Obesity is a condition where a male’s fat percentage is over 22 percent, and a female’s is over 35 percent. Obesity contributes to the mortality of numerous conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, fertility and arthritis. The major causes of obesity include excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates, decreased physical activity, excessive caloric intake relative to energy output, poor digestion with insufficient enzyme secretions, excessive stress (increased cortisol levels), hormonal imbalances (i.e. high insulin levels) and certain medications. Genetic and age maturity also can play an important part.
Weight control programs should include all of the following:
- Dietary modifications to reduce carbohydrates and saturated fats and increase protein (from beans, not bacon, salami, eggs and butter) to reduce serum insulin levels. Then the patient can access their fat stores for energy as well as reduce the amount of carbohydrates stored as fat.
- Reduce stress and the resultant impact of elevated cortisol levels.
- Enhance thermogenesis by improving thyroid function, improving muscle growth and function, addition of clinical nutritional supplements and Chinese herbs to diet.
- A suitable detoxification program to rid the body of waste, combined with massage to increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage.
- A suitable exercise program that includes both resistance training and aerobic regimens for not only fat loss, but the maintenance of muscle tissue.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can reduce stress levels, improve circulation, digestion, detoxification and elimination of wastes. Ear points are often used to help suppress the appetite. Many of today’s mass produced weight loss products contain an inexpensive Chinese herb, citrus aurantium. This herb will increase the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the rate at which the resting body consumes calories.
Our staff are also well trained in the Metagenics Ketogenic Fat Loss Program which is a safe controlled program in which urinary ketone sticks are used to gauge and maintain appropriate levels of ketone production. When the body burns fat, increased levels of ketones are found in the urine. Additional vitamins (esp. B-complex), minerals (esp. zinc, potassium, magnesium, chromium), carnitine, essential fatty acids (omega 3 oils), micronutrients and supplements are also recommended. Deficiencies of these nutrients can also predispose you to, or aggravate diabetes.
A form of carbohydrate, called resistant starch can boost your body’s fat burning capability by 25% and less peaking of blood sugar levels. It should make up at least 5% of the total carbohydrates that you are eating. Resistant starch is found in such foods as legumes (beans, peas and lentils), baked beans, unripe bananas and cold, cooked potatoes, rice and pasta. Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of carbohydrate quality and the extent to which carbohydrates in different foods will raise blood glucose levels. Foods are ranked against pure glucose which is 100 on the index. A food has a high GI if it is valued 70 or more, medium at 56-69 and low when below 55. Several studies have shown a link between a low GI diet with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary disease, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity and reduce the risk of developing colon, breast and pancreatic cancer.
Choosing low GI foods not only promotes weight control, but reduces post-prandial (after ingestion) glycemia and increases satiety (you feel full, satisfied). Those who eat three or four serves of fruit a day (apples and oranges have low GI values) have a low overall GI and good blood glucose control.
The New Glucose Revolution: The Glycemic Index Solution for Optimal Health by Brand-Miller lists the GI values of almost 600 foods.
You should always consult your doctor or health care practitioner before taking any nutritional supplements or embarking on a dietary program, especially if you are on prescribed medications or pregnant.