Originally Posted April 2016
Updated January 2020
Many people struggle with weight loss because they do not recognize or are unaware of the factors working against them. Pseudoscientific therapies, physiological stressors, and bodily dysfunction are just some of the most common barriers to weight loss. Fortunately, it may be possible to overcome these troubles by learning more about them and taking the appropriate steps to avoid or resolve them. In this article we will touch on a handful of weight-influencing factors that if improved, can notably boost your weight loss efforts.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Therapy
Most miracle therapies that claim to provide quick and easy weight loss are shams. However, there are some approaches that have a well-documented history of success and safety. One example being Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) therapy.
For over 60 years hCG has been safely used to enhance and accelerate weight loss. HCG is a naturally occurring hormone produced in large quantities during the early stages of pregnancy. The hormone helps the mother’s body mobilize fat to be used as energy for both the mother and unborn child. However, hCG may also be employed for effective weight loss.
When employed outside of pregnancy, hCG encourages fat burning and weight loss. For these purposes research recommends that only a small dose, approximately 125 IU to 200 IU, be used. At this amount, individuals can expect to lose about a pound per day. Weight loss with hCG may be further accelerated through appropriate implementation of a low-calorie diet. A diet of approximately 500 calories per day primes hCG activity, which encourages the burning of stubborn fat stores.
Most obese individuals can benefit from hCG therapy. However, the rate of weight loss depends on many factors including the amount of excess weight and how much weight needs to be lost. On average, most patients will lose approximately 15-20 pounds in a 30 to 40-day treatment cycle. In addition to weight loss, hCG therapy offers benefits such as: reducing hunger (while hCG is in the bloodstream), contributing to balancing of other hormones in the body, and limiting muscle loss while dieting.
Some have questioned the safety of hCG and whether the hCG diet does more harm than good. Watch as one of our health coaches addresses these concerns.
Learn more about the hCG diet by downloading our FREE e-book!
Manage Your Set-point
The body’s set-point is a weight regulating mechanism that attempts to keep the body’s weight in a physiologically established comfortable range. If you have lost weight in the past only for it to return after a few months, a malfunctioning set point may be at fault.
So, what do you do when your set point is not where you want it? Studies show that following an appropriate diet and exercise regimen for a sustained period of time can produce positive change in the set point. Conversely, crash dieting or extreme exercise can negatively affect your set point and contribute to weight gain.
Certain medications like antidepressants, mood modulators, birth control pills, synthetic hormones, blood pressure medication and others can also have a negative effect on the set point and stimulate weight gain. There are, however, medications that improve the body’s set point meaning that, if used appropriately, they may encourage healthy weight loss.
Decrease Leptin Resistance
Leptin is a hormone that stimulates the metabolism, reduces appetite, and delivers signals that initiate fat burning. Studies suggest that the majority of obese individuals who have difficulty losing weight suffer from some degree of leptin resistance. Leptin resistance is frequently accompanied by leptin deficiency which informs that body that it is in a starvation state. This encourages fat storage and weight gain, thereby contributing further to obesity.
There are many factors that can negatively impact leptin levels including: excessive consumption of fructose and simple carbohydrates, overeating, lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep, chronic stress, high insulin levels, and exercising too much or too little.
Medications like Byetta and Symlin help to decrease leptin resistance. Their efficacy can be improved through the implementation of other metabolic treatments, following a healthy diet, and making positive lifestyle improvements. In a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled, cross-over trial, it was found that short-term use (less than 4 months) of leptin sensitizing medications resulted in significant weight loss in 65 percent of study participants.
Optimize Thyroid Function
Thyroid issues, specifically hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone conversion disorders, can make it difficult or impossible to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people have thyroid problems without even knowing it. This is partially due to the inadequacy of standard thyroid testing.
To determine if you have thyroid issue, ask your doctor for thorough thyroid testing that includes TSH, Free T4, Free T3, reverse T3 (RT3), and thyroid antibodies – get a FREE thyroid panel lab slip here. Only by using an integrative approach will your doctor be able to correctly determine the state of your thyroid and prescribe the treatment that works best for you. Once thyroid function has been stabilized your body will have more of the resources it needs to effectively regulate and lose weight.
Rule Out or Resolve Hypothalamic Obesity Disorder
Identifying and resolving an existing hypothalamic disorder can dramatically improve weight loss efforts. This type of condition causes your nervous system to remain in a starvation state thereby prompting hunger, overeating, and weight gain.
If you have hypothalamic obesity disorder your metabolism remains focused on storing calories rather than using them. Additionally, hypothalamic obesity disorders may encourage overproduction of insulin, which also contributes to obesity. Furthermore, a hypothalamic obesity disorder can affect your thyroid’s ability to acquire T4 and convert it to T3. This can encourage hypothyroidism and subsequent weight-related difficulties.
Encouraging Healthy and Effective Weight Loss
There are numerous obstacles to overcome when trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, many of these barriers are hard to see. But, now that you are familiar with some of the common but oft overlooked weight loss roadblocks, you can seek out their resolution to finally achieve your weight loss goals.
At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to provide you with cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to find the underlying cause of your weight retention. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain and/or weight retention, give us a call at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!
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