The Key to Successful Weight Loss
Weight loss is a race that you sweat so hard for but often times never make it to the finish line.
Two thirds of our population is overweight, determined by a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25. BMI, a diagnostic tool based upon a person’s height and weight, is used by medical professionals to risk stratify a patient with weight problems. When you hear morbid obesity, you’re looking at a BMI of 35 or higher. Our population spends 11 billion US dollars per year to correct morbid obesity. Sadly, most folks with obesity, and even medical professionals do not to this day know how to overcome this enormous ailment, no pun intended. I believe this is because of the endless stream of misconceptions surrounding weight loss. With a new fad diet and ‘miracle weight loss pill’ coming out every day, it’s difficult for the average person to navigate the right path to a healthy weight. For those caught in this dilemma, there is hope, because as many people who struggle with weight loss, there are equal the number who actually do reach the finish line.
At Seaside Medical Practice, we pride ourselves on being able to create a successful weight management program to help patients who have tried and failed many times at this undertaking. The crucial factor is that no two people are alike in their development of the disease and their reaction to a weight loss regimen. By taking this personalized approach, every patient in my practice attains his or her weight loss goals as long as they follow my directions.
The five pillars we address are outlined below. Feel free to begin the journey to successful weight loss by providing your answers to the following questions:
How did the weight problem begin, abrupt or gradual? How is your sleep? If you’re sleeping less than 6 hours per night without daytime naps, you have a significantly higher chance of becoming obese. Sleep deprivation decreases leptin, the satiety hormone, and increases ghrelin, the hunger hormone. What is the climate you spend most of your day in? Temperate climates allows people to eat more. especially with artificial climate control, i.e. air conditioning. Are you active? A popular misconception is that you must exercise everyday for an hour to loose weight. In fact, excessive exercise especially if done at nighttime, may actually work against you, especially if you’re a woman. A simple and effective way to increase caloric expenditure by more than 25% is to keep moving throughout the day, with light to moderate activity. A wearable activity monitor will help determine number of steps, and calorie expenditure, a useful tool I always recommend in the program.
What are your hormonal imbalances? What is your energy level in the morning? Are you in menopause, do you have a chronic illness, or take numerous medications? What is your thyroid hormone, growth hormone, ghrelin and leptin levels? This segment requires an in depth review of systems backed by laboratory data. The biggest obstacle and most frequent reason for not achieving weight goals is failing to address and treat the underlying physiologic imbalances.
The most important of the five pillars. When do you consume most of your calories? People who skip breakfast have a 400% increased risk of obesity. Do you consume meat (chicken, beef, pork, turkey) every day? A sure way to loose 5 lbs in one week is to limit your meat intake to no more than three to four times per week. Do you frequently crave foods high in processed sugars and simple carbohydrates? The addiction to sugars must be overcome if you want to see weight loss. In our program, you will learn techniques to build cravings for healthier options, not by depriving yourself of yummy desserts! Let’s face it, no one wants to “diet”, right?
Do you have abdominal bloating or pain, hard stool or infrequent bowel movements? Do you eat the same meal every day? Do you consume fermented foods on a regular basis? A critical challenge obese patients face is gut dysbiosis. There are two main types of gut microbes, bacteroiditis and firmicutes. Lean individuals have a higher bacteroidites to firmicutes ratio. If the ratio flips, you will extract more calories from any given food and this has strong implications in development of obesity. Fermented foods such as pickled foods, kefir, yogurt, miso, kimchi, kambucha, and fiber in the form of beans, vegetables and fruit all help to increase the ratio of bacteroiditis to firmicutes. Eating a variety of foods also helps to diversify the gut microbes, an important tool in energy metabolism. Supplements such as probiotics can be added for their beneficial effect on gut microbe diversity.
Have you tried all the diets, eat nothing but vegetables and fruit, sleep well and exercise every day, but have seen no change on the scale? Then it’s medication time. Phentermine, Saxenda, Qsymia, Belviq, and Contrave are all FDA approved medications for weight loss. There are multiple other non-FDA approved drugs that we often see used in weight loss centers, such as HCG, thyroid and diuretics. These medications have unique characteristics which we selectively use to achieve optimal weight loss in the tough to treat patients, or those who just need a kick start. We also optimize vitamin and iron levels to help boost energy and metabolic activity.
As you can see, this is an individualized and comprehensive program, with the ultimate goal of a sustained healthy weight without dieting. Your body will shed pounds because it will crave healthy foods and have increased metabolic activity. The human body is far too complex to apply a one size fits all fad diet then dream for the numbers to come down. They never will, so stop wasting your time and stop facing disappointment yet again.
Get yourself on Seaside’s program and follow the directions to successful and sustained weight loss.
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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Jul: 14(4): 402-412.
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Science. 2010 Apr 9;328(5975):228-31. Metabolic syndrome and altered gut microbiota in mice lacking Toll-like receptor 5.Vijay-Kumar M1, Aitken JD, Carvalho FA, Cullender TC, Mwangi S, Srinivasan S, Sitaraman SV, Knight R, Ley RE, Gewirtz AT.