Losing weight can seem like an uphill battle. Whether you’re looking to trim off the last 5-10 pounds, or need a kick-start to begin a longer journey, losing weight is often much more difficult than it seems and keeping it off can become a lifelong struggle. Many of my weight loss patients have tried all the “fad” diets out there, but the weight just keeps coming back. This is because weight loss is a multi-factorial condition, so simply looking at calories-in / calories-out doesn’t always provide the whole solution.
THE NATUROPATHIC APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS
As a Naturopathic Doctor, my approach to weight loss is one of making gradual, do-able changes to your diet and lifestyle so that the weight stays off, and addressing the underlying causes as to why its may be difficult for you to lose weight.
WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT?
Lab testing is often the first step into investigating reasons why losing weight may be difficult for you. Depending on your health history and symptoms, we might investigate factors such as insulin resistance, food intolerances, sub-clinical hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, adrenal fatigue, or PCOS. When we can appropriately diagnose a condition, we can effectively target and treat the underlying cause so that your weight loss will become easier and last for the long-term.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I also look at other health factors that might be either a result of being over weight, or might contribute to difficulties with weight loss. This might include low energy, sleep quality/quantity, depression/low mood, joint pain, arthritis, and insulin resistance. Treating these factors unlocks your ability to become more active, lose weight more easily, and makes our weight loss program more successful.
THE NATUROPATHIC “DIET” (SPOILER: IT’S NOT A DIET)
Of course, addressing diet is a huge aspect of Naturopathic weight loss. I try not to think of it as a “diet”, but more as a long-term eating plan and lifestyle change.
There are many factors as to why your current “diet” may not be working. Sometimes it’s not that you’re eating too much, it’s that you’re eating to little and your body has switched into starvation mode. When our cells tell our brains that we’re starving, our bodies hold on even more tightly to fat because we’re trying to survive under famine conditions.
Sometimes, it’s more about what you’re eating, rather than the sheer number of calories. I often see people eating “low calorie” options and getting nowhere. This is because their bodies are being deprived of protein and fat, and are instead getting lots of artificial sweeteners and high-sugar foods. Interestingly, some individuals are also genetically predisposed to lose weight on a high-fat / lower carb diet, and some people are the other way around.
Some people also do better with a portion-sized based eating plan, or a calorie-counting plan, or a clean-eating recipe list… it depends on how you work best! Regardless, I look at you as an individual, and we will create a diet together that suits your body’s needs as well as your personal dietary preferences.
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