Weight loss the old fashioned way -not a pill form

Diet and exercise... I know, exactly what you wanted to hear (please note sarcasm), or maybe you actually did because you've already made some changes and want confirmation you're on the right path. And the more you eat your veggies and move your body, many other health concerns may improve too, which doesn't always happen with a weight loss supplement. Unfortunately, some of these supplements land people in the Emergency Room, mess with their thyroid in the long-term (controls weight, metabolism), leave us not feeling good after the course usually due to poor adrenal function (constant revving up of our systems leads to a crash), and can cause serious, sometimes deadly, cardiac issues like heart attack or stroke.

Weight loss supplements work on a number of mechanisms, such as:

  • Help us feel full by adding bulk in our stomach when we drink water
  • Increase metabolism
  • Block fat absorption
  • Suppress appetite

However, they are not meant to be taken long term so the same processes that have been brewing to contribute to weight gain have not been corrected. Them messing with our metabolism will further set us back to try to correct that damage as well.

Here are some popular ones to watch out for:

  • Garcinia Cambogia= this one blocks fat absorption, yet I have personally heard of a few cases of people at the ER with severe heart palpitations. An additional case report included a death when the person took it while on antidepressants (which ironically make you gain weight). 
  • Diuretics= Commonly prescribed for high blood pressure and also called water pills, they help get rid of sodium and water to help flatten our belly. Except you can become severely dehydrated and trigger kidney injury, especially as they may interact with certain medications. The moment you eat or drink something, you'll gain it all back.
  • Caffeine supplements= Numerous studies have been done that drinking coffee or having any type of caffeine before a workout can burn a few extra calories, yet a supplement may only be an extra hundred (aka forget the soda). These are extremely possible to have an overdose and experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and lead to an irregular heartbeat. Caffeine also depletes important vitamins and minerals actually needed to help you lose weight. 
  • HCG diet= Ok, this is just starvation- so of course you'll lose weight! Except eating 500 calories per day is not sustainable. In addition, the HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone- a pregnancy hormone) can alter hormone imbalance (which as we know can contribute to weight gain) and over stimulate ovaries (may increase risk of ovarian cancer) and thyroid.

Now you can focus energy on whole foods and lifestyle that will have the effect without all the deadly and/or deleterious side effects:

  • Aim for 20-25 grams of fiber per day Fiber will help bulk up our stomach, provide signals we're full, regulate our bowel movements (so we don't get constipated-> toxins don't recirculate). Aim for beans, ground flaxseed, ground chia seed, avocados, broccoli, almonds, and brussels sprouts. And make sure you drink lots of water (adds bulk, and movement)! 
  • Eat fat to lose fat - Seriously.. fats are incredibly satiating and help make antiaging hormones like DHEA, and sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, to ensure proper balance. Healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, wild caught fish, and olive oil also provide anti-inflammatory properties. Fats also help nourish our cells, which we are made up of! 
  • Stop snacking - Especially I see so many underlying blood sugar issues where if it goes any further, enter various diagnosis like pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Every time we eat our pancreas pumps out insulin to get sugar into cells. When it does that too frequently, and with refined foods that cause a sugar spike, our pancreas goes 'nope, not doing this.' Or, our cells say, 'omg, no more, we've taken in enough sugar', and become insulin resistant. It's imperative to let our body rest between eating in order to enhance our metabolic processes and train them to rely on something other than quick energy, aka carbs/sugar. You may also notice reduced cravings. 

If there was an easy answer, we'd all be super skinny, except there isn't and we're not. Weight is also more than just physiology, but it's changing the way we look, which means we need to change- and change can be intimidating or exciting. Or both! Our body holds onto weight as a safety net, so emotionally what are we holding onto, and what outstanding health concerns are not yet taken care of? Once we release those, so will weight- but it takes time. I'd love to hear your thoughts! What have you tried? Or haven't tried?