If you have you struggled with your weight loss and come away feeling like you have tried everything and failed, you are not alone. Weight loss is a tough journey, but there are ways to be successful. Sometimes it just takes a “fresh eyes” look at your approaches and so today I’m offering these five tips to get on the winning side of the weight loss fight.
1. It is not all about nutrition. We are complex creations, and it is not all about calories in, calories out. We see it over and over as health coaches: our clients are nutritionally doing everything right. However, they are not losing weight. It could be stress that is causing weight gain, stress from family situations, or perhaps issues with work not going well, or dissatisfaction with your job. Or maybe your spiritual life could use a little push. Take stock of your life and find areas that seem out of balance; then look to start figuring out what you can do to find that balance – what can you cut, and what could you add to refresh your soul?
2. Dehydration. There are many reasons why we are living in a dehydrated culture and the number-one reason is a lack of drinking just straight-up water. Number two, in my opinion, is the amount of caffeine we consume. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, meaning our body will become dehydrated when we drink too much, because it leads us to push out extra urine. If you are trying to lose weight, it’s vital to increase your hydration. Our fat cells hold hormones and toxins, and if you are trying to burn them up, those toxins will be released into your body. A lack of water to help flush out these toxins can also hinder the body’s efforts at flushing out the fat cells, too.
3. Eating low fat. Our culture has gone through a no-fat/low-fat craze, and what happened to America? We only gained more weight. We are learning that what our bodies need is a little healthy fat to function properly, for our brains to think well, and to help prevent disease. Many times when foods take out fat they add in sugars, and that’s an area that we should really watch with weight loss. Read your food labels, check the difference between no-fat and full-fat items and reject those with more sugar. That leads us to the next, sort-of obvious point which is …
4. You are eating too much sugar. Sugar runs rampant in our foods, and I am especially concerned with the sugar intake of our children. When we eat sugar, our body produces a hormone called insulin, and it lowers blood-sugar levels. But insulin also stores extra calories as fat, so when we digest extra calories, we get more insulin, and we get more fat storage. Look to cut sugar everywhere: in your drinks, sweets and condiments. And reject processed foods – they are usually sugar-rich.
5. You are not getting enough sleep. Sleep can affect your weight more than what you might think. Researchers are finding that a lack of quality sleep hurts our bodies, and it can be among the factors that lead to weight gain. Health professionals encourage 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and as a health coach, I often encourage my clients to determine what is best. Many people need more than 7-8 hours; if your body does better with nine hours each night, then make it happen. Whatever the case may be, lack of sleep is one of the top reasons people are not losing weight. Consider ways you can get more and better sleep; it could help you with your goals on weight-loss.
These five points are starting places for each of us; altogether, they can help you restart if your goals on losing weight seem stalled. Getting help from a professional source is another good way to get back on the right road to a healthier you.