Soon after starting this blog I quickly realized that there were too many topics I was trying to cover and that it would be better to break it up into multiple blogs. I wrote in my last blog that I would discuss how the Vega products fit into a weight loss program so that is what I will focus on in this one.
Weight loss is both simple and complex all at once. During a recent party I attended, a man I was talking to about losing weight made a statement that was something like, “weight loss is easy, you’re just going to be hungry at times, if you can get your mind to accept that it’s not so bad.” A patient of mine described a similar conversation she had with her personal trainer while they were discussing dietary changes for weight loss. She told her trainer that she was just not able to be as strict with her diet as the younger, healthier people at the gym because she just gets hungry. The trainer’s response was that, “we are all hungry, you get used to it.” There is truth in these words. Sometimes doing what’s right is going to hurt a little. That’s the simple part. There is a reason that the contestants on Survivor lose weight, they are burning more calories than they are consuming.
The more complex stuff is what I do in my office on a daily basis. If your insulin and blood sugar are high, two things that make it very difficult to lose weight, there are dietary changes, supplements and medication that will fix this problem. If your testosterone is deficient, or your hormones are not balanced, blood and saliva tests can detect these abnormal levels and bioidentical hormone replacement can return your body to proper balance. If you have food allergies, an often overlooked condition that will slow down any weight loss program, specialized food allergy testing can detect them and those foods can then be avoided. I could go on but you get the picture. For some, weight loss is more than just calories in vs calories out.
Back to the easy part and the reason for this blog. I made a series of changes around last November after food allergy testing revealed that I had a severe allergy to hops, one of the main components in beer, along with a moderate allergy to chicken, a major food staple for all of us. As difficult as it was I removed beer from my diet, the chicken was more of an afterthought. Around the same time I discovered the Vega Whole Food Optimizer product while searching for a protein powder that was soy, dairy and whey free. This product also happens to have 15 grams of fiber in it.
It is well established in the scientific literature that fiber has many health benefits, one of which is that it helps with weight loss. One of the ways it does this is by promoting gut health, which I will discuss in my next blog, another way is by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates, keeping blood sugar levels more stable and insulin levels low. Most Americans average somewhere around 10 grams of fiber per day. The recommendation is more like 25 – 30 grams. This product helps make up this glaring deficit in the typical American diet and by doing so will help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of colon cancer.
The other main reason this powder can help you is also well established in weight loss research is that it can be used as a meal replacement. The use of meal replacements are a simple concept. They provide an easy, convenient way to control calories and carbohydrate intake. When you study those that have successfully lost weight and kept it off, the use of meal replacements is a common and effective strategy.
Other than removing beer from my diet, I didn’t make too many other changes in the way that I was eating other than adding the Vega Whole Food Optimizer as a meal replacement once a day on most days. I wasn’t necessarily trying to limit calories as I typically mix it with fruit, almond or coconut milk and sometimes even a scoop of natural peanut butter. I believe the combination of the high fiber content of this meal along with the many other healthy ingredients that it contains such as plant-based proteins, played a big role in the 10 pounds I have lost since November. Plant based proteins are a growing trend that I will cover in coming blogs. Pay attention to this trend, I believe it is going to be a big one.
Until next time, Stay healthy and live well… Dr. Mike