can take the glucose (sugars) in your blood stream and store it away in the cell for later. If you don’t have enough insulin, your circulating blood sugars remain too high, and these negatively affect your vasculature system, your fat storage, your blood pressure, your ability to heal, and even your brain. Much of the medical community thinks that insulin resistance stems from the body not having enough insulin, but other researchers, like Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, believe that too much insulin is the problem. He postulates that elevated levels of circulating insulin are even more problematic, and that many of the drugs and methods used to treat elevated blood sugar levels , actually cause the body’s tissues to be flooded with too much insulin, which slowly cause your body’s cells to become resistant to it, which means that greater and greater levels of insulin are needed to see any effect, which leads to vicious blood sugar and insulin swings, making these hormones rollercoaster throughout the day. The ingredients in Plexus Slim support the normalization of your insulin resistance. In addition, some studies have shown that consuming 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar before a high fat meal may work as well as drugs at decreasing blood sugar levels. If you consume artificial sweeteners, do yourself a giant favor and STOP!
3. Too much ghrelin. Ghrelin is your hunger hormone and it is found in the cells that line your stomach. It stimulates the hunger center of the brain and makes you desire sweet or rich foods. In fact, it is so efficient at stimulating your hunger centers, that elevated levels of ghrelin will make you feel the same way as if your were in full starvation mode – desperately craving the richest, highest calorie foods you can imagine. Furthermore, it makes you feel unsatisfied with the amount and quality of food you have eaten, whether you are truly full or not. It’s why you can slip in that piece of pecan pie or chocolate cake for dessert when you are already uncomfortably full from eating that big turkey dinner. A classic sign that you have too much ghrelin is that you feel you have room for dessert, or you find you are a bit hungry an hour or so after you eat. You fridge-cruisers know who you are! Ghrelin cycles in 4 hour increments, so typically you would be hungriest 4 hours after your last meal. So how do you address ghrelin? There are a few different things you can do. First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. 8 hours of sleep per night is the ideal. If you are getting less, or have poor quality sleep, please know that sleep deprivation causes your ghrelin levels to increase. Protein intake also staves off the release of elevated ghrelin levels, so make sure that each meal starts off with high quality protein sources (this is particularly important for breakfast). Consuming a small bowl of broth or soup before a meal is an excellent way to prevent ghrelin levels from rising too much.
4. Cortisol overload. We are designed for fight or flight. Cortisol is produced as a response to stress (and who isn’t stressed nowadays?). It increases your cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, it increases muscle breakdown for energy production, it increases the percentage of fat that is stored in your abdominal area, and it increases your levels of depression and anxiety – which make you eat more, which further increases your cortisol levels, creating a vicious cycle, resulting in you feeling tired and burnt out all of the time. Supplements such as fish oil, Rhodiola, lactium, magnesium, DHEA, and b-vitamins can all help reduce cortisol levels. Other things that have a positive effect include slow exercise like yoga or walking, meditating, praying, or just getting into a ‘zone’ where you let your creativity reign. Limiting coffee, and making sure you get enough sleep are other ways to keep cortisol levels normal.
So before you give up he fight, have a good look at these factors and see which ones may pertain to you and take the action steps needed to achieve your ideal weight. I have found Plexus Slim to be an excellent tool for my patients and clients in achieving their ideal weight in a safe and efficient manner. It truly is the non-diet, because it never involves meal replacements, shakes, calorie counting, points, or anything else. It simply helps to normalize insulin resistance and inflammation levels so your body can release the weight it’s been hanging on to. In addition, it makes it easy to make healthier food choices. You didn’t gain those 40 extra pounds in a month, and it will take you time to lose it, but the key is you. You have to draw that line in the sand and start something. 4 months from now, you can be the same weight you are now (or even heavier!), and still have those aches and pains, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, etc., or 4 months from now you can feel like a million bucks. No one can ever force you to change because the choice truly is yours, but, if you want help and are sincere about making change, I will help you every step of the way!
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