Why weight loss is just not about calories?
The conventional wisdom that reducing calorie intake and burning calories is the solution to weight loss is an oversimplified approach to a complex problem. According to NHANES survey, more than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or obese. One in 6 children and adolescents are suffering from obesity. Weight gain in an individual is not always the result of an unhealthy diet and/or lack of exercise. Many factors including Microbiome, food sensitivity, trauma and stress, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, use of certain medications such as antibiotics, fatty liver, persistent infections and exposure to environmental toxins play a important role in causing weight gain.
Functional approach to Weight Loss
Below is a diagram that demonstrates a functional approach to weight loss. This approach addresses the root cause of weight gain.
Root causes of Weight gain
1. Trauma and stress
Adverse life experiences including those that were encountered in childhood, life stressors, anxiety and depression are very important risk factors for weight gain. They play an important role in hormonal balance as well as food choices made by an individual.
Microbiome refers to the 10-100 trillion bacteria, virus and fungi that reside on or inside our bodies particularly in our digestive tract. They are responsible for helping us in many ways including getting our nutrients, strengthening our immune system, and controlling inflammation. An imbalance of this system can lead to symptoms of the digestive system such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory bowel disease. It can also cause a lot of diseases that are unrelated to the digestive tract such as autoimmune disease, neurological symptoms, fatigue etc. They have a very important role in helping us maintain a good weight. They can cause significant weight gain and also significant weight loss.
3. Diet and lack of Physical Activity
We are what we eat so it is needless to say that our diet effects are weight. However, most people have cravings as well as lifestyle limitations that prevent them from eating healthy. They may have digestive issues when they try to eat healthy. They are often unaware of why they have cravings or how can they feel satiated if they do not eat specific types of foods.
Lack of physical activity can be due to pain, fatigue, lack of motivation or simply not knowing what type of physical activity would work best for their health condition and weight.
4. Food Sensitivity
We are all unique individuals and so we respond differently to different foods. Understanding how we digest and absorb food and how are bodies respond to food is an important factor in achieving weight loss.
Any inflammation in the body leads to swelling and water retention leading to weight gain. Identifying the root cause of inflammation and addressing it is the only way to sustain weight loss.
6. Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones such as thyroid and cortisol directly affect the metabolism of our body and insulin sensitivity. Inability to regulate these makes it impossible to lose weight. Other hormones such as Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone also play an important role in inflammation, and building our lean mass.
A lot of medications such as antibiotics, antidepressants, steroids, oral contraceptives etc. cause weight gain. They interfere with our gut bacteria, our hormones and metabolic processes of our body. Getting off these medications under the supervision of the physician is needed to achieve weight loss.
8. Fatty Liver
Fatty liver is a condition where fat tissue is seen inside the liver impacting it’s ability to function and metabolize nutrients and toxins. It reduces insulin sensitivity and leads to weight gain.
9. Toxin exposure
Exposure to any toxins including bacterial toxins such as LPS, heavy metals and environmental toxins (persistent organic pollutants) are an important cause of obesity. Failure to get rid of them will definitely prevent weight loss.
10. Persistent Infections
Persistent infections such as Lyme, Epstein Barr Virus etc. can be a source of inflammation and hence lead to weight gain.
11. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutrients are needed for the proper functioning of metabolic activities, hormones, and immune system. Hence nutritional deficiencies can result in an inability to lose weight.
Our Functional Approach to weight loss
Our functional approach to weight loss is not focused on simply reducing calories and/or increasing physical activities. It is a personalized approach that addresses the root cause of weight gain. It identifies why an individual craves for certain foods or is unable to exercise. Identifying the root cause is the key to reversing weight gain.We use many different modalities such as
1. Body Composition analysis-to identify the degree of visceral fat and lean mass.
2. Infrared Hyperthermic therapy-to increase blood supply, activate metabolic processes, improve mitochondrial function and enhance sweating.
3. Supervised Fasting-we utilize many different types of fasting depending on the need of the individual.
4. Repairing and restoring the gut bacteria-We have a 5R approach to addressing leaky gut, Irritable Bowel syndrome, Small Intestinal Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Candida.
5. Hormone balancing-balancing Cortisol, thyroid, insulin, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
6. Personalized nutrition and physical activity plan
7. Stress, anxiety and depression management-we use non-pharmacological, safe and effective tools to help our patients.
8. Treating chronic infections-We do not prefer to use antibiotics but rather use safe and non-toxic modalities as much as possible.
9. Elimination of toxins-We have specific protocols to get rid of specific toxins.
10. Improvement of liver function-We use many different botanicals to support the liver. There are different stages of liver detoxification and the botanicals are chosen according to the needs of the patient.
11. Reducing inflammation-we identify the source of inflammation and then eliminate the cause.
12. Replacing nutrients-we assess the nutritional deficiencies at the cellular level and replenish them. In some cases we use intramuscular and intravenous nutrients particularly when the digestive system is not working.
13. Supervised tapering off of medications causing weight gain
For more information about our Integrative Weight Loss program, contact us at 610-363-3973 or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)