Weight Management Isn’t a Diet, It’s a Journey
Anyone who has dieted and lost, only to watch the pounds return, knows how hard it is to maintain a lithe and healthy body shape. Today, more than one-third of U.S. adults are considered obese, defined as an accumulation of body fat 20 percent or more over an individual’s ideal body weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
That’s why Karin Grumstrup, a nurse practitioner at NorthBay Functional Medicine, set out to create a program to guide patients into lifelong eating changes, rather than through a time-limited “diet.” Her prescription for good health started with a recipe that balances metabolism and became the concept behind “Weight Management: Now and for a Lifetime.” This eight-week program is designed to help participants get started on the journey to lose weight once and for all.
Eight-week program guides patients into lifelong eating changes, rather than through a time-limited diet.
After months of study, Karin devised a diet comprised of protein, quality fats and slow-burning carbohydrates. The plan includes three meals a day with no snacks, no sugar and no flour of any kind. It is a new way to eat for life.
“Sugar is a fast-burning fuel that is very addictive,” Karin explains. “Your brain can’t tell the difference between sugar and cocaine, and your body will continue to store fat instead of burning fat if your sugar and insulin levels remain high.”
Like many post-menopausal women, Karin found that any weight she gained appeared on her belly. Before offering her diet to patients, she tried the program on herself and found her belly fat disappeared once she was sugar- and flour-free.
“Two hormones, insulin and leptin, tell your body when to store fat and gain weight and when to burn fat and lose weight,” Karin explains. “Insulin is released in response to the level of sugar in your blood. As long as you have elevated insulin in your blood, leptin is blocked and you don’t receive the signal that you are full, so you continue to eat more food than your body needs.”
In December, just five weeks into her first class, participants were absolutely joyful. Kerri Claussen of Vacaville was already showing off her “before and after” pictures; the weight loss confirmed by a smaller size of jeans. Her goal is fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams for her marriage in May.
“I wanted a natural food plan, not a diet based on prepackaged foods and all the additives they include,” Kerri says. “I’ve tried other diets and I know the only way to lose weight is with a proper, healthy diet. Now that I’m sugar-free, it’s like a fog has lifted in my brain.”
Karin requires her participants to have access to a computer and a food scale. Following the initial meeting, patients receive several audio tapes, each from two to five minutes in length, via email each week. They also have unlimited email access to her if questions arise. Each new group (every four weeks) will meet three times during the eight weeks.
The first eight weeks sets a pattern that participants can use for a lifetime. Preparing and weighing food is time-consuming and requires discipline, Karin explains. But the rewards are worth it. The average weight loss is 17 pounds during the first eight weeks.
“I don’t emphasize BMI or the numbers on a scale in the early weeks,” Karin says. “The most important measurement when you first get started is waist measurement and I encourage the participants to measure themselves in the beginning and as they move along in the program. As your insulin levels drop, your waist measurement will go down and people begin to lose that visceral (belly) fat that causes so many health issues. Your goal weight is completely up to you. This varies with people for many different reasons.”
Janie Sevold of Vacaville was ready for a new start when she began the program. She had lost 135 pounds following lap band surgery but, fearful that she was losing too much weight, had the band reduced. She promptly gained 60 pounds.
“When I returned to my bariatric surgeon for help, he told me ‘You have a disease called obesity and there is no cure,'” Janie says. Discouraged and not interested in more surgery, she began researching nutrition and weight loss on her own. She turned to Functional Medicine for a detox program, but she still wasn’t losing weight.
“Then Karin said, ‘I’m starting a new weight loss program that may interest you,'” Janie says. “Her confidence that the program could help me is what gave me the motivation to start,” Janie says.
After five weeks on the plan, she can’t stop smiling. “I finally feel there is a way out—I’m not doomed to obesity,” Janie says. “This will be a long-term process, but I know if I follow the guidelines, I’m assured of success.”
Karin enjoys watching her patients succeed. “When you’re fueling your body in a healthy way and you’re balanced metabolically, good health just falls into place,” she says. “I’ve been following the regimen for seven months myself, and I’ve made it my new way of life.”
For more information, please contact NorthBay Functional Medicine at (707) 624-8530.