Are you inadvertently running into “road blocks” to your weight loss efforts?
Even through you’ve cleaned up your diet and started exercising you may still be asking yourself
”Why can’t I lose weight?”
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a complicated process. This week’s blog outlines 7 possible “road blocks” to your weight loss efforts.
1. Don’t obsess with dietary purity or over-think about the nutrition in your food
If you’ve identified food sensitivities or intolerance’s it is reasonable to avoid those foods, but if you’re generally healthy and not acutely intolerant or allergic to any particular food, worrying about eating a little wheat or dairy to the point of undue stress is not conducive to weight loss. In general, if you are making healthy choices and eating real foods, you’re on the right track.
Eating should be a relaxing, enjoyable and pleasurable experience. It should be stimulating, but not because you’re analyzing the micro-nutrient content of the foods on your plate.
Acutely stressing about the nutrition of your food will adversely affect digestion and stimulate hormones that increase appetite, decrease fullness and ultimately lead to weight gain.
Food should be consumed under stress free and enjoyable circumstances.
As long as the bulk of your food is high quality, you’re on the right track.
2. Adhere to the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle
- Eat plant based, local, seasonal, organic foods along with healthy animal products (grass fed, pasture raised)
- Don’t over eat
- Walk, lift and play everyday
- Get adequate sleep
- Manage your stress
3. Adjust your macro-nutrient levels to your activity levels
If you’re exercising intensely 5 days a week, and still finding yourself gaining weight despite your best efforts, you may need to eat some sweet potatoes, squash or other healthy plant based carbohydrates.
Conversely, if you work a sedentary job with minimal exercise, limiting carbohydrates (especially high glycemic foods) is probably ideal.
When it comes to weight management, Carbohydrates can be considered as elective macronutrients, and be consumed based on the amount and type of your activity.
Eat more healthy carbs (plant based) if you’re going to be burning glycogen via aerobic activities. Eat fewer if you’re not.
Minimizing your carbohydrate consumption while working out with high intensities and high volumes will stress your adrenals, depress your thyroid, and stall weight loss.
Eating too many carbohydrates or carbohydrates from refined sources (e.g. grains) without putting them to good use (i.e. through exercise) will promote hyper-insulinemia and weight gain.
4. Exercise efficiently
While the “eat less, move more” is an overly simplified, ineffective approach to weight loss “, exercise is an essential part of losing weight.
It is counterproductive to look at exercise in terms of thermodynamics (i.e. Calorie expenditure), because this promotes the “I’ll eat this cookie and then run for twenty minutes on the treadmill” mentality, which simply put, doesn’t work.
Exercise is a potent enhancer of hormonal function. It can raise testosterone, growth hormone, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which enhance fat loss.
It can also divert the calories you do eat toward lean muscle and refilling muscle glycogen.
Moderate exercise is essential to fat burning and lean mass accumulation.
5. Don’t eat too little
Inadequate calorie consumption can make fat loss difficult. When you continually (not intermittently as with fasting) eat fewer calories than your body requires, three things happen: Firstly, there is an increase in the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, which impedes weight loss by promoting fat storage.
Secondly, eating fewer calories can lead to an imbalance or deficiency in micro and phyto nutrients needed for optimal health and metabolism.
Lastly, your body compensates my by slowing down metabolically in order to adjust to the change in energy consumption.
Beware of low calorie diets.
6. Don’t eat too much (even if it’s healthy food)
Some people think they can eat as much healthy food as they want and not gain weight.
While eating a diet primarily of plants and animals is definitely healthier and less conducive to weight gain, too much of a good thing can also affect your weight.
In general satiety mechanisms work more efficiently with diets made up of grass-fed animals and animal products, coconut oil, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, cheese, olive oil, fish, and other healthy Primal foods, but quantity is not immaterial.
7. You don’t have a plan
Planning your meals for the day (or week) is a great way to ensure that you can make healthy choices and not get stuck having to resort to fast foods on the go. Pack a cooler if you are going to be on the road and rather than hitting the most convenient drive through, stop near a park and enjoy a nutritious meal or snack.
Keeping a food and exercise diary is a great tool to keep track of how you are doing. Review things daily and weekly so you can see where you might be able to improve.
Choosing a day to prepare your food for the week is also a good way to ensure you won’t go hungry or make poor choices.
Hopefully these tips can help clear your path to heath and weight loss.