Have you struggled with losing those few extra pounds that you put on?? Or are you struggling to lose more? Do you seem to yo yo up and down with your weight?? You are not alone. Everyone knows what to do to lose weight and yet if it were that simple, no one would have any weight issues. Losing excess weight and keeping it off for the long term involves balancing a complex network of your mind, your diet, your sleep patterns, your hormones, your exercise, and your toxic load.
My suggestion is to start with one piece of the puzzle and get that piece working, and then move onto the next. If you can work on several pieces at once, that is great; however, many people feel overwhelmed and fail if they take on too much at once. Your goal is long term weight loss, with you maintaining a healthy weight: feeling vital and having the energy to do the things that you want to do in life for the long term. With that goal in mind, it makes sense to focus on one piece of the puzzle and then another, and another; doesn’t it?? It is a continual process that gets you to your goal and keeps you there. And, yes, change takes work and change does not always come easily; but it is worth it!!! First decide that you want to achieve a healthy weight, then next decide what you want to focus on first.
Then next, break it down into small easy steps that are achievable until you reach your major goal. The key is to set achievable goals each week so that you can attain them and reach success. It may seem slow at times, but slow and steady wins the race!! (remember the story of the tortoise and the hare??) You want long term results, not the yo yo frustration that so many people live through.
Many people do not relate hormone imbalance with weight but they are intimately connected. As I stated above, hormone balance is a significant piece to the optimal weight puzzle. Hormones are chemicals in your body that stimulate reactions and bodily functions to take place. A bodily function such as weight loss is definitely affected by hormones. When your hormones are out of balance you can experience difficulty in losing weight. Insulin, Thyroid, Cortisol, Testosterone, and Estrogen are key hormones in the weight loss game.
Many things can affect your hormone balance: stress, aging, nutrition, toxins. By balancing your nutrition you can actually help your hormones. This can be done by eliminating foods that you are sensitive too, by eating organic non GMO foods, and by focusing on a vegetable based diet that is limited in grains and beef/dairy products. People underestimate the effect that nutrition has on their body but it is a major player for affecting how you feel, as well as the weight that you carry. Food sensitivities are highly under diagnosed and unrecognized by patients and doctors alike. Do not rely on blood tests to diagnose food allergies. Be aware of your body and pay attention to how it responds to certain foods. If you know that a food makes you feel bloated or tired, avoid it; even if a test showed you that you were not allergic to that food. Trust your own body! I love having people do an elimination diet to really see what specific foods he/she is sensitive to. That is really the best way to determine if you have a food sensitivity.
Stress reduction is a key component to your overall well being as well as helping to keep your hormones and weight balanced. Turn off the news and focus on positive things in your life. Breathe out for longer than you breathe in–this is a great way to immediately reduce stress. Take a few breaths throughout the day where you breathe in slow for the count of 3 and breathe out for the count of 5 – 7. This also helps you if you are having trouble sleeping. Remember to regularly allow yourself to have fun and to turn off your phone as much as you can. You do not have to be connected 24/7. And, of course fit exercise into your schedule no matter how small amount the time is. Some movement is better than no movement.
Achieving hormone balance and a healthy weight is complex but I hope that these tips have helped you to focus on a few things to start with. Even when I prescribe customized bio-identical hormone creams or pellets; or do a detoxification chelation program; I highly encourage all of my patients to do the above things. Everything is important for your health–they are all pieces to the optimal health puzzle!! Decide that you want change, and then start with a small step now to achieve your long term goals!