“I can't have” is not an option with food, rather “I choose not to have it” will become your new mantra ~ Lara

Unique weight loss insights

stress

Some stress in your life is good. It often helps us focus, concentrate and “get the job done”. However, too much stress can be detrimental to the body and lead to weight gain. Cortisol & DHEA imbalances which are you main stress hormones can lead to fatigue, sugar cravings, mood changes, insomnia, irritability, insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction, and imbalances in testosterone/estrogen ratio. All of the hormones in your body are designed to work together. In order for you to enjoy good health and lose weight easily, they all have to be balanced and at an optimal level. Very high or very low stress hormones will impact on your body’s ability to loose weight.

allergy

Many people suffer from undetected food allergies. If you are eating foods to which you are allergic, immune complexes form in your body. To minimize this reaction the body retains fluid to try to dilute the immune complexes and make them less concentrated. This excess fluid contributes to weight gain. Many people crave foods they are allergic to without realising it.

Some of the Physical symptoms of food allergies are:
abdominal pain, arthritis, asthma, bloating, blood sugar problems, chronic or recurrent infections, cravings for carbohydrates, constipation, eczema, excessive thirst, fatigue, gas, headaches, indigestion (recurring), irritable bowel syndrome, irritability, malabsorption of food, metallic taste in mouth, nausea, rashes, sinusitis, sleep disturbances, ulcers, and weight gain.

Research also shows that food allergies affect the limbic region of the brain. This area is associated with the hunger response, consequently affecting your ability to lose weight.

hormones

Female hormone disorders such as PMS (premenstrual syndrome), PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Peri-menopause and Menopause are also associated with weight gain.Some symptoms of PMS such as abdominal bloating, appetite changes, and salt and sugar cravings affect weight gain. A low progesterone level on days 12-14 of the menstrual cycle very commonly is associated with this syndrome. PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian disease/syndrome, which is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles or absence of menstruation and excess of testosterone (androgen) production. Signs and symptoms of PCOS include obesity, irregular or absent menstrual cycles, infertility/recurrent miscarriage, hirsutism (excessive body hair), oily skin/acne, and alopecia (hair loss). The hormonal imbalances caused by PCOS lead to weight gain.

For more mature women, hormones likewise play a role in weight gain. As many women go through peri-menopause and menopause, many women put on extra pounds. In order to lose weight and keep it off, a woman’s sex hormones have to be balanced and replaced if lost. One size does not fit all. What each woman needs is as unique to her as her fingerprints. Therefore her treatment should be customized to her own individual needs. If the body is deficient in hormones, they should be considered replaced with bio-identical hormones. Estrogen levels must be balanced with other hormones such as progesterone. One of the main symptoms of too much estrogen is weight gain, especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs. An excess of estrogen can result from an imbalance of progesterone to estrogen.
Progesterone is also one of the sex hormones that a woman makes that declines with peri-menopause and menopause. Low levels of progesterone are also seen with PMS, PCOS, and postpartum depression. It is made in the ovaries before menopause. After menopause, some progesterone is made in the adrenal glands. Too much progesterone can also affect weight gain. The ratio between estrogen and progesterone also has an effect on ideal body weight.

Although doctors have known that women produce testosterone, most mainstream physicians have believed that hormones like testosterone are not important for women. Only levels of the “female” hormones progesterone and estrogen were thought to have any significant bearing on a woman’s health and well being. Over the last decade, however, more and more evidence has been brought forth suggesting that testosterone is a very important hormone for women, especially in terms of staying fit, lean, and sexually active.

insulin

Insulin is part of the hormonal symphony in the body that is directly related to weight gain for both men and women. Estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and cortisol are all very important for the regulation of glucose in your body. Insulin in the body helps regulate glucose, which is your blood sugar. If insulin is not working effectively in your body this is called insulin resistance.
This means that insulin is there but is not working as well as it could. Consequently, insulin levels elevate to compensate for their ineffectiveness. Insulin increases your ratio of fat to muscle. Consequently, an increase in insulin decreases fat burning. Elevated insulin is the common link to obesity, hypertension, and heart disease.

thyroid

Thyroid hormone dysfunction can occur at any age. If your level of production is too low, you gain weight. Any imbalance of your thyroid hormone can affect every metabolic function in your body. Your thyroid gland is your body’s regulator. It regulates energy and heat production, growth, tissue repair and development, and stimulates protein synthesis. Many patients are routinely told that their thyroid levels are “fine”, but they actually have severely low functioning thyroids that are not being picked up by the standard TSH and T4 testing. Should you have a sluggish functioning thyroid it will affect your body’s ability to lose weight.

inflammation

When you are overweight, this sets up an inflammatory response in the body. Inflammation is used by the body to heal, however, when the inflammatory response is too great; then, it can cause disease. Adipose (fat) tissue produces several different “adipokines” including hormones and inflammatory mediators that produce chronic inflammation. One of these adipokines is leptin. Leptin works on the brain to inhibit food intake and activates thermogenesis (burning of fat) in conjunction with insulin. Decreasing inflammation in turn helps patients to lose weight.

guthealth

You may have difficulty staying away from sugar if you have an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Candida albicans is a yeast organism that occurs in the body, but if it is allowed to over-flourish and dominate the intestinal flora, it can become pathologic. By correcting a yeast imbalance or bacterial overgrowth called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) it is often much easier to lose weight.

sleep

Adequate sleep is needed to maintain health and to promote weight loss. Ineffective sleep elevates inflammatory markers in the body such as IL-6 and your stress hormone cortisol. Studies have shown that people who get less than six and one-half hours of sleep a night for eight consecutive nights have less insulin sensitivity than those who sleep seven to eight hours a night. Therefore, insulin will not work as effectively in the body, and you can gain weight.

toxins

Scientists recently uncovered a surprising and disturbing fact: environmental toxins make you fat and cause diabetes. Inside the body, these chemicals toxins effects our bodys ability to balance blood sugar and metabolize cholesterol. Over time, the changes can lead to insulin resistance.
In order to remain healthy and achieve weight loss, your body has to have the ability to detoxify. Your body has four organs that detoxify. They include: the skin, the kidney, the liver, and the gastrointestinal tract. All of these modalities are modified through environmental exposure, diet, and lifestyle. Common symptoms of toxin buildup include headaches, muscular aches and pains, and fatigue.

brain

Weight gain and obesity for many people can be related to neurotransmitter dysfunction. Neurotransmitters are your brain chemicals and if there is an imbalance with them is can cause you to have all sorts of sabotaging behaviours around food. Eg, low serotonin will cause you to crave carbs and sugars.
There are many other clinical conditions related to neurotransmitter imbalances such as depression, migraine headaches, inappropriate stress reaction, anxiety, insomnia, ADD/ADHD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.

sugar

There are some food habits that are hard to break when you look at weight loss because they are physically addicting. Chocolate, cheese, wheat and sugar are such substances. Oftentimes food addictions can be linked to a yeast imbalance (Candida albicans) or food allergy. Other times food addiction can be linked to blood sugar dysregulation. For you to lose weight I need to get you over your addictive food behaviours that sabotage your weight loss efforts.

suppliments

Nutrients are very important to help the body function optimally. Having the right amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and other nutrients is a key element in obtaining and maintaining weight loss. Every year over 75% of your body is replaced and reconstructed from the nutrients you eat and take, even the DNA of your genes. The quality of these vitamins and nutrients determines the quality of your cells, how well they function, prevent disease, and how easy it is for you to lose weight. I will help you determine the correct supplements for your body and your weight loss goals.