So weight loss….
It’s a dirty word right? The massive increase in obesity in the last 50 years has created a huge problem with chronic disease and increased the burden on our already fragile medical system. By 2025 more Australians will be obese than a healthy weight! A recent study showed 63% of Australians are overweight or obese!
“Obesity now causes more preventable deaths than smoking” (Healy, 2018) Consequences include Diabetes. Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Gall bladder disease, infertility, sexual dysfunction, osteoarthritis and more.
We know that successful weight loss improves health and well-being but did you know…
Most people will gain back all the weight they lose!
In one meta-analysis (which looked at 29 long term studies) after 5 years 80% of lost weight was regained. What is the point of losing it in the first place I hear you ask and why are we regaining the weight?
One way weight is regained is that our bodies have a ‘set point’ that we seem to return to over and over. One study many years ago during war time looked at the physiological response to starvation called the “Minnesota Starvation Experiment”. A group of ‘volunteers’ lost 25% of their body weight by reducing their caloric intake over a period of time. They were basically starving. After the weight loss period they were then able to eat as much as they wanted. Of course they gorged themselves and their body weight increased to higher than their previous weight and in fact they initially put on more than 40% of their excess body weight as fat before returning to their previous ‘set point’ weight.
Researchers have found our set points are generally set by our 20’s. if we were overweight as children our set point tends to be higher. It increases before our menstrual period, as we age up to the age of 50 and then declines after 50. Interesting hey?
One study done on the Biggest Loser competitors found that their basal metabolic rate dropped by 50% and never fully recovered. That means that to maintain their weight loss long term they need to exercise twice as much as before to keep the weight off!
The brain and in particular the Hypothalamus controls weight regulation. Hormones like Ghrelin (the hunger hormone.. think gremlins -don’t feed them after midnight remember!) and Leptin (which make you feel full) are part of the picture. One theory of weight gain is that Hypothalamic inflammation precedes obesity as it impairs signals that regulate appetite and metabolism. What can cause an inflamed Hypothalamus? Funnily enough eating too much! With the huge amount of choice we have now of different foods especially high calorie, high fat and high sugar junk foods it has never been easier to overeat for pleasure right?
We eat 425 calories more now than we ate in the 1970’s. we have all seen photos of the burgers from the 70’s.. they look tiny to us now don’t they? In one vending machine study- subjects ate 1545 kcal/day more and put on an average of 2.3kg over the course of one week when allowed to eat whatever they wanted from a vending machine!
The number one most addictive food? Chocolate
The number 34? Brocolli
Its no wonder we gain more weight over the holidays! In fact that has been proven as well…
So what does lower the set point? Studies have shown that a bland diet will. It will also increase satiation and improve weight loss. In contrast a hyper-palatable diet drives weight gain. So MSG… not your friend.. along with high fat sugar and salt content in foods.
The other thing that helps is adequate protein.. if you have ever come to see me for an appointment you know I do bang on about protein a lot!
A few other things help…
Fat OR carbohydrate restriction. One study showed a Paleo diet was more satiating and improved leptin signalling more than a Mediterranean diet.
There is a paradox though in Australia which is that even though there has been a decline in sugar intake obesity is still on the rise!
What researchers have found though is that regular diet breaks called pulsing helps to prevent metabolic adaption, lowers the weight set point and helps us psychologically keep up a weight loss program.
In addition a few specific strains of beneficial bacteria have had a lot of promise with weight loss and in particular resetting this ‘set point’ by lowering it. AND they can help to reduce BMI, lipids and inflammation in Metabolic syndrome. They can help to control appetite, decrease body fat storage, enhance metabolic health and strengthen our gut barrier (less leaky gut).
Those little beneficial microbes sure are handy! Of course these are practitioner only strains and if you would like more information about our new weight loss program give us a ring!
First 3 people to book will receive 10% off all their products!
Remember we have moved to Mona Vale!
We are now at 24 Waratah Court, 12-14 Waratah St (opposite ALDI and UPSTAIRS)
Book under “Weight Loss” and quote this blog
Naturopath, Herbalist & Nutritionist
BHSc(CompMed), AdvDipNat, DNut, DRM
Green Door Health, Herbal Apothecary & Clinic
24 Waratah Court, 12-14 Waratah St, Mona Vale NSW 2013