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Sunday, July 1, 2012

I agree with Garfield... "Diet is 'die' with a 't' "

Well, that was depressing!!

I just came from the bookstore and I was astonished at how many weight loss books there are out there. On one display, a table full of contradicting messages to any passer by, a visual vampire of weight loss promises: eat less carbs, eat more good fats, eat less, think before you eat, lose it fast, lose it forever... , whatever!

No wonder people are confused!
I felt bad for anyone looking for an answer for weight loss that happened upon this table (everything that propels the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry and nothing that offers real advice). What a cacophony of messages, pearl harbour for the mind and almost crushing to the spirit to think there was an answer for them among these books. But which one for them would work? 

Sadly I would imagine that most have tried at least 2-3 of these methods described in detail in one of these books, yet back for more because it wasn’t the right one for them. Everyone on the covers looked fit and fabulous, as if to spur the future purchaser onto success in their goal.

What most don’t know is, that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to weight loss. Physical and/or chemical imbalances can be what are blocking their weight loss goals. Cravings: these can arise from nutrient depletions that may continue to block their long-term success. For others it can be a mental attitude toward food that can be blocking their life long success. Do these books address these possibilities – sadly, no.

Diet, once by definition, was about what we ate as an individual, society and culture. Now it’s only associated with deprivation, starvation, humiliation and failure. 

I agree with ginger cartoon cat Garfield, 
“Diet is ‘Die’ with a ‘T’ ”.
Diets kill our spirit as we: step on the scales, when we fail to fit into the desired skinny jeans or when we fail to look great in photos. Women in particular beat themselves up over everything – ashamed if their weight goes up 5lbs and celebrate when it does down the same amount. Most just go through life frustrated at a system that feeds their issues and does little to solve the underlying problems. The yo-yo diet that harms more than heals.

And for those that use BMI, this is total BS!! It doesn’t take into account a person’s build or bone structure. Did you know that most Olympic athletes would test obese in their BMI? Muscle weights more than fat and their muscle mass is so huge that it throws them over the BMI quotient. (This also fuels the insurance industry; they judge everything by BMI, higher the BMI the higher the premium).

Canada’s Food Guide is also completely bogus and not objective in its recommendations, when it comes to the amount of grains and dairy we are supposed to consume (our most subsidized crops from province to province and wheat exported crops). Of course it will tell us to consume more grains and dairy, we need to keep these subsidizations coming (not to mention they’re the two most allergenic foods I remove from patient’s diets).

A real food pyramid looks like this…

When it comes to weight loss is does come down to one basic: calories in and calories out. But if even this is not allowing you to lose the weight you need to lose, then it’s time for blood tests and food diaries to analyze what the source of your issue are. Food diaries are not just what’s going in your body it’s also about how you’re eating, when and why you’re eating. 

Blood tests tell us: hormone imbalances, cortisol levels, thyroid levels, estrogen or testosterone levels and food intolerances that can prevent weight loss.

For any real weight loss, balancing out your hormones and stress levels are key for continued and permanent weight loss. I choose a modified Zone diet for my patients along with homeopathic and nutritional care that can lessen their cravings and appetite naturally.

No “diet” should exclude any food group. Eating balanced, nutritionally dense foods means you eat less because you’re getting everything you need in nutrients. You’re satisfied, you’re not depriving yourself and you are experiencing a healthy weight loss.

Here’s my plan:

The plate should be the size of your hands put together (different plate sized based on your size- just enough to feed you). 

One hand needs to be all veggies, on the other hand: the size and thickness of your palm should be your clean protein (organic or free range when possible); whole grain carbs should be the side the thickness of your fingers- closed together. Fats, nut butters and goat dairy should be the size of your thumb. 

These are for each meal. (Why goat dairy you ask? The metabolic structure of goat dairy is closet to human milk and can be easier for most to digest than cow dairy. Those with true lactose intolerance cannot even tolerate goat dairy - in that case turn to organic soy dairy as a substitute).

Snacks should be fruits the size of your fist and consist of fats about the size of your thumb, if you can make it a protein fat even better.

Good snack suggestions are:
1 apple and 2tbsp almond butter
2 carrots cut into circles and 2tbsp of homemade hummus
1 large stalk of celery cut into 4” strips with 2tbsp of soft goat cheese
1/2C fresh blueberries (or mixed berries) with 2tbsp of plain Kefir yogurt
1C fresh cherries with 24 raw almonds
24 walnut halves with 5 organic dried apricots
1, 3” brown rice cake with 2tbsp of cashew butter and ¼ banana sliced
1C cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cucumber cubed with 2tbsp of homemade plain kefir yogurt taziki
1 homemade ramekin of custard with 1/4C fresh raspberries and blackberries
…. the possibilities are endless

Blood sugar issues
For those with food cravings try to balance out your blood sugar levels add this little concoction to a bit of diluted juice or yogurt when you feel puckish (time of day can be variable based on the patient, choose your time and use this 1/2hr before this time).

In a small mason jar mix the following:
1/4C ground flax seeds
1/4C ground chia seeds (any colour)
1 1/2tbsp cinnamon
1/2tbsp turmeric
1tsp Himalayan salt

Shake to mix. Add 1tsp to: plain probiotic yogurt and berries, diluted orange juice, 1tbsp of flax oil, 4oz water with 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar, or on it’s own with water 1-2x/day when you're cravings hit. This will help stabilize your blood sugar during your usual snacking period and prevent binging. 

Now – increase your muscle mass to increase your burn.
Easy-peasy exercise, start walking. I had a patient with every major degenerative disease (yes all 5 at once) start with walking down the end of her driveway and back, then to her neighbours driveway and back and keep increasing this distance to her own comfort level. She now walks around the block. Twice. She looks great and has load of energy. Not bad for someone with: heart disease, cancer survivor, arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis. So no excuses for anyone, if she can do it so can you!

Increasing your muscle mass is essential for long-term weight loss and bone mass building so start circuit training. Muscles are your internal furnaces, if you build them up they become metabolic burners even when you’re sleeping.

To do this you don’t have to join a gym if you don’t want to, hire a trainer to come over and ask them for advice on equipment purchases, develop 4-6 circuits based on your equipment, your level of fitness, age and physical limitations and train you on the equipment once you have it in place. Investing in a basement gym doesn’t have to be expensive, look for second hand weights and equipment and build you own basement gym. 

If you choose to join a gym, hire a trainer to put together a 4-6 training circuits and ask them to include some classes that are part of the gym services (even if they’re extra) and have them train you for each program they develop so that you use the equipment properly and efficiently. Nothing kills a workout more than boredom. Trainers will make it interesting if you ask them to, it’s their area of expertise, trust them to do what’s best for you.

Be re-evaluated by the trainer every 6mo to ensure you're keeping up with your progress. Ok, you have a plan in place, you have exercise in place now what’s going on in your brain?

What are you saying to yourself?
Self-sabotage comes from the spirit, so what are you saying to yourself?

“I don’t have time for this”
“I don’t have the money for this”
“I’m __yrs old, I’m supposed to look like this”
“I’m realistic, I can’t look like I did in my __’s”
“I can’t do this”
“My Dr. wants me to lose __lbs, I can’t lose that much, so why try?”
“I’m a single parent, I don’t have time for _____”
“I don’t have the willpower to do this”
“I can’t get up at __hrs to exercise, I’m not a morning person”
“I can’t because I’m so out of shape”

Tell your brain… BS!!!! Excuses keep you comfortable.
You only grow, learn and improve by taking changes that MAKE you uncomfortable. I hear and see these excuses everyday. Do you make these decisions consciously or unconsciously? Only you can decide this.

Write it down only in a journal can you be honest about yourself and your goals:

Ask yourself "What are my goals?"
  • have a baby
  • look great in a two piece
  • see my grandkids 
  • gain a partner
  • feel good about looking in the mirror
  • actually want to get my picture taken
  • be there for my kids
  • live a long healthy life

Whatever your goal, if that’s what you need for motivation then start with that and work backwards. If after all this it's too hard to lose weight I would start to look at whats' going on with your sytems.

Some tests that I order for patients that cannot lose weight even with a calorie cut and exercise routine are:
·      LSH/FSH hormones (blood test)

·      Glucose/insulin levels (blood fasting test)

·      Estrogen/testosterone levels (blood test)

·      Cortisol levels (all day, 3-day saliva test) testes the stress hormone shtta gives us a mid section belly

·      IgG Food sensitivity testing (blood test, not a basic inflammation test IgG or ESR test) we need to know what foods you’re body just doesn’t tolerate. Usually tests the top 100 food sensitive allergies including everything from apples to wheat).

·      TtG test for gluten intolerance, (blood test) you need to eat gluten for a month prior to the test for it to have an accurate reading. If this test comes out positive you are then asked to proceed to a biopsy of the upper and lower intestine to see the severity of the damage to your micro vili to confirm celiac disease. [In some cases confirmation of celiac disease can result in you putting your non-wheat shopping towards your taxes as a medical claim (if you make below a certain wage in Ontario)]. There are a lot of false positives in this blood test; I’ve had patients test negative but when they consume wheat they get mouth sores, cankers and hives I advise them to either consume wheat and bear the sores and get retested to just avoid wheat and avoid the problems that they get from consuming it).

·      Candida or yeast sensitivity is not easily tested with any blood test but can be a big issue. Best test is if the patient performs an elimination cleanse, then you don’t know specifically what irritates them. For instance yeast is not only contained in: bread, beer, wine, sake, tamari (soy sauce), but also found in: raw grape and plumb skins, cider, soup bases (bovril, oxo), marmite, vegemite and pretzels. Only full avoidance and reintroduction after a few weeks can indicate if a body is intolerant of such foods.

Once food sensitivities are acknowledged, we can then start to make introductions of foods that offer similar nutrients but that the body tolerates and assimilates easily.

When the mind, spirit and body connect to lose weight, then and only then will you see dramatic, permanent weight loss.

Example: I have a patient that was stage 3 Morbid Obese, she's down 76lbs in a year (reasonable weight loss), she feels great, looks amazing, has more energy and is more connected with her body than ever before. She’s an inspiration on what can be achieved when you’re ready to make serious changes on your health. Her GP is very happy and her family is excited about her weight loss. Her positive attitude is essential for her to continue onto her own goal of 120lbs of weight loss.

When she comes in I love to see her spring down and back up the stairs from my clinic office whereas before she would work the stairs in a careful and controlled effort. Such a difference and inspiration to others.

BELIEVE that you can do it, IF you want to. 

If you need help to lose that extra weight contact me and I can build a individual plan to help you lose weight.

Yours in good heath,

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