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Weight Loss

Weight Loss with DMH Functional Medicine

Contrary to popular belief, and more unfortunately, also contrary to beliefs of many health care professionals, weight gain or weight loss is not just about calorie intake and energy expenditure. The calories-in and calories-out has not scientific justification as an underlying principle for understanding weight gain and weight loss.

Read on to understand why you may be gaining weight and how DMH Functional Medicine can help you reduce weight.

Causes of Weight Gain

Weight gain is much more than just a matter of calories. How your body handles the food and energy intake is vital to understand overweight and obesity. In most cases of weight gain various factors lead to insulin resistance, which then enters a vicious cycle of higher insulin levels that further aggravates insulin resistance. As you may know, insulin is a fat sparing and a fat storage hormone.

Let’s look at some of the factors involved in development of overweight and obesity.

Hormonal Imbalances

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas. One of its most important functions is to protect the body against the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels. To ensure this, it converts excess energy to fat and deposits it in our fat stores all over the body. If the cells in the body are repeatedly exposed to high levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia) it can cause them to develop a reduced response (less glucose is transported into the cells) and more insulin is required to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels. Thus, a vicious cycle of insulin resistance has been initiated. However, there are many other reasons why your body may become insulin resistant, please see the illustration below.


Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol raises the blood sugar level. As mentioned above, high blood sugar levels triggers insulin release. Chronic stress leads to longer standing high levels of insulin and insulin resistance. The result is fat storage and increasing appetite.


An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can slow down metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. According to studies 1 in 10 to 1 in 5 women may suffer from hypothyroidism and up to 50% of people with hypothyroidism go un-diagnosed. Needless to say, that this is totally unacceptable.

Add to this that hypothyroidism can cause depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, sexual dysfunction, infertility and many more symptoms and conditions. Imagine the suffering many women are experiencing.

Sex Hormones

Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can contribute to weight gain, particularly in women during menopause.

Up to 10% of women suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which causes significant hormonal changes, including weight gain, irregular periods, infertility and increases the risk of diabetes.

Many men also experience declining levels of testosterone as they reach their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s which is often accompanied by weight gain, poor sleep and sexual dysfunction. Multiple factors are involved in the reduced testosterone levels, including but not limited to a high carb diet, inflammation, exposure to xenoestrogens (estrogen-like chemicals in our environment) and lack of physical activity.


Diet is important in weight gain and weight loss. Or more correctly, diet is important in nearly all chronic conditions and diseases. Diet is much more than just calories in. We have to do away with the notion that a calorie is a calorie. It’s really not! It may sound very simple, easy and catchy, but it hinders our understanding of many chronic diseases. Let’s look at few analogies to understand it better:

  • A mobile/car/house is a mobile/car/house. Nobody ever bought just any house, any mobile at the store or a random car.
  • A wire is a wire. But nobody would touch a wire that is not insulated properly
  • 15 kg are 15 kg. But we can all lift a 15 kg dumbbell, while most will not be able to lift a 15 kg steel ball covered in slippery oil
  • The difference can also be situational: 100 km/h is not just 100 km/h. We may be safe on the motorway, but not in the city

The effects of the energy that we take in, depends greatly on diet’s content, state, shape etc.

1000 calories of refined sugar will cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels, high insulin and fat storage will be initiated. It’ll hardly provide any important proteins, essential fats or micronutrients needed by the body.

1000 calories in the form of a full plate with fatty fish, natural healthy fats and multiple differently-coloured non-starchy vegetables will trigger less elevation of the blood sugar level, less insulin will be released and less fat storage will take place. The body will be many essential proteins, fats and micronutrient which will help run the body more smoothy.

A calorie is not just a calorie !

Calories In vs Calories Out is a completely un-scientific approach to weight gain and weight loss! It’s scientific garbage!

Processed Foods

A diet high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy processed fats, such as vegetable seed oils can lead to inflammation, hormonal changes, insulin resistance and weight gain.

Nutrient Deficiencies

A lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats, can disrupt hormonal balances, create inflammation, immune system dysfunction and impair metabolism.

Only a very few people have optimal levels of iron, vitamin D, B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium and other vital micronutrients. No wonder then that weight issues are on the rise all over the world. More than 70% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Lack of physical activity and excessive screen time can slow down metabolism, making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Also, using electronic gadgets before sleep can cause sleep disorders, hormonal changes and a disturbed circadian rhythm which can all push towards weight gain.

Sleep Disorders

Insufficient sleep can disrupt hormone levels with a considerable effect on appetite, hunger, cravings and inflammation.

Sleep deprivation can lead to less healthy food choices further pushing the body towards insulin resistance.


Stress can lead to emotional eating, causing weight gain due to increased consumption of high-carbs, nutrient-poor foods. As mentioned, stress also increases cortisol which drives weight gain through multiple pathways.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes can take place due to the macro- or micronutrients in our diet, occupational or private exposure to toxins, chronic infections, inflammation along with other factors that can generate changes in our production of certain hormones and cause hormonal imbalances.

The above are just a very brief presentation of the causes of weight gain. It’s important that each patient is evaluated individually to ensure factors leading to weight gain is addressed accordingly.

Principles for Weight Loss

Weight loss with DMH Functional Medicine is not just about handing out a meal plan. It’s an educational journey! First and foremost, we want to educated our patients on what causes overweight and obesity in the first place. In our experience, the patients’ motivation is much higher when they understand the mechanism behind their appetite, hunger and cravings and how food impact on their overall health.

Personalized Nutrition

A diet tailored to your unique needs and preferences, focusing on whole foods rich in important micronutrients, can help promote weight loss and overall health.

Macronutrient Balance: Ensuring a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help stabilize blood sugar levels and support sustainable weight loss.

Regular Exercise

Although the major effect on your weight and health will come with dietary changes, we do recommend exercise provided your body is ready for increased physical activity. In some cases exercise may need to be introduced once the body starts healgin. Thus exercise must be adjusted to your specific situation.

Cardiovascular activities, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can improve cardiovascular health, can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance.

Strength or resistance training can boost metabolism, build lean muscle mass, and improve overall body composition. Increased lean muscle mass also reduces insulin resistance. Activities that promote flexibility and balance, such as yoga or pilates, can help prevent injuries and support overall physical fitness.

Stress Management

Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help reduce stress and support hormonal balance. It also improves the balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight response) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest) autonomous nervous system. Better time management can help alleviate stress and create space for self-care activities that support weight loss.

Improving sleep

Prioritizing restorative sleep by establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing sleep environment can help regulate hormones and decrease hunger and cravings.

Ensuring you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night can support weight loss by promoting hormonal balance and improving cognitive function. If you are suffering from severe fatigue you may need to sleep much longer to give the body sufficient time to recover.

Addressing Hormonal Imbalances

Working with a Functional Medicine practitioner to identify and address hormonal imbalances through comprehensive testing can be an essential component of a successful weight loss plan.

Based on your diagnostic results, targeted interventions such as supplements, medications, or hormone replacement therapy can help balance hormones and support weight loss.

How DMH Functional Medicine Can Help?

At DMH Functional Medicine, we take a comprehensive approach to weight loss that focuses on your unique needs and health concerns.

A Comprehensive Assessment of your health

Your health history and symptoms can guide us towards a relevant diagnostic approach to identify potential contributors to weight gain.

We use advanced and comprehensive diagnostic testing, including hormone panels, nutrient assessments, and metabolic markers, to uncover any underlying issues that may play a role in your weight gain.

Personalized Treatment Plan

Based on your assessment and diagnostic results, we develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the root causes of your weight gain and supports sustainable weight loss.

Our treatment plans take into account nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, and hormonal balance, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your weight loss journey.

Nutritional Counseling

Our registered clinical dietitian will provide personalized nutrition guidance and meal planning to help you make healthier food choices that support your weight loss journey.

We also focus on optimizing your nutrient intake to address any deficiencies, improve hormonal balance, and support overall health.


We offer guidance on exercise routines and activities that suit your fitness level and personal preferences, helping you incorporate regular physical activity into your daily life.

Stress Management

Our team provides support and coaching on stress management techniques, such as mindfulness practices, time management skills, and other self-care activities that can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Sleep Optimization

We work with you to improve your sleep habits and create an environment that promotes restorative sleep, a crucial factor, but often an overlooked factor in weight loss.

Hormonal Optimization

If necessary, we work with you to address hormonal imbalances through targeted interventions such as supplements, medications, or hormone replacement therapy.

We closely monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed to ensure optimal hormonal balance and weight loss success.

Ongoing Support

We provide continuous support, helping you stay accountable and motivated throughout your weight loss journey.

As your body changes and your health improves, we adjust your plan to ensure long-term success and prevent weight regain.

At DMH Functional Medicine, we are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health and well-being. By addressing the root causes of weight gain and providing personalized, evidence-based solutions, we empower you to take control of your health and enjoy a more vibrant and fulfilling life.

Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive Functional Medicine approach to weight loss and to schedule your consultation.