Your Naturopath in North Lakes

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Weight Loss: Seeing the Lighter Side of Overweight

   Says a doctor to her patient:

"You'll lose weight on any strict diet, but it's mostly water…. from crying."

Though sustainable and healthy weight loss can only be achieved on the foundations of a wholesome diet and lifestyle, it certainly is no reason for crying.

The old adage that all you need to do to lose weight is reduce the number of calories you consume - i.e. EAT LESS - is being questioned. This old way of thinking also implies that the overweight person simply lacks the discipline to lose weight. However, research suggests that at least part of the reason for our constant food cravings is our body's cry for nutrition. Thus, far from giving you another food-related guilt trip, eating nutritious (and ‘yummy’) foods will put you on track to a healthier body.

This is because it's what you eat, rather than how much you eat (o.k….. within reason) that is decisive for successful weight management. Diets higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates, for instance, are able to reverse a whole cascade of processes within the body that make those extra pounds around the middle so difficult to shift with calorie restriction and exercise alone. What's more, foods rich in protein keep you satisfied for longer, while empty carbohydrates lead to ever greater cravings.

And then there’s the ‘f’ word: Fats in food have been a no-no for far too long. In fact, our “99% fat-free” diet has compounded our weight problems in the West (not to mention other health problems), as we’ve made the switch to fat-free processed carbohydrate foods. Dietary fats are vital to good health and adequate amounts of the right fats can actually help you lose weight.

The weight-loss industry is experiencing phenomenal growth, and diet veterans will be aware of the abundance of options available to them. Commercial diet programs or surgical means of losing weight can be invaluable stepping stones on the way to a healthier body. Everyone’s journey is unique.

However, there comes a time to ask: Has the path I have been following equipped me with workable strategies to live a healthy life? Have I been empowered or is life-long attachment to the system I have chosen required for me to stay on track?

Weight-loss education is an often overlooked aspect of conventional weight-loss programs. Learning about the dysregulated biological mechanisms underlying our weight concerns and understanding how to restore the balance may well prove to be the missing link that has made sustainable weight control so elusive. Why wait any longer?