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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Losing Weight and Keeping it off, Naturally

Jun 28, 2024 09:31AM ● By Dr. Gary Kracoff
The rate of obesity has been skyrocketing over the years, specifically since the pandemic. According to the National Institutes of Health, the prevalence of obesity before the pandemic was 11 percent to 15 percent for men and women. After the pandemic, rates climbed to 25.3 percent to 42.4 percent for men and women.
Many have turned to medical weight loss or other intense weight-loss programs to combat this growing concern. While the use of certain medications has become a promising way to shed weight quickly and successfully, many patients have become somewhat dependent on prescription GLP-1 agonists to prevent themselves from regaining weight. There are reported side effects of these medications and many times they will need to be taken continually to prevent weight gain.

To provide better guidance, let’s look at the science on the matter. According to Johns Hopkins Hospital, most people that lose a larger amount of weight relatively quickly (regardless of method) tend to gain it back within the first two to three years afterwards. And it is presumed to be due to a phenomenon referred to as the “Energy Gap”, coined to explain the physiological changes that occur within the body during and after weight loss.
The energy gap explains why our body slows its metabolic rate and holds weight, simply to preserve our energy reservoir in case of risk for starvation. In fact, it is estimated that for each kilogram (kg) (2.2 pounds) lost, metabolism slows down 20 to 30 calories per day, while appetite increases 100 calories per day.
Lifestyle changes can help avoid the energy gap. Implementing dietary change, increasing total exercise time to 200-plus minutes per week, frequently checking in with doctors or dieticians, decreasing screen time and more can be helpful.
A structured detoxification program and follow up with hunger hormone supporting supplements can be highly effective. This is to be used with or without medication.
Following a structured detoxification program provides structure for a patient to begin to learn in seven or 14 days how to reset lifestyle habits. The detoxification program may also reduce the toxic burden imposed by weight loss. One study reported that for every kg lost, we see an increase in persistent organic pollutants in serum by about 2 to 4 percent, and this can remain in the body for up to one year after weight is lost.

In addition to a detox program, if patients are looking for a more natural option to support their efforts in weight management, using a formula to support the natural balance of GLP-1, ghrelin and leptin may be helpful as well.

Dr. Gary Kracoff is a registered pharmacist with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine at the Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center, at 577 Main St., Waltham, MA. Consultations with their professional pharmacists and dieticians are also offered. For more information, call 781-893-3870 ext. 2, email [email protected] or visit