Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Nov 15

Summer health: More or less – natural weight loss

Nutrition: Embrace summer rather than fearing it; warm weather is conducive to weight loss.

The days are longer, the weather warmer and it’s time to swap the heavy layers of winter for summer clothes; including togs! That fills many of us with dread. Especially if we’ve packed on the weight over winter.

Spring is the ideal season for weight loss. Even if you’ve tried and failed on diet fads and get-fit plans many times, then try a naturopathic approach to weight-management. Naturopathic medicine addresses weight by working as it always does, with your body’s natural processes. Your weight mostly depends on activity output and food intake but can also be affected by gastro-intestinal and hormonal health influenced by mental and emotional stress. So let’s address these two.

Stressed by fat

For weight loss to become fat loss, the metabolism must be healed and healthy. This takes a whole-person approach involving diet, nutrient supplementation, herbal medicines, good sleep, exercise and stress management.

Stress management is crucial. Stress-eating is a common reaction to life stress, causing craving, bingeing, unhealthy food choices and disruptive eating patterns. That’s a recipe for poor diet and ballooning weight. But, more deeply, stress affects our hormonal and digestive functions – undermining weight management.

Drop weight from the inside out

A healthy metabolism is the key to weight-loss. Hormonal glands affect digestive metabolism, determining body weight. Thyroid and adrenal glands are powerful examples; body metabolism is regulated by a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. So an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) lowers the metabolic-rate and fat is accumulated. Stress can ramp up adrenal cortisol, produced by adrenal glands that regulate blood sugar and energy production. If adrenal cortex becomes over or hypo-active complex sugars and glucose can be converted to fat causing weight gain, especially around the waist.

Stored and consumed toxins can lead to fats being accumulated in the body. A liver overloaded with pollutants and toxins and cannot eliminate them, so they get stored in the adipose or fat tissue which is tough to get rid of until toxins are cleared out. This also hinders the liver in efficiently burning body fat. Because excess body fat triggers the production of pro-inflammatory immune cells, the immune system does not function properly for an overweight person. This makes us feel unwell, lacking drive and capacity to exercise and directing metabolic function away from its core processes.

Naturopathic help addresses these factors by effectively detoxing and targeting the thyroid and adrenal glands; for example adding iodine to support the thyroid if you’re iodine deficient.

Herbal help

There are many herbs and supplements that help weight-management; probiotics, green-tea, bitter orange, chia seeds, resveratrol, apple cider vinegar, capsaicin (chilli), turmeric and ginger to name a few.

As a first step introduce these into your regular diet, just as you eliminate processed foods and refined sugars. These help your body find it’s balance by supporting healthy metabolic-function and digestion. This is the basis of effective and long-lasting weight-loss and management.

Diets don’t work but a healthy diet does and, in combination with exercise and a commitment to managing stress in your life, you will see and enjoy the healthy weight your body is and you crave for. And there is no better time of year than spring and summer, warmer weather supports exercise mood. Don’t fear summer, welcome it like a weight off your shoulders and everywhere else.


Reduce meal portions; enjoy five small meals per day
Relax and eat slowly
Reduce or eliminate processed foods and sugar
Eat complex carbs, nuts and seeds, legumes and grains
Eat food high in fibre to slow digestion and increase satiety
Drink 6-8 glasses of room temperature water a day
Set realistic goals i.e. 1kg /week
Include smart portion size choices
Exercise to increase your metabolic rate
Adopt healthy eating for life not just weeks.


?Boost the body’s basal metabolic rate
Increase stomach acid
Improve liver function
Balance blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity
Stimulate fat thermogenesis
Manage stress
Make exercise habitual.


Upset the body’s metabolism
Don’t address cravings
Maintain an unhealthy relationship with food
Often provide inadequate nutrition
Treat the symptom and not the causes
Lead to poor dietary management due to lack of education.

Lani Lopez Adv. Dip Nat, BHSc. is a naturopath clinical nutritionist, specialist formulator of supplements and founder of lanilopez.com. Talk about any health issue Lani at facebook.com/lanilopez.com or email naturopath@lanilopez.com

Source: The New Zealand Herald

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.