Have you ever experienced the devastating frustration of jumping excitedly on the scales after you have worked all week hard on shedding those extra kilos off your waist…only to get off it, horrified and completely disillusioned in an even greater hurry than you got on…because you find yourself exactly at the same weight at which you started your weight-loss-journey weeks ago?
I have. And let me tell you this is not one of those memories I happily and cheerfully go back to. As if embarking on this whole quest towards a slimmer, happier and healthier me was not already hard enough in the first place. Did my body really have to throw another curve ballat me? I am sure we all agree that it is an extremely upsetting feeling, to say the least, to not succeed despite your best efforts.
And you start wondering whether your body has started some sort of rebellion against your dream body?! Or, even worse, whether there is something wrong with you.
Let me assure you there is nothing wrong with you and your body has not gone on a strike against the best version of yourself. Instead, your precious body is probably dealing with a whole lot of other things at the same time, which it has to cope with first before it can fully focus on your goal of shedding those extra kilos.
Let me help you to shed some light in this frustrating weight loss business and learn about my top ten causes that sneakily and without you being aware of may jeopardize and manipulate your best weight loss efforts.
- Your fat around the middle has a dynamic of its own
The fat that you carry around your vital organs is called visceral fat and it this fat which is responsible for a lot of your grief. Those fat cells are unfortunately very active and are capable of releasing inflammatory substances causing inflammation in your body. But if this was not already enough trouble, they also muddle up your normal hormonal functions, in particular those that regulate your appetite, your weight and your mood.
What you can do:
You are up against a whole different league here on your journey towards those flat abs. For you to win your fight in the ring against those vicious fat cells, you will have to first and foremost focus on balancing those hormones and work on reducing the inflammatory response in your body.
- Other hormones that sabotage your weight loss efforts
Our fast-paced lives with the daily juggle of all those different demands and pressures, more often causes our precious bodies to be in a constant state of stress. In an attempt to help us deal with all this stress, it releases hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which both lead to more accumulated stomach fat around your middle. Those hormones in question also make any weight loss attempts much harder by making the body to hold on to every single fat cell it possibly can. In addition, being exposed to continuous stress often also interferes with our sleep. Not getting enough good quality sleep, however, triggers yet another chemical reaction in the body: an increased release of ghrelin which is the hormone that is in charge of augmenting your appetite and a decreased release of leptin which is your satiety hormone and helps you to feel full. Arrghh…not very helpful for your cause at all.
What you can do:
To reverse this and balance out your hormones establish healthier routines which help you to stress less and sleep more. Make one appointment with yourself every day where you are spending time on self-nurture. In addition, start to engage in evening rituals that help you to slow down and relax.
- You are eating the wrong foods to boost your weight loss
You might be trying to eat extra healthy by choosing foods that are low in fat and are labelled as low in sugar or as gluten-free. Unfortunately, you might find yourself eating more of the unhealthy stuff than you are actually intending. Pre-packaged and processed foods, as well as foods labelled as low-fat or gluten-free are often very high in hidden sugar to make up for the loss in taste.
What you can do:
To avoid those hidden traps, be sure you start reading your labels and ingredient lists and become a food detective. Choose mainly wholefoods such as fresh vegetables and fruit, lean protein, pulses, legumes. All those foods are jam-packed with fibre and lots micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which your body needs plentiful of it to be able to shed the weights. Be sure to include lots of healthy omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, such as found in chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds and fatty fish to help fight inflammation and your stomach fat.
- You are not eating enough or not in the right balance
If you are reducing your calories too severely, your body goes into survival mode and will slow down its metabolism to safe energy. This means now you will end up quicker and easier with any excess calories on your body. In addition, when reducing your calories or eliminating certain food groups you are likely to risk a micro-and macronutrient imbalance in your body. And what is worst, you will probably end up with strong cravings caused by such imbalance and fall into a cycle of yo-yo-dieting. Yuk.
What you can do:
Be sure to include foods from all 3 food groups: healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats and healthy lean protein. Try to eat better, not necessarily less. Fill your plate with ¾ of vegetables (be sure to include lots of energising and blood cleansing greens here) and with ¼ of healthy grains and protein. Also, never skip breakfast or any other of your 3 meals. Try to eat something at least every 3 hours, to boost your metabolism and keep your blood sugar stable. Think of food as something that nourishes your body and makes YOU glow.
- Your body cannot detoxify
When your body is recovering from a broken metabolism as well as some form of digestive issues, you are likely to a harder time in trying to eliminate all the accumulated toxins from your body. This however, is another important pre-requisite for you to get rid of those extra kilos. If your body cannot flush the toxic waste out of your body, it will interfere with your body’s ability to balance your blood sugar and metabolize cholesterol. The result of which is of course the accumulation of more fat.
To help your body detoxify more efficiently, start your day with a fresh lemon squeeze, up your water intake and fibre, look after your gut health, breathe and sweat more. Including only 15 minutes of walking, a sun salutation or pranayama practice into your busy day can make all the difference to your liver and, thus, to your weight loss success.
What you can do:
To help your body detoxify more efficiently, start your day with a fresh lemon squeeze, up your water and fibre intake, look after your gut health, and breathe and sweat more. Creating the habit of taking daily as little as 15 minutes out of your busy life and use for walking, a quick sun salutation or pranayama practice, can make all the difference to your liver. And, of course, to your weight-loss.
Knowing these causes did change my world and hopefully will yours too. Being aware of what could get in your way and what to do about it, is incredibly empowering. It brings the ball back in your corner and equips you with all the tools you need to have to make your weight-loss journey a smashing success. Go for it and start living your life in a body that leaves you feeling happy and amazing.