If you’ve gained weight during this pandemic, you’re hardly alone. Over 40% of Americans have, with an average gain of 29 pounds. Ten percent reported gaining more than 50.
There are plenty of reasons for this. Increased stress. Disrupted sleep patterns. Much more time looking at screens and less time being physically active. More reliance on takeout and comfort foods. More drinking and drug use.
That weight gain isn’t dependent on just overeating is the focus of a new paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. What you eat, its authors argue, is a bigger factor than how much you eat. Instead of the flawed but familiar “calories in, calories out” model, they make a solid case for a carbohydrate-insulin model of weight gain.
The carbohydrate-insulin model lays much of the blame for the current obesity epidemic on modern dietary patterns characterized by excessive consumption of foods with a high glycemic load: in particular, processed, rapidly digestible carbohydrates. These foods cause hormonal responses that fundamentally change our metabolism, driving fat storage, weight gain, and obesity.
When we eat highly processed carbohydrates, the body increases insulin secretion and suppresses glucagon secretion. This, in turn, signals fat cells to store more calories, leaving fewer calories available to fuel muscles and other metabolically active tissues. The brain perceives that the body isn’t getting enough energy, which, in turn, leads to feelings of hunger. In addition, metabolism may slow down in the body’s attempt to conserve fuel. Thus, we tend to remain hungry, even as we continue to gain excess fat.
More, hormonal imbalance is a factor that can make it hard to lose weight, as well. Consequently, it’s one of the key things that Dr. Joe considers when developing personalized weight loss plans for his patients. Others include addressing chronic stress and inflammation, improving sleep quality, balancing the gut microbiome, and clearing environmental toxins from the body.
One part of more than a few of those personalized plans is the use of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections. This hormone can make your body’s fat stores more accessible so you can burn more of it while also preserving muscle and structural fat.
By elevating hormone levels in the body, including testosterone, the HCG hormone creates an anabolic state (muscle-building) which counteracts the catabolic state (muscle-breakdown). There are hormone receptors on muscle fibers that respond to the increased hormone levels in patients taking the HCG hormone.
Why does that matter? During a fast, dramatic loss of pounds with crash dieting, there is a high amount of muscle that is lost. Because muscle is heavy, this loss looks good on the scale because the pounds are dropping quickly. When you lose muscle, it’s bad for your body, shape, and metabolism. The metabolism slows so much that [the] dieter regains weight quickly, often regaining all the weight that was lost and then some.
Note, though, that such results come from injectables administered by a physician, not over-the-counter oral supplements that dissolve before entering the bloodstream. The best results of all come when HCG is combined with personalized nutrition and addressing any other factors that may have fueled your weight gain – or kept you from losing all the weight you want.
For, again and as always, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Medicine of any kind should be tailored to the individual, and that’s exactly what we do here at the Radiant Healing Arts Center.