Five-minutes with: Dr. Graham Simpson and Dr. Sevdalina Velizarova discussing all things Metabolism, Lectins and how to love your gut
We’ve all been told at least one myth in our life about metabolisms and weight loss – having spent many years trying and testing every trick in the book, from only drinking room temperature water to starting my day with some lemon juice, I threw my hat into the ring, defeated by the lack of results from all my efforts.
I know I’m not alone in my struggles – they say people over the age of 30 battle to shift the extra few pounds – it’s reported to be 30% more difficult than for those in their 20s. By default, women have on average 28% body fat compared to the 20% that men carry. Dr Graham Simpson, the Expert Metabolic Doctor at Euromed Dubai comments “the first thing people should start with is a body fat test, this will help you establish how healthy/unhealthy your body is.” He continues by saying “the problem is, people do not realise how dangerous being over-weight is and how over-eating can lead to life threatening diseases like diabetes and heart problems. It is a slower killer and creeps up on people without them realising unlike other diseases – take a frog as an example, if you place a frog in hot water, it instantly jumps out to avoid dying – however, place the frog on a stove and heat it slowly, the creature cooks to death, not realising the danger until it’s too late.”
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there were over one million cases of diabetes in the UAE last year, out of a total adult population of 7.6 million. There are also 39 million cases of diabetes in the MENA region, a figure that is expected to grow 72% by 2045 to 67 million.
Dr. Simpson writes extensively on his mission to educate the public so that we can all live better and healthier. He is the author of Wellman (Live Longer by Controlling Inflammation), Reverse Cardio metabolic Disease, co-author of Spa Medicine (Basic Health) with Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Meanwhile, his colleague Dr. Sevdalina specialises in cardiology, functional diagnostics in heart disease, stress tests and echocardiography. Her practices focus on all aspects of internal medicine, especially diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndromes.
Dr. Sevdalina says there are two main causes of people becoming over-weight. The first, is hormones – apparently over 50% of people have an underactive thyroid, mostly untreated. The second is through eating the wrong foods – “people seem to have a misconception that fats make you fat, however, the fact of the matter is that an overload of carbs and sugars make you put on weight, whilst fats like olive oil and avocados, plus protein help you maintain a healthy size.”
Obviously metabolism plays a big part in weight loss and gain, with some lucky people being gifted with a speedy one, quickly working off the odd burger and cookie. Both doctors at Euromed say are there are a few easy tricks everyone can do to activate their metabolism on a daily basis – these include drinking coffee, doing daily high intensity workouts and taking supplements like magnesium and vitamin D. Other helpful tips from the talented duo include sleep (at least 7 hours a night), avoiding sugar and going grain free. “Sticking to a regime high in sugars and grains and full of processed foods will only hurt, not heal” says Graham. “Making a few small changes to your eating and lifestyle habits, based on the Paleo diet, can make a big difference. When it comes to beating or preventing insulin resistance (diabetes), the most powerful drug you and your family can consume is the food you eat each day. Remember, ‘insulin resistance’ is responsible for most chronic diseases and not just diabetes. It kills 80% of us and together with psychological stress shortens the length of our lives.” – our stomach is the gateway to increasing metabolism after all!
Other factors that can assist with weight loss include avoiding a new food group called ‘lectins’ – heard of them? No, neither had I! Avoiding lectin-fuelled foods can be especially helpful for those who suffer with leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases like gluten and dairy allergies. Lectins can be found in many different foods ranging from grains and fruits to cow dairy and seeded vegetables. Dr Graham actually recommended a book by Dr. Steven Gundry that discusses why removing lectins from your diet could be beneficial to both health and weight loss.
The doctors also recommend intermittent fasting; this simply means eating dinner early (8pm) and breakfast late (1 pm). Here you eat in an eight-hour window while your body switches from its usual sugar-burning mode to burning your fat.
So what have we learnt from this? Firstly, listen to your body. If you are struggling to lose those pounds or gaining weight for no reason then get your thyroid checked, make some simple changes to boost your metabolism and consider cutting out lectins from your daily diet. Even better, book a consultation with the experts, Dr Graham and Dr Sevdalina, who will be able to tailor effective advice perfect for your body, lifestyle and habits.
An hour consultation with Dr Graham and Dr Sevdalina starts from AED 750. For more information, please visit www.euromedclinicdubai.com