Client Story: Removing the Obstacle to Stubborn Weight Loss by Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson

This client reached out after getting some scary information from her doctor about her blood tests. She was nervous, worried, and a feeling down about just how far her health had slipped. She was feeling old, flabby, and frustrated. She had low energy, no stamina, and had gained a significant amount of weight. She didn’t feel strong or capable to workout. She didn’t know what she should be eating. Her doctor wasn’t much help in anything but scaring her in the 15-minute appointment with him.

The “Standard of Care” isn’t all that caring.

When I got on the phone with her she explained all the things she’d already tried – low carb, keto, low calorie, Weight Watchers, portion controlling…and on and on. She described the weight she wanted to lose and why. Throughout the conversation, she relayed various health issues she had struggled with most of her life:
  • anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles
  • gout
  • hypertension
  • hormone imbalances and reproductive issues that caused her to need a hysterectomy
  • seasonal allergies
  • sleep apnea
  • heartburn/acid reflux

This was a much bigger deal than simply losing weight.

All of this information gave me a very clear picture of what her situation was – and what direction to recommend she go. She was already following a low carb/ketogenic diet and practicing intermittent fasting, so we just worked on refining that plan.

She also started using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) – one of my personal favorite devices for improving overall health – or illuminating areas of the diet and lifestyle that contribute to blood sugar dysregulation. It only took us a few days to uncover some valuable data! She was having low blood sugars during the night – low enough that it triggered alarms in the device. This was disrupting her sleep and causing harm to her body and metabolism.

Low blood sugar, like high blood sugar, is no joke.

It’s toxic to the body and can be life-threatening. Why was this happening? She wasn’t eating enough. And specifically, she wasn’t eating enough protein. Literally, on the first day she made this change to her diet – no more low blood sugars!

One of the biggest lessons I got out of using a CGM myself: taking a walk after eating makes a HUGE difference in blood sugar levels! I’m not talking an hour-long power walk – even a slow stroll for 10 minutes! This activity mobilizes the glucose in your blood from the meal to be moved into the muscles to be burned instead of stored!

We also found that she had some interesting blood sugar highs after eating specific foods. This seems like a clear-cut issue – you eat something higher carb or containing sugar, your blood sugar spikes. But this wasn’t the case. She had a keto treat that didn’t contain any sugar or carb – but it did contain monk fruit. Now, everyone is different and some do react differently to various sweeteners. In her case, monk fruit wasn’t at all the problem. We could tell because she didn’t have the same spike at other times when she had consumed monk fruit.

So, what’s the deal? She had this particular treat at midnight. And she was up until the wee hours of the morning. So this was actually likely a spike caused by cortisol – stress due to being up so late and out of her normal rhythm!

Removing the Obstacle to Stubborn Weight Loss with Data!

This type of information is exactly why I LOVE data – and I’ve built my entire practice around using it to drive healing protocols. In very short order, we’ve been able to identify problems and implement real solutions based on her exact situation and unique data. And it’s working!

Objective data can come in a variety of forms – from physical measurements, from laboratory testing, and from health technologies. But we also have to take into account her subjective data – how she feels, what she likes, what she doesn’t like. No technology will answer every possible question, so we have to look at each person’s present situation individually – taking all available subjective and objective data into account. Things change. Metrics change. Tastes change. It’s an ever-evolving process or refinement and iteration to achieve and maintain health.

My goal is to help you get there, then teach you how to refine and iterate – so you will always know how to progress as your life and circumstances change.

To learn more about the CGM I use and recommend, click here.


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