Do you have clients that are frustrated with pounds that just won’t pudge? The majority of Health Coaches have clients with weight loss goals. And if it’s not their main goal, it can often be a secondary one. To lose weight and keep it off, your clients should really be focusing on overall health and there are numerous things they should be taking into account while trying to achieve their goals.
When it comes to weight loss, is it simply about calories in vs. calories out?
Tracking calories has been a long-time trend when it comes to weight loss, but as you’ve probably seen many times this method doesn’t always provide long-lasting results. The truth is you don’t lose weight to get healthy… you get healthy and then the weight will come off. It’s natural for your clients to want a quick fix but allowing them to simply focus on weight loss without addressing root causes of why they’ve gained the weight and can’t lose it will not be successful long-term.
Another thing your clients should recognize regarding the calories in vs. calories out philosophy is that all calories are not created equal. Your client should know that 500 calories of organic veggies and high-quality protein are going to nourish their body, give them energy, help them build muscle, support blood sugar, hormones and a balanced mood. On the other hand, 500 calories of fast food are going to do the opposite and lead to things like inflammation, leaky gut, poor mood and actually make their food cravings worse.
What about calories out?
More often than not people trying to lose weight will pair restrictive calorie diets with intense exercise. For most people, they correlate the number of calories going up on the treadmill with the number of pounds on the scale going down. However, if your client is following this common approach to weight loss, it could actually be one of the reasons they are struggling with weight issues in the first place. Intensive exercise can actually be a contributing factor in adrenal issues which in turn can cause weight gain or inability to lose weight.
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners use adrenal testing as one of the many functional lab tests in their tool box to understand what’s happening biochemically in their clients’ body so they can put them on a path to healing and long-term health.
How does insulin resistance effect weight loss?
To understand how insulin resistance may affect your client’s weight loss, they first need to understand what it is…To put it simply: When you eat food, it is broken down into blood sugar (glucose) when it enters the bloodstream which signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin helps that blood sugar enter the body’s cells so you can use it for energy. Insulin also signals the liver to store sugar for later use. But when a lot of blood sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas can’t pump out more insulin to get blood sugar into cells and over time, cells can stop responding.
If your client constantly has high blood sugar by eating things such sugar, pasta bread or even too many healthy carbohydrates for what their body can tolerate, the pancreas will keep making more insulin to try to get cells to respond, but eventually it can’t keep up. When there’s an overproduction of insulin telling the liver to store blood sugar it sends that excess blood sugar to fat cells to be stored as body fat.
This sugar roller coaster ride can also negative impact cortisol and adrenal balance, which leads to weight gain as previously mentioned.
Sugar is highly addictive and toxic. It can actually spike blood sugar levels in minutes and the overconsumption simply decreases the ability of insulin to perform its job. As an example, when large amounts of fructose are consumed at once, at least ⅓ of that is converted to glucose by the liver and is directly converted to fat.
How does gut health play into weight and overall health in general?
If your client doesn’t have good gut health, it’s impossible for them to have good overall health. When it comes to gut health and weight loss, you may want to consider the following questions for your client…
… Are you actually digesting and absorbing your food?
…Are the foods you’re eating contributing to leaky gut?
…Are they triggering an immune response?
…And as a result, are they triggering inflammation in the body?
They may be eating a picture-perfect diet, but if they have absorption issues because of gut dysfunction, it can impact their ability to lose weight. If they’re having issues absorbing protein, it can lead to blood sugar dysregulation, which again leads to an ability to lose weight.
They may also have gut infections or issues such as H. Pylori, parasites, pathogens, bacteria and yeast overgrowth. All of these bugs can contribute to internal inflammation and stress, negative impact absorption and clog up their liver with toxins. If their liver is congested it can lead to estrogen dominance, because the liver is supposed to clear out excess hormones and toxins. Estrogen dominance is another common reason why someone might have trouble losing weight. It is all connected!
If your client is constantly eating things that are inflammatory to them, they won’t be able to take care of their gut or any sort of infection. An inflamed body simply isn’t going to lose weight. More importantly, inflammation is a major stressor, which can in turn lead to a stress response.
This is why Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners also do a food sensitivity and pathogen screening test with their clients along with an adrenal test, to look at all the clues to help them solve their client cases.
How do food sensitives relate to weight loss?
You can have external stressors and internal stressors. Eating foods you are sensitive to is a massive internal stressor. It creates an immune response, triggers inflammation and can also exacerbate gut dysfunction which prevents the gut from healing. For example, if your client was able to get rid of a parasite, but they continue to eat foods they are sensitive to, their gut will not be able to heal.
Food sensitivities can cause so many symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and joint pain. The stressors of that inflammatory response, the immune response from eating those foods leads back to chronic stress – which is one of the biggest root causes of weight gain and the ability to lose weight.
Often times Health Coaches will suggest elimination diets to determine what foods a client is sensitive to. As Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners, we are able to utilize food sensitivity testing to provide data driven protocols based on bio individuality for each client.
Does stress play a role in weight loss?
When your client is stressed out with external stressors (like a job or relationship) or internal stressors (such as gut bugs or inflammatory response) their body is going to release cortisol as a stress response. One of cortisol’s primary jobs is to raise blood sugar. Chronic stressors, both internal and external can lead to blood sugar dysregulation which leads your client right back to the issue of the body storing excess sugars as fat. Without gut health, they are not going to have good overall health and you’re not going to struggle to lose weight.
All of these issues can be summed up as Metabolic Chaos®. A term coined by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® to explain the state of health that exists because of complexities in one’s metabolism and underestimated influences from the environment. Hidden stress and imbalances, if not soon resolved, cascade into other areas and Metabolic Chaos® ensues.
With FDN®, we “test, don’t guess” and it is a huge key to helping clients overcome issues such as weight gain and get them to their ideal health. The ability to integrate lab testing with lifestyle changes for your clients will truly help them achieve their goals.