Why Diets Just Don’t Work

Why Diets Just Don’t Work

why diets don't work

Almost daily I’m asked, “what’s the best way to lose weight?” Most often my patients see random messages or one-liners that speak to one small piece of the weight loss puzzle, and they are intrigued, but more often, they’re confused.

The hardest part is that there is no short answer. It’s complicated.

So I thought I’d try and shed some light on this timeless question as to the best way to lose weight.
To start, our bodies are wired to push us off any diet or restriction – and, even though we tend to think this is a horrible thing, or something we need to overcome and conquer, it’s actually a good thing. Our resistance to dieting is a biological advantage for survival. But that inherent protection against dieting is why dieting is so hard, and leaves us so obsessed with weight and counting calories. It’s also why we get so hungry. It’s why we can’t stop thinking about food. It’s why we binge. And why we almost always gain the weight back. We are simply programmed in this way.
Dieting, the way I see it, puts us in a state of obsession with food. Food obsession is a real thing nowadays and seems to be getting worse. As a society, we definitely feel obsessed when we are restricted in any way. Even just mentally restricted. Dieting makes us fixated on food and this because of a chemical reaction in our brain and in our body. Dieting and restricting make us act obsessed to all types of food. It feels real and it is, but it is just the state we are in when the body is screaming to be fed.
When you are chronically worried about food, it raises your free radicals, insulin, and blood pressure which all damage your brain cells.  Your body naturally has a checks and balances system to make sure you don’t go too far in one direction.  When you’re stressed your catecholamines rise releasing serotonin and GABA to counteract it.  If you’re constantly under stress and releasing serotonin and GABA, you’ll eventually desensitize to them and they’ll become depleted.  This leaves the catecholamines to run rampant.  Excess amounts of catecholamines in your system leads to depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  Which means your feel-good hormones get depleted, circling back to the feelings of anxiety, depression and obsession!

STOPPING THE OBSESSION

If you feel that you’re obsessed with food, it’s because your body is trying to communicate with you and begging you for help. Please listen. When you do, you’ll be able to stop your battle with dieting for good and any obsession that you created to go along with it.

Let’s do this together, I’m here to help you to start listening (and healing) your body.

(some material sourced from caroline dooner)

How to Know if Your Hormones are Imbalanced

How to Know if Your Hormones are Imbalanced

Welcome to my Podcast, Regenerate You! I’m Dr. Nirvana and in this episode, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances and what you can do to heal your body by regenerating your hormonal health.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and to please leave me a review as well!

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you, everyday!

Regenerative Health Program™

Regenerative Health Program™

The Regenerative Health Program™

I’m so glad you’re here.

By allowing me to help you, you are about to end your battle with fatigue, lack of confidence, a constant state of discomfort, mood swings, painful periods and a simple lack luster for life.

How can my Regenerative Health Program™ help you? Let’s discuss how I will reprogram every cell of your body, to come back to life.

The Next  Big Thing

in Holistic Medicine

Navigating your own health is similar to starting a new recipe without knowing how to cookYou have an idea of what ingredients to use, but have no idea how to put it all together.

This is where I come in…

I found the Regenerative Health Program™ to help teach you how to renew every cell of your body

Reprogram Your Health

To Reinvent Your Life

Discover the Real You

By regenerating your health struggles, into your ideal self

Regenerate

 

I’m dedicated in helping you have a firm grasp on understanding why your health turned upside down, while supporting your decisions to choose whichever path you prefer in the healing process.

 

 

Reinventing Your Health

I’m guiding you

step by step…

On which ingredients to buy and how to put the recipe together. I take your entire picture, along with your labs, to to paint a clear picture of how you got to where you are, what to do to fix it, and what’s coming down the pipeline if you don’t act now.

I’m always standing

by your side

My job is to teach you how to care for your body so well that you know exactly what to do when things get a little off balance.

Plan a Visit

If you’re suffering from symptoms of imbalance, hair loss, chronic fatigue, PMS, hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, fibroids, endometriosis and have seen everyone and tried everything, I can offer you solutions on your healing journey that will help you to get your life back. A full life of fun, happiness and ease. It’s time to end your needless suffering.

Vitamins to Boost your Metabolism

Vitamins to Boost your Metabolism

Four Vitamins to Feed your Metabolism

As you age, your metabolism tends to decelerate by about 5% for every decade of life past age 40. With that in mind, taking specific vitamins to boost your metabolism can help combat this natural decline.

B-Vitamins

B-vitamins are at the top of the list for vitamins that maintain a healthy metabolism. In fact, B vitamins are essential for healthy metabolism functioning, as they help our body get the maximum use out of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

As you grow older and your metabolism naturally slows down, B vitamins can help you boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight. Each B vitamin has specific functions, so look out for B-complex vitamins, which contain all eight B vitamins.

L-Glutamine

L-glutamine is an incredible multi-tasker. It’s the most abundant amino acid in your bloodstream, and it protects against muscle wasting, while also boosting your cellular growth and repair. That makes glutamine an excellent choice for faster post-workout recovery. It can also help to raise growth hormones, which increases your resting metabolic rate and boosts fat burning. You’ll find a hefty dose of this potent amino acid in the Gut Be Calm™.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can complement the function of some female hormones and these vitamin-hormone interactions play a beneficial role in weight loss. Adequate levels of vitamin D may also help prevent depression, according to some research.

Tip: You might want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement if you spend most of your days indoors.

Berberine

Meet your new weight loss bestie! This is because berberine helps prevent fat storage, balances insulin sensitivity, and increases the hormone, leptin, which helps you crush cravings and burn fat. I use it often for my patients who have insulin resistance or diabetes to help manage their blood sugar as well.

Remember, no supplement will take the place of a nourishing, balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy sleep and stress management habits. But if you’re looking for an all-natural advantage, the 4 supplements above are a great start. You can receive them in shot form at The Vitamin Shot Bar or via a custom-made IV for an even stronger effect!

Burning Fat the Natural Way

Burning Fat the Natural Way

Natural Solutions to Burning Fat

Fat may seem like the enemy of civilized people—especially sedentary ones. Yet we cannot live without it. Fat plays a key role in the structure and flexibility of cell membranes, and it helps regulate the movement of substances through those membranes. Special types of fat, known as eicosanoids, send hormone-like signals that exert control over many bodily systems, mostly those affecting inflammation or immune function.

Of course, the best-known function of fat is as an energy reserve. Fat has more than twice the energy-storage capacity of carbohydrate (9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram). It has been estimated that lean adult men store about 131,000 calories in fat (Horowitz & Klein 2000), enough energy to keep the average person alive for about 65 days.

For fitness enthusiasts, the prime concern arises when the body’s fat-storage function works too well, hoarding unwanted fat that makes people unhealthy and self-conscious about their appearance. However, understanding how fat travels through the body can help to reduce excess body fat and improve athletic performance overall.

The Journey of a Fat to Muscle

Fat resides primarily in designated fat-storage cells called adipocytes. Most adipocytes are just under the skin and in regions surrounding and protecting vital organs. Nearly all fat in adipocytes exists in the form of triglycerides. Each triglyceride consists of a backbone (glycerol) with three fatty-acid tails. I like to use the image of stick with 3 tadpoles attached.

Depending on energy supply and demand, adipocytes can either store fat from the blood or release fat back to the blood. After we eat, when the energy supply is high, the hormone insulin keeps fatty acids inside the fat cells. After a few hours of fasting or during exercise, insulin levels tend to drop, while levels of other hormones—such as adrenalin (also knows as epinephrine) increase.

When epinephrine binds to adipocytes, triglyceride stores go through a process called fat breakdown, which separates fatty acids from their glycerol backbone. After this, fatty acids and glycerol can leave the fat cells and enter the blood.

Fatty Acids in the Blood

Because fat does not easily dissolve in water, it needs a carrier protein to keep it evenly suspended in the water-based environment of the blood. The primary protein carrier for fat in the blood is albumin. One albumin protein can carry multiple fatty acids through the blood to muscle cells via the capillaries that surround the muscle.

Two Fates of Fat Inside Muscle

Once fat is inside the muscle, a molecule called coenzyme A (CoA) is added to the fatty acids. CoA is a transport protein that maintains the inward flow of fatty acids entering the muscle and prepares the fatty acid for one of two fates:

  1. Oxidation (in which electrons are removed from a molecule) to produce energy or
  2. Storage within the muscle or organs

Most of us prefer step one. However the body ultimately makes it’s decision based upon a person’s current state of health and diet.

How Much Fat Do We Need

The human body actually needs to have a certain percentage of body fat for it to be able to function properly. For women, 14 percent body fat seems to be the low end of healthy and for men that number can be as low as eight percent. When body fat drops lower than 14 percent for women and eight percent for men, health risks increase, including everything from reproductive dysfunction (such as amenorrhea in women), chronic dehydration, sarcopenia (loss of muscle tissue), osteoporosis (loss of bone density), and potentially even organ and nerve damage.

The Best Way to Burn Fat with Exercise

Doing what is commonly known as cardio or aerobic exercise (walking, biking, jogging) is good for you because it reduces heart disease risk, but it’s not the best choice if your focus is to burn the body fat. 

You may think of weight, strength, or resistance training as simply a way to build muscle mass, but weight-bearing exercises have also been found to burn abdominal fat more effectively than cardio exercise.

In just two 15-20 minute heavy lifting sessions per week you can have positive effects on your resting metabolic rate, your blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. Which all adds up to being a better way to keep that body fat weight off.

Balancing Insulin to Burn Fat

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is released by the pancreas, but your body doesn’t use it properly causing blood sugar levels to stay high instead of going down into the normal range. This can occur if you are consistently stressed, lacking sleep, eating processed foods and drinking too much alcohol.

An imbalance in insulin and glucose levels can be easily managed with diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some thing that you can begin to do (or check) to resolve insulin resistance:

Check your Cortisol 

Stress during can cause steroid sex hormones, such as estrogen, to be metabolized into cortisol. Increased cortisol levels stimulate sugar to be released into your bloodstream, increasing insulin and ultimately thwarting your efforts to lose weight. 

Address your Adrenals

Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • relentless and debilitating fatigue
  • depressed mood
  • irritability
  • loss of interest in life
  • low energy
  • an inability to carry out your normal day-to-day activities

Make sure that your adrenals are nourished by feeding them with healthy Himalayan or Celtic sea salt. Sodium supports adrenal function. And, despite what you have probably heard about sodium intake, most people do not get enough sodium in their diet. It’s easy to become sodium-deficient, especially if you exercise or are under stress. When you are sodium-deficient your cortisol and insulin levels will be out of whack, and your muscles can become stiff. (Sodium relaxes soft tissue.) Try adding a good Himalayan salt to your food (not regular table salt.) You can also put 1/4 tsp of sea salt in warm water first thing in the morning. 

Skip Alcohol

Alcohol is sugar. Drinking alcohol regularly causes insulin resistance and weight gain. In addition, alcohol is processed through the liver.  When your liver is busy breaking down alcohol, it can’t process hormones, creating further imbalances in estrogen and cortisol and converting the excess glucose it stores to fat. Remember fat cells are loaded with glucose receptors so they crave more sugar. If you do have the occasional drink, take fiber to help stabilize your blood sugar and slow down the absorption of alcohol.

Quick Solutions to Weight Loss

If you find that you just need a boost to kick start your weight loss, consider HCG. The HCG weight loss program is a simple-to-follow, highly effective way to lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively short period to time, without slowing down the metabolism, experiencing unwanted hunger, or regaining the weight back afterwards.

If you are concerned that your weight loss goals are being hindered by an imbalance of your thyroid, insulin (or that you may be approaching menopause) please contact me to schedule an appointment. A simple urine test can help to stabilize your hormones for weight loss success. I’m here to help you achieve your weight loss goals, for good!

Balancing Hormones and Weight Loss

Balancing Hormones and Weight Loss

Weight Loss Resistance are these Hormones to Blame?

When you hear the word “hormones”… most likely PMS, puberty, and menopause come to mind. But these chemical messengers do more than guide your body through growth stages—in fact, they play a key role in fertility, metabolism, weight loss, mood, immune system function, stress, and more.  

In fact, one of the most common complaints I hear from my patients is that they, “feel fat, heavy, old, and tired. Or they feel moody, unable to concentrate, and are constantly running throughout the day and needless to say, stressed”.

Hormones instruct the organs of the endocrine system – such as your thyroid, ovaries, testes and adrenal glands – to release more hormones. This is why, when one hormone goes awry, it can inhibit the whole process, and since metabolism is directly linked to your body’s ability to use food for fuel, this can send your fat-burning ability into a downward spiral. 

If this sounds familiar, I recommend monitoring the following five hormones, which play a key role in regulating metabolism, weight, and mood:  

  1. Insulin: Typically associated with diabetes, insulin fluctuations can also result in weight gain, lethargy, sleeplessness, irritability, lightheadedness, and brain fog. Eating a Low Glycemic Diet can help to balance and reduce your insulin levels. You need about 200 fewer calories a day during your 50s than you did during your 30s and 40s Choose low glycemic foods, they keep your blood sugar level and from spiking.

  • Cut processed carbs, these foods spikeyour blood sugar, leaving you with cravings and make you hungry
  • Choose healthy fats, extra‐virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, low‐fat dairy and foods containing omega fat oils. Great for maintaining healthy cells and immune function.
  • Don’t skipmeals, which may lead you to overeat later.
  • The fiber from the vegetables helps to excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in your body.  
  • Aim for 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day for women (40 to 50 grams per day for men), but slowly increase in 5-gram increments each day to get to your goal without gas or bloating. The connection between meat and estrogen is profound. When you eat conventionally raised red meat, estrogen overloadis more likely.
  1. Cortisol: When it comes to belly fat and visceral fat in particular, there is one hormone imbalance that is most often to blame: cortisol. This fight-or-flight stress hormone can lead to sleep deprivation, anxiety, hunger spikes, low libido, and weight gain if released in high amounts.

  • Knowledge is power, so the first step I recommend in tackling any sort of health obstacle is to know where you are, what’s working and what isn’t. This is the best way to determine the best course of action for you. In my clinic, I run a urine test to determine the level of adrenal fatigue on my patients.
  • Some of my favorite herbs for rebalancing cortisol levels are ashwaganda, schisandra, and cordyceps. Adding these to your morning routine can help to give your adrenals that much needed nutritional fuel to help set your hormones back into balance.
  1. Ghrelin: This hunger hormone spikes when you’re sleep deprived, causing your body to store fat and crave food, even after a satisfying meal.

  • Levels of ghrelin will increase if you’re consistently under-eating, which is one reason why dieting makes most people feel pretty hungry. On the other hand, overeating causes ghrelin levels to decrease.
  • Eating nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods while incorporating enough fiber and protein in your diet can help to decrease ghrelin levels.
  • High intensity interval training, adequate sleep, decreasing stress will decrease ghrelin.
  • Avoid highly palatable foods as they increase reward centers of the brain therefore stimulating ghrelin.
  1. Leptin:This is also called the satiety hormone which regulates your appetite and energy levels. It’s released from fat cells and when triggered decreases your appetite. Because the body produces leptin based on body fat percentage, weight gain causes your blood leptin levels to increase. The opposite is also true: weight loss will result in decreased levels of leptin (and often more hunger). Unfortunately, overweight and obese people are generally believed to be “leptin-resistant”.

  • HIIT has shown to decrease leptin levels naturally.
  • Sleep deprivation is one of the main reasons that can cause leptin to spiral out of control. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep will help to decrease leptin.
  1. Adiponectin: This hormone plays a crucial role in fat burning: The more adiponectin you have, the more fat you’ll burn.

  • Adiponectin is one of the key hormones that tells your body to burn fat. Encoded by the adiponecing (ADIPOQ) gene and secreted by fat cells, its role is to regulate glucose levels and fatty acid breakdown. Some people are genetically programmed to not make enough of this fat-burning hormone, and as levels decline, fat composition in the body increases.
  • When it comes to weight loss resistance, the brain plays an important role, and there exists a secret conversation between fat tissue and the central nervous system. Adiponectin is one of the chemical messengers in this secret conversation, and regulates inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which contribute to weight gain.
  • To reset adiponectin, I recommend eating pistachios. In a study of 60 people with metabolic syndrome, eating pistachios daily (20 percent of total energy) improved adiponectin. Plus, improvements were also seen in waist circumference, fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, LDL (the so-called “bad cholesterol”), high sensitivity C-reactive protein, among other biomarkers.
  • Magnesium, found in dark leafy greens, avocados, and fish, can raise your adiponectin levels.
  • What else raises adiponectin? Intermittent fasting. The easiest way to intermittently fast, also known as a mini fast, is to extend the period of time that you don’t eat overnight. Studies have shown that IF is a powerful tool in increasing metabolism and lowering insulin resistance.

While many culprits contribute to weight-loss resistance, I find addressing the above mentioned hormonal imbalances helps many patients lose stubborn weight. If  you find yourself struggling more than usual, please contact my office for further support.