What’s Causing Your Weight Problem?
Brown fat/white fat
White fat is stored by our body as a form of energy needed for the future. You can think of white fat as the “bad” fat. Brown fat, on the other hand, is primarily used for heat production and fat burn. The more brown fat you have and the more active it is, the higher is your basal metabolic rate and brisker is your metabolism. Research shows that thin people have a high percentage of brown fat in their bodies. Brown fat is rich in mitochondria and could even play a role in weight loss.
Metabolism and Mitochondria
The foods in the Thyroid Solution Diet will help the efficiency of brown fat and energize the activity of the mitochondria to generate heat. Some healthy ways to boost your metabolism include getting plenty of sleep, eating on a consistent schedule every day, exercising 30 minutes every day, avoiding processed foods, and avoiding foods you may be sensitive to. Mitochondria are the power house of metabolism. They are small particles in the cells where biochemical reactions take place that convert fatty molecules into heat. The more efficient and healthy the mitochondria the more efficient is your body at burning fat and losing weight with the right diet.
Metabolism Regulating Hormones
Disruption of your body’s hormones can contribute to weight gain. These hormones send signals to the brain resulting in a feeling of hunger or a feeling of being full. In addition to regulating your appetite and your caloric intake, these hormones regulate how much fat you will burn on a regular basis even when doing nothing (Basal Metabolic Rate). Leptin, thyroid hormone, insulin, ghrelin, growth hormone and cortisol are some of the important hormones regulating metabolism.
For optimal weight loss, you need to address hormonal imbalances caused by a deficiency or excess of hormones. Hormones are chemicals produced by endocrine glands and released in your bloodstream and dispensed throughout your body to regulate bodily functions and metabolism). There are three hormonal systems that have a major regulatory effect on your body fat: thyroid hormones, growth hormones, and sex hormones. An imbalance of any of these three hormonal systems can cause increased body fat and slow metabolism.
Growth hormone deficiency disorders can result from head injury, pituitary damage or immune attacks. Growth hormone deficiency causes weight gain and excessive belly fat, metabolic syndrome and even diabetes. If you have symptoms of growth hormone deficiency and you are overweight or have excessive abdominal fat, consider growth hormone deficiency.
Sex Hormone Imbalance
- Perimenopause and Menopause
The most common cause of estrogen deficiency is menopause, either surgical or natural menopause. Estrogen levels decline during perimenopause and then fall abruptly at menopause. Estrogen deficiency causes a shift of fat into the abdominal area and slowing of metabolism. Hormonal replacement therapy started soon in the menopausal period will help you optimize your weight loss goals with the Thyroid Solution Diet. The Thyroid Solution Diet advocates pharmaceutical or compounded estrogens and progesterone. Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical to what your ovaries produce and delivered in a similar way. They come as creams, patches or sublingual tablets. Learn more.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects at least 5% of women in their reproductive years. The estrogen and testosterone imbalance is associated with insulin resistance, being overweight, metabolic syndrome. The Thyroid Solution Diet and other components of the program are ideal for you to reverse the metabolic and hormonal changes associated with PCOS.
What does my Thyroid have to do with my Weight?
Thyroid imbalance is very common in the general population and more common in women than men. There are two forms of thyroid hormone imbalances: hypothyroidism (or underactive thyroid causing a deficiency of thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid resulting in excess thyroid hormone). Both imbalances can cause shifts in your metabolism and result in weight gain although hyperthyroidism causes weight loss more often than weight gain. 1 in 10 people have an underactive thyroid. 2 in 100 people have an overactive thyroid. To learn more about thyroid imbalance click here.
Weight gain is major a concern for those who suffer from a thyroid disorder. This is particularly frustrating after undergoing a thyroidectomy or while adjusting to new thyroid medication. It is well documented that autoimmune, medication-induced, or surgery-induced hypothyroidism results in weight gain. However, in developed countries such as the U.S., people generally tend to gain weight with increasing age despite adequate thyroid function. For women, the shift into menopause contributes to the expanding waistline also. So the question is: Is the weight gain observed in studies of hypothyroid patients an outcome of aging, menopause, or the thyroid itself?
Thyroidectomy has been shown to result in weight gain, with the most weight gained within the first 3 months. Two recent studies investigated weight changes in patients who have had their thyroids surgically removed.
In the first report, a group of patients who had undergone thyroidectomy, as well as patients with hypothyroidism, normal thyroid function, or thyroid cancer, were followed for one year. Although all patients with hypothyroidism or those without a thyroid gland had received thyroid hormone treatment to achieve normal thyroid levels, the difference in weight gain was significant. Hypothyroid patients gained more weight than the people with normal thyroids, and the patients who had their thyroids removed gained even more weight than the hypothyroid patients with their gland still intact. Since all patients in this study had normal thyroid blood tests, the evidence suggests that the weight gain does not necessarily depend on the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Perhaps the physiology, lifestyle, or environment may predispose thyroid patients weight gain. For example, the women who were going through menopause gained the greatest amount of weight in the study. We can conclude that even though aging and menopause are factors in weight changes over time, the thyroid dysfunction itself does play a role in the in weight gain, which may lead to major weight changes over time.
But, before you lose faith in your efforts to stay fit, the second study did not see a significant difference in weight changes between the various thyroid disorders over a period of several years. In other words, patients who had undergone thyroidectomy did not experience weight gain worse than the other thyroid disorders over five to eight years.
How do I ensure I do not gain weight if I am on thyroid hormone replacement or if I need a thyroidectomy?
First and foremost, the correct thyroid hormone treatment is a must. A possible explanation as to why there was a difference in weight gain between the disorders in the first study is that their thyroid hormone treatment was not optimal. Many of them were only taking levothyroxine (T4), the inactive form of thyroid hormone that gets converted into the active form (T3) by the body. When you only take T4, many patients are deficient in the metabolism-energizing T3.
Besides the right thyroid hormone treatment, you must be proactive and follow a proper diet and exercise regimen. Follow my diet recommendations and you can be sure you’re providing your body with the foods and supplements that boost your thyroid function and metabolism.
Gut Hormones Have a Say on Your Body Fat
Some hormones produced in GI tract regulate your weight and body fat. If these hormones are out of balance, you may have the urge to eat more often and may not feel full after a meal. This can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Some of the important gut hormones include insulin, ghrelin, amylin, and glucagon. Ghrelin is a major body fat regulating hormone. When ghrelin levels are high you will tend to overeat. Eating meals rich in fiber at regular times and synchronizing with the central clock will help keep ghrelin levels low and your metabolism at a higher level.
Quality sleep is very important for having energy level, a healthy weight, and balanced hormone levels and efficiency. Sleep apnea, or collapse of the upper-airways during sleep, can contribute to weight gain. A person with sleep apnea is awoken several times during the night and wakes up feeling tired. It is important to get eight hours of undisturbed sleep a night for optimal metabolism. Women who are menopausal often develop sleep apnea. A sleep study can diagnose sleep apnea and the use of a CPAP machine can assist in sleeping through the night and not feeling tired and in losing weight.
Food addiction is similar to drug addiction in that the brain receives reward signals when a person overeats, just as the brain receives signals when the drug is ingested. Chemicals and hormones that make us seek food or make use have urges to eat can sometimes overrule cognitive decisions, causing out of control behavior. This chemical imbalance results in an addiction to food. A physician can treat hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to mental disorders which may be inhibiting weight loss efforts. Achieving a healthy weight can decrease the risk for heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and also provide an uplifted mood. There are techniques and natural supplements that can help you overcome food cravings and food addiction.
What is Binge Eating and How to Overcome it
There is a clear link between binge eating and obesity. Binge eating disorder or BED is a syndrome characterized by repeated occurrences of binge eating. It involves consumption of a large quantity of food and the feeling of loss of control over the behavior. Binge eating disorder falls into a category of an eating disorder not otherwise specified which represents the most common eating disorder in our population. The problem is that some insurance companies will not pay for treatments of this disorder.
Binge eating disorder typically begins in the teenage years or adulthood but there are a few cases of children developing the condition. If developed in childhood, the risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome becomes much higher. It is estimated that 50% of the cases of binge eating disorder are hereditary. Identifying risk factors for binge eating disorder is important for the prevention of childhood obesity. Obese adults with binge eating disorder complain of lower quality of life in regards to work, sexual life, and self-esteem. Many adults with this disorder also have anxiety disorders, depression, and some with substance abuse.
Cocaine and alcohol abuse are somewhat similar to food addiction. People suffering from addiction to cocaine, alcohol, or food all have a lower response to rewards via dopamine in the brain. In a healthy individual, the response to the rewarding substance is abnormal which leads to a decreased drive to consume. In the person with addiction, the response is abnormal leading to more consumption of the substance. It is suggested drug addiction and obesity share the same abnormalities in the neuro-transmitter pathways.
In a Western-style diet, the food portions are energy-dense, filled with processed foods, and quantities are large. This type of diet encourages overeating. Processed foods contain more saturated fats that increase overeating and make one remain hungry for a longer period of time. Unprocessed foods have a much more satiating effect
Treatments for binge eating disorder include medication for mood and anxiety disorders as these are often underlying components of the condition. Surgical treatment is also an option for people who need to lose a significant amount of weight. Gastric bypass and gastric band are two common bariatric procedures designed to eliminate excess body weight. Behavioral self-therapy and sticking to a low-glycemic, high protein diet such as The Thyroid Solution Diet and taking a weight loss supplement containing Relora which can help overeating and binge eating.
Behavioral Therapy for Overcoming Food Cravings and Food Addiction
Being overweight or obese can generate health problems such as metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, type II diabetes, heart disease, and hormonal imbalances which perpetrate further weight gain. If you are overweight you most likely have food addiction, food cravings, and stress related eating which are likely to fuel your weight gain and make it hard for you to lose weight. Several weight loss methods are available such as gastrointestinal surgery, diet, exercise, medications, weight loss supplements, and behavioral therapy.
What is Behavioral Intervention to Fight Food Addiction?
Behavior such as over eating can be modified through behavior change techniques that are taught during behavioral therapy of intervention. Behavioral intervention for weight loss seeks to change compulsive eating habits. Behavioral intervention includes meeting with groups and a specialist multiples times a month to learn how to better control your eating impulses for effective weight loss. These behavioral interventions include self-monitoring, problem-solving, goal-setting, and relapse prevention. The techniques train individuals to have a daily calorie intake goal of 1200-1800. The intervention programs will also tech you to reduce your fat intake to less than 30% of the calories you eat.
Recent research published in the American Journal of Medicine reveals that intensive lifestyle interventions may successfully treat obese people with type II diabetes. Patients who participated in the behavioral intervention program were also able to reduce their risk for heart disease within 4 years. The research shows that behavioral intervention may result in long term weight loss and a decreased risk of heart disease in both obese and overweight patients.
Lifestyle change to modify what you eat and how much you eat can be achieve with simple techniques and can have great long term benefits for your overall health. Instead of participating in group behavioral intervention, you can achieve great results engaging in behavioral self-therapy, on of Dr. Arem’s favorite techniques for overcoming food addiction and stress-related eating along with natural weight loss supplements containing Relora, such as Body Slim Mediterranean.
Food sensitivities and food allergies
You may be sensitive to certain foods that, when eaten, cause a reaction (generally inflammation) that will affect your health and slow down your metabolism. Avoiding foods that you be sensitive to can assist in weight loss. When inflammation occurs, your metabolic hormones cannot function properly. Some foods may not be causing a physical response but are still affecting the immune system in a negative way. A food sensitivity test for identification of sensitivities and avoidance of the particular foods is the best way to inhibit any negative effects on your metabolism.
Most people never know that they have a food allergy until they’re sitting down to a nice meal and they begin to experience swelling in the face or throat. There’s a lot of variety in a single meal, which can makes identifying the offending food difficult. It’s important to identify the culprit of the allergic reaction and eliminate it from your diet. Key diagnostic procedures are being utilized to confirm and identify food allergies as well as food sensitivities. Food sensitivities may not present themselves physically but still trigger the immune system and cause inflammation that slows down your metabolism.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is when the body misidentifies the proteins in the food as harmful. The immune system is designed to sense and reject harmful elements but sometimes the sensing going array. As a result, a seemingly harmless food is actually a hazard and provokes an immune response. Symptoms of an allergic response include dermatitis as well as gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms. Some respiratory complications like anaphylactic shock can be life threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Diagnosing a food allergy
The most commonly used technique for food allergy confirmation is an oral food challenges test conducted by a physician. Physicians serve the food in question to the patient, closely observing the reaction to evaluate the symptoms experienced and develop a comprehensive solution. The tests are run as a double-blind, placebo-controlled test, that can carry some risk; food allergies should be diagnosed by a physician to ensure patient safety. The Journal of Immunological Methods reports that new diagnostic tests are being developed that will consist of a blood withdrawal where it is tested for a specific protein binding behavior. While this test offers the possibility of diagnosis from a small sample of blood it is still in the testing stages to identify the efficiency and what proteins it can test for.
Identifying Food Sensitivities for Weight Loss
Getting tested for a mild food allergy is often beneficial in weight loss efforts. Obesity is more likely to occur when you have a lot of inflammation in the body ignited by the persistent activation of the immune system. This sort of impact can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. A recent article in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine which also refers to some research conducted at Baylor University shows that avoiding foods which induce an immune response is very successful in producing weight loss results. Often times you may not know that you have a food sensitivity, but an ALCAT test can determine possible foods to avoid. When limiting calorie intake hasn’t been successful for weight loss, eliminating foods indicated by an ALCAT food sensitivity test has shown significant weight loss improvement. Understanding how your body’s autoimmune system responds to various foods is helpful in identifying what may be contributing to weight gain.
Medical diagnostic tools are rapidly advancing to identify the new microscopic components causing immune system responses such as allergic reactions and food sensitivities. The most common treatment for food allergies is simple and 100% effective; eliminating them from your diet. Furthermore, some foods may not cause a physical symptom but are still causing an autoimmune response which is inhibiting weight loss efforts. Understanding all the microscopic reactions happening in your body and how to prevent negative effects is important to achieving mind-body health.
Could Your Gut be Contributing to Your Insulin Resistance and Weight Problems?
As you may know, insulin resistance and obesity go hand in hand and both are strongly influenced by genes and the environment. Amazingly the gut bacteria can also affect your weight and can contribute to the occurrence of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Research has shown that obese people have a different bacteria composition in their gut than lean people. This bacteria seems to increase inflammation, which is a big player in insulin resistance. Gut bacteria may also play a role in type II diabetes.
In humans there are a minimum of 100 trillion bacteria cells spread throughout the body. The bacteria in the gut can be influenced by genetic factors, the food your consume, and medication. The environment and medication can affect gut bacteria content as well which can then contribute to obesity and insulin resistance. Changes in the diet have been shown to change the composition of the gut bacteria. In fact, switching to a western-style diet high in fats and sugars will change the composition of the gut bacteria in 24 hours.
Obese people have a different composition of bacteria in the gut than lean people. An interesting study on mice showed that transplantation of the bacteria from mice with obese genes to mice with lean genes leads to a change in gut composition of the lean mice and eventually to obesity.
Probiotics have been shown to have beneficial effects on the GI tract so it would be helpful to take a daily probiotic to stabilize the gut microbiota. Probiotic supplementation should be part of your weight loss program. It balances bacterial flora in the gut and reduces inflammation to assist in losing weight and improving insulin resistance.