One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how can a naturopath help me lose weight?
Weight management is one of those areas that naturopathy can really make a difference. Because we don’t have a “one size fits all” approach, and have a lot of tools and strategies available to us, naturopaths tend to achieve very good results for our weight loss clients, and most importantly, help our clients keep the weight off as well.
Why is this?
First of all, naturopaths are trained in nutrition. We keep up to date with the latest research in nutrition, and are often aware of new emerging science in this area.
Naturopaths are also well versed in how hormones can affect weight. We understand the relationship between reproductive, adrenal and thyroid hormones, and how an imbalance in one hormone can go on to affect those hormones which influence how we store fat. We also have testing methods available to us to pinpoint if there is a specific hormone balance in a client, and then can recommend a combination of specific nutrients and herbal medicines to help restore balance in this area. In these clients, sometimes just rebalancing hormone levels can result in weight loss, even without any significant changes in diet.
Which brings me on to nutrition. Often undetected food intolerances can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can result in… you guessed it… weight gain. A variety of food intolerance testing is available to naturopaths to help work out which foods may be causing the body to hold on to fat and extra fluids, resulting in a puffy, bloated appearance.
Emotional health is also something that naturopaths can help with. Often clients with a long-term weight loss are subconsciously holding on to the extra weight for emotional reasons. Naturopathy can help address this with lifestyle advice and herbal medicines which help strengthen the nervous system.
If sugar cravings or poor liver function is part of the client’s health picture, then we are also able to look at addressing this. Herbal medicine is particularly helpful with sugar imbalances and improving liver function. Naturopaths are also able to organise tests to help look at what is happening in these areas.
Most naturopaths have available a wide range of nutritional programmes to help with weight loss. As a naturopath, I take some time during a consultation to help work out with the client which is the best approach specifically for them. Some clients do best with a structured programme with prescribed meal plans or natural meal replacement options (although definitely not those chemical-laden “diet foods and shakes”!). Some may be interested in trying approaches such as paleo, primal, vegan, low carbohydrate or the HCG programmes. Others just need some professional guidance to help tweak an existing good diet to get results. Or perhaps it is to be accountable to someone through regular follow up appointments.
If you think naturopathy may be able to help you with weight management, consider booking in for an initial consultation to get started.
Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist