Hormonal Balancing, Digestive Fat Loss, and Body Potentiation
Dr. Kareem F. Samhouri
Balance your body.
Every effort you make has an increased impact once your body is balanced — if you cannot absorb nutrients, your blood sugar levels are out of whack, or your joints are aligned improperly then losing weight will be the lowest priority for your body. Fix these factors first, and weight loss becomes much easier.
Step 1: Get your blood work done.
Look for these markers, in specific, and work with your doctor or naturopathic physician to get them in balance:
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – important marker for inflammation; can be falsely elevated, but pay attention over time, in particular.
Homocysteine – another inflammatory marker.
Hemoglobin – the amount of oxygen in your blood — if you are having trouble with endurance, be sure to get this checked.
AA/EPA Ratio: Arachidonic acid (AA) is an inflammatory fatty acid released during inflammation. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on the other hand is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that has been shown to block the effects of AA. Therefore, the ratio of AA to EPA can offere additional insight into one’s potential for inflammation, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.*
Cholesterol – alone, cholesterol is fine, and is actually essential for your body’s survival. However, when your body has inflammation, cholesterol sticks to arterial walls and creates arteriosclerosis. Poor vascular health means less oxygen-rich blood, which pretty much means your system is operating at a serious disadvantage from that point forward. Reduce high cholesterol — it’s important.
Triglycerides – when triglycerides are high, your body is having a hard time regulating the breakdown of carbohydrates. In particular, a high triglyceride count, along with a high cholesterol count suggests extremely high risk of cardiac disease. Take the necessary precautions — eliminate sugars, reduce carbohydrate intake from non veggies, and get rid of inflammation.
1Direct quote from The Cholesterol Crime, Dr. Bryan Walsh
Cortisol – be sure to have this measured in the morning, as it’s highest at this time. Cortisol fluctuates a lot on blood tests, so it’s not considered very reliable, but you can certainly pick up on a chronic pattern of high cortisol. Also, when coupled with low DHEA, it’s suggestive that your cortisol has been high for a long time.
DHEA – this is your calming hormone — when low, it means your body is running on empty. Generally, this is coupled with feelings of fatigue and/or anxiety or depression.
Liver Enzymes – your liver is the filtration system for your entire body. Drinking alcohol, taking medication, eating poorly chosen foods, and taking supplements that don’t work with your body can all lead to increasing your liver enzyme count. This is a serious concern, so it’s important you know if your liver is healthy.
Blood sugar level – fasting glucose above 100 ng/dl is suggestive of insulin resistance.
Hemoglobin A1C – this is your more accurate blood sugar test, which measures your blood sugar over the last 3 months — anything above 5.5% is suggestive of insulin resistance.
Thyroid hormone – your thyroid gland plays a key role in your weight loss journey. Understanding if you have a thyroid disorder will be important.
White blood cell count – your body’s immune response is here. Seeing a normal, but strong range of white blood cells helps ensure your body’s ability to fight off disease.
Red blood cell count – hemoglobin is measured from your red blood cells, and it’s the part that carries your oxygen. However, there are other types of red blood cells, and they all assist with smooth vascular transport. Always be sure to take a look and make sure you’re in the normal range for all types of red blood cells.
Growth hormone – alongside testosterone, this hormone is much lower in men today than most hormones. Be sure to stimulate growth hormone through diet and exercise if it’s low. Some accepted theories include: Fast Days, Strength Training, Power/Explosiveness Training
Testosterone – said to be best to test in the morning, while levels are the highest. This will tell you a lot, especially against your ratio to estrogen. Your body will function much better when this is in normal range. You’ll be able to build strength more easily, increase sexual libido, and maintain some of the finer gender characteristics of each gender.
Estrogen – having an imbalanced ratio of testosterone:estrogen will lead to atypical maturation symptoms. Women struggle with estrogen levels, either to get pregnant, or after hormonal changes have taken place — but what is under-explored is how common women are struggling with estrogen levels long before they hit menopause, and long after adolescence. There appears to be an increase in anxiety, depression, difficulty restoring body shape, and moodiness related to estrogen levels. For men, it’s the same thing, but a loss of libido, muscle, manliness, and drive to function/conquer.
Vitamins B6 and B12 – this tell us a lot about the health of your skin and nails, which will have a large impact on your immune function. Your skin is your largest organ, so take care.
Vitamin D – this tells us if you’re getting enough sun, or absorbing Vitamin-D, which is important to determine if your body is absorbing calcium. Therefore, Vitamin D is very important for bone health, but it also has many interesting correlations to overall immune health, mood, and well being. If you need to supplement, Vitamin D3 is the accepted form of supplementation that has carryover for human beings.
Vitamin E – this tell us a lot about the health of your skin and nails, as well.
Vitamin K – this tells us about your body’s ability to heal, as well as absorb calcium. Normal levels of Vitamin K help your body fight against osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium – these tell us about your body’s bone health, electrolyte balance, and ‘true’ hydration.
Iron – important for testing for anemia, especially in women.
Many of these factors you can address on your own. Repeat your blood test in 30 days to determine if you’ve made a difference, and where. Once you know how your body is responding to various intentions you make, you’ll be able to dial in and completely reverse the state of your health.
Step 2: Balance your insides — ingestion vs digestion.
First, it’s important that you eat the ‘right’ foods. Next, we need to determine if you’re actually able to absorb the nutrients you put in your body. Finally, we need to balance your Autonomic System before exercise to maximize digestive ability before and after.
I call this ‘Digestive Fat Loss’
Eating the ‘right’ foods means that you have completely removed trans fats from your diet, foods with preservatives, non organic food choices, non grassfed beef, soy, wheat, corn, as well as excessive consumption of grains, fruit, and nuts. You should be eating either like:
The Paleo Solution Diet (written by Robb Wolf)
The Slow Carb Diet (from 4 Hour Body written by Tim Ferriss)
These are examples of the best way to eat, in general — but when it comes to weight loss, there’s no doubt you’ll get where you want to go. The basis for each is this:
Eat the way the human being was designed — the way our ancestors did. In the 4 Hour Body, Tim talks about eating carbs that require slower digestion, like raw vegetables. When you source your carbs this way, you can utilize them for more energy.
Boxes of cereals, fried foods, fast food, bread, etc. weren’t a part of the natural human diet. These foods didn’t exist. Eliminate anything ‘unnatural’ from your diet, revert back to nature, and fix your insides.
Fixing your gut involves some form of cleanse, micronutrient balancing, possibly digestive enzymes for increase absorption of food, and allowing time for your intestines to heal. During this time period, be sure to avoid really greasy foods, alcohol, or anything else that irritates your bowels.
To help clear your gut, I recommend you drastically increase hydration and fiber intake. Start drinking 3/4 your bodyweight in ounces of water per day, maintaining close watch on electrolyte count through proper supplementation. Alongside, eat at least 50-100 baby carrots every day, for one week. They will have a mechanical effect in your gut, and work much better than fiber supplementation — when it comes to fiber, use real food.
As for balancing your ANS, this is all about adding a set of diaphragmatic breathing before every workout. Just 15 “belly breaths” before and after each workout (done by taking a ‘sniff breath’ and exhaling slowly, like through a thin straw) can completely change the outcome of your exercise program. Your diaphragm is innervated by your ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system, so your “belly breaths” serve to relax your sympathetic nervous system both before and after your exercise program, so you can target it specifically when you need it, rather than risking pre-fatigue or stimulation that results in a stressful day to follow.
Step 3: Align your body — make losing weight easier and faster.
The purpose of aligning your body and improving your posture is improving ‘biomechanical alignment,’ or the way your bones and muscles stack on top of one another. When they are aligned the way they were intended, your muscular strength and endurance will improve substantially, while your risk of injury will fade to almost zero.
I’ve tested and tweaked exercise program design to result in the ‘optimal’ result for whole body health, and I call it 5 Minutes for Anti-Aging. I’ll be discussing more about this soon, but please get your bloodwork done and get a baseline for yourself. Work on Steps 1 and 2, and then stay tuned as we explore step 3 together in greater detail.
Balance your body, then challenge yourself with an exercise program if you’re ready to go the extra mile. Create a healthy ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ state, and then push yourself to new levels. The best version of your body is right around the corner.