As a Nutritionist, people constantly ask me why they can’t lose weight. They’re frustrated, they’ve tried it all and they’re sick of wasting time and money on diets. So here it is, some real hard facts and reasons to this common problem. I’ve picked my top 7 potential reason why you may be finding yourself in this dilemma.
7. INSUFFICIENT FIBRE
Let’s face it—we live in an age of processed food. The majority of the foods we are choosing with our fast-paced busy lifestyles are devoid of any nutrition including fibre. Most of the foods we’re eating are on the higher end of saturated & trans fats, refined sugar and food additives/chemicals. Yuck!
So where’s the fibre at? We absolutely need the fibre to sweep up the toxins and garbage in our bodies and move it on out. We need fibre for “roughage” or “bulk” in our bowels to help bind waste and eliminate it.
If you know me, you know I advocate for at the very least 2 healthy bowel movements a day. Yupp, that’s 2—at the very least! I know, you’re gasping right now in sheer panic. How’s that going to happen you ask? More fibre. Bottom line, more fibre = less toxins & poop in your body = less weight. I said it! Poop!
Irregular bowel movement leaves that crap (literally) in your digestive tract. True story! Working in a digestive health clinic for years as a Colon Hydrotherapist, I saw over and over again the amount of waste people’s bodies can physically hold on to. You would be shocked (and not to mention, probably disgusted!)!
Fibre also regulates your blood sugar, reduces sugar cravings and ultimately these lead to healthful weight management. Get your daily dose of fibre, an absolute minimum of 30-40 grams per day from fresh whole foods including veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and gluten-free or gluten reduced whole grains.
6. SLEEP DEPRIVATION
72% of North Americans experience insomnia. Lack of sleep or sleep disturbances are so super common as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive caffeine intake (God knows we are a coffee junkie-addicted nation!), busy schedules or general life/work/personal stresses.
Hypertension, insulin resistance and heart disease have all been linked to sleep deprivation. Moreover, sleeplessness can totally sabotage your weight management and weight reduction efforts. This is because metabolism and appetite are largely affected by how much you sleep each night. Less sleep or disturbed sleep = decreased metabolism = weight gain.
Getting at least a total of 7-8 hours of sleep a night can reset your biological rhythms and enhance your metabolism. Many studies have shown a connection between sleep and weight loss. The longer you are sleep deprived, the lower your metabolism is during the day. Go to bed and wake up at a consistent regular time every night or as much as possible.
Before bed avoid TV, computers, electronic distractions, work, noise and exercise. Instead opt for relaxation techniques including a hot bath, cup of warm tea, light reading, meditation, deep breathing exercises or journal writing.
If you’re chronically stressed like 99% of North Americans, you are definitely on the fight or flight roller coaster. Your fight or flight response is your body’s natural innate defense & protection system.
It’s the reason why you can successfully get through a presentation, score the winning goal of your soccer game and stay up late until all hours of the evening to finish work. It protects you from life-threatening “dangerous” situations.
However, even situations that aren’t actually “dangerous” like being stressed about planning a wedding for example or getting to work on time, may be perceived as dangerous by your brain and thus your body reacts.
Over time, as you continuously experience stress setting off your fight or flight response, your body pumps out more and more cortisol and DHEA. These are 2 key hormones secreted by your adrenal glands in response to perceived stress. Here’s the weight gain connection: More stress = more cortisol & less DHEA = more weight gain.
Stress puts your body into survival mode, meaning your body naturally holds on to fat for “survival storage” purpose. The combination of low DHEA and high cortisol increases your body’s fat storage, stimulates appetite, slows metabolism and decreases muscle mass.
Reduce your stress load by practicing saying NO more often (thanks but no thanks I have enough on my plate at the moment), finding stress reducing activities/coping strategies such as exercise, a nature walk, a good book and shifting your perception of the actual perceived stress.
4. TOXIC BUILDUP
Considering over 700 chemicals are introduced annually into North America and the average woman puts nearly 515 chemicals on her body each day, it’s no wonder we are some of the most toxic people on earth! Wow!
Toxic buildup can be one of the most overlooked reasons behind the inability to lose weight. In order to remain healthy and achieve weight loss, your body must detoxify itself through the kidneys, the lungs, the liver, the skin and the digestive tract. Each of these organs, however , can itself be damaged by toxins through environmental exposure diet and lifestyle.
Toxins hold on to fat and fat holds on to toxic. The result? A disastrous recipe and cycle for yo-yo weight loss and gain. It’s one nasty cycle that must be broken to achieve healthy weight management.
Choosing fresh whole foods, high in antioxidants and organic whenever possible can help to reduce your toxic buildup. Using natural, greener cleaning supplies, beauty products and natural remedies over pharmaceuticals whenever possible can also help to reduce your toxicity level. Start your day off with a cup of water with freshly squeezed lemon to jump start your body’s natural cleansing process.
Stay tuned next week when we count down the top 3 reason why you can’t lose weight. Until then, if you haven’t already, get your FREE copy of my Nourish Love Live Manifesto: a Health/Life Guide to Living Your Most Fearless, Shameless, Ultimate Dream Health.