Struggling to lose weight? You may want to consider the following
- Have you tried every fad diet to hit the papers, only to find you lose some weight but then put it straight back on again? Those calorie- restricted diets may actually be making weight loss harder by interfering with your metabolism. Our bodies are adept at adjusting to their environment, and when faced with restricted calorie intake our bodies adapt by slowing down your metabolism, storing fat and burning muscle instead
- Hormonal imbalances – and insulin is the big one here. It’s not called the ‘fat storage hormone’ for nothing! Alongside insulin, thyroid, cortisol and sex hormone imbalances are also key players in weight loss.
- Inflammation – a natural part of our body’s defense mechanism, but too much is bad for us. Food allergies or intolerances, high inflammatory diets, infections can all be triggers for raised inflammation in the body. The body responds to increased inflammation in the same way it does to increased stress levels.
- Watch what you eat (obviously!) but not just about calories in vs calories out. The quality of the calories you eat are just as important. High sugary foods, refined carbohydrates and processed foods have a detrimental effect on hormones, while a diet that contains high-quality lean protein, healthy fats, fibre and is low in sugar and other inflammatory foods helps keep our hormones in balance.
- Maintain regular bowel movements – if you are constipated you need to take steps to rectify this. Adding flaxseeds to your diet is a great place to start and generally helps get people moving. As is making sure you are drinking enough water.
- Stress – our bodies produce cortisol as a natural part of our stress response. Constantly elevated stress levels are associated with weight gain, particularly weight gained around the middle, due to high levels of cortisol and insulin, which rises with elevated cortisol.
- Stay hydrated – drinking water is thought to help speed up the metabolism. It can also take the edge off hunger. Sometimes hunger can be mistaken for thirst, so it’s a good idea to reach for a glass of water before reaching for that snack.
- Exercise – the more you move the more calories you burn and the more muscle you will build … and it just makes you feel good!
Hopefully this helps explain the complexity of weight loss and why for some people it is a much more difficult process than for others. Get in touch if you would like to learn more.