Stop focusing on weight loss, rather focus on getting healthy in the new year

Way to often people are preoccupied with that elusive number of where they should be on the scale. If they hit that number, everything is great, if the number goes up, everything is lost.  Here is a good tip, STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF! It is much better to track weight loss through how your clothes fit then by getting onto the”emotional roller coaster” scale.

The first thing to understand is that weight is only a symptom. Just like your headache, your high blood pressure and your high cholesterol. And what do we know about symptoms? Well the first thing is that if you treat a symptom, it will tend to improve for a period of time, which of course everyone likes. But what else do we know about symptoms? The moment you stop treating the symptom, everything comes back and then some.  Have you ever witnessed when someone loses 30 lbs only then to gain back 50lbs.  This is called a yo-yo phenomena which has grave impact on your health. We need to stop focusing on the symptom of weight gain and begin addressing the underlying cause of why you are not healthy.

So what are the causes? In my clinical experience, the top three instigators of weight gain are sugar, stress and toxicity. While these three categories are loaded with information, I will give a brief synopsis on the impact of each.

Sugar- from a nutritional standpoint, there is a misconception that when you eat fat, that is what makes you gain weight. Wrong! Carbohydrate is what makes you gain weight. It really is not carbohydrate though rather it is the sugar or simple glucose that is converted from the carbohydrate. The first goal is to avoid sugar in forms of sweets, candy, soda, chocolate, baked goods, etc… But you need to be aware that sugar is also in bread products, pasta, rice, corn, wheat, alcohol and everything else that is derived from grain products. We have a strong sugar addiction is this country that is completely out of control and contributing not only to weight gain but also to chronic illness (cancer, heart disease, neurological disease).

Stress- another major player in a persons inability to lose weight. If you are in any state of chronic stress, it is significantly harder to lose weight. Stress increases the hormone cortisol and suppresses the hormone made in the thyroid gland. This creates a perfect environment for “storing” weight. Elevated amounts of cortisol also up-regulate the process of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose (sugar) from your storage areas within your cells. This effectively dumps more sugar into your blood stream further exacerbating a blood sugar imbalance and weight issue.

Toxicity- is stored within adipose (fat) tissue in the body. Primary causes of toxicity are pesticides on your food, body products and cosmetics, medications (both prescribed and OTC), air and water quality, etc… If you are dealing with increased states of toxicity, your body will slow down weight loss because of its inability to manage the toxic substances that are released from the adipose tissue as weight loss occurs. Correct prescribed detoxification is essential when beginning to get healthy and lose weight.

If you focus on improving these three variables that I stated above, your overall body function will start to improve. Not only does weight loss begin to occur but your headaches begin to improve. Your cholesterol and blood pressure come down. You get healthier in all aspects of your body function.

Stopping focusing on treating symptoms, start addressing the cause and begin living a healthier life.


Naturopathic physician who is educating people about their health in order to empower them to practice self care.