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.


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.


Hormone Therapy Benefits For Men

How men can benefit from hormone therapy from Denver Hormone Experts

Denver Hormone ExpertsTestosterone is more than a reproductive health hormone. It’s essential to the body’s overall well being. The hormone decline in men begins, on average, at the age of 35. Those levels can increase up to 2% per year thereafter.

Hormone therapy is the replacement of testosterone in a controlled, balanced method that’s right for you. If you’re not sure whether hormone therapy is what you need, consider this:

Testosterone is essential in maintaining: 

  • Bone density
  • Muscle strength and mass
  • Sex Drive
  • Red blood cell production
  • Health
  • Proper sleep patterns

Bone Density

Osteoporosis is a universal problem across the genders. Testosterone has a direct connection to the production and strengthening of bone. The longer you go without treatment for low testosterone, the more susceptible the bones become to fractures.

Muscle Strength and Mass

Testosterone has been proven to increase muscle strength and mass. The hormone binds to the receptors in the muscle cells, telling them to contract and grow. Hormone therapy works to recharge your system.

Sex Drive

Note that decreased sex drive is symptomatic of many different issues. It’s only part of the picture, and should not be the sole consideration for a hormone therapy evaluation. That being said, testosterone is essential in both a healthy libido and sperm count.

Red Blood Cell Production

Testosterone is essential to red blood cell production. As we age, our bodies slow down the production cycle. If your hormone levels are lower than average, this can affect your health and well-being.

Health

There has been a direct correlation between low testosterone levels and metabolic function of the body. Studies have shown that diabetes becomes a higher risk as testosterone levels lower. For years, low testosterone levels have predicted the development of type 2 diabetes in men. Additionally, low levels can increase cortisol. Insulin and cortisol imbalances not only increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, it also increases belly fat.

Sleep Patterns

Low levels of testosterone can alter the cycle of sleep by preventing the synchronization needed for deep sleep. This leads to constant fatigue, lack of motivation, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Do any of these issues sound familiar? If so, consider the benefits of hormone therapy. The regulation of our bodies becomes difficult as we age, and if we take steps early enough, we may be able to change the course of our health for the better.

If you think hormone therapy is right for you, seek an expert in hormone balance. Pay attention to your body and keep track of your moods and sleep patterns to help your doctor find the right balance for you. Thyroid panels and vitamin D3 levels should also be checked. Once you find out where you stand against a “normal” lab for your age and your body, a hormone regimen can be started.

The key to success is finding a natural hormone balance method that keeps you at your optimal levels 24/7. Educate yourself, do your research, talk to a practitioner who is willing to sit down and talk with you about your concerns, and consider your options.


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.