Are you feeling the fever? Regardless, spring is right around the corner, and that means tiny clothes and bathing suits. I’m co-teaching a weight loss workshop right now over in Mill Valley, and it’s gotten me excited about the group dynamic. It’s easier than you think to meet your goals.
In the six sections, we cover diet, exercise (over-exercising can prevent weight loss, believe it or not), stress, sleep, digestion, and detox – the 6 key areas to address if you have trouble losing weight or want to get on a weight loss program.
Diet – the basis of the program. We recommend a gluten- and dairy-free diet for the duration of the program, because these are two of the most common allergenic foods. Lots of folks have sensitivities to gluten (the protein found in wheat) that can cause the body to hold onto weight. Even if you’re not sensitive to these foods, it forces you to consume less refined foods (white flour, pasteurized milk, cake, pasta, cookies) in favor of whole foods – good quality proteins along with lots of fruits and veggies. Many of the participants noticed a difference after the first week.
Exercise – we are lucky to have a physical therapist participating in the workshop series, and she covers the proper exercise for each individual’s physiology. The wrong types of exercise can drive hormone levels out of balance, causing weight loss resistance. Too much exercise can create excess free radical damage, the opposite of what we want to achieve, since free radical damage causes aging. Restorative exercise, proper form, and proper balance of cardio and strength are important factors. Interval training is very effective.
Stress – the cause of all human health problems. Stress raises cortisol levels, causing you to store more fat around the abdominal area. High cortisol also causes inflammation, pain, lowered immunity, unstable blood sugar (read: cravings!), and even bone loss.
Sleep – you know how you feel when you don’t get a good night’s sleep? Tired, groggy, unable to exercise and prone to cravings. If your cortisol levels are too high at night, it can affect your sleep. It turns out even one night of little or no sleep can seriously impair performance, as shown in several studies. Chronic sleep deprivation due to the inability to stay asleep or sleep enough hours can lead to insulin resistance because of high cortisol.
Digestion – the cornerstone of good health. If you’re not digesting well, you’re not absorbing nutrients from your food, so you’ll crave more food until your body gets what it needs. If you’re not absorbing proteins, your body won’t have amino acids, the raw materials from which it makes neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that regulate mood and cravings. If you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria (candida) you may experience sugar cravings because sugar feeds yeast! Dysbiosis, or imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, can lead to leaky gut, malabsorption, and increased food allergies, all of which cause weight gain or weight loss resistance. Balance your inner ecology, heal leaky gut, and restore healthy digestion for successful weight loss.
Detoxification – I’ve honored the liver many times in this blog. Your liver detoxifies your entire body, metabolizes hormones and cholesterol (congested liver = high cholesterol), and aids in blood sugar balance and digestion. An overworked, sluggish liver means a backup of toxins in the body, unbalanced hormones, allergies, headaches, irritability, and weight gain. Toxins cause the body to hold onto weight to buffer the toxic effects. Clearing your liver’s detox pathways can dramatically enhance weight loss.
We’ll be running these workshops every couple months, so contact me for more info if you want to sign up. The class includes total metabolism testing, recipes, individual attention based on your concerns, and group support!
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