Case Study: Insomnia And Inability To Lose Weight

Meredith is a 64 year old lady who came to our clinic seeking help for weight loss and insomnia. She was approximately 35 pounds overweight and she was hovering dangerously close to type 2 diabetes. Meredith’s sister had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and that frightened her and prompted this consultation.

Meredith had been trying to lose weight for years but every time she lost a few pounds, she put them right back on again. Meredith said to me “I’m sick and tired of taking 2 steps forward and 2 steps back”. She wanted a permanent solution to her weight problem.

Meredith’s intense love for cookies and chocolate made it very difficult for her to stick to a healthy diet. Those foods upset her gut; they gave her diarrhea, but she found it impossible to stay away from them.

The other thing that prevented her losing weight was insomnia. Meredith has been sleeping badly for the last 4 years.

Meredith’s sleep quality declined once she reached menopause, but a stressful event at work is what really had the greatest impact. Meredith is currently on stress leave. She had a problem with her supervisor that eventually led to an episode of dangerously high blood pressure that saw her hospitalized for a day. She came to our clinic a few days later and planned to use her month of leave to look after her health.

Meredith didn’t eat too badly; she just had an intense desire for sweets. She often ate white bread with jam on it for breakfast. A meal like that is not very filling. It left her feeling ravenous 2 hours later. Many people do not realise that sugar and carbohydrate rich foods fuel the appetite, so they leave you feeling hungrier so that you end up eating more throughout the day.

Meredith ate a healthy lunch and dinner consisting of protein and vegetables, but she couldn’t help snacking on cookies and chocolate in the evening before going to bed. I wasn’t surprised to hear about her intense cravings. Anyone who doesn’t eat sufficient protein and healthy fats for breakfast is far more likely to crave sugar later in the day. Meredith also didn’t eat enough healthy fats in her meals. She was afraid of eating fat because she had the mistaken belief it would make her fat. The truth is quite the opposite; eating adequate amounts of healthy fats helps to increase satiety. It makes you feel more full and satisfied after meals and therefore it becomes easier to stick with a healthy diet. One of the best ways to reduce sugar cravings is to eat more fat and protein.

My recommendations for Meredith

  • I asked Meredith to change her breakfast. I gave her a range of options from my book called I Can’t Lose Weight and I Don’t Know Why. She could either have eggs and vegetables or a protein powder smoothie using whey protein powder. The smoothie option appealed to her because it was quick, tasty and filling. I suggested Meredith add 1 teaspoon of Ultimate Superfood powder, to give her an energy boost while working on improving her sleep.
  • Because Meredith had great difficulties getting to sleep, I gave her a melatonin supplement. This is excellent for helping to re-establish the body’s sleep cycle. I also gave her a magnesium supplement to help her achieve a deeper quality sleep throughout the night and reduce the risk of her waking up at night. Meredith was seeing a psychologist to help her deal with the bullying she experienced at work, and this was starting to reduce her anxiety level.
  • Meredith barely drank any water. On an average day she drank 2 glasses of water and 1 cup of tea and she didn’t consume any other liquids. Not drinking enough fluids can result in a very slow metabolic rate, but it also increases the sensation of hunger and sugar cravings. I asked Meredith to drink approximately 8 glasses of water or herbal tea or green tea per day.
  • Most of her excess weight was held on her abdominal area and Meredith had a mild fatty liver, therefore I gave her LivaTone Plus capsules.  A fatty liver is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes. If she could improve her liver health it would make it much easier to lose weight and keep her blood sugar under control. In order to improve gut health and improve the elimination of toxins via the bowel, I asked her to take Gut Health powder.

Meredith is due to see me again in 2 weeks. She has contacted me to say she is feeling much more relaxed and her blood pressure has normalized. She has lost 11 pounds already and that has kept her motivated and excited about sticking with her eating plan.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.