When it comes to weight loss, the recommendation of “diet and exercise” has become a standard refrain from personal trainers, fitness gurus, magazines and even doctors. But the issue is more complex, say experts.
“There are underlying physiological, and in some cases pathological, mechanisms driving weight gain,” says Dr. Michael A. Smith, senior health scientist for Life Extension Foundation and host of “Healthy Talk” on RadioMD.com. “Until you address these issues, you won’t be as successful on any diet plan as you could be.”
So far, research has identified nine weight gaining mechanisms: insulin resistance, hormone imbalance, excessive carbohydrate and starch absorption, muscle loss from low physical activity, low brain serotonin, slow resting metabolism, abnormal fat cell signaling, low adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase activity and diet imbalances.
“Think of these nine mechanisms as pillars holding up an overweight frame burdened with too much body fat,” says Smith.
A successful approach to weight loss will include a diet plan, an exercise regimen and specific nutrients for correcting the pillars supporting your weight gain, according to Smith. He is offering some helpful tips to optimize your health and help you maintain a healthy weight:
• Take a robust multivitamin that delivers ideal doses of a full spectrum of essential nutrients. From vitamin A to the mineral zinc, your body is totally dependent on these nutrients for optimal weight and health. Dosing vitamins and minerals at this “ideal” level can help optimize energy levels, promote hormonal balance, cardiovascular wellness, bone strength, digestive ease, visual acuity, cognitive agility, emotional stability, joint integrity, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
• Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to your health, yet your body can’t make them. To support mental and cardiovascular health, promote cognitive agility and ease system inflammation, ensure your diet includes essential fatty acids by taking a supplement.
• Supplement your diet with coenzyme Q10 in the ubiquinol form. If your levels are low, every cell, tissue and organ in your body will suffer, especially your heart. Other benefits include supporting healthy nerve and brain cells, healthy blood sugar, healthy body fat and increased vigor.
• When your gut health is compromised, it doesn’t matter how healthy a diet you eat — you won’t be able to access all the nutrition it provides. Take a probiotic supplement to promote beneficial bacteria and good digestive health.
• To identify what is likely driving your weight gain, visit www.YourWeightLossRX.com. Download a free booklet that offers diagnostic quizzes, and customized suggestions for lifestyle changes to make. The booklet can also direct you to specific nutrients shown in research to target your issues.
If you’ve ever wondered why it is so hard to lose weight, don’t just assume the answer lies in more exercise and fewer calories. By addressing the mechanisms driving your weight gain, you’ll be in the best possible position to succeed in your weight loss efforts.