With the New
Year in full swing, many businesses are looking to profit on the most popular
resolution of weight loss. Sadly, of the 45% of people who make resolutions, only
8% will succeed in their desired outcomes.
on my homepage some of the reasons why weight loss advice is failing. These include
- The role of modulating the stress response
- Imbalances in hormones
- Gastrointestinal issues
including leaky gut and disorders of digestion, absorption, and
- Microbiome imbalance (balance of
your mucosa and belly bugs)
- Correcting causes of underlying
inflammation, including food allergies and sensitivities
- Brain and neurotransmitter imbalances
- Emotional eating
- Addictions to junk food
containing preservatives and other chemicals that confuse our body and
thwart nutritional needs
- Optimizing sleep timing,
quality, and duration
- Genetic differences in
detoxifying capacity to modulate environmental exposures, “fat genes”, and
how one responds to exercise
The Generalizations- What You Can
aiming for optimal weight for fitness and health, there are things that are
needed to be in place to set up for success:
the proper amount of sleep to modulate appetite, blood sugar control,
inflammation, and even your gut bugs! (1-4)
Decreasing stress by doing things you enjoy and engaging in mindfulness
3. Eating a
whole-food, high quality diet and incorporating exercise and non-exercise
movement, as mentioned on my home page blog.
positive social connections that support your goals. This will have an influence
on your behavior and outcomes. (5)
The Perfect Diet- For You!
if the above foundation isn’t enough?
functional medicine practitioners and naturopathic doctors what the perfect
diet is and, if they are true devotees of epigenetics and biochemical
individuality, they will say, “depends on
the person.” In other words, they will consider a person’s health status,
environment, history of exposures, time of life, their gut microbiome, and
their genetics. These will determine what dietary advice to follow and how to incorporate
supplements in one’s wellness protocol.
involved? It can be…..
your genetic imprint may determine how well you respond to different nutrients.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has shown promise for weight loss (7); however,
a genetic variant in the peroxisome proliferator receptor gamma may mitigate
this effect. (8)
in my homepage blog that some can be “exercise resistant.” However, a knowledgeable
practitioner will be aware that supplementation may be helpful in dealing with
this. For example, animal trials and
some human trials have shown fish oils may assist with weight loss. In a 2009
analysis of journals, various mechanisms involved in how fish oil may assist
with optimizing weight were discussed. The two key areas for direct effect on
weight were related to beta oxidation (“fat breakdown” into in the mitochondria)
and mitochondrial biogenesis. If you want to geek-out on the intracellular
regulatory mechanisms proposed on omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty
acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs), here’s an excerpt:
Intracellular regulatory mechanisms
affected by n−3 LC-PUFAs
The metabolic effects of n−3 LC-PUFAs
are largely mediated by PPAR (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor)
transcription factors, with PPARα and PPARδ (PPARβ) being responsible for the
lipid-catabolizing effects of n−3 LC-PUFAs. Other transcription factors
involved include LXR-α (liver X receptor-α), HNF-4 (hepatic nuclear factor-4)
and SREBP-1 (sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein-1) (reviewed in ).
PUFAs, including DHA, can also function as endogenous ligands of RXR-α
(retinoid X receptor-α) while affecting lipid metabolism . Besides acting
directly, most of the effects of n−3 LC-PUFAs are mediated indirectly through
their active metabolites (see above).
Part of the metabolic effects on n−3
LC-PUFAs in the liver , and possibly also in other tissues, is mediated by the
stimulation of AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase; ), a metabolic sensor
controlling intracellular metabolic fluxes, namely the partitioning between
lipid oxidation and lipogenesis. Phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase by
AMPK leads to an inhibition of enzyme activity, resulting in a decrease in
malonyl-CoA content. Malonyl-CoA is the key lipogenic intermediate, which also
inhibits mitochondrial CPT-1 (carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1). Thus AMPK
inhibits lipogenesis while stimulating β-oxidation. Moreover, AMPK inhibits
gluconeogenesis in the liver and stimulates glucose transport in skeletal
muscle. In muscle cells, AMPK is activated by physical activity…(9)
have become very distracted and unconnected to their own internal cues. Chemicalized,
processed foods and unhealthy choices can interrupt optimal signaling of what
will serve our body best regarding what to put on the end of our fork. The
general suggestions above may be enough to support one’s ability to retrain
their brain and body to crave what they truly need and will thrive on. However,
when these aren’t enough, consider taking an integrated and holistic approach by
working with a knowledgeable practitioner. The proper testing combined with
accounting for individual variations can make all the difference for moving
beyond short-term willpower and resolutions to a long-term, healthier, happier,
and more vital life!
A. Lose Sleep, Gain Weight: Another Piece of the Obesity Puzzle. Environmental Health Perspectives.
Press. Jet lag can cause obesity by disrupting the daily rhythms of gut
microbes. Sceince Daily. October 16, 2014.
et al. Trans-kingdom control of microbiota diurnal oscillations promotes
metabolic homeostasis. Cell. 2014
University of Manchester. Body clock link could aid obesity treatments.
September 4, 2014. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/article/?id=12689
Psychosocial stress is positively associated with body mass index gain over 5
years: evidence from the longitudinal AusDiab study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jan;22(1):277-86. doi:
10.1002/oby.20423. Epub 2013 Jun 13.
TL, Eddings KE, Krukowski RA, Love SJ, Harvey-Berino JR, West DS. Examining
Social Influence on Participation and Outcomes among a Network of Behavioral
Weight-Loss Intervention Enrollees. Journal of Obesity 2013;2013:480630.
(7) Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces
regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese. Br J Nutr. 2007 Mar;97(3):550-60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17313718
(8) Genetic Fit By Design. http://geneticfitbydesign.com/common/download_pdf/GeneMatrixReferences_for_PromotionalUse.pdf
(9) Flachs, P., Rossmeisl, M., Bryhn, M., & Kopecky, J. (2009).
Cellular and molecular effects of n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on adipose
tissue biology and metabolism. Clin Sci.
2011. 116(1), 1. doi:10.1042/CS20070456