It is very frustrating to be constantly “dieting” but not losing weight! You are not alone. Diets really don’t work. Less than 50% of dieters manage to maintain their weight loss. However it IS possible to maintain weight loss by adopting a lifestyle that includes a natural, healthy diet and regular exercise.
This should also give you more energy and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Let’s consider some factors that may be involved in an inability to manage your weight.
1: Blood sugar balance
What is it: the carbohydrate we eat is converted to glucose that we require for energy. However, processed and refined foods, stress, alcohol, cigarettes, and stimulants all produce a rapid rise in blood sugar. The body can store in the liver and muscles, ready for when the body is short of carbohydrate but when these stores are full, insulin promotes fat formation.
Symptoms: faintness, dizzy spells, headaches, shakiness, nausea, mood fluctuations eg. aggression and tearfulness. What to do: eat more whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Eat some protein with each meal to slow down release of sugar.
2. Oestrogen dominance
What is it: All hormones depend on each other to maintain a balance in the body. Oestrogen dominance can occur when there are nutritional deficiencies, exposure to oestrogens in food and environment eg. growth hormones in meat (banned in the UK) and dairy and PCBs in drinking water.
Symptoms: hormonal problems eg. PMS, other menstrual problems, overloaded liver.
What to do: eat organically as much as possible, filter water, decrease chemical overload in the house eg. household cleaners
3. Stress and our attitude to food
What is it: Our mental attitude to food is not to be underestimated! Many of us reward ourselves with food treats when happy BUT also comfort ourselves with food when feeling down.
What to do: recognise the relationship we have with food and try to change eating patterns. Be aware of vulnerable times, eg. stressful situations and PMS. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may help.
What is it: The liver deals with toxins from our diet and environment, but when it is overloaded it stores them and may need extra support. The body holds onto excess fat to stop breakdown and circulation of toxins into bloodstream.
Symptoms: sluggish liver leading to numerous health problems.
What to do: eat less processed foods, increase fruit and veg and ensure a good variety of foods in the diet.
5. The right and wrong fats
What are they: Saturated fats from meat and dairy are not essential to your health. However beneficial oils, known as essential fatty acids – (EFAs) are essential for the proper functioning of the brain, immune system, cardiovascular system and for healthy skin.
What do they do: EFAs are important in weight loss because they suppress appetite and cause the metabolic rate to increase which helps burn calories faster; they have a role to play in decreasing allergic reactions, water retention and food cravings.
What to do: increase Omega 3 fats from oily fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, trout) and from nuts, seeds and their oils.
6. Fluid retention
What is it: the body will retain fluid if there are food intolerances, blood sugar imbalance and toxicity.
Symptoms: bloating, puffiness in limbs.
What to do: increase water consumption; reduce salt and sugar and refined foods. Investigate suspected food allergies or intolerances.
7. Lack of nutrients
What is it: when the diet is poor or lacking in variety there is a reduction in the intake of essential nutrients.
Symptoms: ranges from general lack of wellbeing to more serious conditions such as cancers and heart disease.
What to do: avoid restrictive diets. Ensure a good variety of foods from the main food groups: grains, dairy, proteins, fats, vegetables and fruit.
8. Yo-yo/crash dieting
What is it: most diets are restrictive and do not encourage eating a variety of foods. This can lead to low levels of certain nutrients that in turn can affect metabolism, hormones and the general health of the body.
Symptoms: slowing down of metabolism is the body’s response to restrictive eating. This can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies (see above) and weight gain.
What to do: eat little and often (every 2-3 hours) but take into account WHAT you eat (see Blood Sugar balance).
What is it! There are loads of different exercise regimes – stick with those that suit you and more importantly that you ENJOY!
How does it help: exercise increases the body’s metabolic rate and makes your muscles better at utilising fat for energy. Regular exercisers have a higher metabolic rate thus burning off more calories even when at rest. Exercise also enhances fluid and toxin elimination.
What to do: Long duration, low impact exercise such as brisk walking or swimming has a greater benefit on weight loss because a greater proportion of fat is used in low intensity exercise. Your gym instructor should be able to help devise a low impact, long duration programme for you.
For further information contact:
Tel: 01483 415916 or 07743 572421