Ask Dr. Julie / Diet and Weight Loss / Health & Wellness

And the Right Path to Weight Loss Is…

Have you ever felt like weight loss is an impossible goal?

I know that most people have felt like that at one point or another.

Maybe for you, it wasn’t weight loss…maybe it was to gain muscle mass or to have more energy or to gain weight even.

The point is that, health goals can seem impossible if you’re not sure how to go about getting to your goal.

I know there are a lot of information out on the internet and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard patients say:

“my cousin’s friend’s sister-in-law’s friend says that I need to eat more…(celery or insert any number of other things here)… in order for me to lose weight and have more energy.”

But then you try it…and it doesn’t work. Then you try something else…and it doesn’t work.

That’s because folklores rarely work.

What does work is hard core science!

Fortunately, with more people getting more health conscious, there are more and more studies being done to help people understand how metabolism works and what’s a fad and what’s true science.

One thing that seems to help people based on studies and also based on my clinical experience is to set an initial trial period to make health changes so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. This is probably why so many diet books and programs talk about 30-day programs…because it works! It helps you to get going and to start to establish new habits and then even after the 30 days, you’ll continue your new healthier habits.

Some common mistakes I see people do is that they fast too long or cut out healthy food groups and just count calories or exercise too much.

They healthiest way for your body to lose weight…and to keep it off, is to mimic healthy body physiology functioning so that your metabolism doesn’t slow down and your weight loss benefits can sustain long term.

This means that your body will need whole foods, like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy fats and a wide complex blend of protein/amino acids so that all organs and cells can function with all the tools they need to be efficient.

If you are looking for supplemental support in this process, you’ll want to look for healthy fat, mineral, vitamin, protein and even mitochondrial support. By combining fundamental nutrient support of supplements like omega-3’s, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and mitochondrial support like CoQ10 and a healthy balanced diet of whole foods, your body is able to lose weight while not being deprived of nutrients so that your cellular functioning that supports metabolism can stay stable.

Some other options that I feel could help optimize support of weight loss and energy goals would be to add onto that some probiotic, digestive enzyme and glucose supporting supplements like cinnamon, alpha lipoic acid, and chromium polynicotinate, etc. There are more studies nowadays suggesting about gut health and impact on metabolism and weight. There’s also impact of inflammation on overall health and so focusing diet on anti-inflammatory foods is important.

Is it only all about diet? What about exercise you say?

Well, diet is very important in losing weight…but studies suggest that exercise is how you are able to maintain that weight loss. So, you’re right! Exercise is important…but if you exercise a lot but don’t eat right, then the weight still won’t be where you want it to be.

So…if you are making those diet changes, I would make those first and try to take the stress out of exercise if you are not used to it as a daily part of your life and start by just walking more or taking stairs first. Then, as you are more established in your healthy diet habit and can add on more time for exercise without feeling overwhelmed, then try adding 20-30 minutes of exercise most days of the week so that your body gets used to moving. Our bodies are machines after all, they need to move. Even things like dancing to music in your room counts as exercise, it doesn’t have to be the whole process of changing then driving to gym. So many people get turned off just thinking about changing and driving to gym…don’t let that put you off, just move. Dance. Hop around with your kids. Walk up and down stairs at work. These all count!

At the end of the day, your first step is your decision to make changes towards a healthier you. That is the most important step. After that, you just need to support of nutrients and a well-balanced whole food-based mostly plant-based healthy diet.

 

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