by Bailey Petrucelli November 27, 2020 3 min read

Do you find yourself going on a new diet to lose weight every couple of months? Starving yourself or restricting certain foods just for the weight to come back in the following weeks? It can seem as if you're in a never-ending cycle of weight loss and gain.

The key to sustaining a healthy weight may be a healthy lifestyle. Rather than focusing on weight loss so you can live the life you want, there are benefits to going the other way around — living a healthy lifestyle to lose weight. Here's why.

Hormones and Weight Loss

Hormones are chemical messengers, and the body relies on them for its communication system. This communication helps the endocrine system talk to organs through the brain's hypothalamus (aka control center). These chemical messengers play a role in telling the body to perform certain activities. When these chemicals are imbalanced, the correct communication doesn't go through, potentially impacting the body.

  • High cortisol levels can keep your body in "fight or flight" mode, promoting fat accumulation, especially around the waist.

  • An imbalanced thyroid can slow your metabolism, making it hard to lose weight.

  • Insulin resistance causes your liver to turn extra glucose into fat cells, contributing to extra weight gain.

  • Elevated estrogen levelsor low progesterone can promote fat storage, making it difficult to lose extra pounds.

Inflammation and Weight Loss

Unbalanced inflammation can make a difficult weight loss journey even harder. It may disrupt hormones, interfere with core functions of the body and even promote additional weight gain.

The cause of inflammation may be a poor diet of highly processed foods, environmental toxins, stress levels, unbalanced gut microbiome, a sedentary lifestyle or even food sensitivities — including ones you may not be aware of.

Fresh green salad with spinach, arugula, romaine and lettuce

Balancing Your Body for Long-Term Weight Loss

Because hormones and inflammation could be behind weight gain as well as explain why you find it so difficult to lose weight, it's vital to address those issues first.

How do you address hormone imbalance and inflammation? The answer lies with your lifestyle habits.

  • Diet: Cut back on processed foods and try to prioritize eating whole foods. Consume a wide variety of colorful foods with healthy fats and proteins. If you eat meat, buy organic, grass-fed animal products.
  • Stress: Manage your stress levels by meditating, practicing yoga, doing breathing exercises, talking to a therapist, going outside for a walk in nature or just getting some quiet time to yourself to relax.
  • Toxins: Reduce exposure to environmental toxins as much as possible. Swap out your conventional cleaning supplies and buy nontoxic alternatives. Also, buy organic produce as much as possible — check out the Environmental Working Group's dirty dozen list for foods that are more likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
  • Detox: Before you supplement, it's vital to use a functional medicine detox to bring back balance. This way, your body is able to optimally use and benefit from the nutritional supplements. A detox can start addressing the underlying causes of weight gain and supporting balance among the body's systems that control inflammation, fat burning and metabolism.
  • Supplements: After you detox, consider following up with foundational nutritional supplements. This helps restore the body with critical nutrients it needs to promote healthy functioning throughout the body. A daily protocol is a perfect follow up to a detox for ongoing support.

Incorporating healthy habits into your life is a path to losing weight — and keeping it off — without sacrificing overall wellness. Remember: Weight loss starts with a healthy lifestyle.

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