This is blog five for weight management. I have touched upon a sizeable variety of factors that can be contributing to your struggles. As much as possible, we always want to individualize our approach.
In a continuation from the last blog, we are up to #5 on the list of other factors that may play a role in weight management:
5. Avoid Mass-Produced Protein: Good beef (and lamb and liver) is better than bad chicken all day long. For many years, Big Food companies have used antibiotics and hormones to promote weight gain in cattle, chicken and other animals. Could some of these antibiotics and hormones be insidiously accumulating in our bodies promoting weight gain? Yes. To that end, try to get local, high quality protein like grass-fed beef.
6. Check a Leptin level: Leptin is a regulatory hormone for weight. The more fat tissue you have and the more you eat, the higher your leptin levels (with other factors being equal). Leptin works to counteract the body’s tendency to obesity. It decreases the sense of hunger. It nudges the thyroid gland to turn up the metabolism. Leptin is good. If leptin levels are high for a long time, though, a person can develop resistance to the effects of leptin and this may contribute to long-term intractable obesity. For those with high leptin levels, it is more imperative to have a diet high in healthy fats like avocadoes, nuts, seeds and olive oil and avoid pasta, bread, sugar and similar foods (see reference below). Leptin resistance is also part of the Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). You can research CIRS in more detail at survivingmold.com.
7. Research Ghrelin: Ghrelin increases hunger if a person hasn’t eaten for a while and seems to induce a strong urge to eat low-quality carbs and similar foods. Research has shown that when doctors wiped out the H. pylori bacteria (that can contribute to stomach bleeding, ulcers and stomach cancer), ghrelin levels went up and people gained weight. This is just one more example of how difficult it is to micromanage a complex system. There are often unforeseen effects. To manage this aspect of obesity, try to eat small amounts frequently and avoid prolonged periods without eating.
There are a number of other options for weight loss. Stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Phentermine suppress appetite and boost metabolism, but would not be an ideal way to get to the “promised land”.
There are bold claims about colonics, coffee enemas, wheatgrass implants…etc. Colon health is essential to achieving optimal wellness and a balanced gastrointestinal system. This topic deserves one or several blogs on it’s own.
Another controversial topic is weight loss surgery. Purists would say this is another sign of the apocalypse. Maybe so, but for some who have done everything and tried everything, this can be the only approach that would fix the problem. I have seen many patients over the years with high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, premature coronary disease and other serious health problems completely reversed by following a protocol that ended in a weight loss surgery.
In the future, I will interview several practitioners from alternative disciplines to see how they would approach the weight conundrum.
Andrew Lenhardt, MD