Many of us, at some stage or other, have wanted to lose weight. Maybe just a couple of kilos that have crept on over winter or perhaps it’s quite a few kilos that have crept on over years.
Perhaps you have fought the battle of the bulge your entire life (or it seems like that). Maybe you’ve reached a certain “stage in life” and it seems that suddenly that diet and lifestyle which has been fine until now, is no longer your friend. You may be doing exactly what you have always done but still the number on the scales is creeping up and those clothes are feeling a bit tight.
For the lucky few, losing unwanted weight is as easy as a small tweak to their diet and a little extra daily exercise and the weight just seems to melt away.
But what if that’s not you? What if you have struggled to lose weight or maybe you have lost some only to regain it and be back where you started…or worse you gain more weight than you lost so you are even further behind the eight ball.
Having spent many years in clinical practice and many hours studying the human body and all its nuances it is clear to me (and probably you) that achieving and maintaining your desired weight is hard work for most people.
What you need to know about losing weight
- the kilojoule equation – this is the obvious starting point. It’s pretty tough to lose weight if you are consuming more kilojoules than you are using. So you need to be aware of your energy intake and expenditure.
- not all kilojoules are the same – you need to get the right mix of good quality macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (the vitamins and minerals) in order to get your metabolism revving.
- look at thyroid function – Hypothyroidism affects up to 10% of women (and even higher as we age). The thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolism (amongst other things). A thyroid which is underactive (this could be due to a number of factors) will make it harder to lose weight.
- reduce stress – particularly the type of constant and repeated stress many of us are subjected to day in day out. This results in increased cortisol production which can play havoc with other hormones such as insulin, thyroid hormones and ghrelin (your appetite stimulating hormone).
- address oestrogen imbalances – another problem of hormones which can push you towards weight gain.
- good sleep is vital for weight loss – there’s a whole bunch of reasons why this is important, not the least of which is we are less likely to be active if we are tired. But poor sleep also affects hormone regulation and metabolism.
- reduce toxicity – when the amount of toxins we take onboard is greater than our bodies can process and eliminate, they have to be stored somewhere and one of our storage sites is fat cells (adipose tissue). If we are overly burdened with toxins it will be tough to lose weight because the toxins have nowhere else to go.
- consider psychology and neurochemistry – yet another complex area which could be driving your food choices (via addictions) or messing with your self-image, feelings of self worth and more. Want to know more? Read 6 reasons why you eat when you don’t really need to.
And a bonus 9th reason also comes to mind…..that of your gut microbiome.
We are now learning that specific types of bugs in your gut may make you more likely to gain weight.
So, if you are stuck in a weight loss rut, consider the above list. Can you be confident that you have addressed all of them and successfully removed the obstacles to achieving and maintaining your healthy weight?
I’d suggest it is pretty difficult, if not impossible, to address these issues on your own and why make it tougher for yourself than it already is? That’s what I’m here for!
I will help you identify which barriers are blocking your success and help you remove them. Beyond addressing your food intake, this might involve working on your thyroid or hormonal functions, addressing stress levels, reducing toxic burden, examining your gut microbiome or helping restore sleep patterns for example.