Read below and find out how to deal with weight loss in a holistic way!
Many factors can cause low energy for example, psychological (stress, depression, anxiety), physical (anaemia, an underactive thyroid, leaky gut syndrome, blood sugar imbalance, being overweight or underweight), and lifestyle causes (lack of sleep, dehydration and nutritional deficiencies).
Moreover, modern life pressures tend to create an obstacle, making you feel like you are trying to find the perfect balance between a healthy diet, exercise, sleep alongside daily demands to meet.
What is obesity?
The term obese describes a person who is very overweight with high amounts of adipose (fat) tissue. The way we classify obesity now in many scientific studies is by body mass index (BMI); A body mass index of 25.29 indicates you are overweight, 30-39 means you are obese and over 40, severely obese.
In the UK, an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children aged 10-11 are obese! Government figures had predicted that by 2050 as much as 50% of the UK population could be obese, at a cost of £50 billion a year.
As well as causing obvious physical changes, it can lead to several serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Some types of cancer, such as breast cancer and bowel cancer
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnoea
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
Causes of obesity
The most common and obvious cause of obesity is overeating foods that are processed, high in refined sugars and carbohydrate-dense, along with lack of physical exercise. However, there are also some underlying causes of obesity that the majority of people miss out. Here are some below:
- Underactive thyroid – one of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain or the inability to lose weight. This is because your thyroid is responsible for regulating many of your body’s processes, including metabolism. So if your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down and your overall energy production decreases.
- Chronic Stress – during stress, your body releases a flood of cortisol, the hormone that powers your fight or flight response. Cortisol can cause you to gain weight and prevent you from losing weight. Studies show animals gain weight when stressed, regardless of the number of calories they consume.
- Hormonal Imbalances – imbalances in thyroid and stress hormones are common causes of an inability to lose weight. However, they are not the only hormones that can cause an issue. Imbalances in insulin and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) are also common culprits of stubborn weight.
- Toxic overload – heavy metals medications and other toxins can impact your endocrine system. This disruption in your natural hormonal cycle can cause an inability to lose weight, as well as other more serious issues, including autoimmune diseases.
How to optimise nutrition to reverse/prevent obesity
- Eat whole, real, unprocessed foods – Most of your plate should ideally be plant-based foods including non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits like berries and avocado, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The rest should be wild-caught seafood, grass-fed beef, or other high-quality animal protein. If you are vegan or vegetarian, focus on plant-based proteins including legumes and quinoa.
- Reduce or eliminate sugar and other food sensitivities – food sensitivities including dairy and gluten, trigger an immune system in overdrive and inflammation, can also keep you overweight or obese.
One study found a gluten-free diet with plenty of real, whole foods (not gluten-free junk foods) reduces inflammation, excess weight, and insulin resistance.
- Eat plenty of gut-supporting foods – studies show when your gut microbiome becomes imbalanced, all sorts of problems including obesity and metabolic syndrome can occur. So eating probiotic-rich foods like kefir and live yoghurt or taking a probiotic will help.
- Manage inflammation – low-grade inflammation contributes to obesity and other metabolic diseases.
- Manage stress levels – it’s impossible to eliminate stress, but you can learn to manage it with strategies including deep breathing, meditation, walking, and yoga.
- Exercise – find a routine that works for you, trial and error with weight resistance, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), brisk walking, or a yoga class.
Speak to one of our qualified Nutritionists or Functional Medicine Practitioners to learn how to improve your eating habits.
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