Weight Reduction Tips
- Avoid sugar, as you won’t burn up your fat stores when taking ANY in your diet. We forget that wine and beer are full of sugars (which is why we like them?!). Wine with a meal is better, as the protein of the meal balances the sugar. However the worst thing is a glass before bed.
- Regular exercise. This needs to include 30 minutes aerobic – anything that gets you out of breath! If already exercising – change what you are doing regularly. Working out daily is good, or at least three times weekly.
- Diet. There are so many out there! Studies have shown that planning weight loss with your doctor has better results (accountability factor!) so please come to see me and we will chooses what’s best for you, your body and your lifestyle. In general however, I recommend protein (meat, fish, chicken, lentils, tofu) and veg diets. Nothing else. That means no carbs or ‘white’ foods such has bread, pasta, rice.
- Chromium (a mineral) supplements will help with sugar addiction, and we have Chinese herbal supplements that do a similar job.
- Check out food intolerance, hormone issues and get help with stress.
- Abdominal fat is a signal of high health risk: the hip to waist ratio; as opposed to BMI, is a more effective way of determining excess abdominal fat.
Why It’s Hard To Lose Weight
In this article we’ll go over the reasons we don’t lose weight, as well as useful weight loss tips for helping to shed pounds! If you gained a few pounds on holiday, the first thing you need to know is that the number one enemy is sugar, and I’ll explain exactly why. Also why that glass or two of wine late in the evening will stop weight loss.
Abdominal fat is so difficult to shift, and it comes with age. You need to know what to do and how stress contributes to this. Women’s hormone issues have a different mechanism leading to the same result – fat! Food intolerances are now easy to test, and treat, and there are other many other solutions
You’re not alone, and this article is full of tips to shift those pounds, and answers to why you may be having problems!
Sugar is the Number One Culprit
The number one culprit is sugar, and some forms are worse than others. however the bottom line is that almost all processed foods will contain sugar, and sweetened drinks should be the first to go in any weight loss effort. They are full of corn fructose syrup used as a sweetener, and even the healthy looking ‘vitamin water’ contains more sugar than 3 glazed doughnuts! A can of coke contains 3 teaspoons of sugar… etc.
You can exercise as much as you like, and you won’t loose weight as the body will not release its fat stores to provide energy, if there is sugar in the blood telling the body not to let go of its fat.
Not only this, but a high sugar intake leads to insulin resistance, where the cells loose sensitivity to the pancreas’ insulin. If you eat a lot of carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta and bread they are converted to sugars quickly and so will require more insulin to be produced.
As insulin is also a fat-storing hormone, the more of it that circulates in the body, the harder it becomes to burn body fat. High levels of insulin can also make you feel tired, bloated and crave sugars!
Stress causes high cortisol levels and elevated blood sugars. After all, sugar is needed in the ‘fight or flight’ situation for brain and muscle activity. With cortisol in the system, the last priority for the body is to metabolize fat stores as they may be needed for the ‘long hard winter with no food’ for which our cave men ancestors had to prepare.
Especially in men, this fat will be stored round the abdomen, which then may lead to fat around the liver, in the aorta (leads to aneurysms) and of course heart. (This is one of the reasons men suffer from heart disease as they get older, and women over 60 The problem is also that the more fat you have in muscle cells, the more insulin resistant they are! Vicious circle.
These are increasingly common, and laying aside the interesting arguments about why this may be, it’s true that any intolerance will cause havoc with our digestive system, even leading to ‘leaky gut syndrome’ where our gut doesn’t absorb nutrients form food, and does absorb some toxins. Tiredness, bloating, and inability to lose weight may result.
Luckily it’s now easy to do tests, and we have a new food intolerance test that takes only 40 mins for the result. Food allergies, such as coeliac disease (gluten allergy) are more serious, however we have found great success in the new allergy treatments for this, along with cats, house dust mites, allergies, etc.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Peri-menopause and Thyroid Hormone Issues
The thyroid gland simply gets ‘burnt out’ with overwork and stress – strangely common in Hong Kong! As it burns all the calories and creates the basic metabolic rate, and deficiency will cause both tiredness and weight gain. Blood tests are useful – both free T4 and free T3 need to be done – however sometimes not sensitive enough, so for many years I have been using other, complementary methods of diagnosis.
Even in the 40s, women’s changing hormones alters their metabolism, insulin resistance increases and they gain abdominal fat. Again, this needs diagnosis, and specific remedies are available. Acupuncture and TCM work for PCOS
Dietary change is cornerstone of weight loss, along with exercise. However not all calories are equal! Sugars and fats need to go. I like the HCG diet, as it’s fast and motivating as weight is lost so quickly. It’s invented by a doctor, and I find it’s effective, but under medical supervision. Information here.
Drugs to Help You
The drug ‘orlistat’ as been on the market for over 10 years, so I have lots of experience with it as a prescription weight loss aid. It blocks fat absorption in the gut. Even salmon and beef have some fat, and it helps to not absorb this. Please make an appointment to discuss what’s best for you.
Orlistat is a drug that promotes loss of weight by preventing the digestion and absorption of fat in food. In the intestine, an enzyme called lipase (produced primarily by the pancreas) breaks apart fat in food so that it can be absorbed into the body. This drug blocks the action of lipase and thereby prevents the breakup and absorption of fat. So, it blocks absorption of about 25% of the fat in a meal. The unabsorbed fat is excreted in the stool. The FDA approved Orlistat by prescription in 1999. Alli, a lower dose formulation of orlistat, was approved for purchase without a prescription “over the counter” in 2007. As a lower dose it’s not quite as effective.
I have found this really effective for some people, however the (obvious!) side effect is mild diarrhea because of increased fat being excreted. (Actually, this may put you off eating cheese cake for life!)
Hypnotherapy to help ‘comfort eating’ and food cravings.
Acupuncture is a tried and tested method that not only relaxes patients but helps food addictions. When having the session you can also work on your back pain/headache or other problems!