Innovative Approaches to Weight Loss
Part 2: The Solutions
By: Leslie Frodema, RN of Hopkins Medical Group
We learned in Part 1 that adjusting food intake and exercising more are not always enough to reach and maintain a healthy weight, and looked at some other considerations. Now, we’ll look at ways of incorporating these alternative approaches, and how HMG can assist you with achieving an optimal weight for health and longevity.
Getting proper sleep
You can address two problems at once when you work with us on your sleep issues. In addition to being more well-rested and less fatigued, you may find your weight improves as well. Many people are familiar with supplements like melatonin and magnesium, but we go beyond that with a unique approach that helps people reset their sleep by resetting their brain rhythms. We can assess where you are with our Heart Rate Variability Analysis and then reset your brain rhythms with BrainTap technology. Once you are getting good quality sleep in the right amount for you, it’s very likely that you’ll find it much easier to achieve weight loss.
Food and nutrition
Everyone knows the obvious: cut back on high-fat foods, processed foods, and refined sugar. But what is considered a healthy fat? Is the sugar in fruit okay? Our Functional Medicine trained nutritionist can provide you with accurate information and put together an eating plan that’s right for you.
We’ll take your preferences into consideration and devise a plan that will work for you, whether keto, vegetarian, Mediterranean style, or something else that is uniquely tailored to your tastes and needs. Some people like to jump right in but others need a transition period. Either way, HMG will develop a customized approach to your eating strategy and support you as you begin to implement it
We can help you address inflammation and optimize your ability to absorb and utilize nutrients by helping you discover if food sensitivities, leaky gut, an imbalanced microbiome or other digestive problems may be affecting your weight loss goals. Elimination diets can be helpful for identifying foods that are harmful to you. We will work with you to eliminate food triggers, heal and strengthen your gut then build a varied, satisfying, nutrient-dense food plan.
In addition to the foods you’re eating, it will help to be mindful of the beverages you’re choosing. Water is essential for a healthy metabolism and for moving toxins out of your body. Tea, in particular green tea, can assist with weight loss by increasing metabolism.
Intermittent fasting and fasting-mimicking diets
In addition to what you eat, when you eat is also an important consideration. Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating has become immensely popular recently. Some approaches are 16:8 (eating in an eight-hour window), 5:2 (restricting caloric intake two days a week), and alternate-day fasting. These methods can make you more mindful of what you’re eating, especially if you tend to snack through the evening. An added incentive is that you may find you sleep better if you stop eating a few hours before bedtime. Fasting can also help the body break down hormones, facilitate digestion, regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation.
Another approach is a fasting-mimicking diet, such as ProLon. ProLon is a five-day plan that allows your body to reap the benefits of a fasting state while you eat plant-based soups, energy bars, and snacks packaged for your convenience. This five-day plan is one helpful, nutrient-rich way to kick-start your weight loss.
Achieving microbiome health
The health of the microbiome can be enhanced with dietary interventions. Working with one of our providers to optimize your nutrition can help you choose the best foods to eat for the health of your digestive tract, including healing leaky gut. We can help you determine the best use of prebiotics and probiotics, also useful tools in creating a healthy microbiome.
To address high cortisol, figure out what you need to do to reduce the stress in your life. Delegating tasks, meditating, and resting when you need to are all helpful strategies.
Practice mindful eating. Just taking a couple of deep breaths before eating can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, aka rest-and-digest.
We can also help you address other causes of a cortisol imbalance such as the use of corticosteroid medications like prednisone and anti-inflammatory medications, nutrient deficiencies, estrogen dominance, and hyperthyroidism.
Incorporating strength training will give you muscle definition and build lean muscle mass which burns more calories even while you’re at rest. This doesn’t have to mean long sessions at the gym lifting heavy weights—bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups are also effective.
In certain cases, it may be appropriate to prescribe medications for weight loss support along with dietary interventions and activity, including options such as Contrave and phentermine.
The factors involved in successfully losing weight and keeping it off can seem like a lot to think about. Be assured that we will be able to combine approaches to develop a weight loss plan that will fit your lifestyle and your body’s unique needs, and help you reach success.