Why Diets Fail Part 2
The Functional Medicine Center2023-01-16T11:21:46-05:00
Are you engaging in moderate exercise a few days a week, enjoy a low glycemic, nutrient dense diet and are still struggling to lose weight?
There are a few possible culprits we’ll discuss when you are doing all the right things and still having trouble with your health goals.
If you are moving regularly, eating an unprocessed, fiber and nutrient rich diet, drinking plenty of water, ou may want to talk to your provider about one or more of the following things:
1.Gut Microbiome – We have 10 times as many bacteria in our body as we have cells in our body. The makeup of our gut microbiome has many determining factors on our weight and overall health. Pharmaceuticals such as birth control and antibiotics can negatively affect our gut bacteria, as well as toxins, yeast, and even stress. We know that if we take gut bacteria from a thin mouse and give it to an overweight mouse, that mouse will lose weight independent of changes in diet and exercise. Needless to say, a healthy microbiome is essential to overall health and weight management. Talk to your provider about testing your gut bacteria to know if you you may need supplements or if you can heal your gut through proper nutrition and plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods (probiotic foods are fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, while prebiotic foods are fibrous vegetables that feed good bacteria such as dandelion greens, onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus, artichokes, and chicory root).
2.Environmental Toxins – Toxins come into our bodies through our diet, our water and our environment through our air and home. Cleaning products, artificial scents, plastics, BPA, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals from our air and oceans are with us every day. Our body does its best to detoxify, however the rate at which toxins enter our body is usually much higher than our body’s ability to rid us of them. Recently science has shown that some of these toxins contribute to weight gain even in the absence of extra calories. Toxins that affect metabolism, hormones and alter regulation of satiety are sometimes called obesogens. Talk to your physician about getting tested for toxins so that you can treat your specific toxic load. Easy things you can do to help your body detoxify are eating 1 to 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) daily, as well as garlic, onions and plenty of vegetable fiber.
3.Nutrient Imbalances – Even though you are now eating leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables with lots of healthy fats, you may still have imbalances from years of eating nutrient poor foods. Omega 3, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D deficiencies (among others) actually affect our metabolism and can be a cause of weight loss plateau. Talk to your provider about getting tested for nutrient deficiencies and possible supplementation.
4. Inflammation – Did you know allergies, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, even depression and dementia are all chronic diseases perpetuated by a state of inflammation? Even fat cells produce inflammatory molecules. In addition viruses, mold toxins, and food allergens can cause weight gain and inflammation. Inflammation can contribute to weight gain even if you are exercising and eating a balanced nutritious diet. Focusing on getting 75% of each meal from whole unprocessed plant based foods, cutting sugar and getting plenty of healthy fats will lower chronic inflammation. I want to add that getting 75% of your daily intake from plant based foods does not mean you do not need protein. Protein is formed from amino acids which are literally the building blocks of our cells and our DNA, so it is imperative that you get lean, organic/wild, and grass-fed sources of protein in your daily diet. Plant-based eaters can get quality protein from nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains such as steel cut oats, teff or wild rice.