Updated: Jan 4
“How to get rid of stubborn belly fat”, “How much walking to burn a pound,” “Why isn’t this diet working” all these search results are asking the same question… “Why can’t I lose weight”, and we know this because we get this question all the time in our inbox, our social media, or in-person at our clinic, and for good reason. In the United States, over 70% of the population aged 20 and over is considered overweight, and in that group, more than half of them are considered obese. Around the world, there are now more obese people than there are people who are underweight. So this problem isn’t just a local problem but a worldwide issue; so exactly what is the problem and what are the 5 steps we can take to solve it?
Step 1 - Get your hormone levels tested. Your body uses different organs to produce hormones that act as signals to other organs and cells to regulate different systems in the human body. Obviously, if you have unbalanced hormones your body may be sending the wrong signals and not working efficiently. In men, the biggest problem lies in an unbalanced amount of free Testosterone, and with women, the biggest problem lies in an unbalanced amount of estradiol (estrogen). Three other big hormones that affect both men and women are Cortisol (often referred to as the “stress” hormone), Leptin (acts as a hunger suppressant hormone, which explains why many obese patients tend to have low levels of Leptin production), and Insulin (acts as a signal to cells to absorb glucose as energy, the problem lies when the cells absorb too much glucose and the body converts this into fat which leads to weight gain).
Step 2 - Get your vitamins and minerals levels tested. Your body uses minerals and vitamins to keep your body healthy like strong bones, a healthy heart, along with making enzymes and hormones. If your body doesn’t have the appropriate minerals and vitamins, your body will begin to steal these minerals and vitamins from itself from places like your bones and muscles, which can lead to weak bones and muscle decline. Berberine is an appetite suppressant supplement, which basically means it keeps you from being hungry and is often used as a weight-loss supplement. It does this by improving the regulatory functions of three important hormones: Insulin, Adiponectin, and Leptin. In a 12-week study in obese individuals, 500 mg taken three times per day caused about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average. Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin but a hormone itself. While there isn’t a ton of data on how it promotes weight loss, there is a ton of research that shows people that are obese often have a large Vitamin D deficiency. This means that if you’re overweight, you might have a Vitamin D deficiency that is making it difficult for you to lose weight. Magnesium has shown to assist in regulating insulin levels. (A 2013 study found that taking higher amounts of Magnesium helps better control insulin and glucose blood levels), Zinc is essential for proper thyroid functioning and is especially good for men for testosterone production. Zinc has shown to reduce inflammatory markers, increase insulin resistance, and suppress appetite. A deficiency in Zinc can impair thyroid function, resulting in a slower metabolic rate, which makes it difficult to burn fat, Electrolytes are minerals that your body needs that carry an electric charge. They help regulate fluids in the body, which would explain why Electrolytes are often inversely related to water retention, meaning when your body is low on Electrolytes your body retains more water, and when you have more Electrolytes your body retains less water i.e. water weight. So if you’re drinking lots of water, make sure to increase your electrolyte intake.
Step 3 - Improve your gut health and digestion. The digestive system consists of many organs, with the main ones being the stomach, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. These organs work together doing different tasks to digest the food you intake to convert it into energy. This is why if your digestion isn’t working at its best capacity, it will quickly show by a slower digestive tract and with weight gain. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that assist with digestion, a good balance of “good” bacteria in your gut has shown to improve digestion, ease bowel movements, and increase weight loss. Digestive Enzymes are proteins that break down bigger molecules into smaller molecules, making it easier for your body to digest fats, proteins, and carbs which makes it easier to burn fat and build muscle.
Step 4 - Eat fewer carbs and decrease your insulin sensitivity. The Ketogenic Diet or KETO Diet has become very popular in recent years for weight loss, but what exactly is it and does it work. The short answer is, it does work but why? First of all, your body uses 3 sources of energy, fat, protein, and carbs. Your body uses all three but tends to favor carbs because they are the easiest to break down and make into energy. When you supply your body with too much energy (carbs) it decides to save some energy for later… which means it turns all that extra energy as fat. This takes us to the ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, low to moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates (carbs). When you reduce your carb intake, you force your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it needs energy. The body immediately starts turning fats into ketones which your body uses for energy instead of carbs. When your body has an excess amount of ketones, instead of storing them into fat, it expels them through your urinary tract. This is why people lose weight after doing the ketogenic diet because they are burning fat and not storing any new fat (which happens when you over intake carbs). If you're interested in learning more about the Ketogenic Diet, call us or Click Here to learn more.
Step 5 - Quality Sleep & Exercise Regularly. As we’ve mentioned before hormones play a big role when it comes to trying to lose weight. Which makes Cortisol a hormone we try to lessen as much as possible. Cortisol is a stress hormone that signals your body to conserve energy to fuel you later. This hormone is so powerful it can actually keep you from losing weight and actually make you gain weight. When you don’t get enough sleep and during times of intense stress, your cortisol levels increase. When your cortisol levels increase, this causes an increase in your insulin levels as well. Cortisol tries to conserve energy (ie. fat) by forcing your body to burn as little energy as possible, while insulin tries to store as much energy (into fat) as possible. This is why when you’re stressed, it becomes very difficult to not only lose weight but also makes it very easy to gain weight. Resistance training exercises for about a half-hour a day can really help when trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that putting your body into a state of intensity will cause it to produce hormones, Testosterone in men, and Estradiol in women. The theory is that your body believes you are struggling to survive so it is trying to provide you the tools (appropriate hormones) to survive.
Step 6 - Intermediate Fasting & Avoid Snacking. Intermediate fasting has grown in popularity but what is it exactly? Intermediate fasting is exactly that, fasting for a specific time period. You do intermediate fasting every day when you sleep. If you weigh yourself right before bed and then weigh yourself after getting out of bed you will actually see a decrease in weight (maybe a pound at most). This is because your body is always burning fat but when you eat, and snack all throughout the day it doesn’t get a chance to burn fat and can only focus on digesting food. Think of your stomach as having an "ON" switch (not burning fat) and an "OFF" switch (burning fat). When it’s "ON", it can’t focus on burning fat, because it's focused on trying to digest the food that you are intaking. When your stomach is "OFF", it can focus solely on burning fat. Intermediate takes this to the next level and burns fat around the clock by having you only eat once a day as much as you want, and then after you don’t eat all day. By doing this, your body has a full day of just burning fat, rather than having to digest breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, and snacks throughout the day. This does not mean you avoid eating. You should always try to stay healthy and eat good nutritious meals but we recommend that to lose weight in a sustainable way, you should eat when you’re hungry – and only when you’re hungry.
Forget the clock and listen to your body instead, that is probably the best recommendation. Try to avoid snacking when you’re bored and instead be more intentional when you choose not only when you eat, but what you eat as well.
Done with this article? Check out our article "4 Foods That Boost Testosterone Levels"
So what do we do differently here at The MEN Clinic and why do our patients love our clinic?
We ask the right questions.
Order the right tests.
Treat the right problems.
And you enjoy the difference!
Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Supplements, and Vitamins, Wellness Nutrition is what we do here at The MEN Clinic because we look at the whole body.
Here at The MEN Clinic, we provide patients relief using Functional Medicine, Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement, Supplements, Vitamins, and Wellness Nutrition.
We hope you enjoy these posts and we here at The MEN Clinic are glad you're being proactive in your own health maintenance. To schedule an appointment please call us at 956-581-2168 or visit www.themenclinic.com/low-t-lab for more information.