Still Struggling with Resistant Weight Loss?
Detective work continues.
3. Hormone Imbalance.
Sometimes when we’re stuck in a weight loss twilight zone, i.e. we can’t for-the-love-of-God lose those last bunch of pounds [!], we Must examine how our hormones are behaving and why. There are several to consider. I’ll be limiting my discussion here to two.
Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that operate to manage hunger and fullness. Leptin tells the brain to curb the appetite and importantly manages appetite suppression. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite.
Interestingly, leptin is produced by adipose (fat) tissue. It travels to the hypothalamus to indicate ‘we have enough fat! so please stop eating’. In studies performed on obese individuals, it was established that overweight people can become leptin resistant, meaning the brain isn’t getting the message to stop eating.
To increase leptin, leading Leptin expert, Byron Richards recommends the following 5 rules to increase leptin:
- Never eat after dinner;
- Eat 3 meals a day and Only 3 meals a day;
- Don’t overeat at meals or eat large meals;
- Eat a protein breakfast; and
- Reduce the number of carbohydrates eaten.
Richards’ approach is simple and reasonable. Consider experimenting with his rules to see how you can impact these hormones to work more synergistically with your weight loss aims. Further, excess fructose can interfere with leptin, so modifying your intake of sugary sodas, juices and higher fructose fruits and vegetables, particularly dried fruits, can support leptin to function optimally. In my first post in this series, I encourage you to reduce your intake of processed foods. Fructose is found in many of these.
Ghrelin, a hormone discovered in 1999, is known as the “hunger hormone”, is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and regulates hunger. What’s most important to know about ghrelin is that if you are not getting enough sleep and you’re cravings have increased, ghrelin is partly to blame.
Ghrelin has a cozy relationship with the neurotransmitter serotonin.
If you’re sleep is less than optimal, and your serotonin levels drop, an increase of ghrelin will follow. Lesson learned? Sleep well. At least 7 to 8 hours, so that you can keep ghrelin from excess output.
4. A gastrointestinal tract issue.
The possibilities that could be occurring within your gastrointestinal tract are wide and varied. From a parasite, yeast overgrowth or general dysbiosis to chronic infections such as Lyme’s Disease, H. Pylori or an autoimmune or thyroid condition, the digestive tract should be considered in an analysis for resistant weight loss. Leaky Gut Syndrome (“leaky gut”) which has become more widely accepted in the medical community has been studied to see whether a connection exists between increased intestinal permeability, i.e. leaky gut, and obesity.
According to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, a healthy digestive tract is a tightly woven mesh of tissue that doesn’t allow the absorption of bacteria, harmful or undigested food into the bloodstream. Imagine that tightly woven mesh of tissue as a cheesecloth.
A cheesecloth that is intact performs in the way Dr. K likens to a healthy digestive tract. Nutrient breakdown is happening, cells are nourished and the body is operating optimally.
A damaged cheesecloth, aka leaky gut, however, means that substances are leaking through into our bloodstream that shouldn’t. This begins the process of systemic inflammation and the possibilities are varied and multi-fold, including the potential for an autoimmune disorder to present, as well as a troubling cascade of hormone disruption. Note the discussion of leptin above and consider that leptin resistance can occur under these circumstances of a leaky gut.
Important to consider then, are the factors that contribute to the loosening of those tight junctions (or tight cheesecloth). They are chronic inflammation, noxious food particles, impaired blood sugar control & chronic stress (just to name a few).
While your digestive tract repairs itself every few days, continuing to eat foods you’re sensitive to results in a chronic assault of the gut lining making repair difficult to achieve.
Once you’ve removed those foods you’re sensitive to, mend your gut lining barrier with probiotics, Vitamin D, glutamine and omega-3 fats so you’re absorbing what you need and eliminating what you don’t.
It’s well documented that stress impacts the body in myriad ways, including preventing the body from losing excess weight. Like anything, a little stress is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes, our immune system strong and our connection to life engaged.
However, being chronically stressed can make you toxic.
When you are chronically stressed, you are stimulating a lot of cortisol in your body and excess or sustained cortisol can wreak havoc internally. Cortisol is that hormone that gives us our ‘get up and go’. Too much of it promotes weight gain, especially around the middle. It also can destroy healthy muscle and bone and slow down healing and normal cell regeneration. Over demand on your adrenals, the gland that produces cortisol can raise your blood sugar, increase blood pressure and slow down processes that aren’t utilized during stress like digestion.
See the connection between stress and your digestive system?
Too much of it and our system acts out. All of these things are building up toxins in your body, and you need ways to eliminate them and make your body run efficiently. Deep breathing, relaxation and meditation are all excellent tools to destress and to promote your body’s machinery to operate efficiently and effectively.
Weight loss resistance can be happening for a variety of reasons. The first place to start is to conduct a thorough examination of what you’re eating. A general clean up and removal of the top inflammatory foods or doing an elimination diet will provide a first good step towards meaningful healing. By becoming your body’s advocate, those next steps of deeper analysis will lead you closer to the root cause(s) of those stubborn pounds and a productive and appropriate healing protocol .
If you’re in need of a doing an elimination diet or if your body just needs a REBOOT, join my Winter Reboot starting January 30, 2017. For more information, go to wellnessgirlcleanse.com.
Are you experiencing weight loss resistance? If so, what do you think is getting in your way? What is one thing you could change to level the playing field in your body and bring it into balance? Let me know below.