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?

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!

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.