Since no two people are the same, why would anyone think the reasons for obesity are the same in everyone? In fact, there are many reasons why people are over-weight and we want to find that reason in you and help you get to a happier, healthier weight.
We want to find the reason for your weight gain, then address that issue. It seems unreasonable to us to force you into a restricted diet if the real problem is a food allergy or hormone imbalance. Let's find the cause and fix it!
A very common reason for being overweight is eating the foods we know are bad for us. In a busy society, it is much easier to run through a fast food drive-in, or order a pizza for delivery. But these foods - and drinks - are horrible for us. They have little if any nutritional value, are high in calories, and cause us to be overweight. Here's a brief rundown on what's wrong:
Fats - We love eating fats, even if we don't know it. Bacon? Fat. Cheese? Fat A burger? Lots of fat. That Bacon Cheeseburger for lunch? Fat. Add in french fries (fried in... fat) and - you get the idea. Our bodies have a difficult time processing fat from our diets, moving it into cells. The membranes around each of the several hundred trillion cells in your body is made from the fat you ate 6 months ago.
High Carbs - This part of our diet is filling and provides some immediate energy. Unfortunately, when we eat too many carbs, our body converts them to fat for storage - around the belly, on the thighs and backside and inside the body in every nook and cranny. This is cumulative - which means it adds up meal, after meal. If you overeat for breakfast, EVERYTHING you eat for lunch and dinner can be stored.
Proteins - No fat, no carbs, no storage in unsightly places.
High Fructose Corn Syrup - Despite the enticing TV images of a wholesome young mom walking through a corn field in Iowa, high fructose corn syrup is NOT natural. It may have come from corn, but it is nothing Mother Nature ever conceived. This is - without question - your biggest enemy in obesity. This forces your body to store fat on top of fat on top of fat. READ EVERY FOOD LABEL! If it contains HFCS, stay way away!
There are a number of medical conditions which cause or contribute to obesity. If this an imbalance in metabolism is the underlying cause of someone being overweight, no diet in the world will help - until we identify and correct the underlying cause. Here are several of the most common causes of metabolic disorder affecting weight:
Thyroid Disorder: The Thyroid gland controls many aspects of your metabolism. It is a butterfly-shaped organ located low on the front of the neck, just above the collar bone. Think of this gland as the "thermostat" for your body. A deficiency in the thyroid causes a lack of thyroid hormone and the thermostat is turned down. This is called hypothyroidism. Besides unintended weight gain, people with hypothyroidism may feel cold, sluggish, and mentally dull. We fix this by first identifying the cause, then treating it accordingly.
Adrenal Disorder: We each have two adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys. This pea-sized gland is a major player in our hormone system, producing dozens of hormones when stimulated by the brain. One such hormone is Cortisol, which has been designated by many as the "stress hormone." Cortisol is supposed to fluctuate throughout the day from a morning peak to a midnight low. When a person lives under extreme stress for a long time, the body's ability to regulate cortisol is compromised. This leads to stress eating (think of the time you ate a pint of ice cream and a bag of cookies) and weight gain. We treat adrenal disorders based on the underlying cause, which may include adrenal support supplements.
Cushing's Disease/Cushing's Syndrome: This is a complex medical condition which itself can have several factors. People with Cushing's may experience - in addition to unexplained weight gain - an accumulation of fat high on the back, near the neck (a buffalo hump). This can be treated, once it is identified.
Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is more common than some women appreciate. It results from the follicle (or sac) which held an ovulated egg producing male hormones when it was expected to degrade. The excess hormones create an imbalance in estrogen, testosterone and progesterone and all of this creates a host of problems, including weight gain that is very challenging to control. PCOS is treatable.
Most adults know an allergic reaction when they see one. Seasonal allergies cause facial swelling, watery eyes and nose, and fatigue. Yet, when we eat something and soon begin to feel nausea or indigestion, bloating or worse, we may not associate it with a food allergy. Not all food allergies cause a swollen mouth and throat - requiring immediate administration of epinephrine. Some food allergies cause bloating, loose and foul-smelling stool and exhaustion. Could a food allergy be the reason for your extra weight? The first step is a comprehensive food allergy test, followed by a change in eating habits to avoid the foods your body doesn't like.
The best reason to invest in medical weight loss is to find the best plan for you, based on your circumstances. Our approaches to treatment include:
- Balancing thyroid and adrenal hormones (including Cortisol)
- Nutrition counseling
- Exercise counseling
- Lipotropic (fat-burner) injections of Vitamin B12 and a combination of Methionine, Inositol and Choline (MIC)
- Prescription medications
Lipotrophic injections are also called the "Fat-Burner Shot" at some clinics. It is an injection (arm or gluteus - your choice) of approximately one milliliter of a combination of Vitamin B12 and MIC (Methionine, Inositol, and Choline). This combination is intended to boost your body's breakdown of fats, and help you to lose weight.
Don't expect to lose a lot of weight with this injection alone; rather, use it with a combination of a supervised diet and increased activity. Many of my patients come in regularly for an injection.
Lipotrophic injections are $30, each. However, we offer package deals of six (6) or twelve (12) injections for a deeply discounted rate and include it at no extra charge in the price of the HCG Diet Plan.
We also offer the B12 alone, which may help improve energy and sense of well-being.
Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin - is used in literally dozens of biochemical reactions in the human body. It is, along with Folic Acid, necessary for the proper functioning of DNA. Absent adequate amounts of B12, DNA activity slows and with it the rest of us.
Most people don't know or care about the activity of B12. They just know a periodic injection boosts energy and metabolism.
When taken by mouth, the best estimate is that 2% or 3% of the dose is absorbed.
Phentermine is commonly requested as a weight loss medication. Typically, patients take a tablet or capsule, once a day in the morning, or a smaller dose before meals. Use should be limited to a few weeks. In our experience, patients typically lose about 10 pounds in a month.
Because of the risk of side effects (it amps up metabolism), we limit this to patient who are obese and have other issues such as hypertension or diabetes.
Contrave is the registered trade name of the newest prescription drug to be approved for weight loss. It is a combination of two drugs used for other purposes that were recognized to induce weight loss in people taking the drugs.
The drugs are Naltrexone and Bupropion. Naltrexone is commonly prescribed to treat addiction problems (both opioids and alcohol) while bupropion is used as an antidepressant. Contrave is NOT prescribed for any of these issues, and you may not take Contrave if you are on either drug for other conditions. As with any drug, there are risks of side effects.
Food allergies are now widely recognized as a source of discomfort, bloating, pain, nausea, diarrhea and more.
At the extreme, a person allergic to peanuts can develop potentially fatal anaphylaxis if exposed to peanut products - such as eating in a restaurant where peanuts are prepared for consumption. Most food allergies are not that severe.
Anyone who is allergic to gluten - found in wheat and other grains - knows of the diarrhea and abdominal pain that follows a bite of pizza or toast. They know where to find gluten-free foods at the market and know the consequences of ignoring this food allergy.
Many or perhaps most people don't fully realize their food allergies - they just know they keep gaining weight, and worse, inches around the middle despite normal calories and moderate exercise.
There are several options for reputable food allergy testing. Most of the time it requires either a blood draw or a fingerstick for a couple of drops of blood. The labs we use will identify the food that triggers an immune response (allergy) and propose a rotation diet to help you eliminate the offending food.
A couple of years ago, I had as patients a couple who had been married for 50 years; they were high school sweethearts. She wanted him to be tested for food allergies, but he was reluctant because he did not want her to have to prepare special meals for him. So, she decided they both should be tested. After a month on the new diet plan, he had lost 40 pounds and several inches around his belly; she had lost 30 pounds. The day they stopped in the office for that follow-up, they were on their way to go rock climbing - at age 70! Not in a gym, but on a cliff - real rock climbing. They said they hadn't felt this good in decades!