Healthy Living Advice

Tips for health, strength, weight-loss, and nutrition

Not losing weight : Part 2

Are you one of these people who are eating a clean diet, exercising regularly and still not losing weight?  Well, here is one of the two issues I see most commonly. 

Not eating enough of the right food!

This is what I see as being one of the biggest issues with people who are trying losing weight. 

After a nutritional assessment, 90% of the time I ask people to start eating more and 99% of the time people look at me as if I’m crazy.  But after a few weeks that crazy look disappears as the scales start to change.

Weight loss has a lot to do with de-stressing the body and if you’re not eating enough your body is going to be stressed out; and stressed out bodies do not want to let go of body fat.

Yes you might think you’re eating enough but that is only because your metabolism has been trained to handle small amounts of food.  This then slows your thyroid and mitochondria right down, decreasing the demand for fuel.  Slowly increasing your meals with clean foods boost your metabolism, thyroid and mitochondria function, becoming fuel burning machine.

Stress can still be caused on a clean diet and is commonly brought on by the body being starved or in a calorie deficit.  A calorie deficit is when the body is burning more energy than is coming in.  You might read this and say “that’s what everyone says is the only way to lose weight”; well yes it is one way to lose weight but not a long term solution or a very healthy way for that matter.  

Why eating less and/or exercising more is not the solution

When people start trying to lose weight they normally start burning more fuel then they are bringing in, either by eating less, exercising more or both. This method works at the start as your metabolism is used to burning a certain amount of food (calories) per day and when you reduce these calories or exercise more your body will tap into fat and muscle tissue to make up the difference as it still wants to burn that number of calories.  It can take the metabolism a few days to adjust to the change. 

This may cause people to lose weight initially, but this only lasts a few days to a week before you plateau; weight loss stops and sometimes starts to come back on.  So to get the ball rolling again you’ll need to reduce your calories even more and/or start exercising more to kick start the weight loss again.  As you can see this style of weight loss limits you to two ways to lose weight – to eat less  & exercise more.

Both will create a calorie deficit and both will have stressor effects on the body including: 

  • Nutrient depletion - Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly and by never eating enough food your body never gets the amount of vitamins and minerals it needs.  This turns into food cravings as the body is demanding sustenance, which in turn can then turn into food binges - welcome to the yoyo diet!
  • Hormonal disfunction - Cutting calories causes your hunger, appetite and metabolism hormones to be suppressed; telling your body to slow everything down and burn less because less food is being consumed.  This can lead quickly to metabolic damage.  Combine this with a good old fashion junk food blow out and watch the fat gain!  Other hormones affected in a negative way are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, dopamine, gerelin, leptin and the list goes on.
  • Bad relationship with food - When you restrict the amount of food you eat you tend to start looking at food differently - constantly analysing what you’re eating, worrying if this is good or bad, too many calories or is it going to make you fat.  Once the mind locks these thoughts in it can be extremely damaging and hard to break.  Skipping meals and taking out complete food groups are just some of the problems we see arise.
  • Insomnia / adrenal fatigue - Tired but unable to sleep is another cause of under-eating and vitamin deficiency that is affecting more and more people.  The issue here is that you have burned up all this energy throughout the day and have not replaced it, so the body tries to keep you awake to let you find more food; a slippery slope towards adrenal fatigue and binge eating.  Supplementing with high doses of magnesium with dinner and before bed will help you to sleep and bring some relief.   

To wrap it up!

Your body asks for a certain amount of calories per day.  If you never give your body the calories it needs the body will think there is something wrong like a famine and go into lock down holding onto all fat stores until its calorie demand is filled.  You need to eat enough good food (calories) to reduce the stressors listed above and let the body relax - this will then let the body use body fat as fuel.

Yes if you go out and start over-eating you may gain body fat.  However, if your diet is clean this is less of a problem as your body is very efficiently at using natural foods as fuel.

To Healthy Living

Daniel Christie

 


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