by Associate Clinician Felicia Pasquale

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I would say one of the number one goals many clients have when coming to the Well of Life Center is to lose weight. What they don’t realize is that you can’t force the body to lose weight and keep it off if it’s not in a good place. You need to give the body the tools it needs to function properly first: sufficient water, healthy diet, appropriate exercise, and, more often than not, specific nutritional supplements.

Nutritional supplements make up for lost time. They can detox and repair organs that have been dysfunctional for quite some time, specifically the endocrine organs. Endocrine organs are responsible for all the millions of hormonal messages that are sent to various organs, glands, and cells on a daily basis. Dysfunction in the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, or the pancreas, ovaries, testes, and kidneys will prevent the body from shedding weight.

It is not any one organ that’s responsible for weight loss. Organs work in synchrony with each other. For example, the thyroid always takes the heat (no pun intended) for hormonal issues, including the inability to lose weight. However, the pituitary gland is responsible for sending important chemical hormones to the thyroid, such as TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, which stimulates the thyroid to secrete thyroid hormones. Therefore, to just address the thyroid does not solve the real problem.

The hypothalamus gland, which is located just above the pituitary gland, is responsible for sending the pituitary gland important hormonal messages that regulate the thyroid. One of these hormones called TRH, Thytrophin Releasing Hormone, triggers the pituitary to secrete TSH, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. As you can see, the thyroid cannot function properly if the hypothalamus and pituitary are not also working properly.

Honestly, it can take months, and sometimes years, to fix the dysfunction of these organs. Weight loss is something that people typically want to happen fast. You can force the body to lose weight quickly by tricking it with fewer calories or less carbs or even a weight loss medication. However, you will gain the weight back, and more, after going back to your normal eating habits. More devastating than gaining the weight back is the fact that your body will not trust you in the future when going on a diet. That’s why people that have dieted frequently in the past have extreme difficulty losing weight. Their body does not trust them anymore, it is just waiting for the next time it will be abused with insufficient calories or nutrients. It’s in lock down mode, even with the strictest reduction of calories or increase in exercise.

The best way to lose weight is to not only remove stressors on the body (detox), and restore function to organs with nutritional support, but also to nourish the body with nutrient-rich foods like quality proteins and fats, fresh vegetables, and fruits. When the body is in a balanced, safe place, it will naturally lose weight.

Another misconception about losing weight is that if you exercise like a mad person, you will be sure to lose weight. I have clients that tell me they are exercising everyday consistently but their weight won’t budge. This is another sign that organs are under distress, especially the endocrine organs.

Heavy duty exercise such as running, calisthenics, or cardio can really stress the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. These types of exercises will not encourage healing; they will exhaust the endocrine organs, pushing the body into further dysfunction. Appropriate exercise can be introduced when the body has done a good deal of healing. Yoga and walking are good ways to keep moving while allowing your body to rest and heal. When the body is ready for exercise, it will be so much more enjoyable, not to mention easier, and true weight loss will be achieved!

I can tell you that clients that persevere through the months and sometime years that it takes to repair dysfunction to the organs get the prize. They do lose weight, but, more importantly, they feel great, because there is a difference. You can be thin and be really unhealthy and feel bad, or you can be at the weight you are meant to be at, be healthy, and feel really awesome!