In guiding patients through weight loss challenges over the years, I have championed two main strategies that have been the mainstay of my approach: detoxification and a low-carb diet. The detoxification process jumpstarts metabolism while eliminating food sensitivities through a modified elimination diet. After that three week process, keeping one’s diet relatively low-carb by removing junky and processed sugary and grain-based foods will typically result in a slow but steady continued weight loss. Exercise, especially the building of lean muscle, is another supercharger to the processes but exercise alone will not be enough if diet is not addressed.
I have never swayed much from this approach as the science behind Dr. Robert Atkins’ claim is sound. For one, Dr. Atkins was spot on about the need to balance blood sugar and prevent insulin spikes. His approach through diet might be considered extreme by some, but necessity drove him to devise a diet that could be used by morbidly obese patients who could not exercise until they lost weight.
Although not a zealot to the Atkins diet, utilizing some variation of a low-carb or low-glycemic diet rich in nutrients and traditional unprocessed foods has worked well in the clinic for most patients. There are some, who for whatever reason, do not respond to this approach. This has always been a challenge so I am now feeling the need to add two distinct addenda to my previous writings on the issue. The first, to be covered in this post, deals with metabolic derangement.
I never thought that a carefully followed low-carb diet could fail. It is very scientific in its implementation: keep lowering carbs until your body goes into ketosis, measurable through urine test strips. At that carb level, your body should progressively shed weight through its newfound metabolic state. What I failed to appreciate is the extent that a person’s metabolism can become deranged by the manifold environmental, dietary, and emotional toxins found in the industrialized world.
It becomes quite clear to anyone who studies diet that fructose, particularly high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and a number of toxic food and water additives such as fluoride and bromide (both of which suppress thyroid function) all gang up on the body and override its ability to regulate weight, hunger, thirst, etc. The average overweight patient therefore presents with a host of metabolic and hormonal derangements that must be rectified to heal weight loss on a deep and permanent level. Insulin and leptin resistance are the tip of the iceberg. A larger concern is the unbalancing that can occur in the brain, particularly the hypothalamus and pituitary which signals all your downstream hormones to work properly. Unless these larger neuroendocrine imbalances are addressed, it can be very difficult to overcome the circuitry hijacking that ensues from these toxic substances.
One solution to this pathological state is a diet that is both low-carb AND low calorie. The Dukan diet for example, employs a restriction of both carbohydrates and fats for a period of time to reset to body’s metabolic and neuroendocrine systems. I do not recommend such a diet long-term, but as a means to an end, it may provide the dietary constancy needed for some patients to successfully jumpstart their metabolism. For more info on such a dietary plan, contact us at the clinic.