Related Topics: Bioidentical Hormones, Diet, Features, Nutrition

The Three Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

You may think you are doing all the right things, but are you really making the best choices? And what role do your hormones play?

Dr David Jockers

Have you ever struggled to lose weight?  Have you ever had unstoppable cravings that plagued you and tarnished your ability to get to your ideal weight?

As a clinician who specializes in helping people lose weight I have seen so many individuals who have struggled with yo-yo dieting and stress induced weight gain.  For many, they are able to lose weight easily when they are younger but by the time they hit 40, the extra weight becomes stubborn and resistant. This is a condition called “Weight Loss Resistance” and it has to do with chronic inflammation and impaired hormone function.

Where Did We Go Wrong?

We used to think that weight loss was as simple as  Calories in vs Calories out so the less calories you take in and the more calories you burn the more weight you lose.  This is now considered an archaic model of metabolism. Now we understand that weight loss comes down to hormone function and immune system coordination.  A lifestyle that restricts calories may not allow us to lose the kind of weight we want and it certainly will not necessarily make us healthier.

A lifestyle that enhances our hormone function and immune coordination will improve our overall health and help us shed the unwanted weight.  Here are the three biggest mistakes that many make when trying to lose weight.

Mistake 1 – Eating for healthy hormone function – the role of low fat and low calorie foods

These foods are typically made up of low-nutrient processed carbohydrates.  All natural foods that have carbohydrates also contain fibers, anti-oxidants, enzymes and trace minerals like chromium to help with blood sugar signaling processes.  Processed carbohydrates drive up the blood sugar and cause inflammatory processes in the body.

Inflammation damages the cell membranes and alters hormonal communication processes.   When hormone function is impaired it leads to more inflammation and for genetically susceptible individuals it will cause weight loss resistance.

You don’t need to lower fat, in fact, you want to increase your intake of fat substantially.  Essential fats are used to make hormones and improve the cell membrane for healthy hormone function in the body.

Low Fat = Poor Hormone Function = Inflammation = Weight Loss Resistance

High Carb = Poor Blood Sugar Signaling = Inflammation = Weight Loss Resistance

Low Carb = Healthy Blood Sugar Signaling = Anti-Inflammatory = Weight Loss

High Fat = Good Hormone Function = Anti-Inflammatory = Weight Loss

Good fats such as coconut products, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil and grass-fed butter should be staples in the diet. People with the healthiest hormones eat the most fat and the lowest amount of starchy carbohydrates.

Mistake 2 – Eating Chemicals Rather than Nutrients:

These foods are often loaded with fake fats and artificial flavorings and preservatives. They also contain genetically modified ingredients that are full of toxic pesticides and herbicides.  Often times these foods are supplemented with synthetic vitamins and minerals. These are unnatural nutrients that act more like inflammatory chemicals that true living nutrients. This cocktail of chemicals impairs our immune system and causes chronic inflammation in the body.

Inflammation damages the cell membranes and alters hormonal communication processes.  When hormone function is impaired it leads to more inflammation and for genetically susceptible individuals it will cause weight loss resistance.

More Chemicals & Less Nutrients = More Inflammation = Weight Loss Resistance

Less Chemicals & More Nutrients = Anti-Inflammatory = Weight Loss

Mistake 3 – Doing the Wrong Type of Exercise:

Most people assume that if you want to lose weight you have to do a lot of cardiovascular exercise. This is untrue. Low intensity, long-duration exercise such as spending 45 minutes on an elliptical machine may help you burn calories but it does nothing to stimulate fat-burning hormones. In fact, it actually causes more stress on the body and negates your body from stimulating these fat-burning hormones.

When you do high-intensity, short duration exercise such as burst training you stimulate fat-burning hormones like human growth hormone (HGH).  The more HGH your body produces the more amplified the fat burning effect will be throughout the day.

High intensity strength training where you do large muscle group exercises such as squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, bench press, overhead press, etc. gives the greatest muscle toning and fat burning effects.  The more muscle fibers you fatigue (through large muscle group exercises with challenging sets) during the training the more HGH you will secrete.

Keep these workouts short – between 5 to 30 minutes max for the greatest metabolic effect. When your training session goes beyond 30 minutes your body will begin secreting stress hormones which will negate the HGH release.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made or seen others make when trying to lose weight?

Progesterone and weight loss

One of the effects of progesterone is to balance the water retention action of oestrogen.  For many women water retention is a major problem throughout life from menstrual cycle through to menopause and this can put on more than a few pounds. Oestrogen dominance and water retention are linked so dealing with that by rebalancing your hormones naturally with bioidentical progesterone can help shed those extra pounds.

Oestrogen dominance can also stimulate an increase in the production of insulin, leading to increased conversion of carbohydrate into fat, as well as sugar cravings. The result is that the weight piles on much easier and slimming down is much harder.

Further reading:

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