Weight is a touchy subject for a lot of people. We’re told it’s too many calories or not enough exercise. It may have worked that easily in the past, but now it is more likely to fail due to our modern lifestyle.
Many medical conditions can lead to Weight Gain. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common, but other Hormone Imbalances can be the problem. Diabetes is a state where blood sugar is high, which quickly turns into fat.
Many Inflammatory Conditions and Toxicities cause water retention. Numerous medications have Weight Gain as a common side effect. Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Hormones like Estrogen and Birth Control, Blood Pressure Medication, and Steroids are a few medications that cause weight gain. A doctor trained in Functional Medicine can work through drugs, assess medical conditions, and find out if they contribute to Weight Gain.
Any condition causing Inflammation can increase Weight Gain. Our constant exposure to Heavy Metals and Chemicals results in the accumulation of many substances. The body’s natural mechanism to deal with this is to retain water to “dilute” destructive substances so they do less harm.
Some people do well with Toxic levels, and a small amount disables others. Even though other countries have eliminated Mercury from dental fillings and have lower their population’s exposures, the United States is still ruled by major chemical lobbies. It has a small list of restricted chemicals.
Giving a few immunizations on the same day exceeds the government’s admission of safe Mercury levels in a child. We’ve seen that finding and decreasing the toxic load or doing a Purification or Detox Program designed to eliminate some of these is beneficial. Almost everyone loses weight.
Another inflammatory cause is Food and Gluten Sensitivity. You’ve seen many people who seem overweight, bloated, have a red face, have IBS, Abdominal Gas, Bloating, or another gastrointestinal symptom. These people usually have Delayed Reaction Food Sensitivities.
These are hard to know about without testing as they produce symptoms up to five days later. A typical patient can be tired, barely eating, working out a lot, and continue to experience Weight Gain. One Food Sensitivity Test Company wrote a popular book, “Your Food Sensitivities Are Making You Fat.”
Finding Food Sensitivities is critical. Usually, using a Comprehensive Treatment Program that includes getting off these foods and healing the gut cures them. Most can be eaten again someday with less of an effect.
Gluten can be difficult and is more often a longer-term problem. Over 90% of people with Gluten Sensitivity don’t even know it. Some predict that as much as half the population is now Gluten Sensitive.
Repeated exposure to certain foods, a smaller diversity of food, Genetically Modified Foods, a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut, and other causes of Gut Inflammation predispose us to Sensitivities. For years now, Food Companies have been genetically modifying seeds to produce more gluten. Why?
It’s because gluten makes bread and other food softer and yummier. The American population likes things that break down into sugar, like processed grains. We are addicted to food! The food companies are giving us what we demand.
Despite studies showing Genetically Modified Foods cause Inflammation and other problems, they were pushed through in this country. Now, they don’t even need to be labeled as such. Most Soy and Corn in the U.S. are genetically modified. Exposure has been shown to cause sensitivities to other normal foods, like eggs and dairy.
Food is much more important for weight loss than exercise. Exercise enhances it and may speed weight loss. Eating many small meals a day can help.
One study showed that eating the same amount of calories but breaking it into more meals (5-6) created a hotter burning metabolism, called Thermogenesis. This resulted in more weight loss. Eating or taking extra fiber at meals can increase thermogenesis and decrease the effect sugar has on us.
Eating a lower-carb diet can help. One example is called the Paleo-Mediterranean Diet. It involves Nuts and Seeds, Non-Starchy Vegetables, Salad, Fish, some Clean Meat, Organic Eggs, and a small number of Berries or lower sugar fruit, like Apples.
This eliminates most empty carbs, most modern Food Sensitivities, and Allergies. It is higher in nutritional value. It eliminates Grains, Potatoes, Corn, Soy, Dairy, and Legumes, like Beans and Peanuts. This was what humans ate for thousands of years before we started mass producing Legumes and Grains for high calorie food for the hungry and taking lactating cow’s milk (calf food) for us.
Some studies have shown pasteurization causes inflammation. Dead bacteria are inflammatory. Despite the push for more pasteurization, there have been fewer problems with Raw Milk. Most big outbreaks of bacterial infections have come from large, commercial milking operations, not small Raw Milk Farms.
Raw Milk is full of Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, Immune system, boosting antibodies, and Good Bacteria (Probiotics). Pasteurization kills everything, including good bacteria, and destroys Vitamins and other nutrition. Pasteurized milk can have many more bacteria than raw milk, but they are now dead and inflammatory instead of healthy probiotics.
It’s estimated that 75%-90% of the world is lactose intolerant. It is one of the most common American Food Sensitivities. Those of us on the front lines frequently see Dairy as one of the most significant Sensitivities on testing. However, those same people usually tolerate Raw Milk and fermented milk products like aged cheese.
For generations, we have been putting underweight babies on milk to fatten them up. Why then do we continue to provide this to overweight people? In 1947, the school food program was started because Americans were too thin to go into the military. We have now created a problem and should back away from this harmful practice or push milk and processed grain onto our children.
Cravings can undo a healthy diet. Did you know raw sugar is full of vitamins and minerals? Yes. People used to chew raw sugarcane, use honey, or maple syrup as a sweetener. The difference is, all of these had something healthy to offer.
With the processing of sugar, all benefits are gone, and we’re left with just sugar. A sweet craving can be your body’s craving for minerals. Ensuring minerals in the diet, or supplementing, can decrease cravings for sweets.
In summary, a Comprehensive Program of testing for treatable causes, ridding the body of toxic substances, and a more Paleo-Mediterranean way of eating has helped people who could not lose weight before. We have been told by the food industry for many generations now that these foods are healthy and it’s hard to turn around a lifetime of wrong information. Now, it’s time to start.
We hope this opens your mind to new things to try. If it were easy, we’d all be our perfect weight. If you feel you have Weight Gain despite doing what you thought was healthy, contact The Maine Center for Functional Medicine at (207) 941-0080. Let us find the cause of your Weight Gain.