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Losing Weight Naturally

Doctor Q&A

Naturopathic Doctor with Shawnee Mission Holistic Care

So you’ve tried diets such as Atkins, the Zone, and Master Cleanse without much success. Before giving up on your weight-loss goals entirely, consider whether you just need to change your approach.

Many popular diets just aren’t sustainable over time. That’s one way the naturopathic approach to weight loss is different. We focus on long-term lifestyle changes for lasting success.

What is naturopathic weight loss?

Naturopathic weight loss is taking a patient-centered approach to weight loss. No two plans are alike. A naturopathic doctor designs your weight loss plan based on your body type, diet, exercise, lifestyle, and environment.

Five reasons people gain weight

One of the first steps in losing weight is determining what caused you to gain those extra pounds. From the naturopathic perspective, there are five common causes for weight gain:

  1. Inflammation – This leads the body to hold on to extra fat cells, making it difficult to lose weight. It may be caused by blood sugar irregularities, allergies, or food intolerances.
  2. Thyroid conditions – Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, can make it difficult to shed extra pounds. Thyroid-specific testing can help determine if yours is working normally or if your body needs extra nutrients to help maximize function.
  3. Stress – Whether it’s family or job related, extra stress can lead to poor diet choices, skipped workouts, and unhealthy lifestyle choices resulting in weight gain.
  4. Lack of knowledge about nutrition – Often people think they are eating well, but there’s almost always room for improvement. Skipping breakfast, eating too many processed and sugary foods, and skimping on fruits and vegetables can lead to weight gain.
  5. Hormone Imbalance - Thyroid conditions get all the attention, but there are many other hormones that can play a role in weight loss struggles. This is especially relevant to peri-menopausal and menopausal women.

A team approach to weight loss

Your provider may suggest a combination of the following:

  • Dietary education – The first step is tracking what you’re actually eating and when. Next, taking into account your food preferences, a provider will help create a plan that can help you achieve lasting weight loss.
  • Stress management – Deep breathing exercises, yoga, acupuncture or even talk therapy can help lower stress and lead to smarter diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.
  • Exercise plan – Whether you opt to run, swim or cycle, it’s important to pick an activity that you enjoy. For many people, working out with a partner or group can help them stay motivated.
  • Dietary supplements –  Supplements can help fill in missing gaps, and targeting the cause of your weight gain is important to determine which supplements are best for you.

To learn more about naturopathic weight loss, or to schedule an appointment with Megan Schlick, please call 913-632-9860 or visit ShawneeMission.org/HolisticCare.