Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Jacksonville-St. Augustine

WEIGHT LOSS What Works and What Doesn’t

Dec 29, 2019 07:15PM ● By Rebecca Young

Most people know what it feels like to live with extra body weight, and that it is often a very difficult challenge to lose weight and sustain weight loss. The goal of losing weight is actually not to simply lose weight, but to lose body fat and maintain muscle mass and water. The ultimate goal is to live a better, healthier and happier life.  

 Good Reasons to Lose Weight 

 Many good reasons to lose weight include reduced joint pain, improved movement, better sleep and better regulation of hormones. Losing weight helps us to crave fewer high-sugar and high-fat foods. Having a healthy range of body fat helps us to achieve a more robust immune system, which means fewer fevers, colds, infections and more, and it allows better outcomes for surgery and childbirth.  

 Unfortunately, popular fad diets often create dehydration, weakness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and constipation, and they create inadequate intakes of vitamins and minerals. 

 The Right Weight-Loss Program 

 First and foremost, anyone attempting to lose weight must identify any roadblocks that may keep them from achieving weight loss. Weight loss is often a challenge if the thyroid is not functioning optimally and hormones are not balanced. Also hampering weight loss are autoimmune disease, inflammation, adrenal problems, toxicity in the cells and even yeast overgrowth. Roadblocks can be discovered by objectively testing the blood, hair, urine and sometimes feces.  

 After testing, the next step is to remove “dead food”—fatty food and processed foods, foods high in sugar and calories, refined grains—and replace them with vegetables, sprouted grains and some fruits. Fat-burning foods would include high-quality protein. One out of every three or four bites of food per day should be a quality protein, such as fish, organic chicken, organic turkey, occasional grass-fed beef, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.  

 Increasing exercise to lose more weight, specifically burst training (short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by brief rests), is helpful, as this targets fat burning.  

 Taking supplements that support fat loss is also helpful, such as a vegetable-based protein powder, collagen, “super foods” green powder, fish oil, Vitamin D and probiotics. 

 Intermittent fasting helps stop us from eating mindlessly and can increase metabolism, as well as help with hormone production, digestion and more. Fasting generally can stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and help heart health as well.  

 Last but not least, proper water intake is critical: We should all drink roughly half of our body’s weight in ounces of water per day.  

 In summary, anyone attempting to lose weight should incorporate these five steps: 

1.Remove the inflammatory, processed foods. 

2.Add high fiber foods. 

3.Exercise less, but smarter. 

4.Take healthful supplements. 

5.Try intermittent fasting. 


Having the right goals, focusing on lifestyle changes, testing individual chemistry objectively and losing body fat (versus muscle and water) are the most effective approaches to weight loss. 


Dr. Steven M. Nickels, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, is a natural health practitioner and founder of Science Based Wellness, located at 10033 Sawgrass Dr. W., Ste. 204, Ponte Vedra Beach. For more information, call 904-834-2337 or visit See ad, page xx.