Weight loss is not just a matter of calories in and calories out. There are many factors that contribute to weight loss or weight gain. Addressing only the calories leaves you vulnerable to a disappointing weight loss or weight regain. It can leave you in a metabolic mess. Let's explore the less well known keys to weight loss success.

Weight loss success factors: DISMISS Weight

* Detoxification:All herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals or other toxins you ingest are not completely eliminated. In our industrialized society of processed foods that are sprayed with chemicals, watered with acid rain, contaminated with metals, PCB's and BPA's , these are not completely eliminated and build up in your fat. Toxins interfere with weight loss, as your body does not readily release fats where they are stored away for safety. It's a protective mechanism. Increasing elimination of these through detoxifying herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle, chlorella, sulforaphane, broccoli seed extract and antioxidants such as N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, green tea extract and others can safely remove these toxins. Combined with decreasing toxin intake by eating whole, organic, non-processed foods can release those stubborn pounds.

* Inflammation: Intake of quality food is important. Saturated and trans fats cause inflammation that keep the flames of weight gain burning. Put out the fire with fats that flow: anything that can be made into an oil like fish, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and their oils will decrease inflammation that fuels weight gain.

* Sleep is a big factor in weight loss. Growth hormone, the hormone that promotes lean body mass is made while you sleep. Getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep is key to shedding pounds. If you have trouble sleeping, try melatonin, or an herbal combination of chamomile, hops, valerian and/or passion flower. Others would benefit from 5 HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan) the precursor to serotonin.

* Mindfulness: Most often people don't eat because they are hungry. People tend to be emotional or mindless eaters. If you eat fast, are distracted and don't plan your portions, chances are you will overeat. Eating slowly, chewing and tasting your food and measuring out or "eyeballing" portions enables your brain to register that it is getting food will turn off the hunger hormone ghrelin.

* Intake: Portions do matter. Americans tend to supersize everything, especially food. Protein portions can be measured by the size and thickness of your palm, a dense vegetable like broccoli's serving size is a fist, starchy vegetables or grains like potato or corn or breads, pasta or rice would be half a fist and a serving of oil would be your thumb or nuts or cheese 6 dice.

* Stress is a major culprit causing the inability to lose weight. It raises cortisol, which raises blood sugar, which raises insulin all causing a spare tire around your waist. The swings in blood sugar results in mood swings as well as cravings. This is a vicious cycle that unless broken by reframing your reactions, treating the underlying cause and breaking the pattern with relaxation and stress reduction strategies makes weight loss a lost cause. Try deep slow breathing, stretching, yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and/or relaxing hobbies. Find a time and place to "distress" daily. Cut out the sugary and starchy foods that make things worse and continue the cycle.

* Supplements can aid in weight loss. Avoid the fads and use those that help your overall health. Studies showed that adequate vitamin D and good bacteria aid weight loss. Everyone can benefit from supplementing with Vitamin D at least 2,000 IU per day as well as a probiotic containing at least 2 billion cfu. Fiber is essential to good health and can make you feel fuller longer. Other supplements should be tailored to your unique metabolism.

Add strength training, aerobic exercise, a winning attitude and plenty of water and fiber to your diet so you can "waist away" and shed those pounds. Hormones also play a large role. Visit a metabolic anti aging specialist to measure and modulate your hormones.

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Maita, MD is a recognized and award winning physician and author transforming people's lives through preventive and anti aging medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has over 18 years experience in Preventive Health and Wellness, Internal, Occupational and Travel Medicine and Executive Health.

Dr. Maita served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Prudential Financial, Medical Director on The Pfizer Health Leadership Team and Medical Director of North America for Johnson & Johnson Global Health Service and was an attending physician at St.Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Emergency Department and Executive Health Examiners in New York City. She is a consultant for companies wanting to develop or enhance their employee and occupational health and wellness programs and has a private practice in Short Hills, NJ. She is author of "Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier".