Natural Health News

Naturopathic Health Care Inc.

Dr. Jon Dunn, Licensed Naturopathic Doctor
Weight Solutions
Weight Essentials - Introduction

To begin, I ask that you carefully examine why you are not happy with your current weight situation because, if your desire for change is not realistic, then your success will be compromised.  For example: are you desiring change for your own health and well being or to please someone else?

Be sure to look at other family members to get an idea of the genetic tendencies affecting your body size. Granted, everyone is different, yet it is important, keeping your family body build and bone structure in mind, to set realistic expectations for your goal weight.

Common to all diet plans is this: don’t eat junk food.  I am not aware of any healthy diet regimen which encourages consumption of unhealthy food: deep fried food, high carbohydrate food, processed food, hydrogenated oils, etc.  That is why many different types of diet plans work for awhile.  If a person stops consumption of unhealthy food for a period of time, typically they will realize some weight loss.  When they tire of the diet plan, the food quality takes a dip and up goes the weight.  

Calorie restriction diets typically don’t benefit because:
- They are temporary by nature.
- Once a regular diet is resumed, up goes the weight even more then before.
- They create a feast and famine response from the hypothalamus and pituitary creating fat cells that are even more efficient in storing and retaining fat calories in preparation for the next ‘famine’.

Here’s a one sentence all you need to know about weight loss diet guide. 

Eat real food (organic not synthetic), whole food (not processed), a variety of food, (all the colors of the rainbow), in naturally packaged (not plastic: see Plastic newsletter) containers.   

This is what people have been doing for millions of years, which coupled with adequate exercise assures healthy weight and body tone.  This is a toxin free diet, one that more and more is proving to be valuable when it comes to weight loss.

Please note that reasonable weight loss is one to two pounds a week without incurring any unwanted side effects such as fatigue, digestive upsets and hormonal imbalance. Be sure to include in your daily diet healthy oils like Hemp oil, Flax oil or Udo’s Choice as contrary to what you have heard this will actually help you to lose weight.

Do you eat only if hungry?  

Most of us lost the ability to recognize these healthy signals while still children.  Whatever those reasons may be, it’s not too late to become reacquainted.  Before you take the first bite of your next meal, pause and take note: are you really hungry?  What are the signals that indicate hunger for you?  How does it feel - in your stomach area, with your mood, with clarity of mind?  Follow this practice for a few days before making any changes.  This is the first stage of re-acquaintance that you should become familiar with. You can experiment. Perhaps holding off for a little longer than usual in order to learn what signals your body uses to say “I’m hungry.”

Do you stop eating when you’re full? 

We are a consumer-based society and when it comes to food, as with many acquisitions, we think more is better. We want all we can get.  Infants and toddlers don’t eat if not hungry and stop when full. When we eat our meal in a relaxed manner, our digestive system will send a hormone to our brain which tells us that we are full and this takes away our hunger (if this system hasn’t been ignored too many times).  A person who eats really fast is likely to overeat before this hormone signal takes effect.

To become reacquainted with your body signals which say “I’m full”, I suggest you try the following:  
Take that meal on the plate and divide it in half.  Put one half in the refrigerator.  Eat the other half; remember, not too fast. And please sit with no multi-tasking while you eat.  If in one hour you are still hungry, then go ahead and eat some more food.  Over time you will come to learn the right amount to eat at each meal.  One day maybe the serving will be very minimal, the next more plentiful.  If you eat only as much as your body needs, then you are on a continual self-guided diet for yourself, for the rest of your life, changing according to the needs of your body as your life changes, day to day, year to year!

Remember: be patient with yourself because the changes I suggest take time and persistence to achieve.  If you slip, don’t admonish yourself. Take note of what may have triggered the slip, become familiar with the ‘stress triggers’ that affect you, and with a kind heart get back with the program.  

Some find benefit by making one day each week liquid only.  Liquid could be just good water or my Juice for Life recipe especially if you have low blood sugar concerns.  This will reduce calories, but just for this one day which does not result in the feast and famine metabolic confusion of a prolonged low-calorie diet. Healthy weight loss is: one to a maximum of two pounds a week, after the initial two week drop of 2-10 pounds which occurs with my program.

Allergy, especially to the wheat family, is the single most significant obstacle to weight loss I’ve seen for those who are doing everything right.  If you suspect this may be a concern, try eliminating the wheat family (wheat, oats, barley, bulgur, rye, semolina, durum, spelt (Dinkle), bran, couscous, triticum, einkorn, emmer, farina, fu, gliadin, gluten, glutenin, graham flour, grits, groats, hemp, white flour, kamut, matzah, seitan, triticale, pumpernickel) for at least two weeks.  If you find success: continue.  To identify other food allergy related weight issues here’s what to do:

- Eliminate all junk food and fruit juices.
- Eliminate all common food allergens: wheat family, milk products, corn, soy, chocolate, eggs, peanuts, citrus and any others you are suspicious of for at least two weeks.  
- Eat all other foods including other grains like rice, quinoa and millet, whole fruit, organic protein (fish, chicken, etc.), nuts (not peanuts) and seeds, all vegetable raw and cooked, and spices of your choice.  

Without proper exercise losing weight is nearly impossible.   How much is enough exercise? Here’s a gauge: If you are eating the healthy food I’ve suggested and you aren’t losing weight with your current program, then you need to increase the aerobic nature of whatever exercise it is you enjoy on a regular basis until you do lose weight.  If you are still not seeing benefits with your program, there may be an allergy problem or other issue mentioned next. 

NoteIf exercise is about walking or jogging good quality shoes and inserts can be a crucial element in creating an injury free program.  

Aging brings myriad body changes including a tendency to put on weight from the same amount of caloric intake for the following reasons.

- The natural drop in estrogen levels slows our rate of metabolism.
- Estrogen deficiency seems to interfere with the normal action of leptin (the I’m full hormone) to control appetite and increase the amount of calories burned.  
- As our metabolism slows so does our desire to be active.
- Insulin resistance (see Diabetic Syndrome newsletter) resulting from years of indiscreet diet and lifestyle habits fattens fat cells.
- Testosterone deficiency results in a loss of muscle tissue or lean body mass. Muscles burn calories at a high metabolic rate and any reduction reduces caloric requirements and enhances weight gain unless caloric intake is reduced.
- Inadequate sleep from hormonal shifts and other stressors tends to increase appetite.  Lack of sleep produces ghrelin an appetite stimulant. It is considered the counterpart of the hormone leptin, produced by adipose tissue, which induces satiation when present at higher levels.  
- Hypothyroid from too much stress and other metabolic disorders can cause weight gain and must be identified with appropriate tests.  
- Allergy too, can show with water retention and weight gain.   

Additional Check List Tips
Make breakfast the heartiest meal of the day, lunch a little lighter and dinner the lightest meal of all.   
- Chew your food well before swallowing.
- Avoid large dinners or dinner within three hours of bedtime.
- Green tea beverage if you don’t suffer from GERD, anxiety or insomnia helps insulin work properly.
- Thyroid glandular from your favorite health food store helps maintain proper thyroid function.
- Chromium (about 200mcg after lunch and dinner) and or glutamine 500-1,500 1-3x/day help reduce craving and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  
- 5HTP increases the neurotransmitter serotonin which gives a sense of well being and satiation.  50-100mg up to three times a day.  
- WellBetX PGX by Natural Factors as directed for those who have a hard time knowing when to stop eating is a good formula to partially fill the stomach before a meal begins and maintain even blood sugar levels.

Juice for Life  (Um Good!)

Adjust accordingly for your taste.  
If you don't already have a juicer, the easy-to-clean Omega 8003 is recommended.

Carrot: 5 large ones
Celery: 2 stalks
Beets: 1- 2 
Cabbage: ¼-1/3 cup
Kale: 2 leaves
Tomato: one medium size
Pineapple or Papaya: 1/2 cup
Apple: 1/2
Berries: 1/3- ½ cup total (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries)
Ginger: about ½ inch across and ½ inch thick chunk of ginger root 

If you’re looking for more energy, add the following: 
1 heaping tbs. rice or hemp protein powder
1 tsp. Flax oil or Hemp oil (best) or olive oil

This drink
- Provides one meal’s worth of delicious high quality protein, fat and carbohydrates
- Provides a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anti-tumor compounds
- Reduces inflammation in the body and nourishes the digestive tract
- Supplies essential nutrients for the liver to rid the body of heavy metals and other toxins reducing the risk for a host of chronic ailments
- Provides a nutritive source of energy, and requires no digestive assistance from the body: it has within it all the ingredients to self-digest.  

If, after all this, you are still having a difficult time with weight management the following testing may help shed light on your situation.

Stool culture for yeast overgrowth
Insulin resistance 
Saliva hormone level
Basal body temperature
Iodine levels
Body Composition

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s somewhat lengthy newsletter.  As always, comments and feedback are welcome.

In Health,
Jon Dunn, ND

Holiday Diet Tips

Here's how to prevent the phenomena of weight gain during the holidays, and then trying to lose it with a new year’s resolution.  

Beware of Lifestyle Changes
For many, especially in the Northern latitudes, this is a time of decreased exercise, increased time indoors (watching TV) and increased snacking.  If you've decreased your exercise, don't, and if you haven't begun; begin.

Psychological/Emotional Considerations
People experience various degrees of stress going into the Fall and early winter holiday season: the holiday blues.  

The days grow short with increased darkness, often cloudy and rainy. This dampens the spirits, and for some it can result in depression and what's known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Getting out of doors frequently, especially in the winter is the best way to counter Seasonal Affective Disorder.  There are good indoor lights available for SAD, a worthwhile investment for many with this condition. 

Holidays can really stir up emotional issues.  Review and employ the ways in which you deal with stress in a non-food manner.

Many have the idea that holidays are supposed to be days of overindulgent feasting, with lots of leftovers.  Re-evaluate this perspective, and redefine what true health care means for you.  Is that piece of chocolate decadence really your friend?  How about that next piece?

Most people have what I call an inappropriate stress response.  Many  have learned  inappropriately to cope with stress by reaching for the comfort foods: generally the high-calorie holiday foods: sugary sweets like cookies, deep-fried fatty foods or high-fat desserts and liquids like eggnog, alcohol, and just plain overeating till it hurts.  Actually, any food can become a comfort food; and quite possibly an addiction.

Exercise: continue to, very important, even if you have to shift from outdoors to indoors during the winter.

Regarding the Emotional Stuff: 
- Watch your habits.
- Don't forget to express your creativity: art, pottery, writing, music, sewing…
- It's what you do day in and day out which counts, perhaps set a limit such as, one time per week I will enjoy to the fullest a decadent dessert: then take notice of how you really feel after the treat, then 1/2 or 1 hour later, or 3 hours or 1 day later. Is it truly a treat, or do wyou need to look more closely at how you reward yourself?
- Questions to ask before eating a meal: Are you really hungry when you eat, or are you eating to socialize, out of boredom or to stuff an emotion.  Listen to your body; don't eat when what you need is a walk, or a hug, or a few moments just to rest.
- If you're not really hungry, yet you have the urge to eat: stop!  What can you learn about yourself, or your real needs, if instead of opening up the refrigerator you pause for just three minutes to reflect on what's going on within. Perhaps you'll learn something about yourself you've been overlooking.

Americans have a weight problem and this is not news.  Many struggle to shed this unwanted poundage with varying degrees of success.  Most often the inability to loose weight is due to an incomplete weight management approach.  As a Naturopathic Physician I have been able to see which weight management therapies yield the best results.  I have found that a multi-faceted approach works best to address emotional eating patterns and habits, detoxification, lifestyle modification, hormonal balance and food sensitivities for optimal results.   

"Eat real food, whole food, a variety of food, in naturally packaged containers."
"What are the signals that indicate hunger for you?"
"We are a consumer-based society ...we think more is better."
"Be patient with yourself because change takes time and persistence to achieve."
See Dr. Dunn's  "Holiday Diet Tips"