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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Natural Techniques for Weight Loss: Holistic Therapies for Best-Ever Health

Dec 22, 2011 02:42AM ● By Julie Peterson

Americans need to lose weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is a national epidemic that’s on the rise. In 2009, nine states had obesity rates of at least 30%. Florida falls in with the majority of the country as having more than 20% (but less than 30%) obesity among adults. What has caused this epidemic? The CDC’s number one reason is that people eat too much food and get too little exercise. The solution, according to the CDC, is to eat less and move more. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

There are many people out there who are moving plenty, eating right, and still gaining weight. Fortunately we have holistic doctors who are working on this puzzle. Through various methods of gathering data on bodily functions and measuring hormones, vitamins, nutrients, and things like thyroid balance, these doctors are explaining weight gain in different terms.

For those who have struggled with obesity or even just a few extra pounds, “eat less and move more” isn’t the life-changing advice needed to move to a healthier place. When underlying causes of weight gain can be determined and corrected, it is much more likely that someone will be able to reach and maintain a target weight. Fortunately, there are numerous holistic practitioners working on weight-loss advances and making great strides in this area.

Consulting knowledgeable experts to determine the underlying causes for weight gain is the best way to go about a weight-loss program and is especially true for people with additional health concerns. There are many options available to help maintain an ideal weight and overall health. Let’s take a look at some natural ways to get healthier, have fun, and lose some weight.


Our bodies were designed to move and keep moving. Some level of activity must be maintained to keep all of our parts and systems operating smoothly. Yet, some people cringe at words like “run, workout, crunches, or training.” There is good reason for this. At some point, a “run” probably caused suffering. Think of fitness as fun and find a way to do it without suffering. It just doesn’t make sense to be a runner if running isn’t comfortable or enjoyable with the variety of choices available.

There are so many exercise centers offering myriad fitness programs that everyone can find something that works in an enjoyable way. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and many martial arts programs are known to be wonderful for all over body (and mind) fitness, as well as being adaptable to various levels of ability.

How about playing like a child? Frisbee, bikes, playground equipment, and playing in the sand or the water at the beach are all great ways to get some exercise and have fun. Another great childhood activity is Hula Hooping. It can burn as much as 500 calories in an hour, according to Heather Hoog of Hula Hooping Fitness & Dance. Not only is hula hooping fun, but it’s not the flimsy plastic hoop from days gone by. Hoops are heavier and bigger (i.e., easier to use) and it turns out that it is a great exercise for core strength (goodbye, crunches!).


While eating less is probably a good idea for many, what we eat is probably more important to think about. Fast, convenient, and processed foods are everywhere. And with all the supplements, herbs, and confusing claims on food labels it’s easy to give in and just grab the old favorites. Try to take some time when grocery shopping and make just a few changes each trip. For example, select a new high-fiber fruit or vegetable you have never tried before and incorporate it into your diet instead of the usual suspects. Unique ingredients inspire creating new recipes which stimulates the brain as well as the appetite. Savor the difference. Increasing the amount of whole foods (foods that aren’t processed) is also a great idea.

When the body is deficient in nutrients or suffering from illness or inflammation, dietary changes won’t be enough. After blood test results, Dr. Sadhwani at Quality Health Care Wellness and Fitness Center offers patients advice on which supplements are needed to boost personal deficiencies and put the body back in balance. In addition, Sadhwani believes that the benefits of pure Omega-3 fish oils as a supplement cannot be overstated in the effort to improve the body on a cellular level. Not only does it offer benefits for the heart, brain, joints, and skin, but it also helps reduce weight.

Dr. Brian Walsh, D.C., CARE Chiropractic & Wellness Center, also believes that nutrition plays a crucial role in the symptoms exhibited by the body. Through Nutrition Response Testing, a non-invasive analysis of the body, the underlying causes of poor health can be determined. A Designed Clinical Nutrition program is then developed for the patient to correct those issues.

Lifestyle Programs

Supervised programs that incorporate personalized plans for lifestyle changes can support weight-loss and a return to vital health. Programs that include fitness, such as therapeutic yoga, and nutritional plans that integrate raw and whole foods, green smoothies, and a low glycemic index will help target underlying factors such as blood sugar imbalance and internal inflammation. (See sidebar for a green smoothie recipe to try.)

Taking the patient’s total internal and external environment into account is how Dr. Rebecca Hunton at Wellspring Medical Center approaches any condition. As a certified FirstLine Therapy physician, which is the only studied and clinically validated therapeutic lifestyle modification program, Dr. Hunton helps patients address issues through a combination of herbal and vitamin supplements, medical foods, personalized diet/lifestyle plans, and medications. Dr. Hunton also considers hormone balance when analyzing a patient’s overall health.


The human body naturally detoxifies as part of its normal bodily functions. The body can eliminate toxins through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, and skin. However, pollution in the air, water, and food can overwhelm the natural detoxifying ability of the body.

Holistic MD, Dr. Holyk, believes that toxic overload is the most overlooked cause of unexplained weight gain. He says that our bodies protect us from toxins by storing them in fat, actually surrounding them in a protective cocoon. Dr. Holyk tests patients for toxic load and helps patients detox before weight loss. He offers prescription hCG, digestive healing, hormone balancing, food allergy testing, and nutrient absorption testing.

Herbal cleanses, detox products, and colon hydrotherapy are natural therapies that target detoxification. Herbal cleanses typically come in the form of a supplement that contains plant-derived soluble and insoluble fiber and detoxifying herbs. Herbal colon cleansers assist the body in cleansing the colon of accumulated toxic build-up and impacted fecal matter. Colon hydrotherapy removes waste from the large intestine by introducing filtered, temperature-regulated water to soften and loosen feces. This flushing process includes evacuation of waste and modesty is maintained at all times. There are also product lines that consist of shakes, soups, snack bars, and more that are designed to support the body in detoxifying, weight loss, and supplementation of nutrients. Provided by a certified professional, various methods of detoxification can be a helpful tool for weight loss and general wellness.

There are many more ways to lose weight. The key is finding the process and the practitioner that is right for you. Listen to your body and your mind, find a trusted professional, and increase your wellness.

Click here for local practitioners providing natural weight-loss services.

Click here for a weight -loss directory of products and services

Green Smoothie

by Kimberle Smith

1 cup spinach
1 banana
1 orange
5 Brazil nuts
12oz water, coconut water, or almond milk

Blend and enjoy