The facts are clear- the latest diet are not effective. They usually give you short-term results, but then the weight goes straight back on and you never achieve lasting long-term results. At Cura, we use a combination of strategies for you to lose weight and to help you keep it off. Usually strict diets with mapped out plans just make you feel miserable, and the majority of people finding them really challenging.
At Cura, our experienced naturopath assesses you and your individual health and weight issues, and will prescribe you a dietary plan that is based on your individual needs using real food to get real results. Dieting is not about a one-size fits all plan, but a tailored healthy plan for you – an individual.
Biggest Hurdles to Weight loss
Losing weight can be the biggest health hurdle for many people to overcome. It may seem like no matter how hard you try, no matter how many diets you start or how many exercise classes you sign up to, that extra weight is either slow to burn off or doesn’t burn off at all. A detox diet can speed up the process, but is not the only thing to improve progress.
Successful weight loss can often be more complicated than we think, and instead of it being simply the case that you’re ‘not trying hard enough’, a number of seemingly unrelated problems may be holding you back. Therefore it’s useful to understand some of these complexities and how they might be hindering your efforts.
An underactive thyroid gland, or ‘hypothyroidism’, can cause many symptoms including fatigue, constipation and aches. Decreased levels of the thyroid hormone T3 & T4 (thyroxine is a synthetic form) can also lead to weight gain. This makes it much more of a struggle for weight loss!
Whilst some people are born with hypothyroidism, there are also a number of factors which can trigger the condition. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause; however other deficiencies may also be responsible, such as low selenium or tyrosine. Stress and mercury poisoning can also affect the thyroid.
Can Stress Prevent Weight Loss?
As mentioned above, stress can also affect the thyroid. However, there are also many other ways in which stress can lead to weight problems.
When we experience stress, the body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol enables the body to repair itself more effectively, and it also provides the brain with more glucose. Yet when we experience stress and anxiety on a daily basis, these increased levels of blood sugar can lead to weight gain, making it harder to lose weight quickly, especially in the waist area.
Stress can also pull blood away from areas of the body responsible for digestion and into the muscles, which lowers digestive function. Some of us may also feel an increased desire to comfort eat during stressful times, which can of course also make it difficult to manage our weight.
HCG Diet and Fat Burning Foods
The most asked question patients ask me is, “What is the fastest way I can lose weight?” Would it be on the HCG diet or are there secret herbs or foods that can strip fat off? The fast answer is, unfortunately not. There are some foods and herbal medicines that speed up the process –
- green tea extract
- vegetable juices (careful with greens such as Kale as they will slow down your thyroid)
- Turmeric (Curcumin-rich)
Heavy Metal Toxicity and Weight Gain
Heavy metal toxicity can accumulate over years of a person’s life and may come from a number of different sources, including mercury amalgam fillings, the water supply or a diet which includes high amounts of fish. These can make weight loss much harder!
This toxic metal build up can cause damage throughout the body, including the liver. The liver’s two main roles are to detoxify the blood and metabolize fat. Therefore, if you find that you try and try to lose weight but to no avail, a low functioning liver may be what’s causing the problem.
To keep your liver healthy, eliminate or reduce your alcohol intake, stay away from artificial sweeteners, and include liver-nourishing foods into your diet, such as milk thistle or citrus juices.
Heavy metal toxicity too has also been linked to decreased levels of selenium which is often linked to impaired thyroid function. In a consultation, a naturopath can identify heavy metals and assist with chelation to elimination.
Can Poor Sleep Quality Make Me Fat?
Lack of sleep may not seem like an obvious reason for slow fat loss, yet sleep plays a vital role in our overall health, including weight management. Sleepless nights can definitely make losing weight slower.
For example, studies have shown that after a night of poor sleep, the body releases increased levels of hunger hormones. During the study, this was found to affect the participants’ food purchasing habits, with them buying higher-calorie foods after a bad night’s sleep than after they had slept well. Naturopath support can help a patient get a better night’s sleep.
For a better night’s sleep, make sure you wind down properly before bedtime, turning off phones, switching off from work or emails, etc, and avoid eating before going to sleep, ideally 2 – 3 hours before you plan to get into bed.
Poor Eating Habits
Many people believe that the way to lose weight is to start a new diet. However, diets often stress the body, particularly diets which require unnatural eating patterns or behaviours. A core program begins with a core foundation of healthy food.
Rather than choosing complicated diet plans which are hard to stick to and are often unhealthy for the body and mind, regular smaller meals are the best way to control your weight. Skipping meals is definitely not recommended, as this puts the body into fat storage mode, and often ends up driving people to eat more to compensate later on in the day.
For optimal results it’s recommended that carbohydrates are reduced (this includes bread, pasta, beans, rice), as well as sugar, and more exercise is included into your weekly routine. It’s important to choose exercises that you enjoy, to help you stick to your routine for the long run. Naturopaths use a combination of nutrition and herbal medicine to help the patient optimise the patients eating habits. This is an effective recipe!
At you first naturopath consultation, a thorough health analysis will be undertaken to establish if factors such as metabolism, thyroid, hormones, lifestyle or emotional issues are contributing causes to your difficult weight loss. Although it may not seem immediately clear, often underlying factors contribute to weight gain. Digestive alterations, toxic element buildup or even genetic polymorphisms can make it harder to lose weight. The practitioner may order relevant pathology tests, if required, such as thyroid function, hormone testing, hair mineral analysis or even a ONE (Optimal Nutritional Evaluation) report to determine any genetic problems that may be contributing to your weight issues.
Personalised Weight loss Program
At you first consultation, a thorough health analysis will be undertaken to establish if factors such as metabolism, thyroid, hormones, lifestyle or emotional issues are contributing causes to your difficult weight loss. Although it may not seem immediately clear, often underlying factors contribute to weight gain. Digestive alterations, toxic element buildup or even genetic polymorphisms can make it harder to lose weight. The practitioner may order relevant pathology tests, if required, such as thyroid function, hormone testing, hair mineral analysis or even a ONE (Optimal Nutritional Evaluation) report to determine any genetic problems that may be contributing to your weight issues.
There are several formulated protein shake diets such as the Metagenics, Shake-it program, but it is essential to tailor the weight loss program specifically for your. Often it is important to first optimise your body functions before introducing a protein shake as this may not be compatible with your genetic makeup.
Ultimately you want to eat real food rather than taking a substitute, protein shake. In saying this, a practitioner formulated protein shake can be effective short-term to speed up to lose weight quickly.
There are many reasons why people gain weight, and at Cura, we will work with you to determine the underlying causes of your weight issues.
In addition to teaching you how to eat well to achieve fat loss, your Cura weight-loss specialist will help you to understand your body, it’s needs and your metabolism. The naturopath will teach you how to change your lifestyle, your motivation and your relationship food. You will learn how to eat for wellness, change habits and achieve a healthy weight for life!
The Cura clinic is situated on Stirling highway in the Claremont Medical Centre. The centre is just 15 minutes from the Perth CBD. To talk with a naturopath or to make a booking please contact the Cura clinic.
Phone or Skype consultations are available worldwide or Australia-wide. Please contact the clinic to speak with a practitioner or to schedule your appointment.