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Weight Loss the Integrative Medicine Way
If losing weight seems impossible then rest as-
sured for there is an answer to the weight loss
equation and it lies at the heart of integrative
medicine. By taking a holistic functional medi-
cine approach, integrating behavioral coaching
with medical science, everyone can ¡®break down
the wall¡¯ to weight loss.
Of course diet and exercise are important, but
for many, eating exceptionally well and exercis-
ing like mad is not enough. The ¡°eat less and
exercise more¡± mantra just isn¡¯t going to work.
I¡¯ve seen it countless times and these patients
need more than simple advice. They need a
functional medicine work up that addresses
the sneaky underlying medical issues that are
blocking their success.
For others, lifestyle choices are not the best,
and they do need guidance on nutrition, meal
planning and cooking. Or maybe a little direc-
tion on the best type of exercise along with a
plan to help insure it happens. Help with sleep
and stress management is often a subtle part of
losing weight.
The Lifestyle Basics
Nutrition advice can get too technical, counting
calories and measuring portion sizes, or pre-
scribing a detailed and cumbersome menu, and
I have found that breaking down nutrition into
a few simple rules is most productive. Eliminate
sugar and artificially sweetened drinks. Drasti-
cally reduce the starchy carbohydrates such as
breads, potatoes and pasta. Avoid hydrogenated
oils and ¡®trans-fats¡¯ found mostly in processed
and packaged foods. Limit red meat and dairy
to a few servings per week, instead focusing on
leaner cuts of fish and fowl.
Fresh, raw, preferably organic fruits and vegeta-
bles should make up most of the diet. Whether
organic or not I recommend a produce ¡®wash¡¯
designed to clean off the dozens of chemicals
that are well-known to reside on most produce.
Whole grains and proteins should equally make
up the rest. A simple routine is to get a daily
2015 September
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
¡°Everybody needs beauty
as well as bread, places to
play in and pray in,
where nature may heal
and give strength
to body and soul.¡±
- John Muir
olism are produced during the deeper sleep cycles,
such as thyroid, testosterone and growth hormone.
Important appetite signaling hormones are thrown
out of balance with poor sleep and cause increased
Managing stress helps control the fat promoting
hormone called cortisol, which causes weight gain
especially around the middle. Recognize and re-
move stressors when possible. From there, man-
aging stress is the goal. This is done on an hour-
to-hour and day-to-day basis by simply taking the
time to balance the stressors. Taking a short walk,
doing a few minutes of deep-breathing exercises,
meditation, or restorative yoga are a few tech-
niques to practice regularly.
In Harmony
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
Social situations are
worth noting as they
can have a good or bad
effect on weight loss
efforts. If you frequent
fast food restaurants
and hang with ¡°over-
indulgent couch-pota-
to¡± buddies then eating
well and exercising is
gonna be tough. Try to
make healthy eating a
part of your social net-
work and spend time
with friends who are
So many times I¡¯ve had
patients doing all of
the above yet still not
losing weight. It is here
that physicians need
to jump in and address
some other key ele-
ments for successful
weight loss.
The Medical Path
¡°I¡¯ve struggled with
weight my whole life¡±,
says the patient with
low thyroid. Or the
stressed out patient
with high cortisol may
complain, ¡°I¡¯ve put on
this weight and it¡¯s all
stuck right around the
middle¡±. After meno-
pause many women
put on 20-30 pounds
in the first year due
to deficiencies of the
ovarian hormones. Men
too, usually by age 50,
start to show signs of
low testosterone mani-
festing as more belly
fat and less muscle.
Growth hormone is the master hormone for
building muscle and burning fat and it too
declines with aging. Evaluating and restoring
hormone balance is key to weight control.
The hunger and metabolic hormones of the
digestive system including insulin, leptin, ghrelin
and adiponectin can also be optimized for weight
loss. Using supplements or medications we can
assist this important hormone system to control
appetite and speed up metabolism.
Addressing intestinal health is a fairly easy area
to help patients with weight loss. Conditions
such as leaky-gut or a disrupted gut bacterial
ecosystem can have profound negative impacts
on nutrient absorption and metabolic vitamin
production. Delayed food allergies will cause
weight gain by stoking up the immune system.
We routinely observe 10-20 pound weight loss
in patients undergoing food allergy elimination
diets. Insufficient nutrients, overloaded detoxi-
fication pathways and genetic mutations called
polymorphisms are yet other areas that we can
test for and treat.
Catalysts for Weight Loss
Finally there are several prescriptions that can
help to really get weight loss started. HCG is a
hormone that works to promote weight loss by
opening up access to stubborn fat reserves so
that a restricted calorie diet causes rapid fat loss
as it is burned for fuel. Sermorelin is a com-
pound that can be taken to stimulate the natural
release of human growth hormone. B12 injec-
tions combined with the fat-burning trio of com-
pounds called MIC, or methione-inositol-choline,
is another great adjuvant to use. Protein shakes
for meal replacement work well.
If you are struggling with weight loss then con-
sider these key elements ¨C one of them just may
be the answer to your weight loss solution.
(Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the
American Board of Family Practice and the
American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative
Medicine. He specializes in Bioidentical Hormone
Replacement for men and women, thyroid and
adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia, weight loss and
other complex medical conditions. He is founder
and medical director of the Integrative Medicine
Center of Western Colorado (
and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzala- Call 970.245.6911 for an appointment
or more information.)
fruit plate or salad and a daily vegetable
salad. Berries are the ideal fruits and the
brightly colored green, red, orange, yellow,
blue, and black veggies are the best.
Don¡¯t eat everything on your plate if there is
too much on your plate! The typical restau-
rant entr¨¦e is usually plenty for two. Using
smaller plates has been shown time and
again to help control portion sizes. If you
don¡¯t cook then learn to! Preparing fresh,
healthy food is a key element to weight loss
and one of life¡¯s simple pleasures.
Exercise is another key element and it does
not have to be fancy or cumbersome. Nor
do you need to join a gym or buy expen-
sive equipment. Ideally we should do some
aerobic and some strengthening activities.
Simple walking or biking is plenty for most
people and it does not even have to be all
at one time. Taking several shorter walks
during the day counts and will add up to a
significant amount of exercise. Obviously,
running, swimming, or any type of ¡®high-
intensity interval training¡¯ is even better.
Strength training can be a simple as a home
exercise program with exercise bands, a
few free weights and a pull up bar. Yoga is
a great routine for building core strength.
Many metabolic pathways and hormones rely
on exercise to activate the very systems that
help build muscle and lose weight.
Sleep is an under-recognized yet major
player in the game of weight control. Most of
our beneficial hormones that improve metab-