-Dr. Nick LeRoy, DC, MS
Weight loss is probably the single most important health goal for the average person. Losing a few extra inches around the mid-section will dramatically decrease the risk of almost all diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer. Unlike other body fat, the fat deposited around the belly becomes what has been termed a "secondary endocrine organ". The endocrine system is your hormonal system and includes the thyroid, adrenal glands and reproductive glands. Belly fat, known as "visceral" fat, acts like an endocrine gland because it secretes hormones and other chemicals. All of these chemicals secreted by visceral fat are bad, and actually increase the amount of inflammation in the body as well as interfere with normal appetite control and blood sugar regulation.
I provide individualized weight loss programs that are geared to an individuals needs. I accomplish this by performing "Body Composition Testing", an accurate, efficient way to determine body fat %, lean body mass, and metabolic rate. Knowing your metabolic rate is critical in reaching weight loss goals, because it allows me to determine how many calories you need to eat to lose body fat. For example, to lose 1 pound of body fat per week, you have to eat 500 calories less than you are burning, per day, for one week. Another benefit of performing Body Composition Testing is that it allows an accurate measurement of what is being lost. If you track weight loss by the scale alone, you have no idea whether you are losing fat or muscle. You never want to lose lean muscle because it is lean muscle that burns calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn per day. Diets that are overly restrictive in calories will cause you to lose muscle, thereby decreasing your metabolic rate. An overly restrictive diet and the subsequent loss in lean body mass is why many people eventually gain back more weight than they lost.
After determining your metabolic rate I sit down with you and write down exactly what you need to be eating. My approach is to eat a balanced diet--one that includes protein, vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits and starches. It also consists of eating 5-6 times per day. By eating more often you will stabilize blood sugar levels, thereby preventing excessive hunger and subsequent overeating. It also prevents muscle loss by preventing the body from going into a starvation mode and "seeking" out additional sources of calories that can be readily obtained by muscle stores. Unlike many diets, you will not be weighing foods and counting calories. Instead, you will be eating a specified number of servings of various foods that when eaten on a single day will add up to the target caloric intake calculated to lose body fat.