One of the most frequent concerns I see in my Northwest Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice is patients noticing abdominal weight gain, or the “spare tire” around their midsection. Most patients find this weight difficult to lose and are understandably frustrated! Weight loss in this area is not as simple as calories in vs. calories out, or how much exercise you are doing. Weight gain in this area is linked to several underlying factors that must be addressed in order to help with losing fat in the midsection. It is important to address the underlying factors as fat stored in the midsection is correlated with cardiovascular health and conditions such as “fatty liver”.
One of the major causes of abdominal weight gain is high cortisol levels, caused by elevated stress. This is usually experienced as a “wired” feeling, or feeling anxious or overwhelmed, and can result in the body storing fat in the midsection. Another major cause of abdominal weight gain is elevated insulin levels, which can be caused by a diet that is high in sugar, simple carbs and refined grains (white rice, pasta, bread, pastries, cakes, etc). A third common cause of abdominal weight gain is low estrogen levels in females, which typically occurs in menopause.
There are many options to treat these common causes of the “spare tire” around the abdomen. Keep reading below to see what Naturopathic Medicine can do for addressing Abdominal weight gain!
Diet and Nutrition for Abdominal weight gain
The foods you eat will play a major role in addressing abdominal weight gain, especially in addressing the elevated insulin levels. I take a look at my patients diets to look their protein intake as well as their intake of carbohydrates and refined grains and sugars, as well as the combinations of these foods and when in the day they are eaten. By balancing these out, we can balance the patients blood sugar levels and thus balance the insulin levels, and help the deposition of fat on the midsection. You can read more about Diet and Nutrition here.
This modality plays a significant role in helping a patient manage their stress levels, which could help to balance their cortisol levels and thus help with losing fat from the midsection. Exercise, meditation, yoga, social support such as talking to friends, and volunteer work are all ways of managing stress, along with time management and scheduling ahead. You can read more about Lifestyle counseling here.
Vitamins and Supplements
After taking a thorough look at my patients health history and concerns, I can prescribe professional grade vitamins and supplements to help with their abdominal weight gain. Most of these will play a role in balancing cortisol levels but also overall energy levels, perception of stress, sleep, cravings, and much more. You can read more about Professional grade vitamins and supplements here.
Botanical Medicine and Herbs
Herbs can play a very beneficial role in one’s overall health, and in this case can help with balancing blood sugar as well as cortisol levels, as well as supporting healthy hormone levels. They can also help with overall energy, sleep, stress levels, and vitality. You can read more about Botanical Medicines here.
Salivary Hormone Testing
This test can help us assess the patients hormone levels through saliva, including estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, and cortisol. Based on this, any abnormalities can be addressed to support loss of fat from the midsection. You can read more about Salivary Hormone Testing here.
B12 is useful for patients that are trying to lose weight because it can help with energy levels, stress levels, sleep, PMS, food cravings, and so much more. It is thought to help with shunting the body to use fat for fuel, therefore helping lose fat on the midsection. You can read more about B12 injections here.
This modality is very effective for addressing the patients overall health and therefore to address any obstacles to losing weight such as fatigue, poor sleep, high stress, food cravings, anxiety or depression, and so much more. You can read more about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine here.
As you can see there are so many options for treating abdominal weight gain, and it is something I treat often in my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice. The key is to get to the root cause of what is contributing to the weight gain and address it in the most effective way possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about what Naturopathic Medicine can do for you.
Naturopathic Vitality Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic
205-5403 Crowchild Trail N.W
Calgary, AB T3B 4Z1