HOLLY CARLING: The complexity of weight loss — Part I

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Millions of articles have been written about weight loss and the health damage related to obesity. Most have a pop-a-pill approach or a few key suggestions, most of which involve eating less and exercising. I know of many people who eat like a bird and exercise like a maniac but can’t budge a pound. Why is that? It is because losing weight for most people is not a simple matter, it is complex.

There are numerous reasons why weight is gained in the first place, and that is the first place to start. It’s like your car breaking down and the mechanic goes to work fixing what he thinks caused it, without first asking you key questions and running a diagnostic on it. If the luck of the draw is on his side, he may be successful. It reminds me of a time when I was 20 and my car broke down on the freeway. I was able to coast down the off-ramp, right into a gas station at the end of it. Lucky me! Because it just stopped, we had no idea what happened. Well, he tested the alternator and it was bad and he replaced it. But he still couldn’t get the engine to turn over. Then he found something wrong with something else that could have caused it (can’t remember what it was now) and fixed that. Still the car wouldn’t start. After a week of trying to figure it out (this was pre-electronic and fancy diagnostics), it turned out I had run out of gas at about the same time. For all I knew, that was the only problem and I got taken for a ride!

Weight loss is no different. If we don’t take the time to figure out WHY you are gaining weight in the first place, all the starvation diets in the world won’t help. Or maybe they do for a while, but then when the weight goes back on again, it’s even more difficult to lose the next time, and the next and harder each subsequent time. So let’s take a look at what could go wrong.

Hormones are an important key, but not the only one. Some of the key hormones responsible for weight gain are released in response to stress. Stress causes a surge of cortisol, which tells the body to store fat. Sugar also causes cortisol levels to rise. When cortisol rises, insulin falls and you start craving sweets or other carbs in response, further adding to the problem. High estrogen levels can also cause a rise in cortisol. Most of the time it isn’t our own estrogen, but estrogen-mimickers — toxic products such as the BPA’s found in plastic water bottles, pesticides, birth control pills, soy protein isolates and others. Excess estrogen (referred to as “estrogen dominance”) creates excess fat.

Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, 5 Key Obstacles to Eliminating Excess Weight, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/VHWeightClass.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d Alene clinic. VisitCarling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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