I’ve been battling the scale for as long as I can remember. I went on my first diet at the age of 9, I am now 49. That’s 40 years of dieting/weight loss experience! I believe that I have tried just about every diet out there, not to mention a few I’ve come up with on my own. I have lost the same 10-20-30 pounds more times than I care to mention, not credentials that I’m overly proud of though. What I would really like is just one credential, expert at keeping weight off.
If you’re anything like me, you find yourself in the grocery store check out line surrounded by mixed messages. On one side there are an assortment of candies and candy bars. On the other side there are magazines featuring the best new workouts and diets. It can be very confusing and guilt inducing. Sometimes I get both the candy and the magazine! Can’t say that either one has done much for my health, just made a dent in my pocketbook. 😉 But seriously, this seems to be the American outlook on balancing your calories. It’s a trap that has kept me yo-yo dieting for 40 years. I think there is definitely better way.
You’ve probably heard it said before that losing weight is a matter of taking in less calories than you burn in a day. While this is true, it is only part of the picture. They type of calories you consume are more important than the amount you consume. In fact, it is my belief that by eating the right kind of calories, you won’t need to eat as many calories. Here’s why. Say you eat 100 calories of a donut, yes yummy, but there’s really nothing your body can use in it. The refined flour and sugar will be converted very quickly and used by your body, but just as quickly you’ll be out of energy. Now say you eat 100 calories of beans. The beans are high in fiber and have a decent amount of protein which give you that “stick to your ribs” feeling. Your body has to work to break them down which will help keep keep your blood sugar levels steady. Plus the beans have vitamins and minerals unlike the empty calories in the donut. To read more about the Best and Worst Foods You Can Eat, click the links. If you’re interested in balancing Calories In or Calories Out please click the links.
Beyond eating quality calories, there is also the question of avoiding the hidden factors that may be keeping pounds on your body. Even if you are eating healthy, you may not be eating enough calories. Yes, it does sound counter-intuitive but not eating enough will slow down your metabolism. You can read more here. Likewise, too much stress will raise your cortisol levels and slow down your efforts or even stop them. Click here to read more. There even more things to consider. Take for instance your gut health, did you know that the wrong kind of gut bacteria will cause you to gain weight while the right kind will help you lose? Here’s a good article if you’d like to read more. One big culprit in weight gain may be internal inflammation do to food sensitivities. I know I feel much better without dairy in my diet. I have also found that I feel better without gluten in my diet. These are two of the most common food sensitivities, there are many more and I encourage you to explore your diet to see if you could benefit from cutting irritating food from your diet. This article offers more information. And probably the best known cause of weight gain/inability to lose weight is a problem with your thyroid. This is an informative article on the thyroid if you’re interested.
In short, losing weight is not always easy or straight forward. Sometimes you can be doing everything that you’re supposed to do but not seeing any results. If that is the case, here are some suggestions:
* Talk to your doctor
* Reduce your stress (meditation is great for this)
* Find and eliminate foods that may be a source of inflammation
* Eliminate sugar
* Exercise, but not excessively
* Eat enough calories ( I suggest eating the calories required for your target weight. Here is a link to calculate your calories. Just put in your goal weight instead of your current weight).
I hope maybe this article has helped. I know it meant a lot to me to find out that my struggles weren’t only in my mind or a matter of not enough willpower. Next I will be sharing some recipes. Thanks so much for stopping by!