Ah, the problem of weight gain and goal of weight loss, the perennial issue so many of us face on a daily basis.
Diets don’t work…but you knew that
There have been a great many diets and weight-loss regimens promoted over the years. Low calorie, low fat, or low carb. Single-food-group diets. Food diaries, charts, and calculators. Pills, powders, and shots. Celebrity endorsements. Some diets combine proteins and carbs in a precise ratio, while in other diets they’re eaten separately. And the list goes on.
But what all of these have in common is this: yes, they help you to lose weight, if you’re able to follow them for any length of time in the first place. But the frequently quoted 95% rate of failure to actually keep the weight off for even a year is pretty discouraging.
The authors and developers of these diets all tend to make the same mistake: they make the assumption that one size fits all; that their particular diet is the best one for everyone – for all readers of their book, for all patients. And there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. In fact, your particular weight problem might not even be due to diet in the first place. Yes, you lose weight, however temporarily, on a diet, but the standard low-calorie diet is like taking aspirin for persistent headache. The symptom, in this case weight gain, is suppressed, but the actual cause isn’t dealt with and so results can’t last.
A new approach
But there’s a new way to look at the problem of unwanted weight gain. At CAM we look at chronic illness as due to any number of causative factors, which can vary by person. Once the causes of a person’s disease are determined, treatment is customized to address their particular health issues.
Overweight is no different. Rather than being a primary problem, the overweight, the difficulty losing it, and the food cravings are seen as symptoms. What causes those symptoms? That’s what we’re going to find out.
All weight problems are not created equal
Not everyone with a weight problem has the same underlying issues. In fact, not everyone with a weight problem has the same symptoms. And the symptoms are where we start.
A person who follows a low-calorie diet but still doesn’t lose the weight has a different issue from someone who simply can’t follow the diet in the first place due to overwhelming hunger. The person who feels better on a particular diet needs a different approach than the one who feels fatigued and irritable on the same diet. The person might have other symptoms along with the weight problem: frequent yeast infections that point to a yeast-based problem, or thinning hair and fatigue which are often due to low thyroid function. Different cravings point to different problems.
Cravings and overeating
The person who craves fatty foods has a different issue than the person who craves sweets or the one who eats fistfuls of salty foods. A person who craves sweets probably has a yeast problem that both causes and is caused by the craving and sugar-eating in a vicious cycle. A person who craves fatty foods usually has a deficiency of beneficial oils and fatty acids, and their bodies keep trying to fill that void by going for whatever has a lot of fat, even unhealthy fat if that’s all that’s available. The person who wants a lot of salt might have a mineral deficiency or adrenal insufficiency. And the person who craves particular foods, such as pasta or dairy products, might have an addiction secondary to an allergy to wheat or milk, which are common allergens.
Often a number of these factors might be occurring in a particular person. Also, it’s sometimes hard to know what the craving is really about. For example, let’s say you love ice cream. Is this because you have an allergic addiction to dairy, or a yeast overgrowth that causes you to crave sweets, or an oil-deficiency craving for fats, or is it because ice cream was your childhood go-to comfort food…or all of the above?
It might not even be about food
Some people are overweight because they are holding on to water or fat as their bodies try to dilute chemical toxins to minimize the damage they cause. In such a case, addressing the toxicity through sauna or other detoxification in addition to minimizing food and other toxins can lead to rapid weight loss. Usually water weight loss is considered to not be real weight loss, but if you are losing water weight because your body, sighing in relief, no longer needs to hold on to it to dilute poisons, then water weight loss is exactly what you want. Puffy ankles are a sign that you are retaining too much water.
If you have food or other allergies, your body might be retaining water because, to your body, an allergen is a poison, and the body reacts accordingly. Allergenic foods should be kept to a minimum – for everyone, not just those with a weight problem.
In many cases, especially among women, low thyroid function is causing the problem of weight gain and difficulty losing it. Other symptoms of low thyroid function are fatigue, brain fog, dry skin, thinning hair, low body temperature, feeling cold, and depression. If low thyroid function is your problem, it can be identified and properly addressed, and more than just taking thyroid pills is usually involved.
So where do you start?
First you need to go to a knowledgeable practitioner or a clinic such as CAM to find out what’s causing your weight problem, as well as any associated problems, in the first place. Usually the first step in evaluation is health history, accidents you have had, blood tests, and computerized testing. Next you are usually asked to follow an eight-day detoxification cleanse. Apart from the detox diet’s being valuable in its own right, observation of your reactions to the diet will tell your practitioner quite a lot, most notably whether the primary cause of your problem is food-based. Such food-based issues include nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, and microorganisms. Some people lose quite a bit of weight in just those eight days, more than would be expected from simple calorie reduction; in these cases the body has been holding on to fluid to dilute food toxins and allergens, fluid that it can now release.
Or you might not feel or look any different after the cleanse. In these cases your weight problem might well not be food-based, and thyroid function, toxicity, and other issues will be looked at.
This approach sure beats going to a diet doctor, receiving a one-size-fits-all diet sheet, and being blamed when it doesn’t work.