Trouble Losing Weight? Balance your Body’s Biochemistry

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If diet and exercise are not working for you, there are many reasons that you are over eating or your body is resistant to weight loss. For years, I was missing the following pieces of the puzzle that left me unable to lose weight. Your body will crave foods to increase energy (thyroid or adrenal insufficiency or insulin resistance), increase nutrient intake (mineral or vitamin deficiency), or make you feel better emotionally (serotonin or dopamine deficiency). You must meet your body’s nutritional needs and balance the body’s chemistry or you will naturally be tempted to eat.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Of course, losing weight is about choosing the right foods and sticking to a sensible exercise routine. But it is far from that simple if diet and exercise are not working for you. The weight loss options you have tried are doomed to fail if you have not addressed the underlying biochemical reasons you are eating or your body is resistant to weight loss:

  • Mineral Deficiencies. Mineral deficiencies make you fatigued and more prone to eating foods that give you quick energy like carbs and sugar and caffeine. They also make you crave salty foods, as salt has minerals.
  • Chemical and heavy metal toxicity. Chemicals and heavy metals poison your body’s ability to lose weight.
  • Neurotransmitter (serotonin and dopamine) Deficiencies. A major source of ’emotional’ eating.
  • Hormonal Imbalances. Estrogen Dominance, Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid Insufficiencyhigh ghrelin, low leptin. If your hormones are out of balance, your ability to lose weight is nearly impossible.
  • Insulin Resistance. In this condition, the sugars you eat don’t get into the cells to make energy. So, you’ll eat more food in an effort to get the energy you need.

Mineral Deficiencies

Mineral deficiencies indirectly make you gain weight in a number of ways. Your mineral levels and ratios to each other determine how much energy you will have. If you have low energy, you’re not going to be very motivated to exercise. When you have low mineral levels, your body begins craving food in general and salt to increase your mineral intake. When your body craves salt, it thinks you’ll be feeding it mineral-rich sea salt, though you are likely only eating table salt and MSG that have no minerals. The body will drive you to eat food until you meet its nutritional requirements.

Why you Need to Supplement

It is vitally important to supplement minerals. Don’t fall for the ridiculous notion that you get enough nutrition from food and don’t need supplements. The reasons are so numerous:

  • The soils are progressively depleted from acid rain, pesticides, and repeated growing of the same crops on the same soil.
  • Eating processed foods like white sugar, white flour, and white rice use up tons of minerals during digestion since they are depleted of the minerals normally needed to metabolize them.
  • Everyone is exposed to pollution and industrial chemical toxins in our air, food, and water. The work of detoxifying these chemicals uses up nutrients very fast.
  • Every drug you take depletes minerals due to their toxicity — ALL drugs are toxic to varying degrees.

Here are a few tips to increase or avoid depletion of vital minerals:

  • Grow your own vegetables and mineralize the soil and you may not need supplements.
  • Eat your vegetables cooked. The minerals are inside the cell walls of plants. The cell wall must be broken down with cooking since our digestive system does not break plants down very effectively.
  • Avoid processed foods and fast foods. These rob what little minerals you have to digest them.
  • Supplement for life.

Recommended Supplements

Minerals are very bulky. You have to take a lot of them to get the minerals you need. This is why you will never obtain the minerals you need in a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral supplement. Minerals must be taken at least three times a day. Minerals must be taken in the chelated form to be bioavailable to your body. If you take supplements that are not chelated, some will be used, but most will be excreted or build up to toxic levels in your blood and tissues. You need to supplement: Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, Potassium, Boron, Manganese and Kelp for trace minerals. Great mineral supplements are:

I personally would never randomly supplement minerals. You may not need one mineral you’re taking and it will negatively impact your levels of another that you need. I do a targeted mineral supplementation program called Mineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis. You don’t know what minerals or levels you need without a hair mineral analysis. It’s important to take the targeted supplements for your body chemistry.  If you cannot afford testing, by all means supplement with the recommended minerals.

Chemical and Heavy Metal Toxicity

Scientists today are finding more and more evidence that chemicals, called obesogens, in our bodies lead to heavier people in various ways.”There are between fifteen and twenty chemicals that have been shown to cause weight gain,” says an obesity researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Many of these chemicals the average person already has in their blood. The chemicals responsible often use different mechanisms, which ultimately lead to easy gain and weight that is hard lose. Some of the chemicals increase the number of fat cells you have, so you have more cells to store fat in. Others increase the size of your fat cells and make them larger so they can store more fat per cell. Some of these chemicals include phthalates, bpa, parabens, and heavy metals.

Toxic heavy metals are metals that are not required or have any use to your body’s chemistry. Mercury is the example we are all probably most familiar with. Other toxic heavy metals include cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, and lead. Toxic metals can also be variations of metals for which there is a biological use, but in the wrong form are toxic. Note, these metals cause many, many health problems, besides weight issues, which are too numerous to mention for the scope of this post. You want them out of your body irregardless of the weight loss results you are trying to achieve.

In case you never heard of plasticizers (phthalates), they are the heaviest pollutants in the human body. Plastics migrate into your body through plastic film like Saran wrap, Styrofoam, plastic bottles and containers — anything plastic gets absorbed through the skin or food. We also get a heavy dose of phthalates through our beauty products like shampoo, deodorants, detergents, perfume, and body lotions — any product containing the ingredient labeled ‘fragrance’ is poisonous to your waistline. These plastics damage the thyroid, testosterone and the adrenal stress hormones, making it impossible to lose weight or regain energy. As long as your body is poisoned with plastics, your chemistry for weight loss is indefinitely stalled or paralyzed. You can’t lose weight until the plasticizers are out. The only way to get rid of plastics is to use an Infrared Sauna.

Detoxification

Detoxification is vital in our polluted world. We are surrounded by 100,000 industrial chemicals and manufacturing that dumps heavy metals into our environment. Our body does not have the ability to metabolize most of these toxins. Imagine a worker that is starved of food and drink, yet is given more work to do. This is your detox system — starved of minerals and exhausted from the overload of toxins in your body. It can’t keep up the pace and stores toxins in our fat until it has the energy to get around to the work. It needs minerals to have the energy to detox. Detoxification is essential to rid the chemicals in your body that are causing difficulties in losing weight. You eliminate toxins with juicing, infrared saunas, coffee enemas, and most importantly with Mineral Power with hair mineral analysis. Fasting is a popular detox strategy, but I don’t recommend it as it further exacerbates mineral deficiency. Chelation therapy is popular as well, but I give reasons to avoid its use below.

Juicing

Fresh juices are one of the best ways to detox from heavy metals and a ton of other chemicals and poisons with no side effects or harmful complications. Green juices chelate heavy metals as well as cleanse the liver, kidneys, and body. Flood your body with vitamins and minerals and lose weight while you detox. For more information and recipes, see my blog The Juice on Juicing.

Infrared saunas

Detoxification is a life-long process. We are constantly bombarded with chemicals in our air, food, and water. If you don’t make an effort to actively and consistently detox these chemicals out of your body, they will inevitably manifest as a disease or chronic health condition depending upon your genetic susceptibility. These illnesses include cancers of almost every organ system of the body, liver disease, pulmonary damage, nervous system disease, immune system damage, reproductive and fertility impairment, and kidney dysfunction. Since, you have been building up a lifetime of chemicals in your body, it will take you one year to completely detox when using an infrared sauna 20-60 minutes every day to every other day. After this, you can maintain your clean, healthy body by using the sauna twice a week. For more information and to find a sauna near you, see my article Infrared Saunas.

Coffee enemas

Coffee enemas are one of the best ways of cleansing the liver, the colon, and speeding up detoxification processes in the body. All toxins must be processed by your liver — a near impossible job in our toxic world. Coffee enemas provide a means for your liver to ‘dump’ its toxic load of chemicals, excess estrogens, and heavy metals into the intestines for elimination. Coffee enemas are especially crucial if you have a chronic illness or estrogen dominance, as estrogen cannot be properly metabolized and excreted if the liver is fatty or backed up with toxin overload. Coffee enemas can be done once a week or every day for maximum benefit. They only need to be done for few years while you’re detoxing, then can be done occasionally as needed. For more information and procedure, see my article Coffee Enemas.

Hair Mineral Analysis

Mineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis is the most amazing program I’ve run across to improve your overall health and rid you of the underlying health issues that are preventing you from losing weight. I am amazed at how many of my health problems have resolved, including thyroid and adrenal issues, my energy has greatly increased, and I lost stubborn fat. I’m losing fat because the program heals your adrenals and thyroid, the glands responsible for your metabolic rate.

Based on your hair test results, you are given supplements to balance your minerals and detox heavy metals and chemicals, in addition to a detox plan and a diet tailored specifically to your mineral deficiencies and metabolic needs. Once you know and provide the exact nutrients your body needs, in the exact combinations to properly balance your body chemistry, your body starts to heal itself. Toxic metals and chemicals are removed naturally and safely; cells can make more energy and symptoms start disappearing.

You must spend time (6 months +) mineralizing your body before your body can effectively and safely handle detoxing chemicals and removing heavy metals. Otherwise, the mobilized metals can become stuck in the kidneys, liver, or other organs and cause more harm, even kidney or liver damage or failure. This is why a Mineral Power program is so safe and effective. It addresses both these issues so the body can handle removing the metals on its own without being forced with a chelating substance. It is a truly unique and wonderful program.

Chelation Therapy

There are many ways to remove heavy metals, but most are not safe. All chelating agents, usually suggested by naturopathic or medical doctors, are toxic or potentially toxic. The synthetic chelators such as EDTA, DMPS, DMSA, penicillamine, deferoxamine and other drugs are known to be toxic for the kidneys. They may also damage the adrenal glands and other organs. These chelators remove metals too quickly, which can result in illness, unpleasant detox reactions, and death for weak individuals. In most instances, chelation removes vital minerals along with the toxic metals. These minerals cannot be easily replaced with an IV drip or nutritional supplements, as they are vital compounds the body makes, not simple minerals. Natural chelators such as high-dose vitamin C, zeolite, chlorella, cilantro extract, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, charcoal tablets and others are less toxic, but still damaging in various ways, and should be avoided.  The safest agents are sulfur amino acids, garlic, modified citrus pectin, and the alginates. While safer, these should be used sparingly. Chelation therapy is not needed to remove any toxic metal if one follows a Mineral Power program. Chelation cannot remove metals nearly as deeply as a Mineral Power program. For a deeper discussion on the weaknesses and dangers of chelation therapy, see the article Chelation Therapy by Dr. Lawrence Wilson.

Neurotransmitter Deficiency

You are not lacking willpower. You are not weak. You are deficient in mood-enhancing and pleasure-promoting brain chemicals! Neurotransmitter deficiency is a major cause of depression, anxiety, irritability, and cravings, which can result in ’emotional eating.’ It’s just a simple biochemical response. These brain chemicals are a thousand times stronger than street drugs such as heroin. And your body has to have them. When you crave carbs or sugar, your body is trying to increase serotonin, but the feel-good boost is only temporary. So, you crave more carbs and sugar in a few hours. Sound familiar? After suffering from a lifetime of mild depression and constantly craving carbs and sugar, I discovered The Diet Cure by Julia Ross. This is hands down the most incredible book I’ve read to get to the root causes of weight gain, mood swings, body chemistry imbalance, and emotional eating. It addresses the root causes and nips them in the bud with amino acid supplementation and adequate animal protein consumption. Go figure. You give the body what it needs, and it can make all the feel good chemicals you need. No toxic antidepressants required.

Neurotransmitter deficiencies are caused by inherited deficiencies (mom, dad, or grandpa was an alcoholic or smoker), prolonged stress, chronic dieting, skipped meals, low-calorie diets, regular use of druglike foods such as refined sugar and flour, regular use of alcohol or drugs, use of diet pills, and eating too little animal protein.

If you’re a stress or emotional eater, you can’t ignore the five brain chemicals that regulate our appetites and mood. They are:

  1. Glucose — adequate levels keep our blood supplies stable (that means fewer cravings and less moodiness)
  2. Endorphins — our natural comfort chemicals
  3. Serotonin — our natural antidepressant and sleep promoter
  4. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) — our natural tranquilizer
  5. Catecholamines (dopamine is in this family) — our natural energizers and mental focusers

If we have enough of all five, our emotions are stable. When they are depleted or out of balance, what we call ‘pseudo-emotions’ can result. These false moods can be every bit as distressing as those triggered by abuse, trauma, or loss. They can drive us to relentless overeating.

For some of us, certain foods, particularly ones that are sweet and starchy, can have a druglike effect, altering our brain’s mood chemistry and fooling us into a false calm or temporary energy surge. We can eventually become dependent on these druglike foods for mood lifts. What our brain is really trying to get is a neurotransmitter boost. The more we use them, the more depleted our natural mood-enhancing chemistry becomes. Substituting amino acid (protein building block) supplements for these drug foods can have immediate and dramatic effects.

If you are eating three meals a day, each meal including plenty of protein (most people with eating and weight problems are doing neither), your positive moods and freedom from cravings can be maintained. But most people need to kick-start the brain’s repair job, using certain key amino acids. After a few months, you will be getting all the amino acids you need from your food alone and won’t need to take amino acids as supplements any longer. These ‘free form’ amino acids are instantly bioavailable, unlike protein powders make from soy or milk, which are harder to digest.

You can take the Diet Cure Quick Symptom Questionnaire to find out the amino acids in which you are deficient and need to supplement. The supplements can be found in any health food store, but my favorite place for purchase of high quality supplements is PureFormulas.com. The amino acids that you will be supplementing based upon your questionnaire results are:

  1. L-Glutamine – brain fuel that reduces carb and sugar cravings
  2. DLPA – decreases emotional sensitivity and physical and emotional pain
  3. Tryptophan – increases serotonin and makes you feel happy and optimistic. Reduces body obsession, worry, depression, fear, anger, insomnia, and more. This amino is low in bulimics and anorexics.
  4. GABA – calms and relaxes you like Xanax or tranquilizers
  5. L-tyrosine – increases dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine and gives you energy and mental focus

You MUST read The Diet Cure by Julia Ross for more information and supplementation guidelines. Visit Dietcure.com. See her other amazing book about relieving depression and anxiety without drugs at the Moodcure.com.

Hormonal Imbalances

Industrial chemicals alter our hormones which then affect our appetites, whether we feel full or not, and even our energy metabolism. If your energy and metabolism are lowered by chemicals, you will feel it’s impossible to lose weight no matter what you do.

Estrogen Dominance Syndrome

Estrogen dominance syndrome affects 50% of women over 35 years old. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly exposed to estrogenic chemicals known for causing hormonal imbalance, weight gain, and cancer — chemicals that are found in the air you breathe, products you use, food you eat, and water you drink. These chemicals act like estrogen, causing numerous health disorders and obesity in women and men. When in excess, estrogen promotes the growth of estrogen-sensitive fatty tissue, particularly in the belly and waist. This estrogen-sensitive tissue generally resists fat burning because of its high affinity for estrogen. To effectively get rid of stubborn fat, you must eliminate all estrogenic foods and chemicals from your diet. Even if your estrogen is low or you are in menopause, you can still suffer the effects of estrogen dominance syndrome if you have a low estrogen to progesterone ratio or your body is overloaded with estrogenic substances. The most common estrogenic substances we’re exposed to are pesticides, phthalates in plastics and beauty products, conventional meats and dairy, omega 6-rich oils (corn, canola, and soy), petroleum-based synthetic weight loss ingredients such as sugar alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and glycerin, coffee, birth control pills, soy, beer, and heavy metals. For a complete list of estrogenic substances and how to rid your body of excess estrogen, read my article Estrogen Dominance Syndrome.

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is epidemic in our society, affecting millions of people, and a likely culprit in preventing you from the weight you desire. A few symptoms of adrenal fatigue include fatigue, weight gain, cravings for carbs and sweets, and poor sleep. All these factors contribute to weight gain. Our adrenal glands eventually become fatigued when we have stress, mineral deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, and eat sugar and flour. The adrenal glands secrete more than 50 hormones and are responsible for many of the functions we need to maintain a healthy weight. When we stress the adrenals, they secrete excess cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels are associated with increased levels of belly fat. So, you can only keep your cortisol levels down by relaxing and taking care of your adrenals. For more information on how to heal your adrenals, see my article Epidemic Adrenal Fatigue.

Thyroid Insufficiency

The thyroid sets your energy and metabolism. When it doesn’t work, neither will your metabolism. It is widely accepted that heavy metal toxicity can impair neuroendocrine function. Simply put, this means that normal thyroid function can be impaired from toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and others. Impaired thyroid function will act like an invisible force field around your body fat. No amount of diet or exercise will be of use for someone with sufficiently impaired thyroid. For more information, see my article Meet Your Thyroid: A Cause of Weight Gain.

To treat thyroid issues, you must:

  • Mineralize your body. Mineralizing is preferable with the targeted supplementation used in a Mineral Power program. This what I used to heal my thyroid. The body must be remineralized so it can regain the energy it needs to detox accumulated chemicals and heavy metals. The body can heal the thyroid and other health issues if the mineralization is done properly — with Hair Mineral Analysis — and if you use appropriate detox methods.
  • Ingest Iodine. Iodine is food for the thyroid. Without it, it cannot function. Eat fish and seaweed or take 3000+mg of kelp daily. I generally recommend avoiding iodine supplements unless you cannot take kelp.
  • Avoid things that block iodine. Halogens like bromine, chlorine, and fluoride block iodine so that even if you get adequate iodine, it can be blocked and cause thyroid insufficiency. Absolutely avoid fluoride toothpaste. Most municipal water supplies in the US are voluntarily contaminated with fluoride. Protect yourself with a home shower or whole house filter. Avoid drinking unfiltered tap water as it contains fluoride and chlorine. Avoid chlorinated or brominated pools and jacuzzis.
  • Detox. Detox from heavy metals with Juicing, Infrared Saunas and Coffee Enemas.
  • Remove all your mercury amalgam fillings. These are known to cause thyroid issues. Even if you’ve had yours removed, the mercury may still be in your system needing to be detoxed (this was my case.)
  • Remove excess estrogen. Excess estrogen prevents T3, the hormone that creates energy and fast metabolism, from getting into cells. Your thyroid may be making plenty of this hormone, but it won’t get into the cell if you have excess estrogenic substances preventing its use.
  • Use Thyroid Medications as a last resort. Spend a couple years doing all the steps outlined in this section, including the Mineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis. If this does not heal your thyroid, even autoimmune thyroid disease, by all means, go on medication. My doctor wanted to put me on Synthroid (synthetic thyroid hormone), but this would not address the cause of my thyroid problems, just mask the symptoms. Even ‘natural’ thyroid hormones can cause problems, though they are much safer and effective. Before you go on any medication, see my article Meet Your Thyroid for an in depth discussion of your options.

Ghrelin and Leptin

Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for making us hungry. Research shows that lowering levels of ghrelin leads to decreased body fat. Lowering ghrelin also reduces hunger and cravings, allowing you to naturally eat less. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body you’re full. There are a few things you need to do in order to keep ghrelin at bay and increase leptin.

  • Avoid MSG. MSG (monosodium glutamate) makes your appetite spiral out of control. Your body loses its ability to tell that it’s full because MSG suppresses leptin, the hormone that signals your body that you’ve had enough to eat. You end up eating more than you normally would and get hungrier sooner. MSG is in ALL fast food and most processed food, even the healthy ones at Whole Foods. For more information, see my article Hidden MSG.
  • Eat every 4 hours. Ghrelin is produced and secreted on a four hour schedule. In order to keep ghrelin low you need to eat on a schedule every 3-4 hours.
  • Eat high fiber foods. Ghrelin levels remain high until food stretches the wall of your stomach, making you feel full. High volume, low calorie, nutrient dense foods reduce ghrelin and increase leptin levels long before you have overeaten. A salad or vegetable soup full of fiber and water stretch your stomach more than processed food.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Less than 7 hours of sleep has been associated with higher ghrelin levels, decreased leptin, increased hunger, and higher body weight in research studies. This is why people who sleep less are heavier than those getting adequate sleep.
  • Eat animal protein at every meal. Protein takes longer to digest, and studies show it is the most effect food group at lowering ghrelin and losing weight.
  • Reduce stress. Stress is associated with higher body weight and ghrelin production.
  • Increase Omega 3’s. Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to boost leptin. People who are overweight release too much of a group of molecules that the body uses to combat inflammation. These molecules reduce leptin’s ability to communicate with the brain and are the primary cause of leptin resistance. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of these molecules by reducing inflammation in the body. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include grass fed meats, walnuts, salmon, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, trout, chia seeds, flax seeds, summer squash and kale.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a decreased ability of some of the cells of the body to respond to insulin. It is the beginning of the body not dealing well with sugar (and remember that all carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in our bodies). One of insulin’s main jobs is to get certain body cells to “open up” to take in glucose to be used for energy or to store the glucose as fat that is not used. Insulin resistance happens when the cells essentially don’t open the door when insulin comes knocking. When this happens, the body puts out more insulin to get that sugar in the cells and stabilize blood glucose (and so the cells can use the glucose). Over time, this results in a condition called “insulin resistance” or “hyperinsulinemia” or “too much insulin in the blood.” Hyperinsulinemia causes other problems, including making it more difficult for the body to use stored fat for energy. Various researchers have estimated that 70-80 million Americans in the United States are insulin resistant. If insulin resistance is ignored it develops into diabetes.

Genetics plays a big part in developing insulin resistance, but remember the golden rule in health: genetics are influenced by diet and lifestyle. You have control. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrate will cause insulin resistance. Lack of physical activity causes the cells to be less responsive to insulin. Most experts agree that obesity leads to more insulin resistance. However, it almost certainly also works the other way around: Insulin resistance promotes weight gain. So a vicious cycle can be set up with insulin resistance promoting weight gain, which promotes more insulin resistance.

Risk Factors

People younger than 45 who are overweight and have one or more of the following risk factors should visit their doctor to be tested:

  • One or more family members with diabetes
  • Having African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American/Pacific Islander heritage
  • High levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • A history of smoking
  • A history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds. In addition to increasing the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, children who are large for their gestational age (LGA) at birth have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in later life.

Testing

Doctors usually evaluate individual patients on the basis of specific symptoms or risk factors. You can evaluate yourself, too. If you’re overweight and have any risk factors above, it’s time to start eating better and following the recommendations in this article to rid yourself of insulin resistance. If you want definite answers, the tests most commonly used include the following:

  • Blood glucose tests. A high level of blood glucose may indicate either that the body is not producing enough insulin or is not using it effectively. Two common tests used to screen for insulin resistance are the fasting glucose test and the glucose tolerance test. In the fasting glucose test, the person takes no food after midnight and has their blood glucose level measured early in the morning. Normal blood glucose levels after several hours without food should be below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). If the level is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, the person has impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or pre-diabetes. If the level is over 126 and is confirmed by a second test, the person has diabetes. In the glucose tolerance test, the person is given a sugar solution to drink and their blood glucose level is measured 2 hours later. A normal level is 140 mg/dL; 140-199 mg/dL indicates impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or pre-diabetes, while a level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes. Note:  Persons with insulin resistance are typically asymptomatic and may demonstrate normal blood glucose. However, insulin levels will be significantly higher with insulin resistance.
  • Tests of blood insulin levels. These help to determine whether high blood glucose levels are the result of insufficient production of insulin or inefficient use of insulin.
  • Lipid profile test. This test measures the amount of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Patients with insulin resistance will have high levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides with low levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
  • Measurement of blood electrolytes and uric acid. Many patients with the metabolic syndrome, which includes insulin resistance, have high blood levels of uric acid. Uric acid is caused from eating fructose — the sugar found in fruit, table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.

Natural Treatment

Insulin resistant people are likely to benefit most from reducing carbohydrates in their diets. Others do well with a vegetarian or vegan diet for a short period (try 1-2 months) to normalize their blood sugar levels. After this time, you can go back to eating animal protein and a low carb diet.  The aim of changing your diet is to get your blood glucose in a healthy range so you’re not converting so much food you eat into fat. You have to play around and find which diet works for you. Everyone is different. I recommend first trying a low/no carb, low fruit, high protein and veggie diet similar to The Modern Paleo Diet.

After a few months, redo your medical tests and see if it worked. Or you can judge by how you look and feel. Lost weight? Have a ton more energy? Not sleepy in the afternoon or after meals? Feeling more relaxed and less anxiety? You reduced your blood sugar levels.

Exercise metabolizes blood sugar, so it’s vitally important to exercise if you’re insulin resistant. Walking is the easiest thing to do. Yoga has incredible health benefits. I love Pilates for strength training. Aim for 2.5 hours of exercise per week to reverse insulin resistance and 4-7 hours per week to achieve a healthy weight. After exercise, glucose uptake remains elevated for several hours. So, breaking up the sessions into shorter ones can help to keep insulin in control throughout the day (i.e. two 15 min walks). However, insulin sensitivity reverses really fast after cessation of exercise so you should not separate exercise sessions by more than 48 hours. Studies show that moderate-intensity seems to be more effective than low and high intensity when it comes to maintaining healthy insulin cell function. Studies show that doing both cardio and strength training is more effective for glucose control than either one alone. Get moving!

Nothing replaces diet and exercise, but there are some supplements you can take to aid your body in reducing insulin resistance. Cinnamon, kiwi, nopal cactus, chromium, ginseng, glucomannan (konjac root), fenugreek, holy basil, Coccinia indica, and Gymnema sylvestre appear to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Put cinnamon in your food. Eat kiwis. The body needs chromium to produce a substance called glucose tolerance factor, which increases the effectiveness of insulin. Chromium also reduces sugar and carb cravings. A great chromium supplement is Endomet Chromium or Douglas Laboratories Dual Source Chromium. However, it’s easiest to take a complete blood sugar control supplement like Baseline Nutritionals Glucator V.2 or Vital Nutrients Blood Sugar Support or NuMedica CINNergy, most of which contain chromium.

Other alternative treatments for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes include biofeedback, electroacupuncture and traditional acupuncture.

If insulin resistance is neglected, it can lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, which may require daily insulin injections for the remainder of your life or drastic dietary and lifestyle measures. Type 2 diabetes significantly increases one’s risk for blindness, amputation and life-threatening kidney disease, as well as a heart attack and stroke. Better to get it under control now!

I bet they didn’t address most of these issues in the weight loss programs you’ve tried! Yet, these are the real issues that prompt you to eat and gain weight. I started out eating right and working out 4 hours a week. When that didn’t work, I ramped up what I was doing. I ate even less, went to bed hungry, and worked out 8-10 hours a week! I was exhausted, was always pulling muscles and burned out my adrenals. I definitely lost weight, but it was not healthy and my program took a lot of time and energy. When I finally was able to address the issues in this article, one by one, my body chemistry began to change and I was able to lose the remaining weight with a reasonable amount of effort. In the process, I healed my entire body and enjoy a higher level of health. Love your body and give it the time it needs to heal and you will one day again be able to use a healthy diet and moderate exercise to attain a healthy weight.

Had trouble losing weight? Did you discover it was one of the causes mentioned in this blog? Tell me your story by leaving a comment below! I want to know your story!

References
1. Campbell-McBride, Natasha, MD. Gut and Psychology Syndrome. 2nd Edition.
Medinform Publishing, 2010.
2. Evans, Kim. Numerous chemicals linked to difficulty losing weight. February 16, 2012.
http://www.naturalnews.com/034981_weight_loss_chemicals_BPA.html
3. Hofmekler, Ori. The Anti-Estrogenic Diet. North Atlantic Books, 2007.
4. Miller, Tess. How to Raise Leptin Levels. August 11, 2011.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/276188-how-to-raise-leptin-levels/
5. Montenegro, Maria. Battle Insulin Resistance with the Right Exercise. November 30, 2011.
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2011/11/30/marta-montenegro-battle-insulin-resistance-with-right-exercise/
6. Rogers, Sherry, MD. The High Blood Pressure Hoax. Prestige Publishing, 2005. Pages 126, 183.
7. Rogers, Sherry, MD. Pain Free in Six Weeks. Prestige Publishing, 2008.
8. Ross, Julia. The Diet Cure. Penguin Books, 2012.
9. Ross, Julia. The Mood Cure. Penguin Books, 2004.
10. Wilson, Lawrence. Chelation Therapy. June 2012.
http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/chelation.htm

 

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Wendy Myers

Wendy Myers, FDN, CHHC, is a functional diagnostic nutritionist, certified holistic health coach and founder of Live to 110. Her passions include getting you healthy, Modern Paleo, retoxing and detoxing. Discover her Mineral Power Program and enjoy freedom from fatigue and brain fog with metal detox.

  • K. Lovelace

    How do you find the time to write all this and do the research? You are a Super Mom:) Love you.

    On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM, Live to 110

  • Krista Kaper

    Hi Wendy,

    I am finding this article very fascinating and helpful! I do have one question though, Carlson Multiple Mineral was recommended as a mineral supplement. I clicked the link to check it out and found the following in the description:

    WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    It seems counterproductive to me to take a supplement that contains toxic chemicals however I am just learning about supplementation and nutrition. Can you comment? I would appreciate any insight you have.

    Thank you.

    • Wendy Myers

      I honestly don’t know what ingredient would warrant that label. It could be something they are putting in the capsule. By all means try another brand!! Carlson has an excellent reputation as a supplement manufacturer. I will call the manufacturer and ask about that label warning.