Surprising Methods to Weight loss
Dr. Sergey Kalitenko the year was 1998. Brooklyn, New York. I just started working as an attending physician in one of the hospitals in South Brooklyn. My weight was close to 220 pounds. As a physician I realized, that I should lose my weight immediately. So I armed myself with various diets and other approaches from my medical text books and started dieting. What I did was what everybody was doing to lose weight: I ate healthy meals like oat meals, cereals, salads. I switched from regular soda to diet soda, from french fries to no fat food products. But even though I tried hard, I could not lose a pound. In fact instead of going down, my weight went up. I was shocked, because what I was taught to do by medical text books, was not working! I was desperately looking for the solution.
Usually to solve this kind of complex problem you need a team of scientists and practitioners as well as thousands of patients, willing to participate in discovery process. An of course a lot of money. This money usually comes from a big pharmaceutical company. And it takes years or even debated to come to certain conclusions. I did not have either of these: not enough time, no scientific team, not enough money, because Big Phama was not interacted in making me healthy. And the only patient I had was me myself. It was pretty depressing, because I did not now what to start from.
Usually the more information you have, the easier and sooner you can solve a problem. But in my situation the more facts I had, the more perplexing the problem appeared to be. This is a common problem in our digital world: plenty of facts, not no clue how to interpret them. That is why I decided to come up with different theories how to lose weight and then try them and see which one was working. Even at that time it was obvious to me, that using artificial sweeteners is not a good idea, because instead of losing weight I added pounds. Moreover, I was craving for diet soda. I thought, that just cutting down calories would solve the problem. As a regular human being I was wrong. Reason: because they are very sweet and perceived by taste receptors as a real sugar, artificial sweeteners are causing increased my hormone insulin production, that lowers real sugar in your blood, making you hungry (2). But this was not all: our brain, not taste receptors, can tell the difference between the real sugar and the fake one. That is why with artificial sweeteners brain still sends us urges to crave for the real sugar (3). And this is besides low insulin, that creates hunger. Also there is a physiological aspect according to addiction psychiatrist in Dallas Harold Urscher: we give us a permission to crave for diet soda and drink it without any control, because we think, that there is no calories in it and hence no harm of drinking it. And scientific studies confirm, that I learned from my own experience: Drinking diet soda leads to not weight loss, but gain (4). So I stopped drinking diet soda, hoping, that I would lose weight.
It did not work.
Another thing, that was clear to me, that eating fat free foods was not working either. Reason: if there is no fat, then for calories you take carbohydrates instead. But thee is a problem here: carbohydrates do not suppress appetite as good as fats do. Result: even though you eat carbs, you still want to eat more. I was not alone in my conclusions: the editor in chief of Men’s Health David Zinczenko came to the same conclusion after interviewing experts and speaking to real lean people for about 2 decades (5). So I stopped eating fat free food products.
It did not work either.
I was running out of possibilities, so I decided to drastically decrease my food intake at the expense of being hungry all the time. It did work, but because of low sugar my productivity was not that great. And believe me, there is no fun to be hungry all the time. So even though it worked, I had to look for other solutions. What I knew was that medical text book solutions did not work. What I did not know was: there were no financial incentive for Big Pharma to subsidize finding obesity cure.
And then I’ve made an unexpected breakthrough: I learned how hormone imbalances can make weight loss impossible.
Normally our energy consumption with food, its storage in fat tissue and its usage by maintaining basic metabolism and doing physical work or exercises is regulated by hormones and brain neurotransmitters. Such “master” hormones as thyroid hormone and cortisol are responsible for maintaining baseline energy utilization and storage by your body. Thyroid hormone is responsible for spending energy while Cortisol promotes its storage in fat tissue. Other hormones like testosterone and growth hormone are assisting “Master” hormones in their job. Testosterone — “The Builder” — is responsible for building muscles as well as Growth Hormone but to the lesser extent. The two other hormones Leptin, Obestatin and Ghrelin are regulating your body weight mainly by adjusting your appetite. “Satiety Hormone” Leptin is believed to be produced in fat tissue and is designed to bring your appetite down. The more fat you have, the less appetite you need. It appears to work with Melatonin, that in presence of Insulin brings your appetite further down (6). Obestatin apparently works the same way to decrease appetite. On the other hand “Hunger Hormone” Ghrelin is believed to be produced in your stomach and pancreatic gland and is designed to increase your appetite. What surprised me the most was that Ghrelin in needed for “Anti Aging Hormone” Growthth Hormone production (7) as well as for learning (8). What it means is: the best time to learn is on empty stomach! As you can see in your perfectly built body everything is balanced. As soon as you gain too much fat, your Leptin level goes up to decrease your appetite, whine Thyroid hormone helps burn your fat. But when you become too skinny, your Ghrelin does up, ensuring that you eat enough to provide your body with calories you need. Looks perfect!
So how does it happen, that this perfect system in your body breaks down? What make it do what it was not intended to do? For you to gain weight you need to have problems with not one but many of your hormones: Thyroid Hormone, Cortisol, Testosterone, Leptin, Ghrelin, Obestatin, Insulin, etc.. In my medical school I learned, that endocrine disorders are mostly one hormone disorders, not all of them. But here there is a totally different situation. What messes up all of them? I was not alone, who was puzzled and scared.
( Rephrase in bold below)
1980s. Fishermen in the US and Canada are very concerned because of declining salmon population. So scientists had to look into it. It looked like there were too many females and witty little males. But how did that happen? Mother Nature started making major mistakes? So they decided to check male to female ratio after hatching. And it was okay. But when they checked the ratio down the river females outnumbered males. So what happened to males? Did they die? There was no evidence of it. So how do they disappear? This remained a mystery.
Until they decided to check salmon’s genes. Initially scientists refused to believe what they found. Salmon with male genes were actually female. So somehow after hatching males became females while going down the river. That’s what scientists had never heard or seen before — sex reversal. First they tried to explain this by low temperature–which didn’t work. Then they tried to explain sex reversal by partial migration between sex chromosomes because of mysterious external forces– this also failed. Eventually every well-known fact came to their mind as a plausible explanation: a male can become a female issue in early life it is exposed to estrogens. But there are no natural estrogens in the Columbia River, where the studies were done. So it must be other man-made compounds like pesticides, detergents etc., that work like natural hormones–so-called environmental estrogens (5). That’s when they really became scared. Because it was not the only disaster they found.
1970. Lake Ontario. Biologist Mike Gilbertson observes and unusually high death rate among gull chicks. What he found was: 80% of the dead chicks died before hatching. But what striked him as bizarre was that they had unusual deformities. He desperately searched for an explanation. The deformed chicks looked oddly familiar, they looked like he has used them before. But he could not remember where. Suddenly his memory gives him an answer: he had seen equally strange looking chicks in the past that were exposed to a dioxide poisoning. But his colleagues almost laughed at him: there was no dioxide in Lake Ontario. It took them more than 20 years to solve this mystery.
1988. Great Lakes. Mrs. Theo Colborn, who is a professor of zoology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, is interested in unusual gull’s behavior: two gulls nesting together. Usually they are male and a female, who nest together. What she observed was: they were both females, nesting together. Were they “gay gulls”? Colborn began grasping for an answer. The only thing that can change a gull’s behavior is hormones. But she is trained in zoology and does not know that much about hormones. It looked like endocrinologists, who could and who should solve the mystery,
were not really interested in it. So she didn’t have any choice, but to buy a endocrinology textbook and look into it herself. She learned that Swedish toxicologist Bengtsson was concerned with fish testicle shrinkage because of Baltic water contamination by organochlorine compounds. Could it be hormone disruption? In 1991 she gathered 21 scientists from 15 different areas to discuss the facts about gender change secondary to environmental toxins, that behave like hormones. And they issued a document named “Wingspread Consensus Statement” (6) in 1991. This meeting became famous because that is where the terms “endocrine disruption” and “endocrine disruptors” were made.
But why are they so dangerous?
Normally hormones are substances that are messengers, like errand boys, that deliver the signals from our brain derivatives to endocrine glands and then to the rest of our body. Therefore only a tiny amount of hormone is necessary to transmit the signal. It’s like a small key can open a huge safe. That’s why only a few molecules of an environmental toxin work like hormones – endocrine disruptor, is necessary to destroy the beautiful regulation system mother nature created for us. That is why they are so dangerous, probably much more dangerous than mercury, lead, cadmium etc. Remember Lake Ontario- dead chicks and no dioxin? That’s because the amount of poison can be so small, that it cannot be picked up by regular water analysis. And the consequences of being exposed to endocrine disruptors are disastrous: the body cannot regulate itself anymore, even to the extent that gender is changed. It’s like if you try to insert the wrong key in a your apartment door lock and it gets stuck and you break the key: you cannot even to open your apartment with the right key and you are stuck.
Endocrine disruptors are everywhere: in our water, food, air, dust, detergents, cosmetics, pesticides, plastics, etc.. They can cause fertility problems, fetal loss, cancer, menstrual problems, low IQ and learning problems, behavioral problems, ADHD, autism etc.
Weight gain also.
Suddenly I made my second breakthrough: how did it happen that the normal values, that are calculated for 18-year-old to 65 year old are the same? Does it mean, that 18-year-old teenager has the same level of hormones as 65-year-old retiree? It doesn’t make sense to me. So the logical conclusion from this was: if you want to function like 65-year-old, you can use the official normal values, but if you want to function when you where at the peak of your performance, you should use different ways to assess your lab values including your hormones, electrolytes, micro elements etc.. Also you should take into consideration, that
everything should be balanced. Even if one hormone is not balanced – you may be in trouble. But what hormones actually are talking about?
Could it be a low thyroid? Sure. The problem with thyroid is: they usually check TSH instead of checking T3 and T4 as well. TSH can be perfectly normal, while T3, which is actually acting hormone, is still low. Also for the opium of performance you need TSH equal or below 2. What it means is: you may have TSH 4.5, which is still normal, but it’s still well below the level you need for optimal performance. What needs to be done is: check your thyroid hormones levels including TSH, T3, T4, correct imbalances under a doctor’s supervision. Make sure, that you have enough iodine, because without it you can’t make your thyroid hormone at all.
Could it be the problem with adrenal hormone cortisol? Sure. Because if you are under stress, your body is producing cortisol much more, then it should. Your body thinks, that you’re in severe danger and you need as many calories as possible. Therefore it utilizes every single calorie it can. And you’re gaining weight uncontrollably because of that. Solution: check your cortisol levels, consult your doctor to find out how you can bring it to normal. Reduce your stress as much as possible.
Could it be a lack of progesterone? Sure. Because progesterone works as a natural water pill. So if your progesterone is too low, you are going to gain weight no matter what you do. Same thing if your testosterone goes down.
Could it be toxins we have plenty around us? Sure. Especially so-called endocrine disruptors. They work as your hormones, therefore even at tiny amounts they can screw up your whole endocrine system. What needs to be done? Stay away from plastic, filter your water, avoid heavy metal toxicity.
Could it be micro elements and vitamin insufficiency? Sure. Because soil fertilization results in your getting micro elements 7 to 10 times less, then you’re supposed to.
But does it really has nothing to do with food? Sure it does. The problem is that we eat mostly processed food, full of carbohydrates. Because we are not designed to digest this type of food, our sugar level in the blood goes too high and too fast, resulting in sugar lowering hormone insulin to go too high and too fast. Result: our sugar goes too down, inducing hunger. That’s why we take candy after candy after candy and we cannot stop. What needs to be done: follow the so-called Paleolithic diet, which includes fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, poultry and fish. Go organic! Stay with grass fed beef and wild caught fish. Use safe fish selector to make sure that you’re not going to be poisoned with mercury. Stay away from wheat and milk products, because when men are created, there were no agriculture. Therefore we are not designed to digest grains and milk.
Could it be a person who is next to you? Sure. Because if your friends or/and family members are eating hamburgers and french fries, it is very difficult for you to stay away from junk food.
Keep in mind, that unless you have enough, which is about 8 to 9 hours of restful sleep, you cannot lose your weight. The reason is: while asleep you are making your neurotransmitters. Without them it is not possible to stay motivated and to adjust to the changing environment and to stress. Therefore if you don’t get enough sleep, you will get neurotransmitter imbalance, making it impossible for you to lose your weight. What needs to be done: balance your neurotransmitters, reduce electromagnetic smog, check, if you are poisoned by heavy metals and detoxify yourself if necessary. Stay away from other toxins as well.
So what is your plan for action to bring your weight down?
1. Check and balance your hormones.
2. Avoid and/or reduce your stress, using medication, tapping and emotional freedom techniques.
3. Follow Paleolithic diet, stay away from wheat and milk products.
4. Go organic, stay with grass fed beef.
5. Replenish vitamins and microelements you are lacking. Stay away from multivitamins, because pharmaceutical companies do not know how much exactly vitamins and microelements you need.
6. Check toxins in your body, detoxify yourself if necessary under a doctor’s supervision.
7. Get enough sleep at any cost. But do it naturally without drugs.
8. Good enough fun!
Dr, Sergey Kalitenko