The Causes of Weight Gain - and What You Can Do
Diet and Lifestyle
Weight gain is a complex process - and the causes of weight gain vary from person to person. For many, diet and lifestyle are the main culprits. Taking a closer look at your diet and lifestyle can help you to identify potential areas of improvement. Whether it’s eating more healthily, exercising more, or simply making more time for yourself - small changes can make a big difference. However, sometimes even with these changes solving your weight issues may require more than just diet and exercise. At VBoutique we can evaluate everything from Hormonal imbalances to how nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities may be affecting your weight loss journey. Our custom-tailored solutions include a number of innovative approaches to help you reach your goals and optimal health.
Hormonal imbalances can be a contributing factor to weight gain. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate a wide range of bodily functions, including metabolism, appetite, and fat storage. If your hormones are out of balance, it can affect your body's ability to regulate weight and lead to unwanted weight gain.
One common hormonal imbalance that can contribute to weight gain is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance occurs when your body's cells become less responsive to insulin. This can cause your body to produce more insulin, which can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain. Insulin resistance is often associated with a diet that is high in processed and sugary foods, and it can be improved through dietary and lifestyle changes.
Another hormone that can contribute to weight gain is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is released by the body in response to stress, and chronic stress can cause cortisol levels to remain elevated over time. This can lead to increased appetite and fat storage, particularly in the abdominal area. Managing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep can help to reduce cortisol levels and promote healthy weight management.
Thyroid hormones play an important role in metabolism and can also contribute to weight gain when imbalanced. Hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, can lead to a slower metabolism and weight gain. This condition is commonly associated with food sensitivities, especially to that of Gluten.
Estrogen is a female sex hormone that is responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, including regulating the menstrual cycle and promoting bone health. However, too much estrogen can lead to weight gain, particularly in the hips and thighs. This is because excess estrogen can cause an increase in fat storage in these areas. Estrogen dominance can occur when estrogen levels are too high in relation to other hormones, such as progesterone. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor diet, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins. Estrogen levels are often high compared to progesterone in perimenopause (the 5-10 years leading to menopause), a condition called estrogen dominance.
Progesterone is another female sex hormone that works in balance with estrogen to regulate the menstrual cycle and support pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone can contribute to weight gain, particularly in the abdomen, and can also lead to bloating and water retention. Progesterone levels can be affected by stress, poor diet, and certain medications.
Both estrogen and progesterone imbalances can also lead to changes in appetite and food cravings, which can contribute to weight gain. Additionally, these imbalances can affect insulin resistance and other hormonal systems, which can further affect weight regulation.
Leptin is a hormone produced by adipose (fat) tissue in the body, and it plays a crucial role in regulating appetite and metabolism. Elevated levels of leptin, causes a condition known as leptin resistance. In these cases, the brain becomes less responsive to the signals from leptin, leading to an increase in appetite and a decrease in energy expenditure. This can contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. High insulin levels, increased stored fat, and chronic inflammation due to food sensitivities, increase leptin levels.
Functional testing offered at our offices includes a very comprehensive hormone panel, making these issues easier to diagnose and treat accordingly.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Food Sensitivities
Nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities are two factors that can contribute to weight gain. Nutritional deficiencies are very common among the adult US population, and occur when your body does not get enough of certain essential nutrients. This can happen if you have a poor diet, if your body has difficulty absorbing nutrients, or if you have certain medical conditions. For example, deficiencies in certain B vitamins can slow down your metabolism, making it harder for you to burn calories. Deficiencies in magnesium and other minerals can contribute to insulin resistance, making it harder for your body to regulate blood sugar levels and manage weight. Additionally, deficiencies in amino acids can make it harder for your body to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is important for keeping your metabolism strong.
Food sensitivities occur when your body has an adverse reaction to certain foods, even if you are not allergic to them. Food sensitivities can cause chronic inflammation in the body, which can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. Additionally, if you have food sensitivities, you may experience food cravings that can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy diet.
At our office, we can test for both these conditions and come up with a tailored solution to circumvent these issues.
New safe and effective weight loss drugs
Semaglutide and Tirzepatide are two medications that have recently been approved by the FDA for weight loss in certain populations. These medications are “Incretin mimetics”: they mimic incretin hormones which are gut hormones that aid in digestion and blood sugar control. They include GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) agonists.
Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist that was originally approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In June 2021, the FDA approved a higher dose of semaglutide, called Wegovy, for weight loss. Clinical trials have shown that semaglutide can lead to significant weight loss. In one trial, individuals taking semaglutide lost an average of 15% of their body weight over 68 weeks, compared to those taking a placebo, who lost an average of 2.4% of their body weight.
Tirzepatide is dual-action GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist that was originally approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In May 2021, the FDA approved a higher dose of tirzepatide, called Rybelsus, for weight loss. Clinical trials have shown that tirzepatide can lead to significant weight loss. In clinical trials, individuals taking tirzepatide lost an average of 22.5% of their body weight over 68 weeks.
In general, the clinical trials have shown many benefits to these medications, including significant weight reduction, resolution of cravings (food, Alcohol), lowering death from cardiovascular causes by 26%, lowering HgA1c, reversing Fatty liver disease, improving liver function tests, increased insulin sensitivity, and reducing Visceral fat. They can be used safely for long-term weight management.
These medications are not a magic bullet for weight loss and should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan. Both drugs are generally well tolerated, but potential side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation, which are typically mild and improve over time.
How to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey
Managing your weight doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Whether it’s personalized nutrition, avoiding food allergens, supplementation to alleviate nutritional deficiencies, movement, or even medication such as Semiglutide or Tirzapitide - there are lots of options out there to help you on your journey. The key is to find the right solution for you and to take it one step at a time. The first step is to schedule your consultation with our office at (561)357-2020.
Meet Dr. Vanden Bosch!
Dr. V - Neda Vanden Bosch is the primary cosmetic physician at VBoutique. She is an accomplished physician with extensive training and experience with dermal fillers, collagen stimulators, laser and radiofrequency treatment, as well as skincare. Dr. V is licensed in 10 states. She is board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Antiaging and Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. V combines her artistry and deep understanding of facial aging with expert technique, and a variety of cutting-edge laser devices to craft individualized treatment plans for facial rejuvenation and body contouring. She also has exclusive access to the latest and most innovative aesthetic treatments available in the United States.
She is a highly-trained physician and sought-after injector of dermal fillers and neurotoxins. With 15 years of experience in aesthetic medicine, she is a faculty member of the prestigious Galderma Injection Training Network (GAIN) and trains physicians how to perform cosmetic procedures. Dr. V was recently named to Galderma's Top 100 Injectors.
Dr. V has treated thousands of patients with injectables and has numerous of hours of experience perfecting specialized injection placement to correct facial volume loss and facial asymmetries. Preciseness with a woman's deft touch means the best and longest-lasting results from volume replacement treatments.
Merz Aesthetics recognizes her as a highly regarded "Elite Provider" of Radiesse and Belotero dermal fillers, as well as neuromodulators. Dr. V is a participating physician in Allergan's Brilliant Distinctions Program for its Botox, Juvederm and Latisse products, and Galderma’s “Aspire Rewards” Program.
Most recently, Dr. V was named a "Top Doctor" by the online, aesthetic and cosmetic treatment community Realself.com. This recognition is awarded to less than 10% of doctors on the website.