Holiday Weight Gain/ Personalized Glycemic Response

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It has been said for a long time that people gain up to 5lb over the holidays and never lose it. Some recent publications say it isn’t that accurate and is an overestimate.

What is safe to say always, is that your metabolism slows down as you age.
I’m sure you already know that you can’t get away with the same things you did when you were 20, and it’s much easier to gain weight in your 40s and beyond.

Personalized Glycemic Response: a key scientific finding to give understanding as to why diets don’t work the same for everyone.

In previous years we would talk about the Glycemic index and Glycemic load.
We really don’t use those terms in our Functional Medicine practice anymore.

It’s because of research that came out a few years ago when researchers discovered that people respond differently to the same foods.

One person can eat cookies and have minimal insulin or sugar response and yet have a fat-storing insulin and sugar response to eating a meal with carrots and sweet potato.
This response is influenced by your gut microbiome.

Your gut bacteria are so critical to managing your immune system, your hormone health, and your fat storage response to foods.
When we work with patients who struggle with burning fat, we use different strategies beyond diet and exercise to account for this. The results are long-term fat loss that lasts.

This issue with the personalized glycemic response and what to eat can become a mind-boggling effort. Many patients just want to not bother anymore. Or have no idea where to start.

What is safe to say to stave off holiday weight gain is this:

  • Eating LOW carb is still the best choice.
  • Focus on protein first, then good fats. This way you don’t binge on the sweet stuff. We term this ‘prioritize protein’. Once you’ve eaten your protein, then add in the rest of your macronutrients. When you eat enough protein, which naturally is accompanied by good fats, you will feel satiated and not experience hunger shortly after your meals. When a person doesn’t eat enough protein, they feel like snacking between meals.
  • Eat mindfully. A host of science supports the health and weight management benefits of this practice. It means taste it. Smell it. Notice each flavor and texture. You will eat more slowly, you will enjoy your treat better and it is overall better for you.
  • Mind your alcohol. Drink sparkling water or lemon water between drinks. And drink after you eat something, not before.

* if you suffer from sugar addictions, it is best to stay away from sugar and sweets completely.

If you are more advanced along your journey, and not overwhelmed by tracking and making changes; continuous blood glucose (CBG) monitoring is something to consider to perfectly customize your diet for optimal muscle building and fat burning. This is true Precision and Personalized Medicine.

We recommend the Dexcom blood sugar monitor because it is more accurate than the other monitors currently available. 

Having continuous recordings available, you can begin to see what affects your blood sugar response and to what degree.

You will be surprised to see that blood sugars can rise without food intake: stress and poor sleep are good examples. And again, will not be the same for everyone.


Over 100 trillion microorganisms live in your gut. This is more than there are cells in your body. When in good balance, your health is optimized. It is considered a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship between the host (you) and the microbiome (the bacteria). Your immune system, brain chemistry and hormone balance are some areas of health impacted by your microbiome.

When your diet changes, your microbiome changes too. Things like air travel, stress, toxin exposures, medications and alcohol affect your microbiome.

The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio (these are types of microorganisms) has been shown to be a biomarker for obesity. It is an extremely complex area since metabolism is influenced not by the bacteria themselves, but the by products they produce which influence hormones like ghrelin, insulin, and leptin; and can exert anti-inflammatory effects.

What matters is the health of your microbiome and your attention to:

  • Taking probiotics especially if you have taken antibiotics in the past
  • Eating fiber and nutrient-dense, real food
  • Supplementing with Super Pro as a first step. Saccharomyces Boulardii is a beneficial yeast that helps improve digestion and rest the microbiome after any antibiotic use (past or recent)
  • Rotate probiotics. Taking the same kind continuously allows the overgrowth of certain strains which can suppress other strains of the microbiome. The same applies to fermented foods. 

Book a call with our client care coordinator to help you with the next steps for optimizing your digestive health and resetting your metabolism.

To feel and look younger.