Dr. Alison discusses why weight and being skinny aren't the answer to your health issues, how weight is a symptom of something deeper going on, and how you can begin to address your whole body health.
Listen, watch, or read the podcast transcript below:
Hello. And welcome back today. We are talking about why being skinny and losing weight, isn't going to fix all your problems, why it's not really even the end goal of why we focus on your health and do our bloodwork and try and be healthier and feel better. Right?
So you've probably been told if you've gone to the doctor to lose weight, exercise more, eat less, and that's going to solve your cholesterol levels, your energy levels, you're fatigued, your insomnia or diabetes, whatever you have, but someone is convinced that the weight is the root cause of all of your issues. I'm here to flip it around and tell you that your weight is a symptom of something else going on. And once we can address that, the weight will either naturally come off. We'll be able to work with your weight, or maybe your metabolism is at a set point.
There's something else going on and we can figure it out. Accept it, love it for what it is, right? So I don't want to say that you can't lose weight until you balance your hormones, but honestly, you're going to have a harder time. So of course, eating less is not going to help your hormones is not going to help your cortisol. Eating less is not going to help balance your progesterone, your testosterone.
If you have PCOS and you're eating less and exercising more and heavier and faster, you're going to put on more weight. So a lot of these techniques are built for either men who don't have hormone problems. Post-Menopausal women as well. All the studies are done on. So when you start looking at, Oh my gosh, I want to lose weight. We have to look at all of your hormones, your thyroid, your estrogen, or progesterone your testosterone.
So don't just think I'm going to lose weight and ignore your hormones. Right? The other thing is, is you're not going to have energy to work out until you fix your adrenals until you fix your digestive system until you fix your liver. So when most people come to me and I ask what your top five health concerns are, weight is almost always at the top. I just want to lose weight. I would feel so much better if you, if I lost weight and really we can't fix your thyroid until we heal your gut and your liver, because that's where all the thyroid hormones go to be converted for your cells to use.
We can't worry about wait until your digestive system is functioning and your estrogen is balanced because it's going through your liver and your gut. So that's why I like to do stool testing for women who have hormone problems, as we can look at those enzymes affect and recirculate estrogen, because you might be eating perfectly clean, but your liver can't handle the overload of estrogen.
And it goes back into your gut recirculate. So no matter how many estrogen cleanses you do, or how many gut cleanses you do, you're not going to fix it until you fix that enzyme and the inflammation we know what's actually going on. The other thing is that your weight is dependent on your body type, your genetics, your exposure to chemicals, food. There's so much more at stake than calories in versus calories out that doesn't doesn't even matter. I don't even care about calories. Actually. I do. I ended up telling my patients typically to eat more. Most women are sitting at eating about 800 calories to 1200 calories. And it's just not enough. And they work with a lot of nutritionist that tell them you need to lose weight. I needed to lose weight. And I keep asking my patients like, why do you need to lose weight?
What's the purpose behind losing weight? And is your trainer, your nutritionist, your doctor, your health coach, who is guiding you on this weight loss in air quotes journey, measuring your body, mass, your muscle percentage, your body fat percentage. What else are they measuring other than a number on a scale? Because when you look at women and men and we look at blood type and we look at body type, say, we take a woman. Who's like me. Who's an O who has genetic heritage that she has. And I have all my charts for an it out. I do really good with weightlifting. If you put me in a yoga situation, I fall apart. And so what I noticed is that, of course, the more I lift the heavier I lift, the more muscle mass I gained, the more weight I gained, actually my clothes sizing goes up even, but my body fat percentage goes down and my muscle mass percentage goes up.
So if someone was just greeting me with, for an a for effort or a for my scale, you would see that I would be failing miserably because I'd be gaining weight. But my composition has been changing. So never judge yourself off of the scale, which can be completely wrong. The other thing is that when, even when you're looking at body fat percentage, if you have one of those handheld ones that are at changes, most trainers have at the gym as only measuring your upper body. So when I went to the gym, they're like, Ooh, we're 28% body fat. I'm like, no, because the one at home says, I'm something else. If you have one that you just stand on, it just measures your legs and your hips because it's just running electrical current through there. So on that end, I'm a lot bigger, cause I'm heavier down below.
Thank you. Oh, blood type, right. And genetics and all kinds of estrogen and insulin, but that's a whole different situation. But I understand that about my body though. So I know what's going on. So what I do like as the body fat percentage markers, where you have the handheld connected to the scale. So it's running your whole body is sort of just one part. And all of those things can be off by 5% anyways. So for example, I was like, I want to get down to a really specific body fat percentage. This is all I want. It's all I wanted was my dream. Like, I'll be happy. I'll feel healthy. I'll feel strong. And I hired a personal trainer. They gave me the body fat procedures thing. They're like, Oh, you're this body. I'm like, Oh, well that was my goal. So now what, so really it's not even about the numbers because your weight is a symptom of what's going on.
And if you can outlive or outrun your doctor, like who cares what your scale says, if your body is functioning and your blood work says, you're good. Now, if you don't feel good, don't worry about the weight because the weight isn't making you not feel good, right. Is your energy is your thyroid is everything else. And your weight, doesn't define you as a human being at all. It is just, is just your body. You are not your body. And so there's so many studies out and you can Google it and get on pub med. That show how difficult it is to lose weight in 2020 and the two thousands versus like 1980. And there's a term called obesogens or Xeno hormones. And you can look those up. And there are chemicals that have been put into our products, our water, our daily care things, our cars that are circulating around in the environment. And now even in our foods that literally make us obese and it's hard to lose weight.
So don't feel like your weight is necessarily a reflection of your self discipline or your worthiness. You're being exposed to things that people have never been exposed to in the history of humankind. So take it easy on yourself. Take a deep breath. Don't think calories in versus calories out. Don't think you have to starve yourself or feel guilty for eating food, because that is not the way this works.
Look at all these issues, do the deeper testing. Look at life, phosphate testing, look at mold and heavy metals and toxicity testing. All of these things can play a role and that way you can heal your body. So your Patty is not overwhelmed. And then whatever your weight is, your weight is because at least your body is functioning and feeling good. And I want to hit on is that weight is commonly an emotional or spiritual issue where we put on weight to protect ourselves. And we do that as a boundary. And it's important to look at that as well. So when you're looking at not only your physical state and your food state and your macros and your exercise and bringing it all in together, to look at the emotional, spiritual side and figure out what is going on, how are you feeling and get yourself to a place where you can talk to a therapist. You can talk to a food therapists are amazing because they help you not only through eating disorders, but understanding why you're eating the way you're eating and what you're eating.
Take a look at not only the sabotages that you might go through, but why might you be coping the emotional weight on and where can you shot and let go, whether it's trauma or protection or something going on there. So thanks for tuning in today. I really appreciate you being here and we'll catch you on the next episode. Thanks.