Weight Loss Made Simple

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Hello, Health Aware Friends:

Today I had the opportunity to listen to Pure Encapsulation's webinar by Dr. Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., ABFP, ABBM about male weight loss, but I found that this presentation also gave a number of pointers about weight loss for both sexes and for the elderly. I want to share some of the salient points with you.

Dr. Cederquist pointed out that there are 3 main reasons for weight gain:

  • Glucose Homeostasis problems
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Thyroid problems.

She emphasized that one cannot simply count calories when trying to lose weight. Protein, fats and carbohydrates all can be broken down to create energy by the body, thus all have calories, but anything more than a limited about of carbohydrates are immediately stored as fat and protein in sufficient, but not greater amounts, is used to build or maintain muscle and other body structures. Too much protein at one meal or over the course of the day, gets stored as fat, too.

I would like to add that other diets like to reduce the insulin response by reducing carbohydrates and essentially substituting fat calories for carb calories. As one diet expert correctly points out, you do not need carbohydrates to live, although most people would feel very uncomfortable without carbs. How uncomfortable is the basis of the metabolic typing diet and its individualize approach to macronutrients amounts.

By the greatest margin, Glucose Homeostasis is the most prevalent reason for weight gain.

Here are some clues that you have an issue with Glucose Homeostasis:

  • You are not hungry in the morning, perhaps only by as late as mid afternoon.
  • You have increased cravings for carbohydrates or sweets
  • You tend to get "over hungry" and then eat fast and then too much
  • Eating for you can make you more hungry

The single most important dietary change to assist with glucose homeostasis is to eat lean protein (protein with minimal saturated fat) throughout the day, not merely in one large meal. Your body does not store protein, but will convert protein to fat for storage, thus the need to spread out the protein requirements over the day.

For people with a lack of glucose homeostasis, eating more meals will reduce the cravings and appetite. Specifically, she has found research and her own experience with her patients (mostly elderly in Florida), that each meal or snack should have about 30 grams of lean protein and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates. It turns out that more than 20 grams of carbs will induce an insulin response by the pancreas which will move carbohydrates to fat. Also, the 30 grams of protein has been the magic amount to bring about glucose homeostasis and then weight loss. She stresses low glycemic sources of carbohydrates, mostly vegetables and low sugar fruits. She pointed out that a single bagel has about 60-70 grams of carbohydrates.So serving size really matters with carbohydrates.

She likes to keep the daily carb amounts to about 100 grams. Unlike other diets which restrict carbs to 50 grams or less, which then induces dietary ketosis--the burning of fat for energy. Again, my take on this issue has to do with the metabolic type of the individual. For some this reduced carb diet works just fine, but if people feel uncomfortable at less than 50 gram of carbohydrates per day, than it may be better off for compliance for that person to increase the carbs to the 100 gram amount.

Adequate Protein Formula

The typical male will require about 140 grams of lean protein per day to have "adequate" protein to induce glucose homeostasis. The basic formula she uses for determining protein requirements is 0.8 x Weight in Kilograms (1 Kg = 2.204 lbs) + 60.

I weigh 165 Lbs so as an example, 0.8 x 165/2.204 lbs/kg + 60 = 0.8 x 74.86 + 60 = 119.89 or 120 grams of protein per day. Other experts do consider other factors, like how much activity you engage in and the amount of muscle, but this formula is pretty close to other formulas for daily protein amounts that I have seen. For those who are aware of metabolic typing diet or nutritional typing, the protein amount would vary from person to person, along with the ideal type of protein.

There are still a number of diet researchers who describe adequate protein as less than 100 grams per day. She contends this is not consistent with the research. There is no need for high protein beyond what the body needs, but the body needs more than this amount to be "adequate," especially with regard to glucose homeostasis.

Interestingly, increasing protein naturally increases one's metabolism and thus temperature while increasing satiety, thus directly contributing to weight loss.

For weight loss she emphasizes reducing saturated fat, instead using monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, avacadoes. She likes omega 3 fish oil, too. In my experience coconut oil, which is a mid-chain length saturated fat works fine, too. Dr. Guy Shenker concurs that one should watch saturated fat at least for a while when trying to lose weight.

Sources of Lean Protein

When selecting a protein source, one can consider fish (mercury free) and lean meats. She suggests that whey protein is excellent if one is not sensitive to dairy products. Whey itself has no lactose, but can have allergenic proteins for some individuals. For vegans, there are pea proteins and brown rice proteins. She does not recommend soy for men because of its phytoestrogen activity and the genetic modification which increases soy's allergenicity. For snacks it can be helpful to have a good protein powder that you eat with whatever else that fits into your diet plan.

Nutritional Deficiencies which contribute to weight gain

She found that the most common deficiencies or insufficiencies in vitamins are vitamin B12, vitamin D and magnesium. Other dietary considerations are biotin and chromium. She suggests 2 mg of biotin (especially if there is hair loss) and 600 mg of chromium. She points out that it can take quite a while to correct dietary deficiencies. Correcting magnesium is the fastest and that can take 6 weeks at the minimum.

Dr. Cederquist covered more then these simple guidlines and I felt like she only presented the basics. For those interested in this approach, I can certainly help you with the testing and coaching. If you are someone who has trouble with weight loss, we can look at the other issues that this blog does not cover and help you with those issues, too.

I am sure I will have more to present on this very real problem for many people.

In Good Health,

Chuck Belanger, L.Ac.