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  • Karen B

Struggling to lose weight and keep it off?

Let’s be honest, losing weight is not a straightforward process. It can be

easy to feel deflated when you don’t see the scales consistently moving in

the direction you want them to.

Several factors can affect weight loss and awareness of these can help you continue with your weight loss journey, allow you to be kind to yourself, and stay motivated at times when you feel frustrated.


1. Go slow and steady

Remember the fable about the hare and the tortoise? Slow and steady won

the race…The same principle can be applied with weight loss. People who

lose weight at a healthy rate of one or two pounds per week are more likely

to achieve their ultimate goal of keeping the weight off. Moreover, even this

moderate weight loss has been shown to have several health benefits, such

as improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood glucose

levels. Even shedding a few pounds will make you feel happier.


2. A word about calories

Weight loss is not simply a comparison of calories in versus energy out, it’s

influenced by other external and personal factors such as genetics,

medications, sleep patterns, stress levels, your gut bacteria, your metabolic rate, whether you work shifts, even the shops available to you to buy food from.

Some people who are more overweight do tend to lose weight

more quickly in the early stages - this is often calorie-driven.

To put it simply, the more weight you have to lose, the faster the weight loss

is in the beginning. This happens because you will have reduced the amount

of calories you would normally eat to maintain a weight of 160lbs, let’s say,

to an amount suitable for maintaining 130lbs. As you gradually lose the

weight, the rate of weight loss will slow as the calorie-deficit has been

reduced. This makes calorie reduction impossible to maintain without loss of vital nutrients along the way!

Other factors, such as when you eat and the quality of your calorie

intake play a more crucial role in weight-loss. Eating your main meal late in the

evening even whilst reducing your calorie intake and eating plain food such as pasta is not an effective way to lose weight.

Let’s not forget also that drastically reducing the amount of calories you take

in can have a negative impact on weight-loss. Your body will think it is under

threat and move into survival mode, store calories and oppose weight-loss.

It is important to eat enough calories to maintain a health body weight. You do

not want to lose lean muscle mass as this carries its own health problems

such as weakening your immune system and increasing the chances of

injury.

Before we move on from calories, it’s worth mentioning the importance of

daily movement to aid weight loss. You don’t have to do a

HIIT activity or a long distance run, the most important thing is to keep

moving regularly throughout the day, every day. Long-term low level

consistency pays over short-term high-intensity. Show-up everyday and you

will see the results, slowly but surely.


3. The role of your gut microbiome

We have two hormones in our body that regulate our appetite, one makes us

feel hungry and the other makes us feel full. Both are affected by poor quality

of sleep, stress and the composition of our gut microbiome (the collection of

trillions of bacteria that live in our digestive system). These gut bacteria also

play a role in how dietary fats are absorbed in the body which may affect

how fat is stored in the body. It can be much harder to lose weight when your gut microbiome is out of balance.

It’s so important to keep your gut bacteria happy so that they influence your

mood and health in a positive way. Good foods to incorporate in your diet

include:

• Whole grains

• Nuts, especially pecans and hazelnuts, and seeds

• Fermented foods (yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi)

• Polyphenol-rich foods: fruit, especially berries; vegetables (some of the

best sources are artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, green and black

olives, red onions and spinach); green tea; herbs such as rosemary and

thyme; and dark chocolate…yes, that’s right but in small amounts, of

course!

A healthy plate should include a combination of vegetables, a protein

source , a source of healthy fat and a portion of complex carbohydrates,

such as whole grains.


4. Why your weight fluctuates from day to day

It’s perfectly normal for your weight to fluctuate on a daily basis. This is

because when you weigh yourself you are not only measuring muscle, bone

and body fat but also water volume, undigested food, and waste that has yet

to be eliminated from your digestive tract. Water retention due to PMS or a

particularly salty meal will still have an impact on your weight even if you

have lost body fat.

The important thing is being aware of your personal patterns. If your weight

continues to increase steadily then it may be time to consider other aspects

of your lifestyle: have you been reaching out for snacks more often due to

stress, have you not been sleeping well which may have led to you eating

more the following day: have you started to eat more processed foods due

to lack of time; have you not been moving or exercising as frequently? If you

do recognise a trigger, try to implement ways to manage it and then continue

with a healthier lifestyle and you’ll notice the results! I’d also suggest that

you weigh yourself once a week, on the same day and at the same time in

order to have better picture of your weight fluctuations.


5. Patience and consistency are key

Losing weight is definitely a complex process and it’s unrealistic to predict

how much weight a person will lose in a given space of time. Most diets

work in the initial stages, but we are looking for a lifestyle change that will

help you keep a healthy weight for the long-term. We all know that in the

long-term, crash dieting doesn’t work as the weight lost (and often more

weight) is regained. This yoyo dieting is certainly not good for your physical,

emotional or mental health. You can become caught in a negative spiral

which makes you feel like giving up all together. It really doesn’t have to be

like that. We promise you that you can succeed long-term.

A weight-loss journey may take longer than you were hoping for but try to

focus on the bigger picture. The most important thing is consistency:

maintaining a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle behaviours that are simple

and sustainable. Remember to be patient and compassionate with

yourself along the way. There may be occasions when you shed fewer

pounds than others, but stay focussed on your health goal: keeping the

weight off for good! We, at Feel Great Formula, will help you with that goal! How? Find out more about our Weekly Wellness Club

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