Are you struggling to lose weight, but you don't know why? You seem to be doing everything right. You eat a healthy, balanced diet, take regular exercise, but the weight just won't budge.
It can really get you down.
I know because I have been there. That was my life for more years than I care to remember.
The good news is that it could be just one of a few common reasons why you are struggling to lose weight.
Here are the 5 top reasons I see that prevent individuals from losing weight:
You would be surprised to know that most people consume the bulk of their calories, fat, and sugars in the evening.
This is a killer for any weight loss dreams you have because it teaches your body to store fat at a time when it is least active, at night.
The evening should be the time your body is preparing to close down its functions such as digestion, especially as you are often at your most sedentary.
When you give your body heavy foods at this time, it responds by shuttling the calories into fat due to its lack of need for them and stores them until you do need them, which is very unlikely to be tonight.
This energy is stored quickly as the most readily available form of fat, around your tummy. Not only is this perhaps the opposite of what you need, but visceral fat or fat around the abdominal area is the most dangerous kind, as it impacts the health of the vital organs.
Are you eating enough protein? You should be eating approximately 1 gram of protein per kilogram of your weight, but for many of us that is so far from reality.
Protein is essential for life. Our muscles, hair, nails, and skin are all made up of protein, not to mention the concoction of essential enzymes and hormones that are responsible for our biochemical reactions.
So it goes without saying that getting enough protein into your diet, namely at every meal, is essential for not only good health but to allow complete metabolism.
However, historically many meals have been based around carbohydrates and protein was more of a secondary macronutrient, such as a sandwich, pasta dishes, paella and rice dishes. The bulk of most meals is made up of carbohydrates. For this reason, many of us are not taking on the correct ratio of macronutrients to deliver fat burning, and we are rather taking on a ratio of macronutrients to store fat.
As you know, rich carbohydrates cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, particularly if they are eaten without being balanced with fat and protein to reduce their glycaemic load. This sugar is stored as fat.
Fuelling your body with protein and vegetables with a side of carbohydrate will make a huge difference to how your body stores that energy.
This simple switch can turn your body from a fat storage to a fat burning machine.
Water is the essential medium that allows stuff to get into our bodies and out of them. So it goes without saying that when you are limited in fluid, getting stuff like metabolic toxins, fat, and byproducts out of the body is pretty difficult.
As your body has no way of flushing fat, toxins, and waste products, it has no option but to hold on to them. These toxins circulate in the body but are also stored in cells, which is one reason for the formation of cellulite.
Further, when your body is starved of water, an orchestra of events come into play due to the stress it perceives.
For this reason your body starts to treat water in your body very differently, as it senses it is in short supply. One of the most obvious signs of your body holding on to water is water retention or bloating, particularly in joints.
This is your body's way of holding on to water to keep you alive. This of course would work if you were in a desert, but if you are just someone who has an aversion for water, the bloated water retention look may not be what you are hoping to achieve.
The solution couldn't get any simpler. Drink water regularly to ensure your body doesn't get to the state where it needs to store water and / or toxins.
An average adult would benefit from drinking at least 2 litres of warm to room temperature filtered water.
Exercise is not essential for fat or weight loss. That said, increasing your heart rate, moving, and stretching absolutely does promote weight loss and health.
The best type of exercise to lose weight is different for every individual, but it is worth noting that it must be accompanied by the correct intake of food.
Some bodies burn most fat when they train with weights, others may respond best in terms of fat loss to high intensity interval training or HIIT.
It is hugely individual and personal, just like everything to do with your health and wellbeing.
However, once you have discovered what exercise gives you the best results in terms of weight loss, you can benefit from being strategic when you actually do the exercise to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
Exercise in the morning is most beneficial for several reasons; the most significant being that it increases your metabolism for the rest of the day, particularly if you enjoy HIIT exercise.
This is referred to as the after-burn and helps set your metabolic gage for the rest of the day to an elevated level.
If fat loss or weight loss is your goal, you can really benefit from having exercise first thing in the morning.
Gut health is key to how you process, store and consume energy. The health of your gut is hugely significant in not only your body's relationship with food when you eat it, but evidence shows gut bacteria actually direct how and when you eat it, meaning it controls your cravings.
What's more, your gut health heavily impacts your mental health, being responsible for roughly 70% of your body's serotonin, the feel good hormone (Prozac works to increase this neurotransmitter if that helps you understand its relevance to mood).
We know that whilst many people know what to eat, etc., many of our eating behaviours can still be controlled by our gut bacteria or microbiome.
That is to say that when our microbiome is in a healthy balance, we are more likely to be in a good mood, which in turn causes us to be less likely to have unhealthy cravings or need the crutch of unhealthy food.
If you have a course of antibiotics, your gut bacteria are very likely to be imbalanced. Antibiotics are unable to distinguish between the bad guys and the friendly gut bacteria and this leads to undesirable fatalities.
Taking a quality, refrigerated probiotic on an empty stomach can help you rebalance your gut bacteria and in turn help you burn fat and make healthier food choices.
Do any of these sound like they may be hampering your attempts at losing weight? Have you ever thought about them?
Taking these into consideration can hugely impact your weight loss, particularly if it is something that you have been trying to do for a while.
And if you still cannot pinpoint why you can't lose weight, why not schedule a mini consult to see if your diet just needs a few tweaks.
Yours in wellness,