Ways to lose Weight

Could weight loss problems be in the gut? Not fat cells, but excess amounts of the wrong kind of intestinal bacteria. Compelling medical research indicates that with changes in the surface structure of intestinal cells, the normally harmless gut bacteria tend to over flourish and expand in number. This causes inflammation in the gut which leads to insulin resistance so cells do not take up glucose. Elevated levels of insulin increase apatite, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Many people are frustrated and think they need to exercise more and eat less and still don’t see results. If you have a history of antibiotic usage starting in childhood or in adulthood, if is very possible you may have disruptions of the good and bad bacteria in your gut that is sending the wrong messages to the rest of your body. If you have had a poor diet or stomach flu, intestinal infections or food poisoning you may also have an unhealthy bacteria balance in your intestines and colon.

So ways to lose weight would be finding out if there are ways you can avoid antibiotic usage in the future and begin to restore good bacteria in your gut with strong probiotics. If you have to take an antibiotic for a serious infection, you can take the probiotic several hours away from the antibiotic i.e. just not at the same time. Restoring the good bacteria takes much longer than the 5-10 day course of your last antibiotic, it can take as long as 6-12 months. This is a hidden cause of weight loss problems that we address in our therapeutic lifestyle program. Since there are so many types of probiotics sold we recommend pharmaceutical grade probiotics from a trusted company. A fresh whole food diet, organic if possible, can be very helpful in growing the right kind of bacteria. Ways to lose weight really do start in the gut.

Weight Loss Without Surgery

Interested in medical weight loss without surgery? The functional medicine approach to weight loss looks at the hidden causes that make it difficult to lose weight such as inflammation in the body, toxins stored in the body, disruptions of beneficial bacteria in the gut, sleeping less than six hours a night, elevated insulin preceding diabetes, elevations of cortisol the stress hormone and unsuspected food sensitivities. These causes can be evaluated through lab tests and lifestyle and nutritional changes can treat them. Without addressing them a person can diet and exercise endlessly and end up frustrated with minimal results. Most doctors and dietitians have learned that weight loss is simply calories in and calories out. This simplistic understanding ignores underlying biochemical processes that affect weight loss. Doctors trained in Functional Medicine understand these basic biochemical processes.

Medical weight loss through a functional medicine approach does not use diet pills, hormones or surgery. It is about getting the body in balance through lifestyle and dietary changes and possibly using specific nutritional substances backed through research. This helps a person’s body to work with them rather than against them. This approach does not promise rapid weight loss. A pound a week for women and 1-2 pounds per week for men is considered to be a safe rate of weight loss. Our therapeutic lifestyle program called FirstLine Therapy will assess your body composition through a non-invasive bioimpedance analysis to determine percentage muscle mass, fat mass, water distribution and your basal metabolic rate. Then a trained Lifestyle Educator will design a Mediterranean diet with you based on your metabolic rate. We will measure your body composition at each visit every few weeks to make sure you are retaining your muscle mass while losing fat. We will check relevant blood tests every few months. So if you are interested in medical weight loss see our success story video and give us a call.

Belly fat and weight loss by Dr. Oz

Belly Fat and Weight Loss

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In this video on belly fat and weight loss, Dr. Oz covers many of the basic ideas we incorporate in our FirstLine Therapy lifestyle program for reducing risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and weight loss. One of these concepts is your waist size. A healthy waist size should be one half of your height. So if you are 5′ 6 inches tall or 66 inches your waist measured at the level of your belly button should be 33 inches or less. If your waist size is greater than ½ your height in inches then you are at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. For men the waist is not their pant size or their belt size but should also be measured at the level of the belly button. Many men will be unpleasantly surprised at their number. Dr. Oz goes on to explain the dangers of belly fat in graphic detail.


Our lifestyle program is designed to address all of these issues for women and men. Please see our success story video.

I do not recommend diet pills for weight loss: Part II

Diet pills for weight loss

People interested in fast ways to lose weight frequently resort to highly advertised diet pills or weight loss supplements. In addition to the over the counter Alli (orlistat) most other OTC diet pills contain herbal substances such as African mango, caffeine, Phenylethylamine (PEA) found in chocolate, green tea extract (EGCG), CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), bitter orange, chitosan, chromium, hoodia to name a few of the common ones. Most of these substances have very little valid medical research to support their claims. Some substances such as ephedra and bitter orange are dangerous.

Ephedra (ma haung) was banned by the FDA in 2004. A review of ephedra-related adverse reactions, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, found a number of cases of sudden cardiac deaths (100 people) or severe disability resulting from ephedra use, many of which occurred in young adults using ephedra in the labeled dosages.

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today advised consumers who have Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Slimming Capsules not to use the product. FDA warns that Slimming Beauty Bitter Orange Slimming Capsules contain the active pharmaceutical ingredient sibutramine, a prescription-only drug which is a stimulant that was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons. Sibutramine is not listed on the product label and could harm consumers, especially those with cardiovascular conditions. FDA lab tests reveal that the product contains excessive amounts of sibutramine that may be dangerous to people who have a history of cardiovascular disease, because it can lead to elevated blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

On October 18, 2011 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use “P57 Hoodia,” a product for weight loss sold on various websites and in some retail stores. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that “P57 Hoodia” contains sibutramine.

In contrast to the supermarket tabloids promising fast ways to lose weight, our weight loss program follows the medical studies recommending 1-2 pounds per week for safe weight loss. We evaluate your individual health risks for heart disease and diabetes and other weight related conditions. We recommend lifestyle adjustments to help you keep the weight off so you can enjoy your life. Our weight loss program is covered by most insurance. See our weight loss success story video.

New Realities of Weight Loss

A recent excellent article by Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times Magazine discusses important realities about weight loss that you won’t hear from commercial weight loss programs or clinics such as:


  • 10,000 people in the National Weight Control Registry have lost at least 30 lbs and kept that weight loss for at least one year.
  • The average member has lost 70 lbs and kept it off for six years.
  • The average member puts in the equivalent of a four mile daily walk seven days a week; usually one or more hours of exercise per day.
  • They drink water (or green tea) constantly throughout the day.
  • After losing weight your muscles burn 20-25% fewer calories during everyday activity.
  • A dieter who thinks they are burning 200 calories during a brisk walk is probably burning closer to 150-160 calories.
  • Research finds that out bodies weight related hormones and brain functioning may be working up to six years or longer to keep your body at its old weight.
  • This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to keep weight off, it just takes a lot more vigilance to keep it off.
  • To burn off one pound of fat the average person needs to walk about 4.5 hours (for some it might be more, for others it may be less).
  • Exercise helps to keep the weight off more than it helps to get the weight off.

In our weight loss program we discuss these points so that people can have realistic expectations about their goals. We have individualized coaching usually every other week and measure progress with a bioimpedance analysis for muscle mass and body fat. In my next blog, I will discuss how genetic factors influence weight control and expand on some of the points above. See our website and click on success stories.