Question: I go to an intense cross-training group and have been doing the paleo diet. While I have lost 10 pounds in two weeks, I still have 20 pounds to go, and I have lost nothing this week. In addition, the weight around my middle seems the most stubborn. Do you have any tips?
Answer: Hats off to you for doing what you are doing, as you are past the hard part of getting underway and reaping the benefits.
The paleo diet is ideal for weight loss so Google it or buy the book. Yes, the abdomen is a tricky spot as it can be distended because of digestive dysfunction and/or extra fat tissue.
Abdominal fat tissue creates a vicious cycle of estrogen and fat production because of aromatase activity in abdominal fat cells in both women and men. So, simply put, the more fat you have, the more fat and estrogen you make.
Estrogen dominance wreaks havoc with sex hormone balance, insulin and thyroid function, which further puts you at a metabolic disadvantage. It is a major societal problem not being addressed, the ultimate puzzle for an endocrinologist when acknowledged and being tackled by NDs.
Make sure your water intake is at two litres per day. Consider taking an all-in-one multivitamin mineral formula where you take four to six tablets per day in a divided dose to provide optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals to support an optimal metabolic rate and fat burning. So instead of separate calcium/magnesium (2 per day), vitamin C, one a day multi, vitamin D, and selenium, also adding up to six tablets, you can open just one bottle. If your armpit temperature is on average less than 36.5C /97.8F, then your metabolism is slower and you should consult a naturopathic doctor to discuss this problem.
CLA One is a fatty acid supplement that has had positive results in its ability to reduce body fat in general, but in particular abdominal fat. One of the more extensive placebo controlled studies followed 181 people, mostly women, for one year and there was a nine per cent body fat loss, without doing anything differently, when they took an average of 4,000 mg of CLA One per day. Other studies show benefit as soon as four weeks. Not changing anything else illustrates its potential effectiveness, but is not recommended. Much better results will be achieved by addressing all relevant factors to those of you who go looking for the magic pill after watching Dr. Oz.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that abdominal obesity is defined as a waist-hip ratio (WHR) above 0.90 for males and above 0.85 for females. WHR is a better predictor of mortality than body mass index (BMI), which is simply a calculation of weight for height. Those with flat abdomens measure your waist at the narrowest point, but for those with a convex or rounded belly measure one inch above the belly button. The hips are measured at the widest point of the buttocks in women and in men at the hip socket. A WHR higher than 0.8 for women and 0.9 for men is also associated with decreased fertility.
Obesity, not just overweight, is the biggest modifiable health risk factor there is since it affects one out of three Islanders and is increasing their risk of health concerns such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, gallstones, infertility, reproductive diseases and arthritis, as well as having a major effect on quality of life.
Kali Simmonds, ND is a doctor of naturopathic medicine who practises in Charlottetown. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or substitute the advice of your healthcare professional. Please consult with your health-care provider before making any changes. She welcomes questions for this column, which is published every second Tuesday in The Guardian. She can be reached by mail at 34 Queen St., Charlottetown, C1A 4A3 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.