Weight Loss

People should be concerned about being overweight because if you place undue pressure on your heart, you will surely shorten your life.

It is true that you can walk into a myriad of shopfronts promising miracle weight loss - and lose weight, but it is not true that the weight will not return for the simple reason that none of these people have addressed the 7 SPHERES OF INFLUENCE that produce WEIGHT GAIN! Let us look at these intersecting circles of influence and you will quickly see that to remain at a sensible weight your body has to be running in harmony.

POINT 1 - HAPPINESS. It used to be said that fat people were happy people. I have never seen a fat patient who has proclaimed happiness - quite the reverse. About two weeks ago I was walking behind a very overweight couple in a supermarket who were arguing loudly. As they were walking along the isles they were lunging at the shelves to grab multiple packets of chocolate biscuits and large bottles of soft drink. It seemed to me that they were seeking compensation for their unhappiness inside brightly coloured biscuit wrappers. Around the corner in another isle I observed a person I know well who is a yoga teacher. This person has a wonderful physique and is very happy. She left the store with two bunches of fresh celery, some strawberries and a large tub of yoghurt.

Having seen thousands of patients over more than 20 years in practice, I am certain that the first step in maintaining a sensible weight is to be happy because then there is no allure in junk food. After all, if when your emotions are stretched you have to seek solace in alcohol, chocolate or the like, then shouldn't you look at changing your life? (See Chapter 3 of my book - 100% Alive & Happy).

POINT 2 - THYROID DYSFUNCTION and EXERCISE. Your Thyroid Gland is a butterfly shaped gland in your neck that indirectly has a profound influence on your weight. It produces substances called Thyroxin and Triiodothyronine. These are illustrated on blood tests as T4 and T3. They are triggered by something called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone from your Pituitary Gland. T3 tells your liver function to rev up and slow down and so it is readily seen if this connection goes awry then your Basal Metabolic Rate will suffer and you may start to pile on the weight It has been my experience in thousands and thousands of cases that incorrect conclusions about Thyroid Functioning are often drawn from blood tests (See Chapter 40 of my book). We all know that exercise is important in maintaining a good weight. What is not so widely known is why this occurs. When you exercise you produce Lactic Acid. Athletes and people who work out in gyms are very familiar with Lactic Acid. It gives their muscles that burning feeling. Lactic acid influences the pH of your blood and initiates Growth Hormone Release. This is important because Growth Hormone facilitates the cleavage of T3 from T4 and T3 is far more bio-available than T4. The T4/T3 conversion is also vital for the synthesis of Testosterone and Testosterone is the prince of the Muscle Building Hormones. Note: If you are Stressed and Unhappy, this impacts on part of your brain called the Hypothalamus which releases chemicals into your Pituitary that starts the ball rolling in your Thyroid, so you see, you have to be happy!

POINT 3 - LIVER FUNCTION. I used to tell students that your Liver is the biggest organ in your body because it has to take the most punishment. It is a factory that turns food into energy and transports the necessities of life to all the other organs. By a process called Lipolysis, it shunts brown fat out to your muscles where it is burnt as fuel. Fats that you consume and those your body produces show up in your bloodstream as free fatty acids or triglycerides. These are shunted towards different organs such as your heart - wonderful if you're sensible, frightening if your not. Once these fats arrive at their cellular destination they are then prepared for descent into something called the mitochondria, which is the power house of the cell. A molecule known as coenzyme A features prominently in this procedure but to do its job efficiently it needs to be coupled with other amino acids such as L-carnitine. Good sources of this substance are found in lean beef and lamb. Plant foods are not high in this substance and that is one of the reasons why I do not promote vegetarianism. When one understands a little about Liver Function it is easily seen that PROLONGED STRESS AND UNHAPPINESS, combined with less than perfect THYROID FUNCTION have to produce a negative cascade on your liver that will slow it down and eventually make you fat. I am amazed over the last seven to ten years, the number of people I now see with Liver Problems, even those under forty. If a person contracts Liver Cancer, it normally means DEATH.

POINT 4 - ABSORPTION. There is a well known saying - 'You are what you eat.' This is not correct. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB. You see if you don't absorb something in its entireity then what remains is mal-absorbed and this residue can lead to inflammation. I constantly see patients who have self prescribed mountains of tablets that someone in a health shop or their friend has told them will do them good when in fact all that is happened is that malabsorption has occurred, caused liver slow down and contributed to weight gain. To absorb your food properly you need to eat slowly in a happy frame of mind. Rushing madly will do you no good at all.

POINT 5 - UNRESOLVED VIRUSES OR INFECTIONS. About two months ago a fellow came to see me complaining bitterly that he couldn't lose weight no matter how hard he tried. After taking a careful history it was clear that his weight problem had started after an overseas trip. He told me he had been hospitalised in Spain for three days with a stomach virus. A pH test revealed his stomach acid to be extremely low and he was still having days where he would break out in sweats even when sitting quietly at his desk. Herbal medicine came to the rescue and within three visits he was losing weight and feeling well again. I have seen people with viruses or infections that have lingered for years and severely derailed stringent efforts to lose weight.

POINT 6 - ALLERGY. This is sometimes a difficult concept for patients to grasp because not all allergy produces a rash, or itchy eyes, or puffy skin. Allergy can cause Mast Cell destruction and these cells then release inflammatory mediators that can depress liver function among many other things. To combat allergy I use various herbs and then have the patient challenge various foods over time.

POINT 7 - SUGAR. SUGAR IS THE ENEMY OF ANYONE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT, PARTICULARLY WOMEN. The reason sugar is the enemy in the fight against weight is because it stops lipolysis stone dead. Many people in the western world now consume a staggering 53kg of sugar a year. This causes a huge blow to pancreatic function and your pancreas and liver are indirect partners in many vital actions. Remember the effects of sugar are cumulative, so the common misconception of - 'a little bit won't hurt' is stupid in the extreme. Diabetes is a huge problem world wide and is an independent marker for heart disease. Oestrogen has an affinity for insulin and can increase its efficacy by as much as 400%, so young women with high oestrogen can easily fall prey to high sugar intake, particulary in the Follicular Phase of the Cycle. To combat this a high protein breakfast is essential. As protein is metabolised throughout the day, energy is likely to fluctuate less and the desire to fill up with sugar will slowly abate.

I hope you can now understand, that even if one, or a number of these intersecting circles of influence is misfiring inside you, then your likelihood of achieving Weight Loss is SLIM.

Yours in Good Health,

DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only. As each person reacts differently, the information must not be acted upon without a face to face consultation with your chosen Health Practitioner.

Stephen Zemek ND BN

To make an appointment at either my Brisbane or Sunshine Coast Clinic, please telephone +61 4 2878 9103.

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