Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:37

5 Questions I Always Ask My Clients Who Want To Lose Weight

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When clients first enter my office, one of the most common goals they have is to shed pounds. They soon find out, however, that it’s easier said than done; there are so many factors that go into a person’s weight-loss journey, and these can be both deeply personal and highly varied.

It’s easy to presume that your excess weight stems from poor lifestyle choices like too much junk food and a lack of physical activity, and that all you need to do is find the right diet and workout schedule. But what happens when you’ve already tried all that without seeing any results? Often, the inability to lose weight is a symptom of a bigger underlying health problem or seemingly unrelated issue. Here are some key questions I always ask my clients who are struggling to lose weight:

  1. How stressed are you, really?

Our society values busyness and sees that as an essential element of our identity. It's almost as if our busy, chaotic lives should be worn as a badge of honor. Our current culture has put too much worth on being tired, unavailable, and fueled up by excess caffeine. Weight loss gurus tells us that weight loss has everything to do with diet and exercise, just cut out a few calories and join a gym but in reality, your mental health plays a major role in healthy weight management. Chronic stress has been implicated in health issues ranging from adrenal fatigue, autoimmune conditions, and digestive issues – all of which can impact your weight.

I often see clients who struggle with fatigue, many of whom experience a crash in the afternoon. It’s easy to brush this off and attribute it to a busy lifestyle, but I consider it a major red flag for adrenal fatigue. This hormonal imbalance happens when your stress hormone cortisol is high when it should be low, or low when it should be high, and makes losing weight nearly impossible. Stress alone can truly slow down your metabolism and increase food cravings! In general, I start by helping individuals adopt some mindfulness tools to jump-start the healing and weight-loss process.

  1. Change the voices in your head. Have you ever stopped to listen to the voices in your head? Do they like you? Do they encourage your goals and build your self-esteem? What about the thoughts that don’t do this? You know the ones I mean, those that tell you you’re fat and unattractive; the ones that remind you all day how much you hate to exercise; you don't like to cook; you don't have time to get healthy; you have no willpower; I'm always going to be fat; the ones that tell you no one loves you; the ones that say you’re not good enough or that you’ll never be successful. Whatever your trash-talking is — and we all do it — now is the time to rewrite the script in your head. This is the most difficult part of your weight loss journey. Changing these voices is harder than believing, because if you can master this, then believing will become second nature. So know that going in.

  2. What’s your sleep like?

Irregular sleep cycles can lead to messed up circadian rhythms, which contribute to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced in your body’s fat cells, and its job is to tell your brain to use your fat for energy. With leptin resistance the hypothalamic cells of your brain don’t recognize this hormone and end up storing the fat instead of burning it off for energy, leaving you in constant hibernation mode, storing all your fat for a winter that will never end.  

  1. What does your current diet look like?

What you eat can either feed your microbiome or destroy it. If you’re eating a diet full of processed, inflammatory foods, you can be encouraging a chronic microbiome problems such as leaky-gut syndrome. This increased intestinal permeability can increase fat around your organs and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Not to mention that the chronic inflammation that goes along with leaky gut can also lead to hormone imbalance and leptin resistance. 

  1. How toxic are you?

We all come in contact with toxins on a daily basis. And over the years the amount of chemicals in our world has grown while our bodies, our cells, kidneys and liver struggle to keep up. This leads to a slew of autoimmune, digestive, and hormonal problems that can contribute to weight-loss resistance. It’s important to note that certain people (hair stylists for example) are constantly exposed to chemicals in their everyday lives. So it’s important to evaluate the level of your daily exposure.

 Finally, I always remind my clients, if they want to get healthy, losing weight is only part of the journey. If you have an underlying issue and are restricting calories and exercising like mad you could just exacerbate the problem. But when you think about the process as getting healthy to lose weight, weight loss will come much more easily and naturally as you start to heal your body from within.



Last modified on Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:44
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