Over the years I have had many people come to me for weight loss. In all honesty, more than any symptom, weight gain and the inability to lose it, is one of the most difficult imbalances in the body to work with.
We think that weight loss should be easy - go on a diet, restrict calories, exercise more and get results (an approach I do NOT recommend!). If that worked for you in the past, my guess is that it wasn’t sustainable or maintainable and eventually all your weight came right back. Am I right? I have seen that play out repeatedly. If that approach did work for you in the past, and it is not working for you now, that is because your weight has far more to do than calories in and calories out.
There are many factors that may be contributing to this stubborn weight and much to consider as you embark to lose it. This past year the 5 most common themes I have seen that seem to be contributing to stuck weight are the following:
1. Emotional Holding. Unresolved emotional trauma, stresses and conflicts from the past can stay stuck in the physiology. What we don’t resolve we hold. Symbolically our weight can hold deeper meaning such as protection, carrying the weight of the world, guilt, shame and so much more. I help my clients to explore this and use The Demartini Method® to help them to resolve those stresses. If the Method is successcul, I have seen people feel lighter and weight release by letting go of stored and imbalanced emotions.
2.Toxicity. Think of the years of toxic burden your body is holding on to. Toxins can come from a myriad of places such as environment, heavy metals, pesticides herbicides, poor quality food, pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, chemicals within the air, soil and cosmetics, electromagnetics and more. Some people have strong elimination pathways and others do not. For those that have stubborn weight that just wont budge despite your best efforts it maybe that your detoxification pathways are stuck.
Many people who struggle with weight, especially during changing hormonal phases such as PMS, perimenopause, male andropause and post menopause often experience significant increase in their weight despite reporting not changing their diet and exercise. “What used to work, isn’t working anymore,” is a common phrase I hear. This is a sign that the body needs metabolic detoxification.
Metabolic detoxification or biotransformation is “the normal physiological process of converting toxicants from your environment and from the body itself into compounds that can be safely mobilized and excreted from the body.” – Cassie Irwin ND. The challenge is that if you don’t have the right foods and key nutrients via supplementation the body can’t open up its own elimination pathways. The detoxification organs– the liver, gallbladder, kidney, colon and skin and the lymphatic system get clogged, so they can’t do their elimination jobs to their best ability. As a result, the body recirculates and accumulates toxins which are often held in fats cells and tissue. This accumulation of toxins is associated with obesity, Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. In these situations, we need to do extensive and thorough detoxification with specific foods, supplements, and time. It took years to add to your toxic load with likely very little if any support to your elimination pathways and organs, so it will take time to nurture, cleanse and open your metabolic detoxification pathways for release and elimination.
3. Neural Nutrient Deficiency. If your weight is a result of insomnia, food cravings and addictions to food it could be that your neurotransmitters are deficient. It has been said that weight gain starts in the brain. This has nothing to do with willpower and motivation but everything to do with having the right balance of neural nutrients to help you feel satisfied, satiated and free of craving. If you have a tendency to use food to feel reward, joy, pleasure, comfort, to soothe emotions, to numb or for stress relief than we need to work to correct the deficiencies of amino acids and neurotransmitters that are contributing to these food and eating challenges. Cravings are a symptom of nutrient imbalances and once those are identified and corrected it will be much easierto keep your nutrition optimized and full of the vital foods that keep your metabolism in flow.
4. Stress! That’s right if your cortisol is continually high you will be a wonderful fat storer. Whether you have past trauma, PTSD, day-to-day stress, chronic or acute stress, if you don’t correct it and lower it, your weight will be a constant reminder that it is there.There are key nutrients and superfoods that can help support your adrenals and lower cortisol that would be essential to incorporate into your diet. Lately I have been ordering Saliva Cortisol Tests from ZRT Laboratory, for clients who struggle with insomnia and weight gain. Majority are coming back with irregular cortisol levels in the day and very high cortisol levels at night and in the middle of the night. By seeing the results, we can then target the key nutrients to help strengthen the adrenals at certain times of day and lower cortisol levels when they aren’t supposed to be high. The result is resilience and better ability to cope with stress, increased energy in the day and sound sleep! When the body can sleep deeply, restore, relax, and repair, and the parasympathetic system can recover and strengthen and not be overrun by the sympathetic all the time, that is when weight can begin to be released.
5. Perception. You think your diet is better than it is. You may think the once in a whiles are fine but the once in a whiles add up – it’s a little wheat here, some wine there. A handful of chips from time to time or a few mini chocolate bars. A pop a few times a week or a fancy coffee and pastry as a treat on the weekends. It wont hurt, right? Wrong! Each of these enjoyments add up and within these enjoyments is where many of the toxins are found in our food supply and they impact our insulin response and contribute to inflammation. Think of weight as puffy swollen inflammation. If you are struggling with weight, it is important to consider if you have tipped your ‘once in a while’ balance. Do you need to be replacing your toxic foods with more whole food and superfoods that will open detoxification, turn down inflammation, keep blood sugars more stable and keep your fat burning engine strong?
As you can see, there are many doorways to conder and explore if your weight is stuck. It is not a quick fix. It takes time and patience but together we can peel the onion and get to the root of your struggle and the deeper reason(s) for your weight gain. It is important to explore all possible areas that may be contributing to your weight so we can help it to release and help find your metabolic potential again.
Yours in health & vitality,