It can be really frustrating when you’re trying to do the right things, but your weight just won’t budge – or worse…it keeps creeping up! Particularly if you’re in your 40’s and 50’s and nothing you try is working, it could be you’re up against weight loss resistance. Today we’re going to look at a the sneaky diet traps, how your lifestyle and your hormones can be causing you weight loss resistance.
Ok let’s start with the basics!
We all know what healthy eating looks like, so let’s just rule out a few common culprits!
Hidden sugar and carbs
We all know we should avoid sugar, but sugar comes in many different forms… like processed carbs, too much fruit, and alcohol. You also need to check the labels of your favourite sauces, dressings, ready meals, protein shakes and bars.
Fun fact – a baguette has a higher glycemic load (i.e. impact on your blood sugar) than white table sugar… it’s true!
When your gut reacts with bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or reflux, to foods that you are sensitive to (such as gluten or dairy or even fruits and certain veggies), it can trigger a cascade of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can lead to bloating, water retention and increased fat stores. This is why we do a Food Sensitivity Test with every woman who comes into the Well Balanced Woman program, so we can immediately work on reducing inflammation.
If you are snacking between meals the body is constantly using this food as energy, and doesn’t always get around to burning fat stores. Also every time we eat, we release insulin, which is a fat storage hormone – this is not what we need flooding our blood stream. Leaving 4-6 hours between meals or adopting a 12 hour daily fasting routine can help the body burn those fat stores for energy. It’s time to end the outdated myth of “6 small meals a day”.
Eating too much of the good things
Sometimes we are actually eating a pretty healthy diet and not realising we’re simply eating too much. Nut butter may be nutritious ( and very delicious!) but a whole jar of it will not help you lose weight!
This is a biggie for us women particularly. Who doesn’t reach for food if we’re sad, stressed, lonely or bored? Increasing awareness of WHY we’re eating can help work out what to do instead.
Most diets and meal replacements are based on calorie restriction. This puts the body into stress mode (thinking there must be a famine!), so it slows down your metabolism and speeds up your cravings. It’s NOT a sustainable way to keep the kilos off.
If you’re constantly in survival mode, your body is hanging onto fat for dear life (especially around your belly!). Cortisol is one of the biggest, and most common factors behind weight loss resistance.
Lack of sleep increases our hunger hormones! As well as leaving us feeling foggy and irritable the next day, studies have shown that 6 hours of sleep or less increases ghrelin, your hunger hormone. This increases our appetite and leaves us craving carbs like mad.
Finding the right kind of movement for you, right now, is key. Sitting all day causes your body to slow your metabolism, and there are no signals to your fat cells to burn fat. Ironically, too much exercise can also be a cause of weight loss resistance. Over exercising or high intensity exercise when your body is already in a stressed state, increases cortisol, which in turn signals the body hangs on to fat. This is why it’s not uncommon for many over 40 gym junkies to exercise every day and not budge a single gram.
Last but not least, let’s have a look at your key hormones that can trigger weight gain…
Your hormones are chemical messengers that regulate your metabolism, appetite, blood sugar and your weight. Any imbalance can upset the balance and cause weight loss resistance.
This is your key stress hormone that floods your body when it feels under threat. It can be big life stress such as a pandemic, financial stress, death or divorce, or everyday stress such as trying to get your kids out the door on time, being stuck in traffic, an argument with a partner, homeschooling and the myriad of other stresses life throws at us! The problem is cortisol also stores fat around your belly when you’re in survival mode. Trouble is though… there is no actual famine!
Insulin is your hormone that responds to your blood sugar hormone and is also your FAT STORING hormone! Its actual job is to store excess sugar away in your fat cells. So if there’s too much insulin – guess what? You’re in fat storing mode.
Your thyroid regulates your metabolism. If your thyroid is working optimally, you should easily be able to maintain your body weight. If your thyroid hormones are low (even if your Dr said they were “normal” – normal isn’t optimal!), it will be almost impossible for you to lose weight without starving yourself.
Oestrogen and progesterone
As your ovarian function starts to decline in the 5-10 years leading up to menopause, your body produces alternate sources of oestrogen. One of these alternative sources is fat cells. So sometimes your body will hang on to your fat stores so that it can get enough oestrogen produced, especially when you are under stress or eating a poor diet.
What Can We Do About Weight Loss Resistance?
There is a lot going on as you can see, and when it comes to weight loss resistance, the answer is not always in eating less, finding the “perfect diet” or exercising more. Rather we need to take a holistic approach. Learn to change the way our body responds to stress. Keep our meals well balanced with lots of fibre, healthy fats and proteins to support our blood sugar. Fire up your metabolism by optimising your hormones, which means looking after your liver and your digestive system.
It’s this Four Phase approach we take inside the Well Balanced Woman program, to systematically reset your body. A healthy body, will find a healthy weight.
For more info on how the Well Balanced Woman program can help you feel more energised and confident in your own skin – and shift that stubborn weight for good, book in your free Hormone Help Call.
Talk soon! Kylie xx