Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we’re going to talk about one of the main things I focus on in my practice, and that’s weight loss.
It’s a new year! Let’s get this year started in a healthy way.
One of the reasons why I started Performance Medicine was that I finally realized that all the medicines I was prescribing weren’t helping patients feel better at all. They might have helped the patient’s numbers look a little better. But that was it.
I was prescribing all of these medications for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, and depression. But most of these patients had a common problem.
They were almost all overweight, and knew nothing about nutrition.
That’s why I started focusing on helping people lose the weight and get back to their ideal body weight.
I think that’s the key to getting healthy.
This morphed into hormone research and looking at menopause and andropause. Hormones are very tied to what you weigh. A lot of people that are in andropause and menopause gain belly fat. Their body changes shape. We deal with this on a daily basis.
Through observation I got a great handle on why people were having trouble losing weight. Simply put, most people eat too many carbohydrates.
In its simplest form, to lose weight you need to:
- Eat a lot less carbs
- Eat less protein
- Eat a lot more good fats
Fat For Fuel
When we started putting people on low fat diets back in the 1980’s, many people got fat! It was the wrong idea.
I just finished a great book called “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola, who does a great job of explaining the idea of using fat to fuel our bodies.
Dr. Mercola is full of wisdom, and like me believes that we have been misled in the way we’ve been treating patients.
Our goal as doctors should be to keep people young, healthy and trim. And fat is not the enemy. It’s actually our friend. Good fats that is.
There are bad fats that you see in processed foods like trans fat, and especially linolenic acid, that are almost as bad as sugar. We will discuss these in more detail in another Note.
What you put in your mouth is the most important determinant of your health and longevity. This is why I founded my clinics on getting people leaner.
What I’ve found out is that most people are insulin resistant. They eat so many carbs that the insulin in their body is not effective in getting sugar out of the blood and into their cells for energy. There’s too much insulin on board.
Insulin makes you hungry and stores fat.
It’s important to look at your fatty acid levels, insulin resistance and hormones. They all interact with each other.
Eat more good fats. Your body is meant to run on fats, not sugar. Fat is much more effective than protein or carbohydrates. It keeps you full, so you’re not going to be as hungry.
We’re not meant to eat throughout the day. They were meant to go through periods of fasting. This is why we talk so much about intermittent fasting.
For most people, when they start intermittent fasting they will lose weight and gain energy.
Stay Away From Wheat, Sugar, And Dairy
A lot of nutritionists and dieticians haven’t kept up with the literature on how to lose weight. They’re practicing ideas that are from years ago. A lot of what they’re teaching is still wrong.
For example, there is no heart healthy cereal out there. They will also say eat a lot of whole grains and whole wheat.
We all know that white flour is bad for you. Because of that people think that whole wheat is good. It’s actually not good!
Modern wheat is the root of all evil in the world of nutrition. Why? It’s been cross bred with toxic chemicals and pesticides. The high heat drying destroys all the nutrients that were in it in the first place.
There are lots of people out there with celiac disease, and even more with gluten sensitivities (Wheat, Rye and Barley). Think of gluten as glue that gets food to stick together, and allows it to preserve for longer.
But gluten is inflammatory. It causes a lot of permeability in the gut, also known as leaky gut. What happens is the one cell thick barrier between the gut and the bloodstream gets inflamed. This sets off an inflammatory cascade in your blood and can destroy your immune system, for one thing.
The gut houses 70% of your immune system.
Think about your gut and what you put into it. Think twice about eating glutens, sugar, and dairy. These are the most common things that will be inflammatory towards your gut.
Wheat also increases blood sugar, which makes you gain weight. Your blood sugar goes up, then your insulin levels go up, and your weight goes up. You gain fat, especially around your belly.
Wheat also has neurotoxic properties, meaning that it inflames your brain.
To lose weight look into your metabolism, gut function and hormones. Look into what you’re eating. The process of losing weight is multifactorial.
And remember, most all the diets work while you’re on them. They usually don’t work because you don’t stick with them. So find a plan that works for you and one you can sustain and make a part of your life.
In my opinion, most of us eat too many carbs, and probably too many proteins. There are times in our lives when we need more protein, and times when we need less. The time when we need less is as we age, because we don’t want “growth”. This is a part of the nutritional pathways in life. It’s why we look into that.
If you’re struggling with your weight, please see us at Performance Medicine to get a handle on this. It’s important!