Tips for Achieving a Normal Weight -- Part 2
Now that you’ve established the foundation of healthy eating, let’s discuss other avenues that may be contributing to weight retention.
1. If you find you have to be careful and eat on time, otherwise you become shaky, foggy or irritable, your blood sugar is probably unstable. It is extremely important you eat enough protein each meal and possibly have a protein snack before bed. For instance, for breakfast, 2 eggs with left-over stir-fried veggies or yogurt with raw nuts and seeds with blueberries would be good choices. Lunch could be a salad with a can of wild salmon or garbanzo beans or raw veggies with tempeh. An example of dinner would be a chicken breast with spiralized zucchini and roasted cauliflower. All of these meals have an equal amount of protein (fish, chicken, tempeh, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds) compared to carbohydrate (veggies and fruit). The protein also contains the good fats that help with memory, concentration, focus, joint lubrication, skin moisture, hair suppleness and proper hormone production. Also, keep to 3 meals per day with at least 4 hours between. The old information of eating smaller meals often has been proven to actually cause weight gain not loss. You may need to consider supplementing with chromium, B3 (niasitol) and magnesium, which can help improve blood sugar stability and control symptoms of hypoglycemia.
2. Check thyroid function by having TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone), free T4 and free T3 tested. TSH is the hormone that is released from the pituitary and responds if it thinks the thyroid is producing too much or too little hormone. So, if the thyroid is not creating enough T4 (which is inactive) the pituitary will increase the release of TSH to encourage the thyroid to make more T4. Therefore, if the thyroid is underactive, the TSH is often high (above 3.0). So, by measuring free T4 tells us how much hormone the thyroid is producing. However, this is an inactive hormone and must be converted to the active form T3 to increase metabolic rate and burn more fuel. Therefore, by knowing your free T3 value, you can see if your body is doing a good job at converting to the form that can be utilized to burn calories. Your TSH may be fine (between 2-3), because this only indicates if your thyroid is releasing enough T4 (or if you have enough artificial T4- Synthroid) in the system, IT DOES NOT TELL YOU IF YOU ARE CONVERTING IT TO T3 AND USING UP CALORIES EFFICIENTLY. This is one of the most commonly missed imbalances I see in my practice. So, if you suspect a thyroid problem, have it FULLY checked.
Iodine, selenium and zinc, seaweed all support thyroid function. If you suspect a thyroid problem, kale, swiss chard, anything in the broccoli family should always be cooked and not eaten raw, since they will decrease thyroid function.
3. Have your foods tested to see if you have any sensitivities or allergies. When you are eating foods that irritate your body, it will surround these irritants with fat to minimize damage. By substituting the foods you are sensitive to, not only will you will lose the cushioning fat, but, you will break down and absorb your nutrients more efficiently, therefore feel more satiated with less food.
4. Test your pH. Pick any 4 typical days of food and activity and check your urine mid-stream throughout the day. The first urination in the morning will always be acidic, since the body is getting rid of any toxins or metabolites from the previous day, so, don’t bother checking that one, but, test every urination the rest of the day. The pH should be between 6.8-7.2. If it is consistently lower than that, you are running acidic and need to change what you are eating and/or drinking to become more alkaline.
While you are at it, check your drinking water. If it is acidic, you need to buy a solid carbon block filter and porcelain filter combination to REMOVE the chlorine and any other chemicals, bacteria or other parasites. Brita or other jug filters only remove the FLAVOUR of the chlorine, NOT the chlorine itself. You can usually find these in any hardware or health food store. We use a SANTEVIA system in our office and it is excellent.
Also, mental and emotional issues that are poorly addressed can cause toxins that are acidifying, so, handling stressors effectively is vital.
The next article will continue with other contributors to weight retention.
If you would like an individual evaluation of your weight retention
consider an appointment with Dr. Brenda Gill at 250-362-5035.