Action Plans to Address Weight Problems
If you’ve read the blog post Reasons for Weight Gain – It’s Not Just About Calories you’ll know that there are many factors that may be affecting your weight. Below are some ideas you might like to investigate to help address some of the underlying imbalances. It is advisable to consult with your doctor or a qualified practitioner before embarking on any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Under Active Thyroid Action Plan:
- Track your basal temperature by taking your temperature first thing in the morning by placing a mercury thermometre under the arm for 10 minutes before getting out of bed. If it is consistently below 36.5C this may indicate an under functioning thyroid.
- Get a thyroid test done that includes all parameters including T3, T4, TSH and thyroid antibodies.
- Ensure you have sufficient levels of the nutrients needed for thyroid function. These include:
- Iodine – found in sea vegetables such as dulse, nori, kelp, kombu and wakame.
- Selenium – the best source is Brazil nuts.
- B vitamins – found in whole grains, eggs, green vegetables and pulses.
- Zinc – found in pumpkin seeds, eggs, lentils and chicken.
- Essential fats – found in oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, avocadoes and cold pressed oils.
Sex Hormone Imbalance Action Plan
- Investigate herbs to balance female hormones such as agnus castus, red clover, ladies mantle and black cohosh.
- Saw palmetto can help balance testosterone levels.
- The adrenals play a role in sex hormone balance. Herbs to support the adrenals include maca, ginseng, rhodiola and ashwaghanda.
- Investigate non-hormonal methods of birth control.
Insulin Resistance Action Plan
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Include protein and fibre with each meal.
- Avoid over-eating.
- Certain nutrients can help with blood sugar control. These include chromium, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin D and the Essential fats.
Stress Action Plan
- Meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and visualisations can all help to rebalance stress hormones.
- Moderate exercise can help but avoid over-exercising or exercising late in the evening as this can interfere with sleep.
- Allow sufficient time for a good night’s sleep. Turn off all technology 2 hours before bedtime and sleep in a dark, quiet room.
- Some herbs and essential oils can be relaxing. These include chamomile, lemon balm and lavender.
Gut Bacteria Action Plan
- Supplement with probiotics.
- Eat fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. Start with tiny quantities and build up gradually.
- Eat prebiotic foods. These encourage the growth of good bacteria. Bananas, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes and slippery elm all have prebiotic effects.
- Eat a wide ranging plant based diet. A diverse diet leads to a diverse microbiome. A diverse microbiome generally leads to better overall health.
Food Sensitivities Action Plan
- Keep a food and symptom diary.
- Monitor your own symptoms, cravings and how you feel after eating.
- Identify and avoid foods to which you might be intolerant. Monitor and record any changes.
- Once you have avoided suspect foods for 3 months reintroduce them and see if symptoms recur.
- Seek further advice or testing if necessary.
Medications Action Plan
- Check whether any medications you are taking can affect appetite or weight and ask your doctor if there are alternatives.
- Consider other approaches to the underlying health problem. Often diet, supplements, herbs and lifestyle changes can improve the situation so that the medications are no longer needed. That said, do not make any changes to your medication regime without consulting your doctor or medical specialist.
Weight is not simply a matter of calories in versus calories out. We are all different and our bodies deal with food in different ways. The underlying reasons for this can be addressed, often through simple dietary and lifestyle changes. However, there is not one diet that suits everyone so you may have to experiment to find a way of eating and exercising that works for you.