Help For Menopausal Mood Swings And Depression

Another reason to supplement Vit D ?
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Menopausal mood swings are no joke – ask those living with a menopausal woman – and if you are also suffering symptoms of oestrogen dominance then it may seem like you are trapped by your moods. Hormone balance is important here, bioidentical natural progesterone is a natural mood enhancer that also helps sleep. When in combination with the right balance of natural oestrogen then that has shown to be effective for women with severe mood swings and depression.

However, as well as getting your hormones balanced, there is one thing you can do right away and it is look at whether you have a lack of vitamin D as that also can affect mood swings.
Over the last year it seemed as if you couldn’t open a newspaper without some new benefit of vitamin D being hailed – in fact it has been described as a wonder vitamin. We know we need it for strong bones and maintaining muscle mass, but it also is being studied for diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and immune response.

Twenty minutes of sun exposure a day is recommended to get optimal minimum amounts of vitamin D but in northern climes like the UK we are unlikely to get the amount that we need, though this year seems to be the exception! Figures from the USA indicate that less than 10% of the population get the recommended daily amount and they are mostly outdoor workers who get the benefit of any sunshine that is going.

Women and Mood
At the The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in June, 2014 it was reported that a substantial new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new study.
This came from a very small study of women aged 42-66 who had previously been diagnosed with clinical depression. The women did not change their antidepressant medications, or other environmental factors that relate to depression, and over 8-12 weeks were given oral vitamin D. This gave them normal levels after treatment and all the women reported significant improvement in their depression.

How to help yourself
Other studies have suggested that vitamin D has an effect on mood and depression and given the amount of research being done on other additional benefits of vitamin D, it may be worth considering.
Other factors that affect mood are lack of sleep at menopause due to hot flashes and night sweats and increased stress levels. Tackling both of these can help as will eliminating or reducing stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as these can make a real difference to mood stability.

Many women report improvements in both mood swings and sleep when helped with bioidentical natural progesterone, and if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency it would make sense to consider supplementation to maximize the effect of the natural hormone.

Vitamin D is not readily available from food but varieties of oily fish have the most followed by much smaller amounts in liver, all types of milk, yoghurt and cheese. Many brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D but this is not a source to rely on if you are deficient.

Nutritionist Patrck Holford recommends that those who live in the northern hemisphere, have decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) or a cancer risk, have a 25mg capsule a day or one drop of an oral vitamin D supplement.

Critical Signs Of Low Thyroid And What Can Help

Are you putting on weight or worried about hair loss and lack of energy or sleep? These can all be signs of a sluggish thyroid and low progesterone levels. – maybe Selenium too!

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According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about one in eight women will develop a thyroid problem in her lifetime. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that influences metabolism and the function of the kidneys, heart, liver, brain and skin.

Dr John Lee, who was the pioneer of bioidentical natural progesterone usage for women at menopause, wrote that he was very surprised in his own medical practice with the much greater numbers of women than men taking thyroid supplements and that they were suffering from oestrogen dominance, where their oestrogen levels are not in balance with their progesterone as happens at menopause, or after a hysterectomy.
He used bioidentical natural progesterone to correct this situation and rebalance their hormones and found that it was then common to see their need for medications such as Thyroxine to be reduced over time.

Critical signs
Many women are showing signs of thyroid imbalance due to a number of factors, including poor diet, stress, over reliance on stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
Do you have any of these?
* adult onset ADHD
* anxiety
* cold hands or feet
* difficulty concentrating
* dry skin/yellow skin
* fatigue
* impaired memory
* insomnia/poor sleep quality or habits
* menstrual irregularities
* muscle and joint pain
* nightmares
* slow healing
* thinning hair, or eyebrows or loss of outer edges of eyebrows
* weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Natural help
You can do a lot to help yourself through your diet as the thyroid gland must have iodine to produce T3 and T4. Good food sources include meat, seafood, yogurt, milk, and eggs, as well as seaweed, Himalayan Crystal Salt and cranberries.
I’ve included a picture of an Himalayan Salt lick – which makes a good bath salt soak to supply you with the minerals you need. (it’s much cheaper than pink crystal bath salts)

If you read my blog regularly you’ll know I recommend Lugols Iodine.

Iodine alone is not enough as selenium is essential for the body to be able to break down T3 into T4. Again meat and seafood are good sources as are Brazil nuts, brown rice, seeds (Sunflower, Sesame, and Flax) and vegetables broccoli, cabbage and spinach

Gluten Dairy Omega 3
Those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease can find their condition aggravated with the continued consumption of gluten-containing foods. The majority find improvement when off gluten and a reduced milk consumption to control their inflammation. High dose Omega 3 has had good results, report patients, in lowering inflammation, as has combined herbs such as turmeric and ginger and also Krill Oil.

More information
There is no doubt that oestrogen dominance has a role to play and many women diagnosed with low thyroid and on medication have found improvement when supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone.
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/08/06/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2012/05/01/how-bioidentical-natural-progesterone-helps-with-low-thyroid/

Eat Clean Train Smart Expect Results

Jax

Vitamin D – Why?

I thought I would repost this as it’s the time of year to start supplementing your sunshine!

Vitamin D – Why?

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Last winter I was lucky enough to have a week in Barbados, This year I will need to supplement this important nutrient. I use a mouth spray as it tastes great, is good value and very easy to use. In the UK we are too far north on planet Earth to get enough UVB from the sun for at least half the year to make enough Vitamin D – even though your body will make it from just a few minutes of sunshine on your skin, you need to actually expose it.
Many of us avoid the sun for fear of ageing and so use moisturisers and make-up with sun screens that we lack this essential element in our diets.
Unless you are VERY fair – a red head, with many moles – your chance of skin cancer is very low. Your beautician will want you to buy everything with a sunscreen in it – but they aren’t thinking about your overall health – just your appearance!

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NOTE: may help (can’t hurt) with weight loss!

Effective for:
Treating conditions that cause weak and painful bones (osteomalacia).
Low levels of phosphate in the blood (familial hypophosphatemia).
Low levels of phosphate in the blood due to a disease called Fanconi syndrome.
Psoriasis (with a specialized prescription-only form of vitamin D).
Low blood calcium levels because of a low parathyroid thyroid hormone levels.
Helping prevent low calcium and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with kidney failure.
Rickets.
Vitamin D deficiency.

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Likely Effective for:
Treating osteoporosis (weak bones). Taking a specific form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) along with calcium seems to help prevent bone loss and bone breaks.
Preventing falls in older people. Researchers noticed that people who don’t have enough vitamin D tend to fall more often than other people. They found that taking a vitamin D supplement reduces the risk of falling by up to 22%. Higher doses of vitamin D are more effective than lower doses. One study found that taking 800 IU of vitamin D reduced the risk of falling, but lower doses didn’t.

Also, vitamin D, in combination with calcium, but not calcium alone, may prevent falls by decreasing body sway and blood pressure. This combination prevents more falls in women than men.
Reducing bone loss in people taking drugs called corticosteroids.

Possibly Effective for:
Reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies show taking vitamin D seems to reduce women’s risk of getting MS by up to 40%. Taking at least 400 IU per day, the amount typically found in a multivitamin supplement, seems to work the best.
Preventing cancer. Some research shows that people who take a high-dose vitamin D supplement plus calcium might have a lower chance of developing cancer of any type.
Weight loss. Women taking calcium plus vitamin D are more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight. But this benefit is mainly in women who didn’t get enough calcium before they started taking supplements.
Respiratory infections. Clinical research in school aged children shows that taking a vitamin D supplement during winter might reduce the chance of getting seasonal flu. Other research suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement might reduce the chance of an asthma attack triggered by a cold or other respiratory infection. Some additional research suggests that children with low levels of vitamin D have a higher chance of getting a respiratory infection such as the common cold or flu.
Reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in older women.
Reducing bone loss in women with a condition called hyperparathyroidism.
Preventing tooth loss in the elderly.

How Much?
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
For preventing osteoporosis and fractures: 400-1000 IU per day has been used for older adults. Some experts recommended higher doses of 1000-2000 IU daily.
For preventing falls: 800-1000 IU/day has been used in combination with calcium 1000-1200 mg/day.
For preventing multiple sclerosis (MS): long-term consumption of at least 400 IU per day, mainly in the form of a multivitamin supplement, has been used.
For preventing all cancer types: calcium 1400-1500 mg/day plus vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 1100 IU/day in postmenopausal women has been used.
For muscle pain caused by medications called “statins”: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 50,000 units once a week or 400 IU daily.
For preventing the flu: vitamin D (cholecalciferol) 1200 IU daily.
Most vitamin supplements contain only 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D.

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The Institute of Medicine publishes recommended daily allowance (RDA), which is an estimate of the amount of vitamin D that meets the needs of most people in the population. The current RDA was set in 2010. The RDA varies based on age as follows: 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. For infants ages 0-12 months, an adequate intake (AI) level of 400 IU is recommended.

Some organizations are recommending higher amounts. In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics increased the recommended minimum daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU daily for all infants and children, including adolescents. Parents should not use vitamin D liquids dosed as 400 IU/drop. Giving one dropperful or mL by mistake can deliver 10,000 IU/day. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will force companies to provide no more than 400 IU per dropperful in the future.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends vitamin D 400 IU to 800 IU daily for adults under age 50, and 800 IU to 1000 IU daily for older adults.

The North American Menopause Society recommends 700 IU to 800 IU daily for women at risk of deficiency due to low sun (e.g., homebound, northern latitude) exposure.

Guidelines from the Osteoporosis Society of Canada recommend vitamin D 400 IU per day for people up to age 50, and 800 IU per day for people over 50. Osteoporosis Canada now recommends 400-1000 IU daily for adults under the age of 50 years and 800-2000 IU daily for adults over the age of 50 years.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU/day during the fall and winter for adults in Canada. For those with a higher risk of having low vitamin D levels, this dose should be taken year round. This includes people who have dark skin, usually wear clothing that covers most of their skin, and people who are older or who don’t go outside often.

Many experts now recommend using vitamin D supplements containing cholecalciferol in order to meet these intake levels. This seems to be more potent than another form of vitamin D called ergocalciferol.

JaxAllenFitness

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DIM – plus? Why? Supplement

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I love it because it helps metabolise stored body fat laid down when your fatty (bad) estrogen dominates. Loved by fitness models as a healthy way to strip fat!
I choose Nature’s Way – available on Amazon.

This is a typical story from a regular user of DIM Plus. ….

Why I Love Nature’s Way DIM PLUS

Tammy Darnell, Yahoo Contributor Network
Oct 25, 2013 Menstrual BleedingCruciferous, VegetablesPerimenopause

When I was in my late thirties, I started going through all the hormonal changes that a lot of women start to experience. For me though, the symptoms were exacerbated. I experienced heavy menstrual bleeding, acne, mood swings, sleeplessness, hot flashes, you name it. In other words, I was one hot mess. I tried every remedy that was out there, including the bio-identical hormone therapy. That worked for a while, but it quickly became something that I couldn’t financially afford anymore. So, I found myself back at square one.
Then one day, I was told about this all natural remedy called DIM PLUS by Nature’s Way. I had never heard of anything like this before. It’s an estrogen metabolizer that’s made up of all of these cruciferous vegetables combined together in one pill. It’s supposed to get rid of the bad estrogen and help with some of the symptoms I was having . I didn’t even know I had bad estrogen in my body. So, I thought I would give it a shot.

I took the pills as directed. What happened next was absolutely astonishing. Within 2 months my menstrual cycle flow was reduced by over half. I no longer suffered from the extreme fatigue from losing so much blood every month. My acne cleared up, and I started feeling like my old self again. There were absolutely no bad side effects from taking this. I highly recommend Nature’s Way DIM PLUS for any woman who is going through the perils of perimenopause. It’s the best $20 a month that you will ever spend.

Try it – it packs the punch of kilo’s of veg in a couple of easy to swallow caplets daily.

Eat Better – Feel Better

Jax

How To Lose Belly Fat After Menopause

How to Lose Belly Fat Post Menopause  With thanks to LiveStrong for the original idea for this article – however we don’t agree with some of their solutions – perhaps a little too 1995… As you know we only use current data and research findings.

Menopause is a biological event that is a natural part of life for women, signaling the end of fertility and menstruation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. The average age for a woman to enter into menopause is 51, but it can vary from person to person. Increases in body fat are common during menopause, and while hormonal changes may make a woman store more fat in the abdomen, rather than hips and thighs, other factors also contribute, according to MayoClinic.com. Post-menopausal women tend to exercise less and lose muscle mass due to normal aging. Losing belly fat post menopause can be accomplished in several ways.

 

Step 1

Modify your diet to cut overall calorie intake. A woman in her 50s can consume up to 200 calories less per day to maintain her current body weight, says MayoClinic.com.

Cut down on processed foods and fast foods, and consume more fruits, vegetables, beans and lean meats.

CONSIDER SUGARS – don’t add them, avoid sugar based foods and don’t buy foods with sugar in the top 3 or 4 ingredients. (e.g. check your yoghurt)

 

Step 2

Start an exercise program to burn calories and build lean muscle, according to the Beat Menopause Weight Gain website.

BUT we know that the best way to burn fat is via interval training not long slow duration walking or jogging.

KEEP YOUR WORKOUTS SHORT & SWEATY

We offer 15 sessions each week that will hit the spot for you.

 

Step 3

Manage your stress levels. Stress can be a primary factor in weight gain, and the inability to lose weight once it is on your body. Set aside time just for yourself, and engage in an activity you find relaxing. Learn to meditate or take up yoga to clear your mind and relax.

WHILE our Yoga, Yogalates and Pilates classes are aimed at improving your Fitness – a long steamy bath with smelly candle after class will help you unwind and de-stress.

 

Step 4

Look for support to lend you a helping hand in your efforts. Enlist the support of your family and like minded friends.

JOIN our Nutrition Coaching Group – meeting Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

You Could Try  –  One-a-Day Menopace with Red Clover supplement.

Tips and Warnings

Be patient and don’t punish yourself on days you feel less motivated.                                Write down your goals with a completion date                                                                      Plan rewards for yourself when you stick to your plan.

References MayoClinic.com: Menopause Weight Gain–Stop the Middle Age Spread  Beat Menopause Weight Gain: How To Lose Belly Fat In Menopause University of Maryland Medical Center: Menopause  The Women’s Sports Medicine Center: Exercise Your Way Through Menopause   JaxAllenFitness 05092012

The trouble with fad diets

 

The trouble with fad diets

I thought some of you would find this article interesting reading – it explains why so many of us find it harder and harder to control our weight as we enter our Fabulous 40’s and 50’s.

 

Based on an article by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP a well respected Obstetric/Gyny Nurse Practitioner and author in the U.S.

 

Nearly all of my patients ask me when we first meet, “How can I lose this weight?” A full third of these women have been on one diet or another for as long as they can remember. This habitual dieting generally keeps women at a manageable weight until they enter peri-menopause and menopause.

I hear stories all the time about weight gain that suddenly appears at this time (especially around the stomach) and simply refuses to come off, no matter what my patients eat or how much they exercise. This personal history of dieting and a feeling of being out of control sends them running to the latest trendy diet, only to be disappointed again and again.

And they are not alone. At my clinic we see patients of all ages who struggle with weight as their central health concern. In most cases, they feel guilty or angry at themselves about the way they look. They are anxious to “fix” themselves with dieting and often are willing to overlook their long-term health in trying the latest diet craze or products advertised in the media. Many of these programs just set you up for failure because they are deprivation-based and lack a maintenance program.

From Jenny Craig to Atkins to South Beach, there have been scores of new diets promising universally quick results. There is now a “low-carb” version of our favourite snacks to take the place of the “fat-free” foods that used to be fashionable. Women are inundated daily with conflicting information about what, how much, and when to eat. Multiply that by the very real hunger signals our bodies send us, and by the comfort and enjoyment inherent in the act of eating, and who wouldn’t feel confused?

I feel that the end of the Summer is the perfect time to give you my thoughts on what I have come to call the “diet culture.” For I think we all are aware that just as advertisers aim products at the “youth culture” in America, there are many companies right now marketing product to those of us who are anxious to lose weight.

This is happening in the UK right now… just look at any ad break on the TV in any popular magazine or Newspaper……

 

What they won’t tell you is that only three to four percent of dieters will succeed in keeping that weight off after a year.

 

It’s no wonder the diet industry can sell us something new every year!

There are many reasons why yo-yo and fad dieting don’t work — and may even do more harm than good. Let’s talk about them and then turn to how you can lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off permanently.

In my groups we consider excess weight gain to be one of many symptoms that indicate an underlying biochemical imbalance in our patients. Although fad diets address this symptom in the short term (meaning that if a person follows the plan, they will initially lose some weight), they do not address the root cause, which is often some kind of metabolic dysfunction or hormonal imbalance.

Over the years, I have seen repeatedly that dieting is not the key to long-term weight loss — the real key is a healthy metabolism supported by a balanced hormonal state.

How does a woman’s body get out of balance? The reasons are as varied and unique as each woman. Each one of us gains, loses, and maintains weight at certain points in our lives for a variety of reasons, physiological, cultural or emotional.

Our weight management group looks at these reasons in detail – through quizzes and discussion – you will identify your relationship with food and become aware of the foods that just don’t suit you.

This simple fact is something the diet professionals aren’t anxious to reveal because it is simpler to sell us a one-size-fits-all plan. These diets may work to a degree in some people, but for a lot of women fad dieting without an understanding of their underlying biochemistry only leads to a yo-yo cycle and more weight gain.

Why is weight gain different for women?

We’ve all had the frustrating dieting experience of watching the pounds peel off our husband or mate while we struggle to lose even a few. Why do men seem to lose weight more quickly than women? Men’s bodies are trained by evolution to have strength and speed. They have a different muscle-to-fat ratio in their bodies, which makes it easier for them to speed up their metabolism and burn fat. Women, on the other hand, are hard-wired to reproduce. They keep an insulating layer of fat on their bodies that men don’t have. (Women also live longer!) In addition, fat is essential for the production and storage of reproductive hormones. Progesterone production begins with an adequate level of cholesterol in the blood. Women don’t lose weight rapidly because they are genetically programmed that way — it has nothing to do with willpower!

Please read that last bit again!! It’s not your fault – just your responsibility!!!  Don’t  believe in will power. Everything is a choice – you do or you don’t – never ‘try’ to do something, you’re setting yourself up expecting the possibility of failure.. and guess what, things get tough and you blame a lack of will power and fail again… this is another topic we cover in our weight management course.

 

Additionally, the erratic hormonal fluctuations that can occur in peri-menopause and menopause may cause weight gain and a change in body shape in some women. This is due to vacillating levels of estrogens and progesterone. Some women report strong food cravings at this time. Which can be a symptom of declining progesterone levels. Once hormone levels reach a new equilibrium it becomes easier to lose extra weight.

 

What if you’ve tried everything and still can’t lose weight?

In my years of experience, I have seen a few underlying conditions in my patients that make losing weight on a popular diet plan particularly difficult.

This bit is golden…… read carefully…..

 

 

 

Here is a summary of these problems.

Adrenal fatigue: We touch on the intricate link between weight and the adrenal glands in natural weight loss, but because adrenal depletion is so widespread, and because adrenal health so critical to losing stubborn pounds, I want to include at the top of this list. The adrenals release an important hormone called cortisol, which is often described as the stress hormone and is related to adrenaline, the more familiar adrenal hormone, and to your serotonin levels (see below). Too-high or too-low levels of cortisol in the blood can be a major cause of weight gain and the inability to lose that unwanted weight.

We consider these and other hormones when we plan your exercise sessions and when designing your food lists and daily supplements. This is just one of the reasons our plans work.

Carbohydrate sensitivity: While carbohydrates are an absolutely necessary component of a balanced diet, many of us become increasingly sensitive to them as we grow older. Over consumption of simple carbohydrates (like those found in white bread, candy, soda, white rice, and many breakfast cereals) creates a roller coaster effect on your appetite: you feel energized and full for a little while as your insulin spikes, only to crash a few hours later when your blood sugar drops precipitously. This low blood sugar triggers the brain to send out hunger signals again, which can cause you to overeat and gain weight. For some of us, this roller coaster feels like a gentle ride. For others, who are more sensitive experience steeper hills and valleys. If this sensitivity is not treated with a diet lower in carbohydrates and sugar, it can evolve into excessive weight gain and a larger metabolic concern called insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome X a pre-diabetic condition in which cells becomes less affected by insulin and the pancreas is triggered to produce ever-increasing levels.

We can easily identify if this is happening to you with a simple questionnaire and then advise you how to adapt your diet.

 

Depleted serotonin: Serotonin is just one of a host of neurotransmitters secreted by the brain that regulate mood, attention, and energy levels. Ongoing stress can deplete our serotonin reserves, leading to intense food cravings — particularly for the refined carbohydrates that when eaten mimic the sense of well-being created by serotonin. In some women, this state of serotonin depletion becomes chronic. Persistent low serotonin levels lead to plummeting energy levels — particularly in the late afternoon — bouts of depression, and compulsive eating. Low serotonin levels can be detected through testing.

We recommend learning effective relaxation techniques (maybe Yoga) and making sure you get 5 or 6 hours of good quality sleep every night.

Yeast or intestinal parasites: Colonies of excessive Candida (yeast), bacteria, or intestinal parasites in the digestive tract can make it very difficult to lose weight. Many doctors do not test for these organisms.

Ask about the self cleanse detox , Maggie our friendly Allergy specialist recommends.

For women who have yeast overgrowth, eliminating yeast and sugars for a period of time can restore balance to the digestive tract, allowing weight loss to occur naturally. Women often need to use supplements or probiotics to eradicate the yeast or parasites, but once this is accomplished they begin to lose the unwanted weight.

Food allergies: Similarly, allergies and sensitivities to certain foods can create a dysfunctional metabolism. Frequently these sensitivities crop up in adulthood and manifest themselves in easily overlooked ways, for example, stomach and intestinal upset, headaches, insomnia, lethargy, joint aches, and rashes. If we suspect a patient has a food sensitivity, we recommend an elimination diet. We eliminate potential allergens for two weeks, then reintroduce them for a day and test for reactions. If reactions do occur we recommend staying away from the offending food for at least four months and then cautiously reintroducing it.

Sometimes a patient will present with only one of these nagging weight-gain factors; more often women will have a combination. Most of my patients had no idea that their bodies were out of balance until they began to feel symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. In many of my patients, I find that their metabolism is frozen from years of fad dieting. Once they modify their diets and get further treatment customized to their particular issues, their metabolism heals and they are able to lose weight — gradually, safely and permanently.

Our Phase eating plan that comes with your first full bootcamp course is very similar to the elimination diet. Phase 1 is designed to regulate blood sugar, remove aspartames (fake sugars) and estrogenic foods from your diet. Phase 2 gradually re-introduces foods so you can easily identify the ones that don’t suit you.

My concern with fad diets

Popular diets do work for some people. However, I remind my patients that studies show the average weight loss after one year on some of these diets is just five pounds — and that includes men! Yet, we still keep trying. At any point in time, 44% of the women in this country are on some kind of aggressive diet.

And still more information keeps coming. There is increasing evidence that weight loss is linked with having a ready supply of calcium and vitamin D in our systems. There is also a controversial connection promoting human growth hormone (hGH) and the ability to put on lean muscle mass. Much needs to be learned before we can say for sure how these elements factor into our own biology, but it is interesting to note how rapidly our knowledge is growing.

So what does work? I have found through years of my patients’ — and my own — trials and tribulations that paying attention to a woman’s individual body chemistry and her emotional history leads to successful, long-term health and weight loss.

Still, there are many women out there who may not have immediate access to alternative healthcare professionals and are unsuccessfully trying to lose weight. For those women experimenting with over-the-counter diets, I’ve provided an overview of what I see as pros and cons of the most popular choices available.

In general, I prefer those diets that encourage a balanced ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates in every meal. I am more inclined to suggest the Schwarzbein Principle I and II or the Metabolic Typing diets because, along with their balanced food plan, they advance the concept that each person has different factors that contribute to their ability to lose weight.

We will ask you to reduce starchy carbs when you first start bootcamp – as this will help to balance your hormones and support the hard work done in class.

 

DIET     PLAN Pros Cons
BALANCED

Schwarzbein I & II, The Zone, South Beach, The Mediterranean, Metabolic     Typing, Perricone

Healthy food     combinations

Energizing

Additional     support may be required for individual needs
HIGH-PROTEIN/LOW-FAT
Atkins, Protein Power
Loss     of fat

Creates muscles

You feel full

Poor     choice for those with kidney problems

Can lead to metabolic issues if followed for too long

CALORIE/PORTION     CONTROL
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem
Emotional     support

Easy to follow

Encourages lifestyle changes

Outdated

Expensive

Poor long-term results

Decreases metabolic functioning

LOW-FAT/HIGH-CARB

Dean Ornish, Pritikin, vegetarian diets with inadequate protein

Okay     for men with heart issues Not     enough dietary fat

Loss of muscle tone

Difficult to stick with

REDUCED     CALORIE/     MEAL REPLACEMENT

Slim-Fast, Optifast, other meal replacement drinks

Ease

Convenience

Damages     metabolic function

Sets up yo-yo weight gain

Depletes serotonin

APPETITE     SUPPRESSANTS

Fen-phen, Ephedra, caffeine, OTC appetite suppressants

Extreme     hunger is controlled Freezes     metabolism

Creates adrenal problems

Doesn’t work for intense
cravings

Saps energy

 

 

Putting it all into perspective

My point of view results from 27 years of experience with women and weight, and it is rooted in the belief that eating well and often is a necessary, enjoyable, and healthful act. Over the years we have adapted our advice to reflect the healthful eating and lifestyle habits that lead a majority of women to hormonal balance, sustained weight loss, and overall well-being.

Learn to accept yourself for who you are and ultimately love yourself, because the body you have is the most valuable house you’ll ever own. Your personal blueprint is a treasure map to natural weight loss and lifelong health that no popular or radical diet can ever replicate. Whenever you are at odds with your own best interests on dieting, I hope you will remember that we are only an email or text away to offer help and support.

 

We try to keep the ideas of moderation and mindfulness in focus when we approach any choice, be it food, exercise, commitments, or work. While we do recommend watching what you eat, we think it is more important to encourage you to listen to your body. Get to know yourself. Learn what triggers your cravings. For many women, outgrowing a few bad habits (like drinking fizzy drinks) or starting to exercise can be the catalyst for positive change in the rest of their lives. We want you to first and foremost get nutrition and enjoyment out of every meal, then to concern yourself with any extra pounds.

Balance is something we can create in all aspects of our lives, and in the process, guess what? We can lose weight, gain perspective and, certainly, look ahead to many years of good health.

 

Created on 28/05/2010 22:07The trouble with fad diets