What tests are the most important to boost body fat burning!
I do a lot of testing with patients. I might test to check their stress hormones (cortisol & DHEA); their reproductive hormone levels (oestrogen, progesterone or testosterone); their gut for parasites (DNA stool test); Or if their cells are burning fats and carbohydrates optimally (Organic acids test).
The reason being that there’s usually more going wrong in the women I see than just their diet. Most of the women who come to see me tell me the same story…
No matter how much they ‘diet’ or how much they exercise they just can’t shed their belly, hip and thigh fat. What used to work for them in the past no longer works. And they can’t understand why.
So to get to the bottom of their fat-burning problems I get them to do some tests. Not your regular every day doctor tests because they always come back ‘clear’. But what is called ‘functional’ tests?
These tests are designed to identify subtle imbalances before they have become a disease. They tell you about what’s not functioning optimally rather than do you have a disease or not. And it’s identifying imbalances which is the key to your weight loss success.
And without doing the appropriate test there’s no way to know what’s out of balance in your body.
For example, when it comes assessing the impact of stress on your metabolism it’s not as simple as asking you “Are you stressed?”
Many women don’t realise how stressed they are because life is so stressful these days that stress seems normal.
However, if you have had the stress hormone cortisol flowing freely out of your adrenal glands through your body for decades it’s going to slow your metabolic rate. That’s because long term stress can be interpreted by your brain as you must be in a famine. And so the cortisol that your body releases to help you mobilise energy and survive the ‘famine’ also puts the brake on your thyroid function.
It doesn’t cause you a thyroid disease, so when you have a thyroid test it comes back ‘normal’ but the excess cortisol slightly suppresses thyroid hormone production and activation so that your metabolic rate slows and you’ll be able to survive this ‘famine’.
Of course, you aren’t actually in a famine and the stress never stops so over the decades your metabolic rate slows and commonly around your 40’s or during menopause your weight starts to climb.
Then as you try and diet or exercise more your body keeps adapting to help you survive the famine by lowering your metabolic rate more and more and so your weight just won’t go down.
The secret then to breaking you free of this vicious cycle is to find out what your cortisol levels are like. And then if they aren’t optimal re-balancing them. The way you do this is by taking four saliva samples over one day.
By taking four samples we get to see if you are releasing the correct amount of cortisol throughout the day. Because the way your body works you should release a certain amount of cortisol at the beginning of the day and a certain amount at the end.
Cortisol production follows the circadian rhythm (the cycle of the night and day). You should hit your peak cortisol release in the morning to get your body ready for the day ahead. And then at night, you should be producing your least so you can go to sleep.
If your body isn’t releasing cortisol in this pattern then that’s a big problem.
Here is an example of optimal cortisol production and some examples of distorted cortisol production from women who have come to see me because they couldn’t lose weight.
Optimal production – most in the morning and then declining over the day
This woman’s production is up and down instead of a curve starting high and finishing low
Insufficient production. An example of adrenal burnout and what’s commonly called Adrenal Fatigue
Here production is reversed and high. Too much at night and not enough in the morning.
An extremely high morning output followed by low daytime production.
Now the value in doing this test is that it shows me exactly what the problem is and when it is. And once I have that information I can then design a diet and supplement program to correct it. And as your cortisol levels start to re-balance your metabolism starts to work again. Your body goes from thinking there’s a famine to thinking times are great and it’s okay to shed your stored body fat.
Another great example of the necessity of testing is the case of a woman who recently came to see me. She has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and needed my help because she’s chronically tired and can’t lose weight.
Now there is a lot of controversy in the medical profession over whether fibromyalgia exists or not. All the doctors agree that there is something wrong with people presenting with fibromyalgia symptoms but no one can find a specific cause.
So I recommended to this patient at her initial consultation that we need to investigate further into her issues and identify what’s really going on in her body. The test I got her to do is an amazing test called an Organic Acids Profile.
What this test does is it analyses the quantities of specific acids your body produces, as part of metabolism (carb burning, fat burning, detoxification, digestion and neurotransmitter production), which you eliminate in your urine.
When you burn food (carbs, fats & proteins) and turn it into energy you produce certain acids. When your body detoxifies chemicals certain acids are formed. The organisms that live in your gut produce certain acids. And as your neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine & adrenaline) are broken down they form acids.
So if you identify what acids and how much of them are in your urine it reveals if you have any problems with how your metabolic processes are working.
A common metabolic issue I see in patients who are tired and struggling with their weight is a problem with fat burning. This shows up on the Organic Acids Profiles as high levels of Adipic or Suberic Acid.
High Adipic Acid &Suberic Acid levels indicate poor fat burning
High levels of one, or both, of these acids, indicates you’re not burning fat properly. And so you’ll lack energy and find it difficult to shed body fat.
In this patient’s case though, these two acids were in the normal range. The acid that was found to be high was Lactic Acid, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before in regards to exercise.
High lactic acid indicates that carbohydrates aren’t being burnt efficiently
Lactic acid builds up in your body when it’s working under anaerobic conditions like when you’re sprinting. And as levels rise it causes your muscles to ‘burn’. But creating energy this way (anaerobically) is very inefficient and is why you can’t sprint forever.
So it was very telling to find lactic acid high in this patient’s results and it quickly explained why she felt fatigued.
But it also posed a question… why was her body creating energy using this inefficient energy production pathway even though she wasn’t exercising?
To work this question out relied on looking at what other acids were out of balance. And the ones that kept cropping up we the acids that indicated she has too many ‘bad’ organisms in her gut.
Indoleacetic Acid & Tricarballylate are acids produced by bad gut organisms and are a sign of poor gut health
Interestingly, current research has found that an over-proliferation of bad microbes in your gut slows down your metabolism. The reason bad microbes slow down your metabolism goes like this…
Bad gut microbes produce nasty toxic chemicals as they rot food in your gut instead of you digesting it. Too many bad microbes mean lots of toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals are then absorbed into your body and cause lots of systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high insulin levels. High insulin levels shut down fat burning and trigger fat making. Fat cells also make inflammatory chemicals. More inflammation means worsening insulin resistance. Worsening insulin resistance means more fat making. And on and on the cycle goes.
So the secret to helping this patient regain her energy and trigger fat loss is to not just fix her diet. I’ll also have to fix her gut and eliminate the inflammation. Without the test, I’d never have known this and we could have been trying strategy after strategy and not knowing why we weren’t achieving any success.
Now the message I want you to take from these examples is not that you have to do a lot of testing but some are necessary to identify your real underlying problems. That’s because the root cause of problems are not always what they might seem. You want to make sure you are treating the real problem.
If you want to discover what imbalances in your body are stopping you from being able to shed your unwanted belly, hip and thigh fat then call us on 02 9524 2471 or fill our boxes on the right and we’ll give you a call.