Everyone is searching for a quick fix for weight loss and there are so many proposed diets out there: Body for Life, The Macrobiotic Diet, The Abs Diet, Eating for your Blood type, The SouthBeach Diet, The 17 Day Diet, Nutri-Systems, and the new Dukan Diet, to name a few. With so many options, it can get confusing.
The newest hype is the HCG diet, which is the most concerning. This diet requires the dieter to consume a measly 500 calories per day. Proposed by Simeon in his protocol, this diet is based upon the theory that the hypothalamus is reset by the injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This is based on the belief that the body has a set point for where it likes to be in terms of weight, and we continue to go back to that normal set point regardless of dieting attempts, making weight loss temporary. In theory, following this diet would result in a redistribution of fat from the trouble spots, resulting in the body resetting its set point to a lesser weight.
However, the HCG Diet is risky and most dieters eventually do gain back the weight. It can also cause hyperstimulation of the ovaries in women, blood clots, adrenal fatigue, and there have been cases of autoimmune issues. Some have even found hair loss and difficulty in carrying to term in subsequent pregnancies.
If we all just go back to the basics and take a look at our food addiction, stress, and lack of exercise, fiber, water, and restful sleep at night, we can address these issues in a healthy way and will be much better off in achieving our weight goals.
Unfortunately, some will continue to have weight loss issues secondary to health related problems; like toxin buildup in our systems from too many food additives and chemical laden foods, hormonal imbalances affecting our metabolic rate, food allergies, chronic inflammation, genetic issues, insulin dysregulation, overgrowth of yeast, and brain chemical issues. This is why it is important to work with a physician who can monitor your diet and weight loss progress.
So how do we get back to the basics? Here are some tips:
• Eat 4-6 small meals a day, consisting of low glycemic foods.
• Have 5 servings of high fiber fruits a day.
• Have 9 half-cup servings of vegetables a day.
• Eat lean organic meats, and healthy fats, such as omega 3 fatty acids.
• Shop for organic “colorful” foods in the perimeter of the supermarket and shy away from boxed foods with chemicals and low nutritional content. It is important to stay away from high fructose foods and additives.
• Drink enough water to equal half our body weight in ounces everyday.
• Exercise at least 1 hour for 4-6 day of the week at moderate intensity.
• Engage in strength training to maintain more muscle mass and a higher metabolic rate.
• Get a restful sleep for a minimum of 7 hours a night.
• Most importantly, find ways to cope with stressful situations in life. Reduce that everyday stress with yoga and breathing exercises!
If you feel like you have tried everything and you are still stuck, there may be other factors creating roadblocks. Have a physician check and monitor your hormone levels, including your cortisol, insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Even pregnanelone and melatonin levels can affect weight. Another option is to check genetic factors and food sensitivities through specialized testing. As mentioned earlier, toxin build up can also be a weight loss blocker. Toxins can be found in your everyday environment and in your everyday food consumption. Proper detoxification programs can help your body significantly reduce those toxins and help your organs to function more efficiently, consequently facilitating weight loss.
If you are making all of the right lifestyle choices, and you are still asking yourself why you cannot lose the weight, don’t just turn to a “quick fix” diet. Instead, focus on what health related factors may be contributing to it. In the end, the goal is to be healthy, prevent the diseases of aging and look and feel our best doing it.