A Functional Medicine Approach to Weight Loss
How many New Year resolutions have you made to lose weight only to have the weight come back on again plus more?
Diets like Weight Watchers, Whole30, Nutrisystem, the Grapefruit diet, Paleo, Keto, (the list is added to daily) gives hope that this time you will lose the weight and keep it off. Unfortunately, very few do.
“Diets” may result in losing weight but also have side effects of losing muscle, gaining weight, gaining body fat and never really learning about what food plan is right for your body. Lifetime memberships make you wonder “will I ever figure out how to lose the weight and really keep it off this time?”
What if you look at it a new way?
First, make the decision to not go on a “diet”. Start exploring your body, your trigger foods and consider working with a dietitian who practices functional medicine to help you figure out how to eat for your body type and loose weight.
There can be many underlying reasons why weight loss isn’t easy for you. A functional medicine practitioner will seek to find the reasons that your body is holding onto weight.
For example, do you have an inflammatory issue or are you not detoxifying toxins and hormones efficiently?
Do you have food sensitivities?
Is your thyroid working efficiently?
Are you over exercising or not exercising enough?
Are you going through menopause?
Are you on certain medications that may slow down the metabolism and promote weight gain?
How to Eat
Start by removing processed food and eating foods that your body can digest, absorb and use for energy. If you do eat outside your plan then don’t beat yourself up.
It is important to look at calories in and calories out in other words that you are eating enough to sustain energy and to support exercise or that you are not overeating based on your body’s needs.
It’s also important to look at macronutrient’s and the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate and what is best for your metabolism. In my practice I use an Impedimed Machine to test total body water, fluid in the cells and outside the cells as well as fat free mass. This is important with weight loss because if a person is losing more muscle and less body fat, we must adjust the calories and maybe the macronutrients which means they may need to eat more to stimulate weight loss.
It’s important with a food plan that you address the underlying emotional issues you may have with food. If you have a plan that is meeting your physical needs and you are still hungry you may need to consider the emotional factors that are contributing to eating. We all know that stress can be a powerful emotion to fuel over-eating.
We will talk more about disordered eating as well as eating disorders as we explore nutrition for health this month.
Until next time…eat healthy and move.