Losing Weight with Nutritional Balancing
My small, but much appreciated audience has heard me preach nutritional balancing before, but for those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about… here is a brief overview. Nutritional balancing science is a holistic and individualized methodology that focuses on healing biochemical imbalances of the body at the cellular level. It utilizes hair mineral analysis testing, dietary changes, supplementation, detoxification and lifestyle alterations to rebuild you into the well-oiled machine that you desire. Nutritional balancing relies heavily on an appropriate diet (absolutely essential) and supplementation program to revitalize, reenergize and rebalance your own individual biochemistry. When followed properly and completely, a nutritional balancing program works to restore healthy body weight and fat loss. Both directly and indirectly, nutritional balancing leads to effortless fat loss by reestablishing a healthy gut, restoring appropriate thyroid and adrenal gland activity, reducing insulin production, decreasing blood glucose levels, restoring mineral balance, reducing silent inflammation, decreasing high cortisol levels, minimizing water retention and creating balanced emotional health.
I know what you are thinking- how long does it take? You want me to say, “In two weeks, you will have the body of your dreams!” Well, I won’t tell you that because I’d be lying. The length of time that it will take for you to achieve your weight loss goals are going to vary immensely from person to person. Some will lose weight quickly (weeks to months), while others will lose weight more slowly (one to two to three years). It will depend on many factors including how long you’ve been sick or overweight, your genetics, the function of your thyroid and adrenal glands, how out of whack your minerals are, your gut health, how toxic your system is, your emotional balance and past traumas and on and on and on. The point is, you are unique and if you embark on this journey the right way, without all of the gimmicks and get thin quick schemes, your body and health will dictate how fast or slow the process will take. This is not for the faint of heart or mind. You’ll need to commit to the lifestyle and know that eventually you will lose the weight safely and permanently.
Slow Oxidation and Weight Loss
Slow oxidation is essentially a slow metabolism driven by the activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands. Slow oxidizers metabolize or oxidize fats, carbohydrates and protein at a slower rate than normal. A hair mineral analysis (HMA) in a slow oxidizer will reveal sluggish activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands with significant nutrient depletion of those glands (which, by the way, may not show up in your blood work). These glands are usually overwrought with toxic heavy metals, halogens and xenobiotics. Is it any wonder why you aren’t losing weight? The combination of slowed glandular activity, improper and slow metabolism of nutrients and impaired ability to convert stored fat into fatty acids by the adrenal gland make slow oxidizers a perfect victim for weight gain. These individuals can be further plagued by impaired digestion and absorption of nutrients most often related to leaky gut syndrome (a syndrome that describes damage to the gut lining owing to multiple causes including diet, medications, stress, infectious agents, ultimately allowing substances that would normally not be allowed in the gut to pass or ‘leak’ through causing chronic inflammation or autoimmunity). Leaky gut syndrome will lead to chronic inflammation that the body will consistently try to correct by increasing water retention and thus, weight gain. Copper toxicity (extremely common in slow oxidizers), latent infections (like Candida overgrowth) and food allergies, can further complicate the story, again leading to water retention as the body attempts to flush away these systemic toxins. Finally, slow oxidizers often have chronic low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can lead to very profound sweet cravings. If given into, sugars and starchy carbs will pack on the pounds and may lead to diabetes.
Slow oxidizers do quite well with a diet high in green leafy, root and cruciferous vegetables, moderate amounts of high-quality proteins (including beef, poultry, sardines and raw dairy) and low fats. I say low fats in jest as I realize fats are an essential part of any diet and extremely important, however, slow oxidizers tend not to tolerate/digest fat well until they have shifted into a mixed or fast oxidation pattern and have healthy guts. Appropriate nutritional supplementation designed to speed the metabolism while healing the glands and gut are essential to healthy weight loss as well, and are addressed with a nutritional balancing program. Finally, no weight loss regimen is complete without detoxification of harmful toxins and chemicals that encourage weight gain, confuse the organs and keep you biochemically imbalanced (also remember that toxins are released from fat cells into the circulation as weight loss occurs making it doubly important to detoxify as you heal).
Fast Oxidation and Weight Loss
After having my first HMA and learning that I was a fast oxidizer, I was excited but mistakenly so. I thought, “Cool, I’m a fast oxidizer, so I’ll lose fat quickly because my metabolism is fast.” Wrong!! It is not an ideal situation to be in a state of fight-or-flight all of the time, not only from an emotional standpoint, but also from a physical standpoint. Fast oxidizers, as you have guessed, have adrenal and thyroid glands that are in overdrive. We process fats, carbs and proteins at a faster than normal rate- which is just as detrimental as the opposite. Fast oxidizers tend to gain weight in the upper body, particularly the abdomen. Typically, a fast oxidizer will have thin arms and legs and a large trunk with a round belly (also known as an ‘apple’ shape and/or a Cushing body type). If you listen to my husband who says, “Just do abdominal exercises and you’ll be fine,” you are going to be in a world of trouble. Fast oxidizers tend to carry this shape because of the over activity of the adrenal glands, constantly pumping out cortisol (effectively, a form of Cushing’s syndrome), in an effort to deal with the perceived saber-tooth tiger following them on the highway, at work and while trying to sleep. Couple this with the excessive exercise that many fast oxidizers do to combat stress and the resistance to ever slowing down, we don’t stand a chance to lose weight. Fast oxidizers tend to retain water secondary to the high cortisol levels, kidney damage (related to excess cortisone and sodium imbalance), high tissue sodium levels, food intolerances (like slow oxidizers) and overeating sugar and carbohydrates. Fast oxidizers can also suffer from hypoglycemia and sugar cravings as well, but for different reasons. Because they metabolize the carbohydrates to quickly, blood sugar fluctuations can be drastic. This can lead to binge eating, cravings, weight gain and, yes, diabetes.
It is important to note two special situations that can occur with fast oxidizers: fast oxidation with a low sodium to potassium (Na/K) ratio and temporary fast oxidation. A truly fast oxidizer will have a Na/K ratio that is high. When this ratio is low (or inverted) then the individual can have characteristics of both a slow and fast oxidizer. Their resistance to weight loss may be even more pronounced because of this situation. Likewise, temporary fast oxidation or slow oxidation under stress will create a similar scenario. Although these individuals display fast oxidation on HMA, they are really slow oxidizers having an acute stress response that is stimulating the glands and nervous system (this stress could be physical like toxic build-up or emotional like relationship or work worries). These folks, too, can have characteristics of slow and fast oxidizers. Additionally, they may both resolve to slow oxidation quickly.
Fast oxidizers seem to be able to lose weight with a diet high in good-quality fats, very low in carbohydrates and sugar with a low to moderate amount of protein (similar to a ketogenic type of diet). They tend to do better with high fat for several reasons; 1) fat slows the metabolic rate, 2) fat provides extra calories that many fast oxidizers require, and 3) fat is digested slowly and provides a consistent supply of energy that helps to stabilize blood sugar. Carbohydrates, in fast oxidizers, should come primarily in the form of cooked vegetables. By eliminating simple sugars, processed grains and starchy carbs, fast oxidizers may lose weight rapidly as they forfeit excess water retention, fluctuations in blood sugars and deficiencies in zinc and other important minerals. Lastly, just as important are appropriate nutritional supplementation, detoxification and lifestyle alterations (things like proper sleep and stress management).
As I’m sure you are aware, weight loss or gain is not solely reliant on metabolism. Likewise, calories in versus calories out are an antiquated concept and no longer an acceptable or valid approach to weight loss. We have to consider all of the other variables and processes that occur in your body in order for a weight loss regimen to be effective and successful. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, nutritional balancing addresses all of the other variables. First, let’s talk about genetics. There is nothing neither I, nor any other practitioner can do about your genetics. As far as I know, no one is doing gene transplants at the moment. So, your genetics are your genetics and we have to work with what we’ve been given. The good news is, thanks to the fields of epigenetics and nutrigenomics, we are learning a great deal about how to modify gene activity with environmental factors and lifestyle choices like food, supplements and eliminating toxins. Nutritional balancing is an excellent way to ensure that you are attaining the proper substrates to optimize activity at the DNA level.
Nutritional balancing, as the name implies, is phenomenal at recalibrating micronutrient levels in the cells. This is an often-overlooked concept particularly with regard to mineral balance. There is no shortage of vitamin stores and many people do take various vitamin combinations. But minerals, sadly, are a different story. First, just because we are talking about vitamins and minerals does not mean that we are talking about completely benign substances. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and if taken haphazardly vitamins and minerals can do more harm than good. Second, many people are unaware of just how important minerals really are. These micronutrients are essential to life. They make our cells do important tasks and they can also aid in obtaining a healthy weight. For example, chromium is critical in balancing blood sugar because it acts like insulin and drives blood sugar into the cells. It also can influence how hungry you become and thus can affect weight loss or gain. Similarly, zinc is responsible for almost everything in the body (okay, slight exaggeration, but you get the point). Zinc is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body. It promotes hormone balance in men and women, assists with protein production, modulates the immune system, and acts like a neurotransmitter which helps to balance mood. Zinc deficiency is often seen on HMA and requirements go up in fast oxidizers, those who eat excessive carbohydrates and vegetarians. Zinc deficiency has been correlated with weight gain because of its involvement with insulin regulation, hormone balance, metabolism, digestion and mood (amongst other activities). These are only two examples of the importance of mineral balance and their relationship to weight management. Other important minerals involved in weight gain or loss include magnesium, iron, sodium, potassium, calcium and selenium.
Nutritional balancing also inherently minimizes food allergies. By removing foods that are known to be highly allergenic, some people may see almost immediate weight loss results, as water retention decreases and inflammation declines. Some typical highly allergenic foods that nutritional balancing will eliminate are nightshade vegetables, grains, breads, gluten, wheat, pasteurized and homogenized dairy, fish and shellfish (with the exception of sardines), legumes, processed foods, fast foods, sugar and large quantities of nuts and seeds (some are good in those who can tolerate them).
We now know that inflammation is a major culprit in many of today’s chronic diseases. These include heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, dementia, diabetes, anxiety, depression and yes- obesity too! Nutritional balancing effortlessly decreases inflammation and minimizes the risk of developing and/or reverses chronic disease while helping you lose weight. Silent inflammation develops over time as the immune system can’t keep up with the level of foreign substances that the body is being exposed to including allergic foods, chemical exposures, toxins- both physical (i.e. fluoride, BPA) and emotional (i.e. lack of sleep and trauma), pharmaceutical medications and chronic infections. When inflammation runs rampant in the body, the body will attempt to dilute the foreign invaders by retaining excess water. Once the foreign substances are eliminated, water is expelled (the ever so popular, water weight) and the body has an opportunity to heal and the actual healthful fat loss can begins.
Finally, nutritional balancing addresses the mental and emotional causes of weight gain. This is an extremely important and often ignored cause of obesity. Depression, anxiety, boredom and severe life trauma are all causes of overeating. Traditional pharmaceutical medications used to treat mental disorders including antidepressants, antipsychotics, bipolar medications and anxiolytics often have the lovely side effect of weight gain. Imbalances in neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, are known to impact cravings and addictions to food, drugs and alcohol, as well as alter sleep, mood and ability to cope with stress. All of these factors will influence your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Additionally, mineral deficiencies (like zinc deficiency) are common in individuals who have suffered severe trauma. This can affect appetite, digestion, mood and cellular function- all of which impact weight. Nutritional balancing addresses mood disorders and emotional traumas with lifestyle modifications, nutrient balancing and detoxification so that automatic weight loss can begin. Supporting disciplines like acupuncture and reiki healing may also be recommended and are useful adjuncts to a nutritional balancing program to address mental, emotional and spiritual turmoil.
So there you have it! What are you waiting for? You have been given the ultimate guide to becoming a leaner and meaner you. Stop making excuses, stop sabotaging yourself and stop wasting all of your hard earned money on unnecessary and expensive stuff. Do this the right way, and once and for all rid yourself of the excess baggage. Please call a medical practitioner today who can implement a nutritional balancing program. This is not something you want to attempt on your own. You’ll be glad you did!