“You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy” ~Dr. Berg
- Experiencing weight gain
- Noticing an expanding midline
- Unable to lose weight
- Eating well and exercising and still not losing weight
- Having difficulty with post-pregnancy weight loss
Does your primary care physician just suggest you that if you improve your diet and exercise you will lose weight or that age is the reason you are gaining weight?
While it is true that your metabolism does slow as you get older, this is not the only reason that a person gains weight. The standard belief is that simply by exercising more and eating well you will naturally lose weight. Certainly movement and improving your diet will help with weight loss but there are other aspects at play with weight loss. It is possible that you are currently “exercising like crazy” and “watching what I eat” and your body is resisting weight loss. Functional Medicine can help!
Your body wants to maintain a certain weight and this is called your “set point”. You have to make lifestyle changes that a Functional Medicine practitioner receives training in to adjust this “set point” to a lower level, but you also can evaluate potential causes for your inability to lose weight. It is most natural for your body to hold on to weight as it is conserving for a potential time where you may be short on intake. Losing weight is not natural but neither is the poor quality foods you’ve been taking in or the potentially toxic environment you’ve been exposed to for quite some time. Eventually, this catches up to us.
There may be many other reasons why your body wants to hang on to the extra weight besides a high “set point”. Other potential reasons for your body holding onto weight are inflammation and an already compromised metabolism.
For instance, you may already be insulin resistant. Insulin is a key hormone that can contribute to increased weight gain but is also due to weight an individual has already gained. Over time insulin resistance develops and once initiated the glucose being provided to the body leads to other hormones causing you to maintain and even gain additional weight. Where you get the most benefit is by changing the foods you consume and the timing on your food intake. You can reverse your insulin resistance, and potentially stop the progression to diabetes!
Any level of inflammation that has already developed also prevents weight loss. This inflammation can come from many sources. Feeling overwhelmed with the daily requirements of life can cause you to feel emotional/mental/spiritual drain. A response to burning the candle at both ends leads to cortisol to first increase and then over time will deplete the adrenal gland. Over the long term this ‘burn out’ will store fat and prepare you to conserve calories in the perceived struggle for ‘survival’.
The environment can also cause inflammation. Toxin exposure can come in the form of pollution, heavy metals, personal and home care products, and even in the foods you are consuming. If you eat too much processed and refined sugars or foods you may have intolerance to, this can cause damage to the body and then ultimately to a damaged metabolism. It isn’t something that occurred quickly, it has been happening to you over time, but you can alter your “set point”, reduce inflammation in your body, and rectify metabolic dysfunction, once you know where to start.
Functional Medicine can help identify the underlying cause of being overweight and if you are having difficulty losing weight. Using functional labs to evaluate inflammation, toxins, digestive health, and nutrient deficiencies we can, together, create a My~Weight Program to change your weight “set point” to a more optimal range for long-term maintenance even as aging adjusts your “set point”. You can age and maintain an appropriate weight and continue forward with a My~Wellness plan for long-term weight maintenance success!