Every year millions of books on diet and weight loss are sold in this country alone yet the statistics focusing on obesity and being overweight in America are extremely startling. According to the Center of Disease Control’s website, 69% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. Over 20% of the younger population is either overweight or obese and this rate has more than doubled from the early 80’s until now. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of 35 major diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea and cancer. Obviously the information in these books is not getting to the root cause of the obesity epidemic. As a naturopathic physician, I focus on diet and weight loss with virtually every patient that I see and have been able to uncover the multi-factorial reasons that people gain weight and have a hard time losing it. Over the past year, Dr. Diane Hayden and I have paired up to finally put into print a book that will aid the reader to finally take their health into their own hands and achieve their goal of optimal health and weight loss. I’m excited to share with you all a little sneak peek from some of the chapters that I wrote, right now!
A Naturopathic Physician’s Perspective
Dr. Frank Aieta, ND
Over the past 13 years that I’ve been in private practice as a licensed naturopathic physician, numerous male and female patients have come through my door with the same exact complaint, “Doctor, no matter what I do I simply can’t lose weight and keep it off.” They tell me that they’ve tried countless fad diets and exercise plans with minimal initial success and the eventual regaining of the lost weight with an additional 5 pounds to boot. With so much conflicting information on diet out there, it’s easy to become very confused. Our own government considers a diet that is centered on a low-fat paradigm to be a healthy one. For more than 50 years this is what we have been persistently taught despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. More recently with the popularity and success of the Paleo diet, more people are becoming educated about the importance of the quality of food we ingest (organic, grass fed, non-GMO), the importance of good quality fats in our diet, and the elimination of carbohydrate and refined foods that have really made their way into the standard American diet. What you will learn in this book most importantly is the fact that dietary fat is not, and never has been the culprit in why we get fat! The real contributors are allergenic and inflammatory foods, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, inadequate exercise, lack of sleep and much more. This may seem like a lot of variables to address but our goal with this book is to give the reader a very concise step-wise plan to keep the pounds off while regaining health and vigor. In order to be truly successful at losing weight and achieving optimal health, we need to look past the notion that weight gain is solely due to too many calories taken in opposed to what is burned. As many of you know, if that were the case then exercising more and eating less would work for everyone! Since every patient is a unique individual with a different genetic makeup then it makes complete sense that for a diet and lifestyle plan to be successful it needs to be individualized. This book will attempt to individualize your diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplement plan for you.
Inflammation and Weight Loss
Dr. Frank Aieta, ND
Inflammation can occur in the body when you are carrying excess body fat. Inflammation is a normal process in the body that occurs when we are dealing with a trauma or insult to the tissues but when that inflammatory response becomes too great or chronic then disease will set in. Your fat cells produce different hormones and inflammatory mediators that produce chronic inflammation.
One of these fat hormones is leptin, which I touched upon earlier. To reiterate, leptin works on the brain to increase satiety and tells you to stop eating while activating the metabolism to burn up some of the stored body fat. When you over consume sugar and carbohydrates in the diet, you rapidly put on body fat increasing inflammation and leptin as a response. When you flood your system with leptin, you can eventually become resistant to the actions of leptin leading the brain to think that the body is starving, while your appetite ramps up and your metabolism slows down in a confused attempt to conserve energy. When we talk about diet later in the book we will be able to use leptin levels as well as many of the other progress markers (insulin, triglycerides, blood sugar) to monitor your success. One other marker that is extremely important is C-reactive protein (highly sensitive CRP), which is a major marker for inflammation. This level can coincide directly with elevated leptin levels, insulin and body fat. As you lower leptin, insulin and body fat, this inflammatory marker goes down as well. Research has actually proven that elevated CRP levels are predictive for diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol and norepinephrine levels are also linked to high inflammation, exacerbating weight gain. The test that should be run is called Highly Sensitive C-reactive protein or Cardio-CRP – optimal range is <1. The lower this number is the better. Later in the book we will discuss dietary and supplement strategies to combat inflammation and break its hold on your ability to lose weight.
This is just a sample of what this book has in store for its readers. There are also chapters on weight loss and mindset and more on the proper lab tests to ask for before implementing a diet plan and how to interpret the results. The reader will also be guided towards which diet is truly the best for them as well as choosing the ideal dietary supplements and exercise plan. There is also an entire chapter dedicated to providing the reader with healthy recipes and meal options. The true premise of this book is for the reader to finally take their health back into their own hands by arming them with the complete knowledge to do so.