What is preventing you from losing weight
If you’re frustrated not seeing the weight loss you desire this could very well be the most informative blog post I’ve written to help you understand the big picture.
In all the years I’ve been coaching others on nutrition and weight loss I’ve seen this one misconception trip people up more than any other.
With the countless ways you’re pitched on how to lose weight from fat diets, pills, shots, etc, there’s something being left out. The majority of these so called solutions don’t address the single biggest question you should be asking yourself…
Why did I gain excess body fat in the first place?
In my experience most people are working towards a weight loss solution backwards. Instead of identifying the root of the problem and coming up with a game plan to address it, we tend to pick one solution after another and hope that it will work.
Step back for a second and just think about all the different ways you’ve tried to lose weight. To help drive this point home make a list of everything you’ve tried. Maybe some of them worked for a moment while others didn’t.
The important thing is to recognize that if a solution didn’t work long-term it was nothing more than a quick-fix.
I hate to see people repeatedly beat themselves up for “failing” on a weight loss routine when the reality is they simply had a flawed strategy that didn’t address the root of the problem.
I’ll bet right now the majority of your weight loss attempts in the past have been centered on either one or both of the following:
Significantly restricting the calories you eat in some way (going on a “diet”).
Using exercise to increase the number of calories you burn.
Now certainly caloric restriction and exercise can play a very valuable role in a fat loss routine. The problem is the focus tends to get stuck on only these two pieces of the puzzle. The end result is typically the strategies being used incorrectly (most often in excess) when weight loss slows down or comes to a halt.
We think if the scale stopped going down it means we either need to further restrict calories or exercise more. This is a big mistake. More often than not this only makes things worse.
Read the following TRUTHS on fat loss and let them really sink in…
Fat loss is NOT a matter of simply eating less and exercising more!
Caloric restriction will ALWAYS eventually trigger a primal response mechanism where your metabolism down-regulates and adjusts to the decreased energy intake.
Fat loss is 100% controlled by the hormonal balances in your body.
Let’s go back to the original question on why you gained excess body fat in the first place?
Sure you can probably point to poor dietary habits and perhaps a lack of exercise. At some level you had more energy (calories) being consumed than your body was burning off. Common sense will tell you if you got fat it was because your body didn’t need the extra energy you were giving it.
But let’s step back for minute.
Understand there was more going on than just some simple math equation of calories in versus calories out. At the root level of all this you were altering the hormonal balances and chemical signals in your body.
Weight loss is NOT an issue of calories alone!
You need to start thinking about what triggers your body to store fat before you can understand the fix to reversing it.
The following factors can all play a role in triggering your body to store excess body fat.
- Consuming more calories than your body needs for energy demands.
- Consuming a diet that is high in starch carbohydrates and processed/refined sugars.
- Prescription drugs that can alter hormonal balances
- Not consuming enough calories which signal the body to conserve energy instead of burning it.
- A loss in lean muscle tissue either from neglecting resistance training or over –restricting calories.
- Excessive stress, either physiological, psychological or a combination of both
- Consuming foods that contain unnatural ingredients (hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, etc) which block chemical signals your body uses for appetite, hunger, and fat utilization.
- Consuming soft drinks that rapidly deplete your body of calcium, a key player in fat loss.
- Consuming excess caffeine with exhausts and weakens your adrenal glands.
- Consuming excess alcohol or other empty calories with no nutritional value.
- Not drinking enough water (failing to remain adequately hydrated).
- Hormonal imbalances at any of the glands regardless of the cause.
At no place did you see cardiovascular exercise mentioned as a reason why you got fat in the first place. Sure it will play a role in the overall solution to removing the excess fat, but you didn’t get fat by simply avoiding it.
What every one of the above factors has in common is the altering of hormonal balances and chemical signals in your body.
Whatever has happened to cause you to gain excess body fat, whether through lifestyle choices or internal disruption outside of your control (illness, disease), the bottom line is hormonal balances are out of whack.
You MUST identify the hormonal imbalances and treat the root cause of your weight gain before you can ever expect to find a solution that works to lose the weight and keep it off.
Work from the inside out instead of the outside in!
For the purpose of this discussion, we’re not going to get into illness and disease that disrupts hormonal balances which is outside of the influence of lifestyle choices. That’s a whole other issue.
Taking that out of the equation, I’m going to tell you flat out that if you’re overweight you’ve got issues with hormonal imbalances, primarily with insulin, cortisol, and leptin.
The lifestyle choices you’ve made with diet, exercise, stress management, etc, have altered your insulin sensitivity. This just means your cells are no longer receiving insulin like they’re supposed to. Insulin resistance is at the core of weight gain and type II diabetes.
The reality is this insulin problem spreads to the other glands of your body (adrenals, thyroid, lymph, etc) and throws your entire inner workings out of whack.
You MUST address the insulin resistance problem if you’re going to be successful with losing weight and keeping it off.
So the question obviously becomes how do I do this?
This is where a lot of people get tripped up. Making “healthier” choices with your diet and starting to exercise is certainly a step in the right direction, but you can get hung up here if you’re not careful.
At the root of the insulin problem is your body’s inability to deal with sugar. Simply making a move to replace junk foods and processed/refined carbs with “healthier” carbs is going to be an exercise in futility.
Let me be clear on this. If you’ve got a sugar problem you MUST take a sledgehammer approach to fixing it. Don’t kid yourself into believing you can switch to “whole grain” bread, wraps, pasta, or whatever and fix your insulin and blood sugar problems.
You’ve got to get the starches and processed foods out of your diet long enough to fix the root problem with insulin imbalances. This doesn’t mean you can never have them again, but if want to fix the problem you have to give your body a “reason” to start fueling off fats instead of sugar.
This is why I’m such a big proponent of a Metabolic typing . Consuming a diet of lean proteins, vegetables, greens, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, healthy fats, and whey, works extremely well with reversing insulin resistance.
Don’t worry about counting calories or any of that stuff. Simply eat from these foods and give your body the opportunity to heal.
Excess body fat is a sign of things being out of whack on the inside. If you want to heal weakened glands and remove toxicity from your cells, give your body foods that heal.
Starches and whole grains don’t heal. Fruits, vegetables, and easy to assimilate proteins heal.
We can dance around this all day but that’s the bottom line.
Yes, when you pull the starches and processed sugars from your diet you’ll go through withdrawal symptoms. Know going in that your body will fight you on this move. You’re addicted to sugar and the normal chemical signals are all fouled up.
There will be discomfort before comfort in this process. There’s no way around it and no quick fixes.
Thirty days though can literally change your life. Commit to removing the foods that are keeping you stuck and condition your body to change. You can do it!
At the end of the day it all comes down to a decision.
Will I continue to jump from one diet and weight loss solution to the next or work once and for all on fixing the root problems?
Stop fixating on calories and how much exercise you’re doing. Heal your body with natural, whole foods and use exercise to simply assist with the removal of unwanted body fat.
You can do every fad diet, take whatever shots, pills, etc, but if you don’t address the root problems with hormonal imbalances and fouled up signals in your body you’ll wind up right back where you started from.
Heal your body and the weight will come off naturally. It’s the ONLY way that works in the long haul.
Through proper lifestyle management and your own Metabolic typing balance , you cant Lose – no pun intended !