As we’ve settled into the summer season, are you finding that you are still trying to lose that stubborn weight? Have you tried, every summer, to lose that excess belly fat without success? Make this year different! Make the needed changes to take back your health. If that happens to include weight loss, then finding the underlying causes will help you reach your goals.
For some people, diet and exercise changes are sufficient for losing weight. However, for most it isn’t quite enough to get them to their weight loss goal. If you are one of these people, it is very likely that there are underlying health issues to blame.
In today’s world, which is filled with dangerous chemicals such as: medications, heavy metals, and other toxins, your endocrine (or hormone) system has to put up quite a fight. Many of the products you use daily such as shampoo, lotion, and makeup, can mimic the activity of hormones in your body. When these chemicals disrupt our natural hormone cycle, it can become very difficult to lose weight.
If your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down and your energy production decreases. In addition to difficult weight loss, hypothyroidism can lead to mood swings, hair loss, constipation, fatigue, and brain fog. With 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid problems, the number one symptom of hypothyroidism is the inability to lose weight along, with unexplained weight gain. Most conventional doctors use only one or two tests to assess your thyroid function. If you think you may have an underactive thyroid, a full thyroid panel will provide the best answers.
We’ve all heard that stress contributes to weight gain. However, it has far less to do with eating that tub of ice cream at night to soothe the troubles of the day than you might think. When your body is under stress, it releases a surge of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol’s natural levels should be higher in the morning and gradually decrease throughout the day. These levels coincide with our natural circadian rhythm.
Although cortisol is our friend when it powers our fight or flight response, it can also break down lean muscle tissue, and cause an increase in belly fat. If you are chronically stressed, your body will continue to produce high levels of cortisol throughout the day, causing your body to store fat.
Take an honest look at your stress levels. If you find that you are feeling run down and overworked, it might be time to make some changes. Take some time throughout your day to include stress reduction techniques. These techniques will help regulate your cortisol levels so that your body will not continuously store fat.
Other Hormonal Imbalance
In addition to weight management problems caused by toxins, your thyroid, or cortisol levels, imbalances in insulin and sex hormones often produce weight issues. Erratic blood sugar levels can lead to difficulty in losing weight, muscle loss, memory problems, and sexual difficulties. Working with a functional medicine doctor who can order functional hormone testing to better support your body’s natural hormone production, can help your balanced body find its appropriate weight.
No matter the direction you decide to take in your weight loss, please keep a few things in mind:
- Stay away from fad diets, and always notify your doctor if you are going to try a restricted diet.
- Building lean muscle mass is going to be the key to permanent weight loss. If this is not a priority, you will be far more likely to gain it all back.
- Don’t focus on the scale! Your goal should be to lose fat, not pounds.” Focus instead on losing overall inches
Dr. Susan K. Linder is Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine. She is also board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, with a subspecialty board certification in Pain Management. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on nutritional health, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and getting back to feeling great visit her website: www.healthspringmd.com or call today to schedule a consultation 817-926- 7671.