Excess weight is often a complex matter and good intentions to follow a healthy diet and exercise more are rarely enough. We at myWholeLife want to help, so we’re sharing with you a rarely discussed facet of weight loss – the health of your glands and organs. Below are imbalances that can affect your ability to shed those pounds and tips on how to restore their balance.
The Thyroid: The thyroid hormones affect practically every cell in your body and when your thyroid is sluggish your metabolism slows down as well. An underactive thyroid can also lead to lethargy and exhaustion, making it less likely that you’ll engage in physical activity. If you have additional symptoms such as dry skin, constipation and hair loss, get tested for an underactive thyroid. If your thyroid is in fact underactive only eat goitrogenic foods such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts cooked and in moderation. Also, ensure that you are getting enough iodine and selenium in your diet.[i]
The Adrenal Glands: When your adrenal glands are exhausted, cortisol and adrenaline levels typically rise right before bed, causing insomnia and in-turn, the hunger hormone ghrelin to surge the next day. Exhausted adrenal glands also cause blood sugar fluctuations which make you gravitate towards sugar and refined carbs. Stress reduction techniques such as moderate physical exercise and meditation are essential for restoring adrenal health. You should also vastly reduce your sugar intake and increase your intake of viatmins B1, B3, B5, C and E.[ii]
The Pituitary Gland: The pituitary gland controls the production of hormones throughout your body, many of which are connected to your weight. A stressed pituitary gland often goes hand-in-hand with compromised adrenal and thyroid function, and it indicates a need to support the health of your entire endocrine symptom. In addition to following the advice for boosting adrenal and thyroid function, you may also want to include essential fatty acids and foods rich in manganese (legumes, whole grains, nuts…).[iii]
The Liver: Your liver is your body’s major fat burning organ and it also produces bile which is needed in order to break down fat. If your liver becomes sluggish it can cause a build-up of belly fat, and make it more difficult for you to lose weight. A sluggish liver is primarily caused by too much junk food, alcohol and toxins. As such, a whole-foods based diet and the elimination of alcohol and tobacco will go a long way towards restoring the health of your liver. Also, try a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning to help get bile flowing.
The Brain: Neurotransmitters act as chemical messengers in your brain and they dictate how you think, feel and behave. Research suggests that cravings for high sugar, fat and salt foods are often caused because our bodies are attempting to balance these neurotransmitters, and thus make us feel better. We can become addicted to these foods and the effect they have on our neurotransmitters and this can lead to relentless weight gain.[iv][v][vi] You can help balance your brain chemistry by eating every three hours, vastly reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates and consuming a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and lean protein.[vii]
[i],[ii],[iii] “Nutritional Symptomatology.” Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
[vii] “New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind.” Patrick Holford.