Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
If I had a penny for every time someone came to me and said, “no matter what I do I can’t lose weight”, I’d be a very wealthy woman. Why is it that so many of us struggle to take off those extra pounds despite lowering our calories and increasing our exercise? Shouldn’t it just be a simple formula?
Most times the reason people can’t lose weight comes down to just a few things they are doing that hinder their success. Here are 5 of the most common reasons that might be keeping you from reaching your weight loss goals.
1. Eating a diet high in carbohydrates (sugar)
We all know that sugar is detrimental to any weight loss and healthy eating plan but did you ever stop to think where sugar comes from in your food? It’s not just found in candy and cookies! Sugar is found in just about everything including fruit. I choose this picture above to illustrate a typical snack that many people would consider “healthy” and although it may have some nutritional value, it is loaded with sugar because of the dried fruits. All carbohydrates will break down to sugar in the body, causing insulin to spike. Since insulin is a fat storage hormone, if we are constantly spiking insulin then we are never really allowing our bodies to get into their fat stores.
Women, especially peri- and post-menopausal women tend to struggle with this because they very often reach for higher carb foods at meals and snacks. Whether the female hormones cause cravings or the cravings come from spiking insulin (this is a snowball effect), we can stop this cycle by eating a more balanced diet with the emphasis on vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins. Vegetables contain carbohydrates necessary for energy however they contain fiber which blunts the insulin response, allowing not only fat loss but decreasing sugar cravings.
2. Choosing low fat foods
Most of us are guilty of falling into the low fat diet trap that was so prominent in the past. In fact, we used to believe that if we ate low fat foods we not only would lose weight but also would prevent heart disease. Now nutritionists know better and we have learned from our mistakes. Low fat foods are usually higher in carbohydrates (something has to replace that fat right?), often times full of sugar and just about always loaded with chemicals. Just as sugar will spike insulin and prevent you from being able to lose weight, chemicals found in foods will also interfere with metabolism causing the body to store fat rather then burn it. There is also a toxic load on the liver and since we need a healthy liver to lose weight, we definitely don’t want to be loading it up with chemicals. So low fat foods are NOT the answer! We need healthy fats in our diets if we want to succeed at weight loss.
3. Skipping meals and snacks
Going long periods of time without food interferes with normal metabolism for several reasons. First, your body thinks it’s starving so it will preserve energy and lower metabolism. In addition, the hormones ghrelin and leptin come into play when we skip meals, which have the effect of causing us to overeat at the next meal.(2) Did you ever get to that meal where you just couldn’t get satisfied? That’s because you waited too long to eat. Eating balanced meals and snacks throughout the day will keep you burning fat and help you avoid binge eating where fat storage will be inevitable.
4. Drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks and beverages
Artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet (aspartame) and Splenda (sucralose), have the opposite effect on weight loss. Studies show that people who drink diet soft drinks have an increase in sweet cravings and weight gain rather then weight loss. (2) In addition, fake sweeteners like Splenda and NutraSweet are chemicals that cause disruptions in your weight loss because you are filling your body with chemicals.
If you want to use a sweetener try an all-natural stevia leaf or monk fruit. Stevia and monk fruit have not been shown to spike insulin or cause overeating.
5. Hidden food sensitivities
Food sensitivities can wreck havoc on your best attempts of weight loss. In fact, Dr. Mark Hyman found that dairy and gluten are the most common foods that people are sensitive too. Food sensitivities are different then allergies however they can wreck havoc on your body by causing inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, slows down our metabolism as your body will try to conserve energy. Removing the sensitive food from the body allows the body to heal and begin burning fat again. In my experience, when people eliminate these foods then try to re-introduce them 2 weeks later they are able to get the true “feel” of how that food is reacting in the body. For those who are sensitive to a food, taking it out of the diet will speed up the weight loss process.
What can you do?
Removing the wrong foods and replacing them with healthy alternatives is the key to getting healthy and regaining your ability to lose fat. If this process seems overwhelming or confusing, don’t worry that’s why I’ve developed an easy plan to get you on the right track once and for all. A great place to start is my Two Week Detox Plan which eliminates the sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy while adding in the healthy fats, lean proteins and nutrient dense vegetables your body needs to repair itself and begin to lose weight. More intensive programs for those of you that want some support or need to continue with a Lifestyle Diet Plan. I encourage you to take a look at some options at TwoWeekDetoxPlan.com and also BodyDesigsbyMary.com. I have programs for every budget! I’d love to help you with this struggle. Why wait? Contact me today for more information.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!
(1) Helen Kollias, Leptin, ghrelin, and weight loss. Here’s what the research says. Precision Nutrition
(2)Helen Sanders, Health Ambition; Leptin and Weight Loss
(3) Qing Yang, Weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings,YALE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE 83 (2010), pp. 101-108,<a
(4) Dr. Mark Hyman, How Hidden Food Sensitivities Make You Fat
For more health information check out this recommended site – Positive Health Wellness