Wait, what??? Shouldn’t be the main focus? But that is the focus! That’s the goal. The main concern most people have their entire lives. To lose the weight! How can you lose weight but not focus on losing weight? Simply put; by focusing on the outside factors that led to the weight gain. Factors such as inefficient sleep, following the SAD diet for too many years, hormonal imbalances, illnesses, and the more serious autoimmune conditions. Very rarely does one get fat simply from overeating and acting gluttonous. Sure they might not help the situation once they start to gain weight. They start eating more food than they should and become more sedentary as activity gets harder with the more weight they gain. However, their metabolic rate also increases as they gain weight. The amount of food they need for daily life goes up right along with the weight. Compromised leptin signaling can also contribute to the amount of food they eat as their bodies don’t receive the proper signals to let them know when they are full. I have faith that most people don’t gain a little bit of weight and then resign themselves as being destined to be fat so they give up all efforts to lose it. In fact, I would say most resort to drastic measures to lose their new-found weight and end up doing more harm than good to their already compromised metabolisms.
So if we’re not focusing on weight loss, what are we looking for? Well there’s measurements, progress pictures, and going by how your clothes fit, but I’m even talking beyond that. Let’s take a deeper look and try to figure out all the contributing factors to your weight gain. Perhaps you stopped exercising years ago because you just couldn’t find the energy to do it anymore, so you accept it as fact that you gained weight as a result of that. But why couldn’t you find the energy? You don’t just lose your energy for no reason. There has to be an underlying factor. If it were an illness, then get to the root cause of the illness. Don’t accept the standard of taking pills to treat the symptoms without understanding why you’re having symptoms in the first place. We wouldn’t treat a broken leg the same way we treat a sprained ankle. Instead of treating the symptoms, we get a cast on the leg so the bone can heal. Why should illnesses of the body be treated any differently?
Hormonal imbalances are a huge cause of weight gain, and for a lot of people, it all starts with insulin. For years, someone eats a high insulin-producing diet, to the point where their body stops responding to insulin’s signals. Insulin is continually called upon to pump out more and more in order to do its job of getting much-needed nutrients into the cells. This person gets to a point where their insulin levels are chronically high for far too long and they are left with insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. Chronically high insulin levels lead to chronically high cortisol levels. Remember that’s our stress hormone, our fight-or-flight response. Great for times of danger, but not great when it’s elevated all the time. There are many different ways that stress taxes our hormones, but the big one is the affect it can have on our adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands is where DHEA is produced. What’s so special about this hormone you’re probably not familiar with? Its ability to convert to estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone…all of our hormonal all-stars. So if the production of DHEA is compromised because your adrenals are burnt-out, either due to a high-stress lifestyle or a high insulin-producing diet, it goes without saying that your ability to make those other necessary hormones greatly decreases as well.
Making weight loss your sole focus when trying to achieve health will only lead to disappointment and feelings of defeat. Chances are high that if you have weight to lose, you probably have a slew of other conditions and/or symptoms that need to be given preferential treatment. Don’t just assume that losing weight will fix all these other things because the odds are that these other things are what led to the weight gain in the first place. The weight loss will merely be a side effect of healing everything else. Try to get to the root cause of your weight gain. Maybe you’re lethargic all the time because your thyroid isn’t working properly or your adrenals are overworked. Maybe your leaky gut has led to an autoimmune attack. Maybe you don’t sleep well because years of living in a high-stress environment has flipped your circadian rhythm. Maybe years of taking a statin has blocked your body’s ability to produce testosterone (because we need cholesterol to make it) and the result is estrogen dominance. Hello beer belly!
The bottom line is let’s start focusing on all these other factors and let weight loss be the added benefit, the side effect that everybody wants but isn’t quite sure how to get. Yeah it might not come off as fast as you’d like but how many years did it take for you to get here? Zero in on how you’re feeling. Try to become more in-tune with your body. How’s your energy level? Are you thinking clearer? Are your joints less achy and swollen? Are you having less headaches, bloating, gas, or intestinal discomfort? Is your skin (psoriasis, eczema, acne) clearing up? What about asthma and allergies? Are you less puffy and swollen? You should be, especially if you’ve cut the processed carbs, which cause our bodies to hold onto water. Are your moods more stable? Have your PMS symptoms decreased in severity? Are you able to go longer in between meals without having a hypoglycemic crash? Are your cravings for sweets and processed carbs diminishing? All these factors are extremely important and tell more of the story than a simple number on the scale. Focus on your overall health. Balance your hormones. Heal your gut. Get to the root cause of your conditions. I promise if you do all that, the weight loss will come! If you’re not sure what to do to get started, contact me to book your free discovery session and see how I can help you reach your goals!