The Functional Medicine Approach to Sustainable Weight Loss and Metabolic Health
WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT?
The weight loss industry is multibillion dollar golden goose
The trends are short-lived and overhyped.
it is keto and intermittent fasting right now…
It was Atkins In the 90s…
All these fads are fads for a reason. they don’t fix the underlying issue they just mask the issue for a short duration and then the whole shitshow continues again….
Believe it or not, your weight gain is a symptom of something else going on.
Here are some medical reasons you may have weight gain
- Suboptimal thyroid health
- Poor gut health
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Too little or too much exercise
- nutrient deficiencies
- chronic emotional and mental stress
- Inadequate sleep and sleep quality
Losing weight is not equivalent to getting healthy.
Cancer and arsenic will make you lose weight, but you won’t be healthier
WHERE CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE FAILS
Obesity presents a problem but conventional medicine fails to understand how to fix the problem.
Many conventional doctors lack the time and knowledge to effectively treat obesity. Seeing a patient for only 10 minutes doesn’t allow much opportunity to educate someone about how to eat healthily. And some doctors are overweight or obese.
A conventional doctor offers a generalized advice with no specific plan of action or they often outsource the patients to dietitians or healthcare professionals . They might also suggest a number of over-the-counter or pharmaceutical drugs that address various aspects of weight loss, including suppressing appetite or blocking fat absorption. As obesity rates continue to climb, pharmaceutical companies will likely develop new drugs that address this epidemic. What these drug companies and conventional healthcare practitioners often neglect to ask is why someone becomes obese, to begin with.
The body is a wonderfully complex mechanism, and taking a one-size-fits-all approach focused on calories-in-calories-out, reducing dietary fat, and using a drug to address the problem— whatever—overlooks the underlying condition. Overeating might be the reason a patient is obese, but I find something deeper and more complex often creates this condition.
Finally, remember that losing weight is only part of the journey. If you have an underlying issue and are restricting calories and exercising like mad, you could be exacerbating the problem, not solving it. When health is your priority, weight loss will follow as a natural result of healing your body from within.
HOW FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE SOLVES?
Remember, Functional Medicine assesses the root cause of the problem and treats the whole system to quiet and cool the flames of inflammation, leading to weight loss and overall good health.
We have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.
What is going on in the body and mind that is causing weight gain or weight loss resistance? The simple fact is that in order to get to your healthy body weight, you have to get healthy. You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. Sustainable weight loss will be a natural byproduct of regaining health. If you get healthy, you will look great….as an awesome side effect!
POOR GUT HEALTH
Heal your gut to make the most of the food you eat
When we eat food that is poor in quality and nutrient deficient, and we are rarely exposed to the dirt and germs of the world, our beneficial bacteria may be reduced and will be taken over by more pathogenic species. In short, our processed diets and sanitized lifestyles may come with a price tag: more chronic disease and obesity.
Weight gain is often related to an underlying gut problem. your microbiome could be damaged after years of junk food, toxins, stress, and harmful medications, and that is likely influencing your weight and health. Repair the gut mucosa with functional foods like gut-healing bone broth. Use food and natural medicines to correct yeast, fungal, parasitic, or bacterial overgrowth.
A personalized nutrition plan that takes into account individual food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, and metabolism can be effective in helping to reduce weight. For example, if a person has a sensitivity to gluten, removing gluten from their diet can lead to decreased inflammation and improved gut health, which can contribute to a healthy weight reduction.
Use the 5R approach to gut health.
An imbalanced microbiome produces metabolites that communicate with your brain and directly contribute to cravings.
When you fix your microbiome, you interrupt the signaling and your cravings go away for good.
Over time, certain factors may cause low-grade, chronic inflammation that is detrimental to your weight loss efforts. Stress, toxins, gut infections, food sensitivities, and poor nutrition can all play a role in causing low-grade inflammation leading to obesity and other metabolic diseases.
Chronic low-grade inflammation is a silent culprit.it is low enough to give a normal lab value, but just potent enough to wreak slow burning havoc in the background. A vicious cycle ensues as inflammation makes your body cling to fat, which makes you more inflamed.
TOO MUCH /TOO LITTLE EXERCISE
it may be hard to believe but yes,too much of exercise is a problem. the duration and quality of exercise are equally important.
If you’ve been busting your butt at the gym only to find yourself feeling exhausted, not losing weight, or worse, somehow up a pants size, it’s time to learn why the no-pain-no-gain strategy is holding you back.
When you exercise and get your heart rate up ,your body burns the readily available glucose in your blood stream for energy,after that to keep your energy up your body starts to look for a replacement
It calls on your adrenal glands and they jump into action by pumping out the stress hormone cortisol which converts stored fats usable glucose so you have the energy to keep working out.
If your hormones are already in imbalance the cortisol spike and fat burniong leads to something counter productive.the estrogen overload programs your body to convert the glucose back into fat which deposits in midsection and hips.
So instead of becoming a fat burning machine you become this junk machine which burns sgtored fat due to cortisol ,then sending the fat back to all the wrong places die to the estrogen surge.
Heal your hormones to use nutrients for good, not evil
Imbalances in insulin and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) are also common culprits of stubborn weight.
Often, the real issue is a hormonal imbalance that has disabled your body’s ability to make rational choices about food.
Years of stress and poor diet can do a number on brain and hormonal health, further perpetuating hormonal dysfunction as well as brain inflammation, which can further aggravate your ability to make good decisions by contributing to anxiety, depression, and brain fog.
Healing your hormones and your brain is the final step in healthy weight loss and long-term wellness.
Contrary to popular opinion ,Men and women both can have estrogen imbalance.
There are three types of estrogen in your body – estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3), and you need the proper ratio between each. Too much can lead to rapid weight gain.
Functional medicine fixes estrogen imbalance by encouraging excretion of excess estrogen by supporting the gut microbiome[estrobolome] and lymphatic drainage.
Leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, is supposed to tell your brain to burn fat for energy and to tell your body when it is full, cueing you to stop eating. With leptin resistance, the brain doesn’t get the message. You store fat and stay hungry.
Irregular sleep cycles can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced in your body’s fat cells that tells your brain to burn fat for energy and also signals your brain that you are full and can stop eating. If you become leptin resistant your hypothalamus doesn’t recognize leptin and goes into “hibernation mode,” storing fat unnecessarily. Eating less just makes the situation worse because your body already thinks you are starving, and this stressful state jacks up cortisol levels, causing adrenal fatigue. It’s a perfect storm for rapid weight gain and trouble with losing it.
A functional medicine practitioner may also recommend targeted nutrient supplementation to address deficiencies and support healthy metabolism.
In fact, most obese children and adults are actually malnourished. While that might sound contradictory, an abundance of calories does not necessarily deliver the nutrients that your body needs. Actually, the very opposite is true: overeating can create nutrient deficiencies. You can eat too many calories and too few nutrients. And guess what – you need vitamins and minerals to process all those empty calories. Low nutritional status = a poorly functioning metabolism.
VITAMIN B5 supplementation promotes healthy functioning of adrenal gland which are responsible for cortisol[the fight or flight hormone].
Magnesium supplementation may also be needed .it is a magic hormone that contributes to cortisol regulation ,thyroid function,blood sugar balance,and sleep.regulation of which leads to healthier gut and hormones causing your weight to go off on its own.
Inositol is an insulin sensitiser which helps in reducing insulin resistance especially in cases of pcos,prediabetic conditions.it acts just like metformin without the side effects .
SUB OPTIMAL THYROID HEALTH
Located at the front of your neck, your thyroid gland helps to regulate bodily functions like your metabolism, menstrual cycle, and even how quickly food passes through your digestive system.
Optimising thyroid function is crucial in a functional medicine approach to weight loss. However, this entails more than taking a thyroid replacement medication. For example, during a comprehensive thyroid workup, we assess how well your body is converting the main thyroid hormone (T4) to the active thyroid hormone (T3). Your T4 hormone must be converted into T3 in order for your body to use it. This requires optimal liver and gut health, stress management, and getting enough nutrients, like zinc and selenium, that your body requires for optimal conversion.
So if your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down and your overall energy production decreases. In addition to an inability to lose weight, hypothyroidism can lead to fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, hair loss, constipation, brain fog, and a low body temperature.
As you heal your gut and take care of any underlying infections and fix your lifestyle your thyroid heals itself and optimises its actions.
Today we live in a world where we are constantly exposed to dangerous chemicals,heavy metals , medications, and other toxins that can wreak havoc on your endocrine system. Many of the toxins in your foods, water, and personal care and household products, including shampoo, lotion, candles, and makeup, mimic the activity of hormones such as estrogen.
These act as endocrine disruptors dysregulate their natural signaling pathways and actions.
Through a functional medicine approach we check for heavy metal poisoning and toxins load on your body through hair element analysis.
Elimination of the disruptors from your body revives your endocrine signalling back to normal .
SUPPPORT NATURAL DETOX MECHANISMS
One of the key methods is to Optimize pathways in which your body can eliminate toxins via sweat, urine, and bowel movements.
Detoxification is also a very important component while losing weight because the body naturally stores toxins in fat cells. When these fat cells shrink, our body releases these toxins and may try to overcorrect by encouraging mechanisms that further slow weight loss leading to weight loss resistance in the long run.
Don’t forget to sweat – this is the body’s natural mechanism to excrete toxins !
- Take supplements that support detoxification including selenium,vitamin c, zinc and a Vitamin b complex.
- Take special glutathione boosting compounds such as n acetyl cysteine ,alpha lipoic acid and milk thistle, which also support your liver.
- Eating lots of fiber helps you poop at least once a day – this a very important part of the detoxification process!
Add 1 to 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables daily to assist with detoxification. This includes foods like broccoli, kale, and bok choy, and lots of garlic, onions, ginger, and turmeric.
Foods that may support your detox systems include:
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel’s sprouts, etc.) for estrogen balance and glutathione
- Leafy greens for folate and healthy methylation
- Berries and turmeric for antioxidants
- Eggs for amino acids and vitamin B12
- Water for adequate removal of water-soluble toxins via urine.
Shorter sleep correlates with increased obesity, hypertension, and other metabolic disorders.
Irregular sleep cycles can lead to leptin resistance.
In our technology-heavy, work-into-late-hours society, sleep sometimes gets the short end of the stick.
Turn off electronics a few hours before bedtime, find a sleep ritual that helps you unwind, and aim for 8 – 9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night.
If you have trouble in initiation of sleep , it could be a sign that your pineal gland is getting a late signal to release melatonin.
Try to reset the clock by taking melatonin for a few days at a fixed time.
High stress levels can lead to increased cortisol production, which can contribute to weight gain.
Mind-body practices – Mind-body practices, such as meditation, stress management techniques, and sleep hygiene, can also play a role in weight reduction by reducing stress levels and promoting hormonal balance.
Eating should be enjoyable, but when the love of food is used as a coping mechanism during times of stress or sadness, it can turn unhealthy. If you’re an emotional eater, dealing with the underlying emotions that fuel compulsive eating is essential.
Make a note of the triggering events ..and plan for them ahead if necessary .
To avoid food confusion make a meal plan to avoid decision fatigue and binge crashes .
Mindfulness meditation can help you become aware of the body’s true needs. Observing your thoughts and emotions, instead of mistaking yourself for them, allows you to break the habitual cycle of emotional eating and make rational choices.
Are you starving yourself in an attempt to lose weight?
It is never the solution.physiologically speaking body goes into fat storage hibernation xzone when starved.
So you starving yourself is only making you gain weight.
A starving body is just like a car with an emopty gas tank .it looks fine but will never work.
the bottom line is that to be nourished and to fully activate the body’s ability to balance its weight, sufficient amounts of good, healthy food are required.
In fact, most obese children and adults are actually malnourished. While that might sound contradictory, an abundance of calories does not necessarily deliver the nutrients that your body needs. . You can eat too many calories and too few nutrients.
So instead of starving yourself and withholding food from yourself, fill your body with the good kinda fuel - nutrient dense foods , nourishing and teach it how to be a fat burning engine.
WHAT TO EAT ? HOW TO OPTIMISE FOOD FOR NUTRIENTS ? WHICH EXERCISES ?
CALORIES IN VS OUT
Even excess calories from healthy foods can cause you to gain weight and defeat your weight loss goals
If you’ve tracked your calories and you’re within your recommended ranges, take a look at your ratio of mthe goal is not to completely cut out entire macronutrient groups. All three of the macronutrients are essential for your body to function, the goal is to find the right balance for your bodyacronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Identify food sensitivities and intolerances
A short-term keto diet or low-carb diet may help people with high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
WHICH SUPPLEMENTS ?
Probiotics, when referring to their supplement form, are living bacteria that provide countless health benefits when ingested. These bacteria are naturally occurring in the gut, but can be replenished through external means.
Inositol referred to as vitamin B8 is a type of a sugar which helps icrease insulin sensitivity,decrease triglycerides especiallly in people with pcos.
Reduces the risk factors for metabolic syndrome .
Magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 reactions in the body which are involved in energy production and fat consumption.deficiency of magnesium can halt these reactions and turn the body into a low energy fat storing machine.
L carnitine also enhances insulin's actions on muscle cells. What this means is that it can help keep blood glucose levels low, even after a carb-rich meal, while also aiding glycogen repletion. This increases insulin sensitivity.
B vitamins can support a healthy weight balance due to their role in energy production. “Vitamin B3 (niacin) can play an important role in helping the body break down carbohydrates and convert them into energy
Protein helps promote weight loss in a few ways: you burn more calories digesting it, it helps you stay full for longer and it supports metabolically active lean muscle.
Fiber may help you feel full for longer, meaning you might be more likely to resist snacking—and the extra calories that can come with it. Focusing on eating 30 grams of fiber per day can help support weight loss and help improve your body’s response to insulin.