Are you struggling to meet your weight loss goal no matter how determined, disciplined, and consistent you’ve been with your diet and exercise routine? Perhaps there are some additional underlying factors that you haven’t thought to consider.
Wait, what? What other factors?
Consider some of the processes and components within your body:
Digestion, nutrient absorption, respiration, the gut microbiome, the immune system, inflammation, infection, energy regulation, detoxification, cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, endocrine system, hormones and neurotransmitters, and the musculoskeletal system.
These processes and components make up the core clinical imbalances. Sort of like a web, all of the components are interconnected. In other words, if you are experiencing dysfunction in just one of the above processes, it can lead to a number of health conditions. Dysfunction in multiple processes above can lead to a much more serious disease or complication.
How does this affect weight? Let’s look at a couple of examples:
- Let’s say that your past dietary habits included a lot of processed and fast food, sugar, refined grains and saturated animal fat. Those dietary habits resulted in poor digestion, negatively impacted your gut microbiome, led to inflammation and weight gain, which in turn reduced your physical activity, compromised your immune system, impacted your cardiovascular health, and led to increased stress on your joints and bad knees. That’s a lot of dysfunction going on! While improving your diet quality is one of the best steps you can take to restore optimal health and function, the presence of so many clinical imbalances can certainly impact your ability to see progress at the rate you were hoping for.
- All humans are exposed to toxins in the water, air, food supply, and consumer products. In fact, the average woman applies over 100 different chemicals to her body in the form of personal care and cosmetic products every morning before even having coffee! These toxic exposures can wreak havoc on the immune, neurological, endocrine and gastrointestinal systems. Not only does toxic exposure contribute to organ and body system dysfunction, but it can also increase the risk of allergy, infection and autoimmune disease. It can also reduce your responsiveness to therapies (such as a healthy diet and exercise for weight loss) that would typically be effective. If you are constantly exposed to toxins in your environment, this could certainly be inhibiting your weight loss goals!
- Let’s say you often sleep only a few hours per night. This can cause hormone and neurotransmitter dysregulation that can result in low leptin and high ghrelin, which increases appetite and can contribute to poor food choices. Insufficient sleep is associated with weight gain, adverse metabolic effects, and increased insulin secretion, which encourages the development of fat tissue. As if that isn’t enough, lack of sleep contributes to inflammation, decreases immune function, and increases the risk of mood disorders and cardiovascular concerns such as heart disease.
While these are only a few examples of the interconnectedness of clinical imbalances in the body, hopefully they help you understand how complex the body is and why weight loss isn’t always that simple! Fortunately, improving your diet quality has enormous beneficial effects on achieving optimal health of the mind, body and spirit. If you’re struggling to see progress despite your best efforts for weight loss, perhaps it’s time to consider what underlying clinical imbalances might be inhibiting you from reaching your wellness goals!