Beyond Diet and Exercise (or Other Reasons Your Weight May be Sticking Around!)

by Dr. Michael Roth

 

Guess what? There is more to losing weight than a healthy diet and regular exercise!

 

Many of the patients I see in my holistic chiropractic practice are making good food choices, moving their bodies, reducing their stress and are willing to do the work digging into the emotional reasons behind their eating habits. Yet, some are still not losing weight as fast as they would like.

 

If you’ve been stuck on a weight-loss plateau, read on. This month I want to tell you about six other causes that can slow down weight loss.

Flickr photo credit tipstimes.comdiet

1. Lack of Sleep

Not enough sleep can have a negative impact on your weight loss by altering levels of hormones that regulate hunger. In one study at the University of Chicago, people who slept only four hours a night had an 18% reduction in the hormone leptin that signals your brain it has had enough food and a 28% increase in ghrelin, the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry! Plus, after such little sleep, the participants craved sugar, salty and starchy food and had a 24% increase in their appetite for candy, chips and pasta.

2. Sitting too Much

If you spend too much time sitting during your day, you could be packing on the pounds. It isn’t simply the lack of exercise. Even those who exercise regularly may experience this phenomenon. Sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. When you sit, instead of being absorbed by your muscles, the fat recirculates in your blood stream where it may end up being stored as body fat!

 

Sitting not only has a negative effect on fat and cholesterol metabolism, but also stimulates disease-promoting processes. Standing and moving slightly will re-engage the enzymes. So remember to stand rather than sit as often as you can!

3. Depression

Depression and being overweight often go hand-in-hand. People who are depressed are more likely to become overweight and those who are overweight are more likely to become depressed. Depression increases the risk of obesity by 58% according to a recent study by Dutch researchers. It is common for people with depression to overeat, especially “comfort” foods that may be high in fat and sugar.

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

flickr photo credit Phoney Nickle

 

4. Medications

Certain prescription drugs may have the side effect of weight gain. They include corticosteroids, antidepressants, epilepsy drugs, and drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Also birth control pills, diabetes drugs, and blood pressure drugs may cause weight gain.

5. Portion Sizes

You may be watching the types of food you eat and making better choices, yet if your portion sizes are too large, you won’t be losing the pounds. Portion sizes in the United States have been growing larger over the past decades. For example, in 1970 a bagel weighed three ounces and contained 230 calories. Today, the average bagel is about six ounces and 550 calories! I recently attended a seminar locally in which some of the participants were from Canada and they were all commenting on the size of the portions they received in the restaurant here!

6. Obesity as a Symptom

If you feel you are doing everything you can to lose weight and are still not getting anywhere, it could be a red flag that there is another underlying health problem. The following conditions could be the cause: thyroid disorders, diabetes, lupus, cancer, congestive heart failure, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and metabolic syndrome. See your health care professional to determine if one of these conditions may be involved.

 

It is my desire to support each of my patients to their greater health and wellness. I will work with you to determine your weight loss goals and how to effectively achieve those goals. Weight loss and better health are achievable and I am willing to go the distance with you. Please call Amber in our Ventura office today and make an appointment for an office visit to get you on the wellness wagon!

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