Losing weight is one of the hardest things a person can do, it requires months of dedication, sacrifice, discipline and a commitment to totally changing your entire lifestyle as you know it.
So when you have totally committed to making these changes and after months of eating salads and doing burpees you see no changes to your physique, is there anything more frustrating?
Talking to Harpers Bazaar, nutritional bio-chemist Dr Libby Weaver answers why we just can't shed those pesky last kilos and provides five simple rules to follow to get that rocking bod just in time for summer.
1. You're Obsessed With Calorie Counting
Many of us have been led to believe that if we burn more calories than we eat, weight loss will be inevitable, only to discover that this century old philosophy does not seem to apply to our body, no matter how hard we work.
This is often when the confusion sets in. If weight loss and weight management are defined by calories in versus calories out, then as long as you abide by this you will experience results. Right? Wrong.
When my patients stop counting calories and focus on nourishing their body by eating real food, good fats and plenty of vegetables, they have a rapid improvement in their overall wellbeing, but they also feel satisfied. It changes their relationship with food completely. Often they end up eating more calories than previously, and yet they lose weight, often for the first time in years.
2. You Are Not What You Eat
You may be progressing well with your new health and wellness plan, only to have a stressful afternoon at work. Through no conscious decision, you then miss your gym session, get home late and buy takeaway. You pair it with a bottle of wine to "soothe" your stress. Then you're so disappointed by what you call your "lack of willpower," you sleep in the next day and skip your early morning walk.
When you make changes to your lifestyle there will be times you may make choices that aren't necessarily nourishing – the most damaging thing you can do in this instance is judge yourself or give up.
3. You Are Losing Weight For Anyone But Yourself
As with any goal, the reasons for wanting to lose weight must be for you. If your goal is externally driven, for example, "because my partner would appreciate me more if I weighed xyz" or "because my mother is always telling me I need to lose weight", the internal motivation or drive is not there. In fact you usually feel criticised, rather than encouraged and the feminine essence responds to praise (the masculine to challenge; but that’s a story for another day).
Conversely, if you decide you need to lose weight because you feel lethargic and you want more energy, or you have elevated blood glucose and want to prevent type 2 diabetes, it is far more likely any changes made will be sustainable – because they are adding to your life for reasons that hold meaning to you. When you focus on resolving a health challenge, such as poor energy or PMT, most people lose weight in the process. And the loss is sustained.
4. Snacking Sabotage
Many people manage to eat well during the "main meals" but let themselves down with poor snack choices. Often this is due to "convenience" and availability as it can be difficult to find nourishing snacks in a hurry – it's much easier to find high sugar, high (poor quality) fat snacks.
Being prepared with nutritious snacks is the best way to avoid this. Having an afternoon snack can be helpful to regulate your blood sugar – and ensure you don't walk in the door after work and engulf anything you see! Raw nuts, hummus and vegetables, a green smoothie or homemade bliss balls are great alternatives. If afternoon tea time is your downfall, also consider adding more fat from whole foods to your lunch.
5. Underlying Health Issues
If you have tried everything and are unable to lose weight, it may be beneficial to visit an experienced nutrition professional. You may need tweaks to your health and wellness plan, or you may need some blood tests to shed light on your biochemistry.
Most people will tell you that you have to lose weight to be healthy, when the reality is you actually have to be healthy to lose weight.
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