Can’t Lose Weight Despite Diet and Exercise? The struggle is real……
Are you struggling to lose weight despite diet and exercise? Have you tried every cleanse, weight loss program, pill, potion and lotion and still struggle to lose 10, 15, 20 or more pounds? The struggle is real and you are not alone.
Not only are obesity and weight gain issues in this country, but unsuccessful attempts to lose the weight and keep it off despite diet and exercise are major concerns for more and more people.
I understand the struggle. I’ve been there. I have immersed myself in all things health and wellness for the past twenty years. For the most part, I was active, did my best to eat well, and took my supplements every day. The struggle became real after the birth of my children in 2008 and 2011. I managed to gain seventy pounds. Not only was I overweight, I dealt with fatigue, mood swings, and frequent headaches. I had also learned that I was pre-diabetic with a fatty liver. I was determined to get my pre-baby body back. I was able to lose twenty pounds with diet and exercise, but the other fifty pounds would not budge despite my best efforts. I didn’t know what weight trouble was until that moment. I became determined to find out what was missing. Not just for my sake, but to help my patients who were struggling as well……..This was a major turning point in my health, my future, and the way I run my practice.
I want you to succeed. Many of us have many health and weight loss goals, but the sad reality is, too many of us fail to achieve them. We fail when we make excuses or come up with reasons why we shouldn’t do something. How badly do you want this? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? True weight loss is possible, but it takes work, it takes commitment, and it takes consistency. There is no quick fix. You didn’t gain weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose it overnight. If you have what it takes, you will succeed. The choice is yours, so decide right now if this is really what you want.
To increase your chances for success in the weight loss journey, you have to have a strong reason why you want to lose the weight. This is what will drive you to change. This is what will move you to take action. Having a deep, strong why will push you to the tough times. It will motivate you to push aside those old, damaging habits and replace them with healthier ones.
For me, it was becoming healthier so that I can be in my sons’ lives for as long as possible. I want to be a positive example for my patients and be able to give them hope and to help them. That is my why.
Why should you lose weight?
• Obesity double risks of heart failure and triples the risk of breast cancer in women
• A twenty-two pound weight gain, which is the average middle age weight gain, increases heart attack risk by 75%
• A fifteen pound weight gain doubles your risk of developing type II diabetes
• More than 68.8% of American adults are overweight and 35.7% of American adults are obese
• In the past 20 years, the weight of children ages 6 to 11 have doubled in US and adolescent overweight has tripled
When you look at numbers like this, you can’t help but wonder what is truly going on and why do we have such an issue with obesity in this country.
Weight loss myths?
Let’s talk about what we’ve been told and things we may be doing that just aren’t working. For example, calorie restriction, exercise, vegetarian diet, low carb diet, low fat….the list goes on and on.
Here are some common myths.
Myth #1: Eat less and exercise more. Many of us believe that if we want to lose weight, we have to eat less, therefore getting less calories. If all it took to lose weight was to eat less and exercise a more, than weight loss should be easy, right?
What do these diets have in common: Taco Bell Diet, HCG Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, Twinkie Diet, etc.? Calorie restriction. It’s about numbers and not factoring in the quality of the food and how it relates to your restoring health.
Sometimes, this method can make you gain weight in the long run.
Myth #2: Fat makes you fat. This is one of the lies that are killing Americans. So not only are you reducing calories and exercising more, you have reduced your fat intake.
We live in such a fat-phobic society. Look on our grocery shelves and all we see is low-fat this and fat-free that. For the last twenty years, we have been told to avoid saturated fat like the plague. Despite these recommendations, many Americans still gain weight or have trouble losing weight, crave sugar, have decreased energy and enthusiasm, and suffer from a long list of health complications.
Examples of good fats include extra-virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut and coconut oil, raw seeds, nuts and oils, real butter, raw cheese and yogurt, grass-fed meats, eggs and whole milks, and fatty fish such as wild salmons, small fish and sardines. Personally and clinically, I have witnessed how increasing good fats has helped people lose weight, gain energy, and reverse chronic symptoms.
You can be overweight and fat deficient. Without the proper fats in your diet, your weight loss and health goals can be a frustrating, uphill battle.
It may be hard to comprehend that you need fat to lose fat. But healthy fat reduces cravings and helps you feel full. You don’t feel denied, which is a common problem in many weight loss programs. When you are not eating fat, you fill up with empty calories in foods, such as diet sodas and other fat-free and low-fat products that are loaded with additives and other toxic ingredients, which further deteriorate the body.
Despite the efforts of Americans to eat a diet low in fat by eliminating red meat and butter, rates of obesity, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases have drastically increased. So what is causing the increased rates of obesity and heart disease? That leads us to the next myth.
Myth #3: Eat your whole grains.
We are told to increase our fiber intake by eating whole grains. But, does this help us lose weight and prevent disease? Popular books such as Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD and Grain Brain by David Perlmutter have made the connection between grains and chronic disease, including infertility, allergies, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, headaches, and anxiety.
Grains are sugars. Whole grains raise glucose as much or more than pure sugar. Did you know that two slices of whole wheat toast increase your blood sugar more than 5-6 teaspoons of pure sugar? That’s almost equivalent to one can of soda! Reducing grains and sugars played an essential role in normalizing my glucose and insulin levels, as well as losing my weight, clearing my skin, stabilizing my mood, improving my sleep, and eliminating my headaches. Decreasing carbohydrate intake reduced fat that is normally stored and allowed my body to use fat instead of glucose for energy. With the increase of good fats, I noticed that my appetite was satisfied, and many times, I did not feel hungry throughout the day.
Now there is one more overlooked factor you must understand to achieve healthy weight loss. Weight loss resistance is a cellular issue. If you are struggling to lose weight despite diet and exercise, you need look at your cells.
Cellular inflammation seems to underlie all the chronic illness that often come along with it: obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, heart attack, cognitive function decline, premature aging and even cancer. Time Magazine has also called chronic cellular inflammation as the secret killer.
There are three main causes of cellular inflammation:
1. Bad fats
2. Grains and sugars
3. Environmental toxins
We’ve already discussed the first two. But if you are dealing with weight loss resistance, the third major cause of cellular inflammation, environmental toxins, must be addressed. Environmental toxins involve a broad entity of chemicals that we encounter in our everyday lives. Examples of these include plastics, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, make up, heavy metals, and mold. Toxic chemicals disrupt the function of hormonal systems that lead to weight gain and numerous other diseases.
The Environmental Protection Agency defines toxin as “any chemical or mixture that may be harmful to the environment and to human health if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.” Toxins are known as the smoking gun that can trigger numerous chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The inability to lose weight, despite diet and exercise, is usually associated with high toxicity levels in the body.
Unfortunately, most doctors see someone who is obese as someone who does not care enough to eat less and exercise more. But the truth is, when someone is obese, he or she is dealing with a hormonal disorder caused by cellular inflammation.
Are you a fat burner or a sugar burner?
The body can only use two things for energy.
Healthy bodies have the ability to burn both sugar and fat for energy. However, most Americans can only use sugar. The inability to burn fat for energy causes uncontrollable cravings and this all depends on the hormone Leptin. Leptin controls food cravings and fat burning. Leptin tells your body to burn fat for energy. Remember when I said that weight gain is a hormonal issue? That because certain hormones play a role in whether or not your burn fat for energy. If you are not losing weight, you have to eliminate the barriers that are preventing you from burning fat for energy.
One-third of all leptin-resistance is toxin related. Diet and exercise alone doesn’t resolve this issue. If you are trying to lose weight and become a fat burner, you must fix the hormones receptors. The only way you can fix the hormones receptors is by fixing the cellular membrane. The only way to fix the cellular membrane is by increasing healthy fats, remove the sugars and grains, and true cellular detox.
Dr. Leona Allen
Founder of Freedom Wellness Center
Author of A Journey to Healing