A Basic Primer on How the Body’s Metabolism Works

Stop Starving Yourself:  A Basic Primer on How the Body’s Metabolism Works

Reducing calorie intake and increasing your metabolism (the rate at which the body burns calories) is the key to achieving your weight loss goals.  Hearing the words “reducing calorie intake” can make people think that starving yourself is the way to achieve maximum weight loss. Not only is this unsafe, it’s completely untrue! When you cut down your calorie intake too drastically it may make it harder for you to shed weight and maintain any weight loss you did achieve once you begin eating again.

Calorie cutting affects every part of your body. Your brain is fueled by glucose—the sugar molecule that is regulated by eating—and your body will do anything it can to keep your brain up and running. If you continue a low-calorie intake for more than a day, your body will start to break down muscle tissue to get at the amino acids stored, which it can then convert to glucose to power your brain.  The body breaks down muscle in the absence of fuel because, as the muscles become smaller, they work less and utilize less energy, allowing you to last longer on the stored supplies of fat.

Starvation leaves no fuel for these basic bodily functions, let alone energy for daily tasks. Following a fast or starvation diet for several days can also cause nutritional deficiencies, dizziness, weakness, digestive distress, nausea, irritability, depression and fatigue.

The focus of a healthy weight loss should be your metabolism– the mechanism our body uses to burn calories. Think of it as your body’s “motor.” The faster your metabolism operates the more calories you’ll burn and lose in the process.  As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. The truth is you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, the best way to rev up your metabolism is to eat and stay hydrated.  Here are some other tips to increase your metabolism:

  • Don’t skip meals. It’s better to eat four to six small meals per day than to skip a major daily meal, especially breakfast.
  • Eat smaller meals, more frequently.  Try eating smaller portions, but more frequently so you don’t feel like you’re starving. Constantly snacking on small, healthy foods will help keep your metabolism going, increasing its overall effectiveness. This method of eating will also keep you full, allowing you to control your calories and prevent overeating.
  • Eat vegetables with every meal. You don’t have to eat only vegetables. In fact, you should incorporate foods from all the food groups into your daily meals. However, eat a lot of veggies with every meal to help you fill up on foods that are nutritious and low in calories.
  • Gain more muscle.  While you don’t necessarily have to bulk-up like a body builder, putting on a little more muscle mass is a great way to give your metabolism a jolt once it’s become sluggish. Having more muscle requires your body to burn calories just to sustain that muscle, even when you’re not doing anything. Numerous studies have shown that those who have more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate than those with less muscle.
  • Increase your water intake.  If you are gaining insufficient amounts of water, you need to start hydrating yourself properly. Dehydration is one of the factors that can slow down a person’s metabolism, since water is very important for the body to burn calories. While it’s important to drink plenty of water to kick-start a slowing metabolism, it is also important not to overhydrate to avoid water-intoxication.
  • Avoid empty calories, such as fruit juices and soda. They do not substitute water and provide no nutritional value.
  • Be fidgety.  Standing or sitting completely still for extended periods of time while at your desk or on the couch will slow down your metabolism. Try making a habit of keeping your body constantly moving by either tapping your feet, constantly stretching or constantly moving your legs and being fidgety. Constant movement will keep your metabolism cranked, plus you’re burning calories, even if it’s only a small amount.

While weight loss is important, it is more important to do it in a healthy way that can also be maintained to keep the weight off.


Healthy Weight Loss Strategies

What does healthy medical weight loss look like?

Healthy Medical Weight LossHealthy medical weight loss isn’t losing one hundred pounds in two weeks. You didn’t gain your weight overnight so expecting it to disappear quickly is setting yourself up for dangerous fad dieting and greater health risks.

There is no magic pill, surgery, or “new” diet that will help you reduce your weight and keep it off without dramatic, and potentially deadly, side effects. Weight loss isn’t about what you eat. It’s about how you live.

Healthy medical weight loss is a slow and steady process. You’re developing new habits and overwriting years of unhealthy choices. Do you know how long it takes to actually develop a new habit? It takes between 18 and 254 days! That’s a large margin. Be patient with yourself and keep your eye on little goals.

When you lose weight, it will be 1-2 pounds a week (or more when you first start your new lifestyle patterns). The way your clothes fit you will tell you more about your weight loss journey than the scale. Your waist, legs, arms, chest, back, and neck are all places that will show weight loss before your face. Some will lose weight in certain areas first. If you must use the scale, don’t obsess over your weight. The added stress can actually cause more trouble to your journey. Your 1-2 lb loss per week is an average. So, if you weigh yourself every day, make sure you average out your total at the end of the week. Daily tracking is a snapshot of a moment. Your body is about fuel efficiency over time.

Weight loss is made up of three areas: behavioral treatment, a healthy diet that meets a minimum caloric requirement, and physical activity.

Behavior

Behavioral treatment helps you transition into a more active and health-focused lifestyle. It helps you find patterns of behavior and figure out what causes them so you can recognize your triggers and keep them in check. Fatigue and stress are huge factors in what your body craves, so know that a healthy lifestyle includes more than just diet and exercise.

Healthy Diet

Making you get the minimum number of calories to maintain your body health is very important. Most often, we believe that our bodies can burn more calories (and our fat reserves) if we eat less and less. What actually happens is that your body switches to starvation mode and begins hoarding the fat and shutting down other parts of your body. At the same time, paying attention to how often you eat and what you put in your body is important as well. Keeping a food log really helps you out. It will show you whether you’re getting the right balance of vitamins and nutrients, but it can also show you trends you weren’t aware of. Do you end up binging on leftover donuts in the breakroom after the Tuesday morning meeting? If so, is it because you skipped breakfast during your morning rush to get everything ready for it, or because the food was there and it was easier to grab than going back to your desk? If you notice a trend like this, you can prepare ahead of time so you don’t grab the donut without making an active decision to do so. If it’s because it’s convenient, have a snack. If you’re craving sweets, make sure you have a sweet snack before the meeting. Once you know the reasons behind your decisions, it becomes easier to make conscious choices.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is a cornerstone to your weight loss journey. Food is fuel to the engine of your body and physical activity is how you make that fuel (and the fat in your body) burn. Overdoing it can cause strain and permanent injury, so make sure you start out at your current physical level. We tend to want to do the same level of intensity as we did back in our prime, but that can be detrimental to our journey. If you can’t avoid competing with the memory of more active days, consider trying a new sport, activity, or exercise you’ve never attempted before.

When your weight plateaus, it could be that your body has become efficient at your level of activity, or that something else is going on. It’s a good idea at this point to get another blood panel done to make sure there’s nothing else happening behind the scenes.

More than appearance, your weight loss will also affect things you don’t see. Here are some lab tests that may change as you move to a healthier medical weight.

Lipid Profile

Lipid blood tests are used to measure cholesterol levels and types. There are “good” and “bad” types of cholesterol. Bad levels can build in the arteries of the heart which can cause a blockage that may end in a heart attack. With weight loss, your lipid profile levels should change for the better.

Testosterone Total

Testosterone levels can be inhibited by obesity. As the body loses weight, testosterone production may return to its normal levels.

C-Reactive Protein

The C-Reactive Protein cardiac blood test shows the overall inflammation of your body and is most often used to test for heart disease. Losing weight can lower these levels.

Your body is a machine that is efficient at whatever lifestyle you put it in. If you want to lose weight, give it the fuel, dedication, and focus it deserves to take you to the next level.


How Your Diet Can Fuel Your Day

Boost your energy:  How your diet can help you get more out of your day

Are your energy levels low? Does your busy morning come to the screeching halt of afternoon blahs? If so, you may need to boost your energy. I’m not talking about energy drinks or anything that comes in a pill form. I’m talking about a few changes to your diet that can help put more spring in your step and focus in your day. You need to change the way your mind sees the word “diet”. It’s not about deprivation and suppressing your cravings. It’s about choosing foods that have the most impact to your energy levels. Follow these guidelines and you’ll find an improvement in your overall health while boosting your body’s processes.

Nutrient-Rich Foods

Eat nutrient-dense foods to optimize your metabolism. Your brain and body require vitamins and minerals to get everything accomplished in your busy day. Much like a car running low on gas, when you run out of nutrients to break down, your body becomes tired and your thoughts, sluggish. Metabolism is the process of converting food to energy, and the more nutrients per calorie, the more you benefit from eating it. Choosing vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and lean animal proteins will give the most nutrients per calorie. Refined breads, fried and fatty foods, desserts and sweets, processed snacks and foods give a lot of calories but have little to no nutritional value.

Vitamins/Nutrients

Omega-3 fats are a high impact nutrient that improves your mood, memory, and thinking. They’re an excellent source of fat that you need to focus and improve your energy levels. You’ll want to get in at least one source of omega-3 fats a day. Fish, flax seeds, flax oil, hemp seeds, hemp oil, leafy greens, and walnuts are all excellent sources. While a fish oil supplement can help, it doesn’t replace the powerful impact of your body breaking it down itself.

Foods rich in antioxidants are essential to maintaining overall body health. Antioxidants are the clean up crew for your body. They take away damaging chemicals (some that your body makes on its own) that cause fatigue and lead to illness. Choose colorful fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods for antioxidant bursts. Berries, melons, dark leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, collard greens, and spinach are excellent sources. Notice that leafy greens are also mentioned in the omega-3 fats above. Food rich in antioxidants are also nutrient-dense. That isn’t a coincidence. Once again, you want to eat the foods so your body can break it down and gain the most nutritional value. A bill or processed food will never give the same impact.

Don’t Starve Yourself!

Don’t skip breakfast OR snacks. Remember above where we mentioned that you need to change the way you think of the word “diet”? Breakfast jump starts your body’s processing system. It’s also a quick and easy way to get in some fresh fruit or other nutrient-rich foods first thing in the morning. If you get nauseous at the thought of food in the morning, consider a power snack for when you wake up completely. Snacking isn’t evil. But if your first instinct is to grab a bag of chips instead of a nutritious alternative, you’re not doing your energy levels any justice. If you’re hungry, your body crashes and it wants something quick and easy to process…like junk food. If you find yourself in that boat, make sure you have nutrient dense snacks to help you perk up.

Fantastic snack ideas include a container of yogurt topped with natural granola, a mix of nuts and dried fruits, whole grain crackers with baby carrots and hummus, a half cup of berries with walnuts, and more. Hummus is an excellent dip choice because it’s made of garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas). While most versions require the use of Tahini (sesame paste), there are other versions that give a rich flavor without the paste.

Hydration Matters!

Finally, what you drink has a powerful impact on your body. Keep hydrated means water. You want to drink one cup every couple of hours. An easy way to drink water on the go is by keeping a reusable bottle with you.

Alcohol intake is another thing to consider. Alcohol is a depressant that contributes to low energy. It also has the added effect of occasionally acting as a stimulant several hours later. That interrupts sleep cycles and causes fatigue. Did you know there is also a nutrient-dense option? A glass of red wine is a good choice because of its antioxidant content, but certain medications and those suffering from certain types of anxiety, high blood pressure, or dependence issues should avoid alcohol completely. Also note that red wine doesn’t replace a nutrient-rich diet. Alcohol should be an occasional indulgence.

Then there’s caffeine. Caffeine can’t stave off sleep for an extended period of time. It’s also not the energy boost you think it is. Regular coffee drinkers who feel a “boost” in the morning are actually counteracting the withdrawal effects of caffeine deprivation through the night. If you have to drink your caffeine, that’s fine, but consider adding an apple or apple juice to your morning routine since apples will wake up you faster and more thoroughly than coffee can.

Don’t try to make dramatic changes overnight. If you try to do a complete diet overhaul, you’ll fall back on destructive habits and feel like you’ve failed. Start small. Make sure you have at least nutrient-dense snacks a day. Then move to breakfast. Then your other meals. Before you know it, you’ll see a dramatic change in your energy levels that also benefit your overall health.


The Link Between Your Medical History & Weight Loss

Denver Weight Loss GuideWhy your medical history is crucial to your weight loss journey  |  Denver Weight Loss Guide

Your medical history is crucial to your weight loss journey. It’s a key factor in how your body processes food and creates energy. It’s a road map of adaptability and survival that a medical weight loss team can use to create a successful weight loss journey.

Did you know that high blood pressure, lack of sleep, and type 2 diabetes can all affect your weight loss journey?

There is a direct correlation between high blood pressure and weight gain. Most of the time, however, high blood pressure isn’t noticed until it’s too late. Did you know that one of its symptoms is fatigue? While it’s completely normal to be tired now and again, a constant, chronic fatigue can be a symptom of high blood pressure. This symptom can make it difficult to get moving, create forgetfulness, and cause dietary problems.  If you notice chronic fatigue, vision problems, chest pain, lightheadedness or shortness of breath, you should see a healthcare professional immediately. Treatment for high blood pressure can cause some restrictions to your exercise regimen. Some beta-blockers such as Tenormin, Lopressor, and Inderal can cause weight gain by slowing caloric burning and causing fatigue. Talk with your medical weight loss team about these concerns, and be prepared to adapt your routine to match your treatment.

Sleep is also a factor in how you lose weight.

Did you know that lack of sleep can make you gain weight? Sleep loss affects the regulation of your appetite by decreasing leptin, the satiety peptide, and increasing ghrelin, the hunger stimulant peptide. If that wasn’t enough, it can also stimulate cravings for high-carbohydrate, high-fat foods. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a key factor in your body health and weight loss. If you’re unsure about your sleep patterns, keep a sleep and food journal for a month. When you wake up, write down how long you slept and how you feel. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. Track your food intake during the day and see if there is a connection between poor sleep and overeating. You may be surprised by the results. Some sleep aides can make you feel groggy or unmotivated. Keep in mind that it takes time for your body to adapt to a new medication and sleep cycle. Keep in touch with your medical team to ensure your health needs are being met.

Diabetes Can Affect Weight Loss

People who have Type 2 Diabetes face a tough battle with weight, as most of the drugs on the market can make weight loss a struggle. Type 2 Diabetes drugs such as Diabinese, Insulase, Actos, and Prandin stimulate insulin production or activity. This lowers the blood sugar and may increase the appetite. Be aware of these symptoms, and if you notice an increase in your weight and appetite, contact your doctor. The largest weight gain will usually occur in the first three months, but your team can build a plan to help combat the side effects.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health matters and your weight loss journey. Medications and treatments are necessary for your health, but you don’t have to go it alone. Your medical situation is unique, so why shouldn’t your weight loss strategy be the same? Let our team of medical professionals put you on the right path.


What To Look For In Protein Shakes From Denver Weight Loss Clinic Experts

Why the Whey? |  Denver Weight Loss Clinic Shares Insights

Denver Weight Loss Clinic When thinking of protein shakes, most people picture body builders and athletes.  It is important to know that not all protein is created equal.  Some forms of protein, such as whey, are better than others. Studies have shown that the inclusion of whey protein can also help encourage weight loss.  The inclusion of a whey protein with a balanced diet and exercise can encourage fat loss, increase satiety, deliver essential nutrients and even improve metabolic activity.

What is Whey?

Whey is a complex protein that contains an incredible range of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly.  Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese – think Little Miss Muffet.

If you’ve ever opened a yogurt container to see liquid floating on top, this is whey. Cheese makers used to discard it before they discovered its commercial value.  After being separated during cheese production, whey goes through a series of processing steps to become what people generally recognize as whey protein… a powder that is added to shakes, meal replacements and protein bars.  Over the past few decades, whey protein powders have evolved several generations from low-grade concentrates to very high-grade concentrates and isolates.

Whey protein has become a staple supplement for most bodybuilders and other athletes because it’s a great protein.  Whey protein is becoming more popular among those trying to lose weight as well.  However, whey is more than just protein. There are tons of other nutrients in there, some with great health benefits.

Health Benefits of Whey Protein

Whey protein has also been shown to have benefits for blood pressure, blood sugar and even helping to treat symptoms of HIV and cancer.   Studies have shown that consumption of whey protein can also have a positive effect on stress and on depression.  In fact, whey is one of the best studied supplements in the world.

Reading the Label

Whey protein doesn’t taste very good on its own, which is why it is usually flavored. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavored powders are the most popular.  It’s important that you read the ingredients list as some companies have added unhealthy additives like refined sugar.  There are several different types of whey used in protein powders; the main difference between the different types is the way they are processed and the amount of protein.

  • Concentrate: About 70-80% protein. Contains some lactose (milk sugar) and fat, and has the best flavor.
  • Isolate: 90% protein, or higher. Contains less lactose and fat, and is missing a lot of the beneficial nutrients found in whey protein concentrate.
  • Hydrolysate: Also known as hydrolyzed whey, this type has been pre-digested so that it gets absorbed faster. It causes a 28-43% greater spike in insulin levels than isolate

Whey protein concentrate is the most popular form of the whey protein; it is the cheapest and retains most of the beneficial nutrients found naturally in whey. Many people also prefer the taste, which is probably because of the small amounts of lactose and fat.  It is important to note that most of the studies conducted used whey protein isolate rather than concentrate.

The Secret to Weight Loss

One of the best known secret to weight loss is feeling full.  Satiety is a term used to describe the feeling of fullness we experience after eating a meal.

Some foods are more satiating than others, an effect which is partly mediated by their macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) composition. Protein is by far the most filling of the three macronutrients, but not all proteins have the same effect on satiety. Whey protein has proven to be more satiating than other types of protein, such as casein and soy.  These properties make it particularly useful for those who need to eat fewer calories and lose weight.

Australian researchers had 28 obese men consume four different drinks. Those who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later.

Adding Whey to Your Daily Intake

When it comes to muscle gain and fat loss, protein is the king of nutrients, and whey protein is better than other forms of quality protein.  Taking whey protein is a convenient way to add 25-50 grams of protein on top of your daily intake which is important for people who need to lose weight or are simply lacking protein in their balanced diet.


What’s The Connection Between Hormones & Weight Loss?

Hormones & Weight Loss:   What the Pros Are Saying

Denver Hormone Therapy Experts Weigh In

Denver Hormone Therapy ExpertsIt seems every day now that a new diet is introduced to the market. Many people are turning to extreme dieting and exercising to answer their weight loss prayers and aren’t seeing results. They should know, however, there are real solutions out there. Top medical professionals believe that hormones do indeed affect weight loss, and that a combination of monitored weight loss medication, such as Phentermine, and proper hormonal balance is the solution many wish they would have found years ago.

The Problematic Hormones:

Insulin: The glucose regulator. However, if your body isn’t regulating glucose the way it should be (due to extra fat around your organs) your body will have to work twice as hard just to keep the excess sugar from your blood. And when it can’t? The extra sugar will be stored as fat.

Leptin:  Leptin helps the brain know when you’re full. Because many things in our diet contain fructose, your body will store the fructose as fat and as a result produce too much leptin. Leptin resistant bodies will not be able to properly tell when you are full and when you are just “fake full,” which will quickly lead to weight gain.

Cortisol: Yes, stress levels really are a huge factor in weight loss. Your stress hormone, or Cortisol, is supposed to be a response to fear, or stress. When we are constantly put into stressful situations, your body begins to miscommunicate and produce too much Cortisol. Again, a hormone your body doesn’t need needs to be stored somewhere, namely as fat around your organs.

Estrogen: Even though both men and women have Estrogen, women really struggle with the hormone when it comes to weight loss. Because estrogen is responsible for developing the female make up, any sort of imbalance will slow down your metabolism and your body will end up storing more fat than it needs to.

Unfortunately, the perfect weight loss equation isn’t the same for everyone. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always possible to lose weight by counting calories or even surgery. Sometimes, weight loss struggles stem much deeper, and it’s likely that those reasons have to do with hormone imbalance.

The good news is that there are top of the line teams comprised of nurses, doctors and PA’s, and coaches and consultants, who you can entrust to help you stay on track with your goals. With proper knowledge about hormone imbalance and the right team behind you, you can be on the road to a healthier life in no time at all.


What’s really holding you back from losing weight?

What’s really holding you back from losing weight?  Denver Medical Weight Loss Experts Share Their Insights

When you walk in our doors, you’re surrounded by people who have felt similar things to you:  something has held them back from losing weight.  We’ve all felt frustrated from time to time about our weight loss not going as fast as we’d like.  But, the truth is, there’s a lot that goes into weight loss and there really can be a variety of things that might be holding you back.

  1. Mindset.  Positive attitudes go a long way when you’re doing any sort of weight loss plan.  You have to shift your focus from quick, lightning results, to steady, health-focused results.  You may have setbacks, which is completely normal.  But whenever we have setbacks or things go a little slower than we’d hoped, we can find ourselves thinking all is lost!  No!  This is normal.  You just have to shift your mindset to give yourself a little bit of grace and keep pushing ahead.
  2. Skipping Meals.  We know…it seems a little opposite of what conventional thought tells you, but skipping meals is actually hurting your metabolic rate more than helping it.  At the beginning you may feel like you’re eating all the time, even when you’re not hungry.  The difference is that you’ll be eating foods that will keep your metabolism firing regularly, rather than stopping and starting at different points in the day.
  3. Putting Life On Hold.  You don’t necessarily have to restrict your entire lifestyle to change your diet, but many feel they have to set hard boundaries.  The truth is that family will come into town and want to eat out, or you’ll have to travel for work, or some other situation will come up where you are in a situation of temptation or difficulty.  But, there ARE ways to eat out and stick with your nutrition plans.  There ARE ways to handle the temptations of the birthday treats brought into your break room.  We’re not asking you to escape everyday life in order to eat healthy, but it will take a few extra seconds to figure out how you will respond.  Our goal is not make you put your life on hold, but to really be able to live your life the way you dream of.
  4. Isolation.  If you’re trying to lose significant weight on your own, we know you’ll struggle…a lot!  Accountability and encouragement are two key parts to losing weight.  You simply need other people cheering you on and helping your strategize the next phase of your weight loss.
  5. Hormones.  Your hormones play a huge role in how your body will react to nutrition changes or exercise.  Hormonal imbalances often “trick” your body into thinking certain things, which cause the body to continue to store fat.  We often see people who have tried all sorts of things and are eating well and exercising, but STILL haven’t lost the weight they need.  When we look at their hormone levels, often we see that there is something off there that is blocking them from being fully successful.  When we get the hormones treated, we can have more effective weight loss.

We all have different things that hold us back.  For you, it might be one of these things we listed out; for others it might be all.  That’s why a custom plan that has a comprehensive approach is key for successful weight loss.  You’re unique.  Shouldn’t your weight loss strategy be unique as well?


What’s So Bad About Fad Diets?

Why fad diets are not doing you any favors

Oh, fad diets! We have people asking us about these all the time, and every few years it’s a different one (hence the “fad”).  Fad diets are trendy because this famous person is doing it, or that famous person is doing it, or there’s gobs of advertising dollars behind it to shove it in your face.  The reality is that fad diets often have some element of truth behind them, but they go to extremes and really aren’t good for your weight loss in the long run.

What makes a fad diet?

Fad diets are often known for restricting or eliminating certain foods or food groups, and often make claims for significant weight loss in short periods of time.  For example, “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” made claims for specific food requirements and claimed to help people lose up to 5 pounds in the first two weeks.  Other fad diets make similar, if not more outrageous claims.  Eventually people fizzle out on these plans and you hear less and less of them.  But, rest assured, there WILL always be a new fad diet to consider.

So, why are fad diets not doing you any favors?

Fad diets sound amazing, right?  But, we know that anything in life worth having comes with a little bit of hard work.  And so, we’ve found that a comprehensive plan toward weight loss works better and really needs to be focused on your specific health concerns and goals.

Fad Diets Are Short-Term

Most fad diets will focus on the short term results of their program.  Mainly because their way of living is not sustainable, or because they know that most people will fizzle out after a few weeks anyway.  Unless you have a long term focus and a team to help you stay accountable to your program, odds are, you will fall off a program.  That’s why the support you get from a weight loss team is so crucial.

Missing Key Nutrients

Often fad diets will eliminate key food groups or foods that are actually really healthy for you.  We’ve all heard the wacky diets where you eat only two or three foods and nothing else.  The problem is that you can’t get all of your nutrients from just a handful of foods.  Instead, you need to be focusing on a comprehensive approach with whole foods (less processed) that will help you set your body’s metabolic rate to a healthy spot.  Fad diets can actually do you more harm than good if you are depleting your body of valuable nutrients you get from key foods and food groups.

They Make Assumptions

Fad diets make blanket assumptions that this one food type is bad for ALL people.  That’s simply not how we work.  A body that is dealing with hormonal imbalance may need certain food types or not need others.  While someone dealing with diabetes may need the opposite plan.  Fad diets sound pretty and fun, but they don’t take into account YOUR specific situation.

Here’s the skinny…

If a diet sounds too good to be true, odds are it is.  We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, and often slow and steady wins the race in weight loss.  For results that last a lifetime, you need to focus on not only resetting your metabolism, but resetting your mindset and approach toward food.  That simply doesn’t happen in two weeks or with a fad diet!


What Does COMPREHENSIVE Weight Loss Actually Look Like?

The first thing we think about with losing weight is blood, right?  Odds are, you think of starving yourself and only eating ‘rabbit food’, going to the gym, boring old protein shakes, or running.  You probably don’t think immediately about your blood, but we’re such big believers in that life-giving red stuff that that’s where we start.  Bloodwork is the foundation of our practice.

Blood Is The Map

Your blood can tell a lot about you.  We can find out medically why you either can’t lose weight or keep gaining weight.  Your blood will tell us about  all sorts of things like how your body uses the  nutrients you eat. It will tell us about your  hormone levels, how well your thyroid is or is not functioning, and what your vitamin D levels are, just to name a few things we look at.  Once we have all of this good information, we will have a roadmap showing us which biomarkers to focus on as we create a weight loss plan.  However, without doing bloodwork, we are ‘flying blind’ as they say, simply guessing and doing a trial-based approach to weight loss.  Your time and your life are too precious to just guess at!

Blood Revels Other Issues

You may have underlying issues like hormone imbalances, insulin resistance of PCOS, , digestive issues, and more.  Your bloodwork will give our medical team insights into your unique makeup.  If you do have any underlying condition, we can address it, as well as factor it into our planEach person is unique, and when you have other medical factors in play, it CAN affect weight loss!

Regular Tests

When you’re doing medical weight loss, it’s important to run blood work at various point within the timeline.  We’ve seen clients that were type 2 Diabetic when we started that nine months into the process no longer fell into that diagnosis.  When you’re cleaning up your diet and losing weight, your body WILL change.  This means your blood work will show different things as we move through the process.  Just as the original blood work gave us a roadmap to show us where the main areas of concern were, updated tests will help us have a good measuring stick to measure progress that you may not be able to see in the fit of a pair of jeans.

Types of Blood Tests

Not all blood tests need to be done every single time, but they do provide different insights.  When we first start working with a patient, we may recommend a comprehensive blood workup so that we know the full picture.  However, we always craft a plan that is unique to each patient.

Here is a list of some of the tests we look at, this isn’t all, but it is a good start:

  • A Metabolic Chemistry Panel that includes lipids (cholesterol & triglycerides)
  • A Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • hsCRP (high sensitivity or Cardiac CRP)
  • Homocysteine
  • Insulin
  • Four different thyroid markers
  • Hormones

Your blood does a lot for you, but it can tell a lot about you too.  Blood is where we start and where we continue to look to see how our patients are progressing and improving.  Blood tests are  a vital part of a comprehensive weight loss plan.


What Role Do Hormones Play In Weight Loss? | Hormone Therapy in Denver For Women

Women often joke about hormones affecting their mood at that special time of the month, but hormones do a whole lot more than just make you moody, and hormone levels can affect men too!  Hormones play a huge role in how your body functions, and can affect weight loss efforts in a big way as well.

What are hormones?

Hormones are like chemical messengers to the rest of the body and are created in the endocrine glands.  They control most major bodily functions, from things like signaling hunger, reproduction, and even emotions.  They’re a little part of the body that make a BIG impact!

When they are in proper balance, hormones help the body thrive, but small problems with hormones can cause serious symptoms.

Hormones and Weight Gain

So, what happens if you’re eating right and exercising, but you still can’t seem to lose the weight?  Boy, we know that can be extremely frustrating and most of our patients have fallen in this camp at one time or another.  The truth is, you may be doing everything that you should, but hormonal imbalances are preventing your body from responding the way it should.  If you’ve been trying to lose weight for years and continue to be unsuccessful, a look at your hormones is probably the best place to start.

That’s why hormone treatment is often a method we use at our office. If your hormones are off, then you may be making life much harder on yourself than you need to. If your hormones are off balance, then through no fault of your own, your own body is fighting your best efforts at weight loss.  When we work together to manage your hormones, we can then focus on the weight loss.

What are the main hormones that affect weight gain?

Estrogen

Estrogen is one of the more commonly known hormones and plays a huge role in female sexual characteristic.  However, an estrogen imbalance can cause a slower metabolism, which results in the body storing more fat.

Testosterone

Women need testosterone just as much as men do, they just don’t need as much.  When this hormone is at low levels women can experience weight gain and poor muscle tone, even with regular exercise.

Insulin

Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate glucose, or blood sugar, in the body.  If you are overweight, your insulin can get thrown off balance and you will have a harder time losing weight.  If you tend to eat sugary foods, you actually are keeping your insulin working overtime to clear the sugar from your blood.  What does your body do with all this extra sugar?  Stores it as fat.

Cortisol

Cortisol is known as your body’s stress hormone, and it helps your body respond to stressful situations.  However, having excess cortisol puts you at risk of heart disease, and causes you to store visceral fat around your internal organs, which often presents itself as excess belly fat.

Leptin

Leptin is produced by our body’s fat cells and it’s job is to tell the hypothalamus in the brain that we’re full.  However, if you have too much leptin in the body, you can become leptin resistant, making it difficult to tell when you’re full.  Our modern diet is full of fructose, which can lead to an increase of fat and therefore leptin.  It’s a vicious cycle!

Hormone Therapy in Denver For Women (and Men!)

So what does this mean when you work with someone like us?

Well, for starters, you may start off feeling like we’re doing a lot of other stuff that no trainer or diet coach has ever done.  But, let me tell you… This is the most important part!  We start with extensive blood tests based on your specific situation.  The blood tests can tell us valuable information about hormone levels and deficiencies, among other things.  Once we know if we’re working with any hormone imbalances, we can formulate a game plan.  It’s not worth your time, or ours, to focus on weight loss if your hormones are out of balance.