Weight loss is a complicated and tricky feat to accomplish. Sometimes it comes off fairly easily and sometimes not at all. Our weight should not be the first marker we use to rate our health, but maintaining a healthy body weight can have many long-term benefits on our overall health, including healthy cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure and brain health.
Here are 8 reasons you may experience some weight loss resistance:
1. You’re not eating enough protein. Protein is a very important nutrient for weight loss and for detoxification. Eating 25-30% of your calories as protein can boost your metabolism and help diminish cravings. Protein has an effect on our appetite regulating hormone – ghrelin. So start your day with a high-protein breakfast like a 2-egg omelet with greens and a healthy fat, like avocado.
2. You may be eating too many calories or too much of one macronutrient. Search online for a calorie calculator to get a rough estimate of how much you should be consuming on a daily basis. It’s not necessary to always count calories or weigh your food – just do it for a few days to get an idea of how much you should be eating. Conversely, some folks may not be eating ENOUGH calories and the result can slow your metabolism.
3. You may be eating too many processed foods with chemicals that can hinder weight loss. Make sure your diet is full of nutrient-dense whole foods like fresh vegetables, lean protein, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and healthy fats. Become an avid label reader of boxed and packaged foods and look for and avoid hydrogenated oils, soybean and canola oil, high fructose corn syrup, BHT, BHA, MSG, artificial sugars such as sucralose, aspartame and acesulfame potassium and nitrates.
4. What about exercise – what’s the best? One of the best forms for weight loss is lifting weights. Now you don’t need to join a gym – you can use your own body weight and perhaps a set of dumbbells for some overhead presses, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and chest presses. Then some lunges, squats, pushups and planks – and you’re done! Resistance training can also prevent metabolic slowdown and keep your body toned. Cardiovascular exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming or even dancing is a great form of movement to help burn fat, especially around your midsection.
5. Watch out for sugary beverages. Tea, lemonade, sodas and even drinks marketed as being “low or no-sugar” can impact insulin levels. Try to stick to plenty of filtered water throughout the day.
6. You’re not sleeping well. Good quality and quantity sleep has a big affect on cortisol levels (our stress hormones) and ghrelin – our appetite control, the next day. Poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for obesity. Make sleep a priority for your physical health, as well as your mental health.
7. You’re not eating mindfully. One of the newest, yet most powerful tools in our health arsenal is a technique called mindful eating. It requires you to slow down, chew your food slowly, savoring each bite, taking breaks in between bites and most importantly, listening to the cues from your brain when you are full. Try to eat while sitting, without distractions, the TV, or work. Focus on your meal, the taste, the colors and your surroundings. When you begin to feel full, pack away the leftovers and relax while your food digests.
8. Lastly, it’s important when we are trying to lose weight to shift our focus away from a “diet mindset” to setting a health goal of lowering your blood sugar, improving your cholesterol ratios or getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Focus on nourishment and enjoyment to make this journey a pleasant one.
If you need extra support, consider Nutritional Therapy to help you reach your health goals. I can be reached at www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.