Fat loss.It’s a tale as old as time. The trends of the last 15 years (and beyond) went from low fatto now moderate amount of healthy fat, from substitute sugarto wholesome food, and certainly the ultimate eat less, exercise moreto now mindful eating and personalized metabolic rebalancing physical activities. The most commonly known diets back in the days were Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig to name the ones I can recall. I will admit, despite my qualifications (first Registered Dietitian then a Naturopathic Physician), for the first 10 years of my professional career, I avoided the topic of fat loss like the plaque. I oversimplified fat loss with the notion of eat healthy, eat real food, and move. Thankfully, as an avid learner, I came across a ND colleague’s blog 5 years ago and the information that I have encountered since then transformed my view and approach to supporting all on their fat loss journey.
It takes getting healthy for the fat to melt away. Unfortunately, excessive fat mass leads to a multitude of non-communicable disease ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure, kidney failure, cardiovascular conditions, and musculoskeletal challenges. On the mental-emotional level, fat gain often leads to depression, dissociation, and social challenges. However, I have learned to look at fat gain not as a linear process but a vicious cycle. In another words, when we are not healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, lifestyle wise, environmentally – we gain fat. This is why for true fat loss process, we must evaluate one’s “toxic load” and support the body’s natural detoxification pathway.
Fat loss is a multifactorial and intertwined puzzle.It is absolutely not calories in vs calories out. The effects of blood sugar, insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and even other metabolic hormones such as cortisol, DHEA-S, estrogen, progesterone all play a part of one’s fat metabolism. In addition, an individual’s growing and living environmental toxin load also plays an effect as these “toxins” affect the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. Physical responses aside, it is more apparent too from my clinical experience that fat gain is also the body’s response to one or more emotional traumas of the past.
In the four months of February to June this year (2018), the BodyConscious at Y Wellness team supported a group of trial participants through their fat loss journey. These individuals committed as often as 3-4 visits to the Center every week in those four months. Everyone started with the Cleanse Me program with cleaner eating and therapeutic infrared sauna sweating on top of personalized physical activities, acupuncture, and weekly check-in session with our wellness consultant in regards to progress, nutrition, mindfulness practices, and processing of life. Many then went on the Shink Me program to further enhance the fat loss process. Our “biggest loser” had lost 42% of his fat mass by the end of the 4-months program and continues to maintain the fat loss as of September 30th! It was a transformative process for everyone involved, regardless of the numbers of kilogram of fat mass lost.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it too takes a supportive community for healthy and sustainable fat loss to occur. The next time anyone in your life wishes to make a resolution around fat loss, be sure to check in with them. Gone is “eat less, exercise more” and yoyo dieting. Let us all welcome sustainable fat loss by addressing the true underlying root causes of fat gain.