In the 25 years Dr. Rispoli has been a Clinical Nutritionist
she has discovered that there are five hidden causes of obesity and weight gain.  Finding the imbalance and correcting them with nutritional intervention will give you the support you need to finally lose those stubborn pounds and feel great.

There are more than 100 million of us currently fighting the battle of the bulge. Some regimens are too hard to follow, whereas others lack any real variety or satiety. In the end, we usually wind up back where we started—unhappy and overweight.

My own struggles with weight ended 20 years ago, when I began a program of cleansing and detoxification that left me 30 pounds lighter in three months!  I even lost the fat from those stubborn hips of mine rather effortlessly!

 I realized that whole foods, herbs and dietary supplements could become a path not just to healing, but also to weight loss. I’ve been able to keep my body pretty much fat-resistant for nearly three decades now since discovering an entirely new approach to managing my weight.

A stagnant lymph system, sneaky food allergies, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and medication all play a part in retaining and gaining weight.

The Five Hidden Weight Gain Factors didn’t happen overnight. It progressed naturally out of every area of my life, from my personal weight control quest, spanning my entire career (over 25 years) as a Nutritional Advisor in my clinical practice.

The first revelation was the surprising connection between weight loss and the liver. Keeping this vital organ in tip-top shape is a key to effortless weight loss.

The Liver metabolizes fat and filters toxins from your body. As toxins trapped in fat cells are release when you begin to lose fat, your liver, gallbladder, lymphatic system, and colon flush them from your system.
 Your liver is a workhorse that can even regenerate its own damaged cells. However, it is not invincible. When it lacks essential nutrients or when it is overwhelmed by toxins, it no longer performs below par. Hormonal imbalances may develop and fat may accumulate in the liver, just under the skin or in other organs, while toxins build up and enter your bloodstream. Among the signs of “toxic liver” are weight gain (especially around the abdomen), cellulite, elevated cholesterol, and fatigue. A sluggish liver affects, every organ in your body, and can block your weight loss efforts. Unable to carry out its activities to control glucose, a toxic liver can lead to hypoglycemia, which can produce sugar cravings, weight gain, and Candida overgrowth. A toxic liver is unable to process toxins effectively, allowing them to overflow back into your blood stream setting off an immune response. A liver overloaded with pollutants and toxins cannot efficiently burn body fat, and thus will sabotage your weight loss efforts.               

The bottom line is you’ll need to clean your Liver and Gallbladder at least once a year.

Cellulite—that dimpled accumulation of stored fat on our thighs and buttocks—is connected to a sluggish Lymphatic System. The Lymphatic system, a relatively unknown secondary circulatory system underneath the skin, rids the body of toxic wastes, bacteria, heavy metals, dead cells, trapped protein, and fat globules. In essence, the lymphatic system is the garbage disposal of the body.

On a “good” day, your body is 60 to 70 percent water by weight. About two-thirds of the water is in your cells; the rest is in blood, body fluids, and spaces between cells. This water is essential. However, many individuals carry an extra 10 to 15 pounds of water trapped in their tissues. This water contributes to abdominal bloating, cellulite, and face and eye puffiness. It’s what I call “false fat.” It is ironic, but consuming too little water can cause your body to retain water.
Food Sensitivities Often Lead to False Fat
Food sensitivities are common causes of weight gain through a chain reaction of fluid retention and through overeating brought on by cravings.  The production of histamine and other chemicals causes blood vessels to expand and contract, leaking fluids into tissues and setting off a secondary inflammatory response and swelling. This leaking fluid often carries protein with it, and the proteins attract sodium and still more fluid. To compound the weight gain from waterlogged tissues, food sensitivities also trigger weight gain from adipose tissue. This results from either heightened cravings for reactive foods or disruption of your metabolism. Fatigue and irritability set in. Once again, you crave the reactive food to bring back your energy level. Your insulin levels become destabilized, which lowers your blood sugar levels, you are weak and starved for food, especially carbohydrates. Finally, as if all this weren't’t enough, your levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin drop. This chemical controls hunger resulting in cravings for high-carbohydrate foods to help move serotonin to the brain. Avoiding reactive foods will help regulate your system and correct your metabolism.                   
Candida and Food Reactions: It’s Overgrowth, Not Overweight
Among the most common reasons food enters the bloodstream before it’s fully digested is Candidiasis, an overgrowth of the naturally occurring yeast Candida Albicans damages the intestinal wall creating Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut). The holes in your intestine allow food macromolecules to enter the bloodstream—the trigger for food reactions. Many of the symptoms of Candidiasis mimic those of food reactions: fatigue, headaches, bloating, nasal congestion, heartburn, and moodiness, among others.  The relationship between Candidiasis and food sensitivities is made even stronger by consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates. The foods you are most likely to crave as a result of food allergies are the ones most enjoyed by the Candida cells.
Hormonal Imbalances Lead to Obesity

For many women, the hormone cycle is disrupted, and weight gain—from both actual fat and water retention—becomes permanent. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often causes estrogen-progesterone imbalances, and millions of American women  are currently undergoing HRT.
Among the symptoms of estrogen dominance are fat gain (especially around your abdomen, hips, and thighs), sluggish metabolism, bloating, and water retention. Estrogen can promote sodium retention (and thereby more water retention). This hormone changes the way your body metabolizes the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary to produce serotonin. You’ll remember that serotonin deficiency can lead to food cravings and weight gain.

When estrogen is much higher than progesterone, you may develop hypothyroidism. A healthy thyroid gland secretes hormones that help signal the pancreas to produce insulin. With a sluggish thyroid, your body may produce too little insulin and trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), along with intense cravings for carbohydrates.   

Fluctuating estrogen levels are only one-half of the equation. Low levels of progesterone cause your body to burn 15,000 to 20,000 fewer calories per year and increase water retention. 

High levels of progesterone, on the other hand, increase your appetite. They also slow down intestinal transit time to increase food absorption, which can increase insulin levels. The resulting additional blood glucose is absorbed by fat cells to add pounds of true fat.

Although you’ve probably read about the need for essential fatty acids (EFA’s) such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is the omega-6 family found primarily in plant-based oils, you still don’t quite believe it, do you?  Eating fat to get thin flies in the face of reason, of everything you’ve heard about the dangers of fat. You’re not alone in your fear of eating fat. An estimated 80 percent of Americans eat a diet deficient in EFA’s. This is unfortunate, because our bodies cannot make EFA’s, yet, as precursors to hormone-like prostaglandins, they regulate every bodily function at the cellular level. This includes water retention, sodium balance, and fat metabolism.  
EFA’s also carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream, activate the flow of bile, help your body conserve protein, slows the absorption of carbohydrates to balance blood sugar levels, and are building blocks for production of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones.

EFA’s and their role in fat burning and hormone balance are critical. Therefore, I recommended (GLA)- rich supplement known as evening primrose oil. Besides eradicating their symptoms, many women also experienced a welcomed side benefit—weight loss!        

A fat-free diet, low in protein but high in carbohydrates keeps insulin levels elevated, which promote fat accumulation since insulin is a fat storage hormone.

All carbohydrates Are Not Created Equally
Traditionally, nutritionists have categorized carbohydrates as either simple (white flour, pastas, white rice, potatoes, starches, sugars) or complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, beans and seeds). However, more recent research has increased our understanding about how food is metabolized, and the simple/complex categorization has been replaced with the glycemic index. Low-glycemic foods fill you up and help keep you satisfied longer. They also help you burn more body fat and less muscle tissue.

Living in this information age has most of us Americans going nonstop at “cyber speed.” So it’s no surprise to me, after assessing my own clients’ stress levels for so many years, that 68 percent of us admit to being stressed out, or that 90 percent of us admit to using food as our drug of choice to pacify ourselves. The irony of the matter is that stress is making the adrenals kick out the hormone cortisol, which raises insulin and insulin is a fat storage hormone. 

Elevated cortisol makes you store fat around the mid section. Central fat cells are deep abdominal visceral cells (located around our major internal organs), which are a fast energy source in times of stress.  These central fat cells also happen to have four times more cortisol receptors than the fat cells found right beneath the skin. Consequently, cortisol is drawn to the central fat cells, which ultimately increases fat storage in that area. Thus, every time you’re stressed, you’re encouraging your body to have enough reserves of fat to handle the problem.

You may ask, “What about other hidden weight gain factors like low thyroid or chronic dieting that throw the body into a metabolic slowdown?” These are valid but secondary to the five hidden factors.

If you are like most people, you’ve exercised, counted calories, and cut out fat, then protein, and now even carbohydrates. Lost weight is often regained; but there is hope. Thousands of my patients have discovered which of the Five Hidden Causes of Weight gain were throwing their body out of balance and have learned to correct these imbalances and lose pounds and inches for good. You can too

Dr. Rispoli, Ph.D., L. Ac. President and founder for Complete Health in Agoura Hills has helped thousands in her 25 years as a Nutritional Advisor lose weight, balance hormones naturally, eliminate food allergies and stop GI distress, leaky gut and Candida. 

Call to set up a nutritional consultation so that tests can be performed and a comprehensive strategy of lifestyle, dietary modification and nutrient supplementation can be implemented to aid you in reversing this debilitating disorder and begin to live again.

For an appointment with Dr. Rispoli, contact our office at: 818 707-3126 and go to lab tests and click on appropriate test for more information about these Functional Laboratory Tests.

The information herein is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or a cure. Should you have a medical condition please seek the advice of your medical doctor.