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Dropping Weight is as American as apple pie



(First of a two-part series on improving body composition and shedding unwanted, hard-to-lose pounds.)

My goal is to help you to get to your help you to get to your ideal body composition, and stay there, while simultaneously helping you to achieve optimal health.  First, understand the following important points:

  • Being thin and healthy are not necessarily the same thing.
  • The real health issue is not losing "weight," but excess fat, especially at the waist. We all have different frames, and differing amount of muscle.  Measure your success with percent body fat/lean body tissue, not with your weight.
  • A person can appear: thin and healthy, but actually have a high percent body fat and be unhealthy.
  • Adults need to be careful about what they say around children and teens about dieting, about being fat, etc. that could contribute to perpetuating anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders - which are widespread in the U.S.
  • Nutritional plans can work, diets rarely do.  

William Ferril, MD in, "The Body Heals," says emphatically that "obesity can be cured only when hormones are optimal, and not until." 

There are seven main hormones involved - insulin is the biggest culprit; the other other six  will be discussed next month.  

If you have excess abdominal fat, make sure that your doctor does a "fasting insulin" to determine if you are storing fat, and are insulin-resistant.  If your fasting insulin is above 5, lowering it through better nutrition and exercise will help you lose belly fat. 

Insulin stores fat. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition towards craving carbohydrates - living in this simple carbohydrate and sugar-addicted nation, trying to avoid junk carbohydrates is challenging.  The pancreas has to work harder to make extra insulin, to deal with the simple, low-fiber carbs, especially if exercise is not done daily.

Higher-than-optimal insulin levels, powerfully stimulates the appetite, leading to an obsessive desire for more carbohydrates, overeating, abdominal obesity, increasing triglycerides (fats) in the liver's blood supply, and, eventually, ineffective insulin receiving sites (keys to the locks don't work) leading to insulin resistance. 

More insulin has to be produced by the pancreatic beta cells, causing the fat cells to make even more abdominal fat, raising triglycerides even higher, causing even more insulin to be produced because of increased insulin resistance.  Eventually more and more insulin-producing beta cells become exhausted.  Type 2 diabetes often follows because blood sugar can no longer be lowered by insulin, due to either ineffective insulin receptors and/or an exhausted pancreas.

Next month, the other six hormones necessary in optimizing a healthy body composition will be discussed, in addition to the other critical components in losing undesirable fat.

For more information, contact Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD at drgodby@diabetesnpc.com or 916-446-2591.

 


Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.

He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.



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