HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s 2017 and New Year’s resolutions have been made, it’s time to put plans into action. Every year, so many of us make a promise to ourselves to refocus on our health, improve our diet, exercise more, and get fit. Excess weight increases a person’s risk of developing various conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea, among others. Maintaining an ideal body weight not only serves to prevent these health conditions but also helps to alleviate common symptoms such as joint pain, snoring, or heartburn. However, many factors affect weight and the ability to control it. It is important to first rule out underlying conditions (e.g. hypothyroidism) that may prevent weight loss or cause excess weight gain. This is done by your naturopathic doctor through careful health history, physical examination and lab tests.
Barring any underlying conditions, your naturopathic doctor will first address weight management through diet and exercise. Unfortunately, some of the popular fad diets do not produce sustainable weight loss; the weight is usually regained within a few months, often with a few extra pounds added on. In addition, some extreme diet measures may leave long-lasting effects on your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight in the future. Eating a healthy diet is not about starving yourself or just counting calories. There are specific tools and methods that can help to support your metabolism, curb your appetite or cravings and help with weight management and overall health. One simple trick is to make sure you include some form of lean protein (e.g. beans, soy, chicken, eggs, etc.) at every meal. This will help to blunt blood sugar spikes and your body’s release of insulin, and will prolong the “fuel” your meal provides, which together will ensure that your body is able to use the fuel from a meal for a longer period and maintain steady blood sugar levels. This will help keep you full and satisfied for longer and prevent hunger and cravings.
A healthy start to the New Year and a great way to begin a weight management program is to do a 1-2 week detox. Certain foods are commonly eliminated during a detox because they negatively affect your health, are common allergens, cause inflammation, or act to slow your metabolism. By eliminating them for a brief period, you give your metabolism a head start as you work to improve your health. In addition to dietary changes, your naturopathic doctor may provide some additional recommendations (e.g. starting your day with lemon water, using apple cider vinegar, etc.) as well as certain herbal or nutritional supplements to help support the process, based on your needs. Following this initial step, your naturopathic doctor can help you to determine the best method for you to manage your weight and resolve health conditions that may have been an obstacle to achieving optimal health and wellness, to attain long lasting results. Contact me to learn more and to book an appointment to start working on a NEW YOU for 2017!