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Micronutrient deficiencies can cause nutritional gaps that may contribute to obesity, Micronutrient food allergies can cause you to lose vital nutrients, Common food allergens include shellfish and peanuts, macronutrients and micronutrients are in almost everything we eat

Understanding Your Diet: What are Micronutrients?

Article at a Glance

  • Most popular fad diets can leave nutritional gaps due to extreme restrictions. This often causes dieters to return to their original eating habits and gain all, or even more, of their weight back.
  • Macronutrients are foods required in large quantities within our daily diet, and tend to be in almost everything we eat. This includes carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins.
  • Micronutrients are chemicals or substances required in small amounts for normal bodily functions.
  • A micronutrient deficiency can lead to a large array of symptoms including: weakness/fatigue, depression, anxiety, increased stress, mood changes, weakened immune system, and decreased energy.

Today, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese, and roughly 70% of the population is considered overweight. These figures have been increasing steadily throughout recent decades, with the most dramatic increases occurring within the past 20 years. As a result, we’ve seen a significant push to increase efforts to combat obesity and promote weight loss, especially within the past five to ten years. It should therefore come as no surprise that the U.S. weight loss market is worth a whopping $66 billion. The consumer base for this market comprises more than 95 million people seeking to make some degree of change to their overall health or body composition.

Naturally, with such a vast market, there are bound to be virtually limitless options for diet, weight loss programs, fat-burning pills, and so forth. With so many different options to consider, it is far too easy for anyone pursuing weight loss to get caught up in the next big diet plan, workout program, or supplement. After all, most people looking to lose weight are seeking the means that will help them reach their goals as quickly as possible, and when a particular program is trending, no one wants to miss out on its promised results.

Among the most popular diets right now are low-carb/high-fat keto diets, plant-based, or strictly “carnivore-based” diets. Some individuals do experience success with these diets or other alternatives. More often than not, however, these extreme approaches cause people to burn out too quickly and drop off, which leaves them to return to their former eating habits. Therefore, many people wind up hopping from one program to another in an endless quest for measurable, lasting results, believing each program or diet to be superior to the other. As we’ve seen, however, this usually isn’t the case.

There are many reasons why diets fail. The person often fails to commit to it long enough to see results, the prescribed approach to eating is too restrictive, or the diets followed lack scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. Oftentimes, failure results from a combination of these reasons. With that being said, there is almost always one common theme among unsuccessful diets: those who try them often lack an understanding of what the body truly needs, why it needs it, and how to get the most from their food choices. That’s where understanding the role of macronutrients and micronutrients comes into play.

What Are Macronutrients?


Macronutrients play an integral part in providing the body with the energy necessary to perform essential processes on a cellular level, Micronutrients are often overlooked since the role of micronutrients is more widely known, macronutrients and micronutrients play essential roles in maintaining bodily functions

Everything we eat is made up of macronutrients, or chemical substances the body needs in large quantities. The three macros include carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing the body with the energy and materials needed for essential processes performed at a cellular level. Each macronutrient is responsible for specific functions and metabolites.

Are Carbs Bad for You?

Carbohydrates are essential for fueling the body and, more specifically, the brain. They are the primary source of fuel used during high-intensity exercise and can be stored in the muscles as glycogen. Yet, a more sophisticated look at the macronutrient constituents of food reveals not all are the same. In fact, each subtype of macronutrient can have substantially different metabolic consequences. Fats, for instance, are categorized into essential and nonessential fatty acids. While essential fatty acids include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and largely pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, fats can also be found in various forms, from saturated to mono, poly, and unsaturated.

Eating Fat Will Not Make You Fat

Contrary to common belief, eating fats will not make a person fat as most fats actually contain many qualities that contribute to health benefits. While saturated fatty acids were once believed to be the major culprit in cardiovascular disease, it was later found that carbohydrates are actually the more likely causative agent behind this and many other diet-related health issues. Since fat reduction efforts have been in place, carbohydrate content has replaced fat content, largely in the form of store-bought foods which contain high amounts of processed sugars. Thus, high glycemic index carbohydrates have emerged as the real cause for concern.

In fact, diets rich in monounsaturated fats and omega acids can actually prove to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Fat is also a very calorically-dense nutrient which can help you feel sated and provide ample energy for the body to use. Additionally, fats are essential for absorbing and utilizing vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as neural functioning and optimal hormone responses.

Proteins Help Fight Muscle Breakdown

Proteins are likewise essential, and are made up of amino acids which the body uses to build and repair muscle tissue inside the body. They extend far beyond the muscles, however, as they are also required for maintaining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s organs and tissues. Protein that comes from other sources also provides the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot create, meaning they must be acquired from foods.

With a deeper understanding of how various carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins signal metabolic function and appetite regulation, it becomes possible to control the results of our eating habits. Yet, there’s more to nutrition than macronutrients alone.

What Are Micronutrients?


Micronutrient deficiencies are often undiagnosed as their symptoms include stress and tiredness, Micronutrients play a central role in metabolism and disease prevention, What are micronutrients and what role do they play in the body

With macronutrients receiving so much attention in the world of nutrition and weight loss, the role of micronutrients is often overlooked. Indeed, macronutrients are the primary nutrients and are often the factors that are prioritized when it comes to meal planning and helping individuals understand the association between dietary consumption and health outcomes. Nonetheless, they only make up one piece of the puzzle in nutrition and overall health.

Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients and deliver many benefits to the body. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning. Oftentimes, micronutrient deficiencies are overlooked and are instead diagnosed as symptoms of other conditions. Because symptoms of a micronutrient deficiency can include tiredness, and/or depression, which may result in stress – all of which can be attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors – it is easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

The Crucial Role of Micronutrients

The importance of micronutrients cannot be overstated. They play a central role in metabolism, as well as disease treatment and prevention [1]. It can therefore be argued that, when attempting to lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition, as well as optimizing overall wellness, one should also consider their micronutrient levels and adjust their intake appropriately. There are many gaps in the modern American diet which leave individuals susceptible to deficiencies – even in people who eat a varied diet primarily consisting of unprocessed, whole foods.

Moreover, if you have a known or undiagnosed food allergy, it’s possible that your body is further experiencing a loss of nutrients. For instance, a milk allergy can leave you with lower levels of calcium, riboflavin, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, and B12 [2]. This is only one example of a nutritional gap caused by an avoidance of a specific food; there are many other deficiencies which can go undetected even after performing a careful analysis of a person’s diet.

Thus, the best way to determine a micronutrient deficiency is to take a micronutrient test. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning.

Macronutrients and Micronutrients – In Conclusion


Today, roughly 70% of the U.S. population is considered overweight or obese. Anyone trying to lose weight will stumble upon various “fad diets” that promise to help you lose the weight with minimal effort. However, these fad diets leave gaps in you nutritional plans and the deficiencies could set you back.

In order to understand why your current diet may be failing, you need to recognize the different components of your nutritional plan: macronutrients vs. micronutrients. Macronutrients make up almost everything you eat and include three major groups: carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing your body with the energy it needs to perform essential processes on a cellular level. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances that are only required in small amounts to maintain normal functioning.

Next Steps in Understanding What Micronutrients Are


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Sources of Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing


  1. Shenkin, A. “The key role of micronutrients.” Clinical Nutrition. 10 Jan. 2006. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16376462
  2. “Replacing Lost Nutrients Due to Food Allergies.” Kids With Food Allergies, A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 2013. Retrieved from URL: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/replacing-lost-nutrients.aspx

Relying on external motivators hinders long term weight loss goals, Making positive lifestyle changes for yourself can assist with losing weight

Psychology of Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight & Make Your Results Last

Table of Contents

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion 

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss 

Before taking on any weight loss journey, the reasons for the change need to be plainly stated. However, people who look towards outside sources for those reasons or use external sources to uncover their reasons tend to fail. They tend to lose themselves in the process and become so consumed in their journey to lose weight that they overlook the person for whom the changes should be made in the first place: themselves.

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 


Making lasting, positive changes for yourself is incredibly challenging, and it is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. We are surrounded by a myriad of images and social representations, which enforce a certain ideal and demand that we make changes for a predetermined reason outside of our own motivators. As a result, we forget the real reasons behind “getting a six-pack” or achieving a certain number on a scale. Even for the fittest individuals who eat exceptionally well, these results are often impossible to achieve. True success in weight loss can therefore only be achieved when we look past airbrushed nonsense and instead look inwards.

While this means something different for everyone, there are some overarching principles, which may be beneficial in starting your internally-motivated weight loss journey. Here are a few of the factors, which many people who lose weight and keep it off have credited to their success:

Take time to define your goals as well as how to reach them, planning your goals in small increments can help increase your chances of achieving sustainable weight loss
  • Take some time to yourself. 

Before you even begin to purse weight loss, take some time to sit down and really think about why you want to lose weight. Define your goals, but be realistic with them. Your weight loss goals can also encompass more than a number. For example, “trying more healthy recipes” or “finding an exercise class I love” can also be encompassed by your weight loss journey.Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s okay to reach out to external sources for help. Yet, the initial goals and reasons must come from you.

Keeping your goals in mind with small reminders can help ensure your reach your goals, Sticky notes or alarms on your phone can keep you on track for sustainable weight loss
  • Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

It’s easy to get distracted by day-to-day responsibilities and priorities, but this should now be one of your priorities. The decisions you make every day will enable you to meet your goals, so give yourself ample reminders of what it is that you’re pursuing. If you need to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to exercise, or you want to stick a note on your computer reminding you to eat more vegetables, then do it!

Remember, these types of goals don’t take “breaks.” Achievement is a result of the culmination of your everyday decisions. Set yourself up for the best odds of success by thinking ahead. This could include planning your meals out for the week in advance and only purchasing the ingredients needed for them when you’re grocery shopping. Or, perhaps you feel like it’s easier to stick to your healthy eating plan when you prepare your breakfasts and lunches for the week in advance. Determine which strategies work best to help you reach your goals, then stick with them.

Celebrate your small achievements with healthy rewards such as new workout clothing, Rewarding yourself with food can be dangerous for sustainable weight loss
  • Give yourself positive reinforcement.

Don’t wait for someone else to give you encouragement. People are often consumed with their own priorities – and that’s okay. Remember your reasons for why you started this – they are yours and yours alone.

Celebrate the small wins you achieve in your pursuit towards bigger milestones. Whether it’s eating a balanced breakfast, working out five days on a given week, or another small victory, recognize these achievements and give yourself praise. You might even want to incorporate healthy rewards along your journey, such as new workout clothing.

Being selfish during your weight loss journey is okay, Being your influence for exercise and nutrition will ultimately positively affect the people around you
  • Be selfish in your endeavor.

This is for you! You may have to sacrifice other things in your life to make time for healthy eating and exercise. Keep in mind that you must put yourself first in order to be a good friend, parent, employee, sibling, or any other role you may take on. Your success will ultimately have a positive effect on the people around you, but the process is all yours.

An occasional cheat meal can help maintain psychological balance, A simple cheat meal should not be the end of your weight loss journey
  • If you fall off a bit, get back on immediately.

Going into your journey, you should expect to have slip-ups. From special occasions to vacations, there may be moments where you indulge here and there. You can give yourself the freedom to enjoy these moments without guilt – as long as you know you’ll get right back into your healthy habits the next day. Research has actually shown that having the occasional “cheat meal” can satisfy appetite while maintaining psychological balance. Falling off every once in a while isn’t the problem, but staying off is. Just get back into it and focus your efforts on moving forward – it won’t do any good to look to the past and shame yourself for a mistake.

Enjoy the weight loss process, Sustainable weight loss is a lifelong endeavor
  • Enjoy the process and take it slow.

Weight loss is a journey, but weight management is a lifelong endeavor. Every meal, training session, and day full of healthy choices is a win. Enjoy these wins – you’ll have a lot of them during a lifetime of health and wellness!

Achieving lasting weight loss isn’t simple, but understanding the psychological influences behind weight gain and failed diets is an important first step towards success. Once you know why it is that you want to lose weight and find ways to combat the influencers that have held you back before, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier – and you can’t find that in any fad diets.

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion


Sustainable long term weight loss is achieved through mental toughness and being able to enjoy the process, Following fad diets for instant gratification can detour you from your long term weight loss goals

Weight loss is one of the most commonly sought-after goals in our society. However, many fail because of stress, increased appetite through a release of ghrelin, and the outside influence of TV shows, movies, and people may have on our behavior.

Long term weight loss is achieved by making lasting, positive changes for yourself instead of others. It is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. Once you understand the reason(s) you want to lose weight and find a way to combat your external influencers, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier!

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Resources On How to Lose Weight 


Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss 

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Aggressively restrictive diets can cause stress and fear to be developed intrinsically, Fad diets do not promote healthy weight loss as the anxiety caused by it can spur a stress eating cycle

Achieving Healthy Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

When someone sets out on a new fad diet such as an extreme low-carb diet or one with another aggressive restriction, many negative thoughts begin to manifest in the person’s mind.

Stress, apprehension, and even fear are often the guiding principles of these diets and the means by which they are enforced. These feelings are developed intrinsically – but, it’s important to note that they’re a response to an external demand. What can someone learn from an aggressive weight loss plan? Nothing but what is told to them or even demanded of them.

Don’t have this; you can’t have that; stay away from this food group – all of these negative phrases make it challenging to walk into a store, read a menu, or look into your refrigerator without feeling understandably overwhelmed.

These feelings of anxiety can spur the stress-eating cycle we discussed previously, which is just one of many problems with fad diets. Moreover, being so limited can make you more inclined to just give up and return to a pleasure-driven diet.

The Dangers of Fad Diets 

The demands of fad diets, which come from an external source, often overlook or are perhaps completely at odds with your intrinsic qualities. For instance, if you’re a person who enjoys eating meat and has for your entire life, how will a raw vegan diet suddenly become sustainable for you?

The same could also apply to exercise-based weight loss programs: if you’re someone who has always enjoyed cycling, how will weight training be a fitting choice for you?

Certainly, it’s possible that you could find you actually enjoy going vegan or incorporating weight training into your lifestyle. Yet, unless you’re exploring healthy options because of your own personal motivators, they’re unlikely to stick.

Lack of Long-Term Results

One of the pillars of a fad diet is its promise to deliver short-term results. Yet, in exchange for weight loss results, which can be noticed quickly, fad dieters are giving up any hope for long-term success.

Oftentimes, fad diets advise taking in far fewer calories than what’s considered safe or healthy. As a result, people are delighted as they watch the weight “fall off” – not realizing that what they’re losing is probably water and lean muscle mass instead of fat. 

Starving the body in this way is impractical over the long-termand when dieters return to their normal eating patterns, they tend to gain back all of the weight and perhaps even more. This makes lack of long-term success one of the dangers of fad diets.

Nutritional Gaps in Fad Diets

Many fad diets also encourage people to pick from the same, extremely selective food choices day after day. Limiting food choices and discouraging a balanced approach to nutrition is a flawed approach for a few reasons. For one, it can lead to boredom. Excluding an entire group could leave you with cravings or cause you to grow tired of the same choices. This may spur you to “cheat” on the diet and actually overeat to satisfy your craving.

For another, extremely restrictive eating plans may advise severe calorie restrictions or leave nutritional gaps in your diet. In some cases, these can have adverse health effects. Even if there aren’t any risk factors associated with your chosen fad diet, it’s unlikely to be sustainable over the long term.

What to Avoid in a Weight Loss Program

Because of the nutritional gaps in fad diets, from extremely restrictive eating plans, fad dieters tend to gain back all of the weight, and perhaps even more, when they return to their original diet. Fad dieters also run the risk of:

  • Promises to help you lose more than two pounds per week

  • Results that sound too good to be true; i.e, “eat whatever you want without exercising and still lose weight”

  • Advice from weight loss or nutrition “experts” who lack credentials

  • Conclusions that aren’t backed by clinical research

  • Severe restriction against eating a variety of healthy foods

  • Requirements of purchasing packaged meals or meal plans

Ultimately, the hazards of taking any diet to the extreme include slowing down your metabolism, increasing anxiety over food choices, and potentially even suffering from malnutrition or depleting energy levels due to a thyroid condition. Any short-term results you may witness simply aren’t worth risking your mental and physical wellbeing for – especially when there’s a better, more sustainable way to approach weight loss.

Fad Diets Are Not Good for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Fad diets are the first mistake many individuals make on their journey to long-term weight loss. Lured by the temptation of instant gratification, these fad diets promise to deliver short-term results. Oftentimes, fad diets take in far fewer calories than what is considered normal or healthy, giving up any hope for long-term success.

Fad Diets Don't Work in the Long Run

Any weight loss program, plan, or product with the following features is best avoided:

  • slowing down their metabolism

  • increasing anxiety over food choices

  • potentially suffering from malnutrition

  • suffering from depleted energy levels due to a thyroid condition

Short-term results are not worth the mental and physical turmoil. Contact Cenegenics to learn more about how our program can help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals!

Next Steps to Achieving Long-Term Weight Loss

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Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

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