Does it sometimes feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall when you are trying to lose weight? Do you often become frustrated at the lack of results and how difficult it can be to keep weight off long term?
Sometimes the obvious route of cutting out junk foods and exercising more often doesn’t reap the rewards you would expect. So rather than blindly hoping and praying that one day like a magic switch it will all suddenly click into place and the weight will start to fall off, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the techniques we use in our program that have helped countless people breakthrough their fat loss problems.
Get enough sleep
Sleep plays an absolute pivotal role in our health and fat loss results. People who regularly get less than 7 hours sleep per night are more likely to be overweight than people who regularly sleep for 7 or more hours per night. I would add to that by saying when those 7 hours are achieved is also of great importance. You all know the saying 2 hours before midnight is worth 4 after midnight (well I think that’s what my wee mum used to say!). The reason for this is that the body is doing its physical repair between 10pm-12pm so sleeping at this time helps promote muscle growth, which is vital to long term fat loss.
Drink plenty of water
Your hydration levels can be directly linked to your fat loss results through three main mechanisms. The signals received by the brain for thirst and the hunger are very similar, meaning when you are thirsty you are more likely to get cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Another reason why hydration is key to fat loss can be found in the link between our hydration levels and our hormonal system (endocrine system). Dehydration can put our hormonal system all out of sync which again can have a negative impact on fat loss. Finally every chemical reactions in the body takes place under water, so a dehydrated body will have a lowered metabolism which means less energy being burned up.
Control your stressors
Stress in all its forms (physical, mental, chemical) can lead to increased fat storage. We will perhaps go into the mechanisms behind why stress causes fat storage in a later newsletter. All you need to know today is that if the stress overload from any or all of three stressors listed above is too high you will almost certainly be in a fat storing mode. The stress hormone cortisol is linked to fat storage around the tummy area, so if you are struggling to shift weight from here it may be that your body is stressed in some way.
Lower your toxicity levels
Our body stores toxins in our fat cells so the more toxic the body is the more it will lay down fat cells for storage. We can become toxic through our environment, the foods we eat, the products we use on our body, or through stimulants like caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Detoxing can quickly shift fat from the body by lowering the levels of toxins that need to be stored.
Eat in balance
Too much emphasis is often placed on eating low fat, or low carbohydrates diets. Your focus however should be more on ensuring that you consume calories from each of the food groups at most our meals. Solely looking at calories and the amounts of carbohydrate or fats is an over simplistic view on fat loss. Our body needs nutrients from all the 3 of the food group, the secret however is ensuring that these calories are coming almost exclusively from good quality, nourishing sources that are as closed to nature as possible.
I am guessing you will know lots of people that are experts in the calorie content of every food, and I am further guessing that many of these people are still not in great shape. Being obsessed with calorie does not mean you will always be able to lose weight. It can be more important to understand what each food does what in the body. Some speed up metabolism, some make our blood sugar levels spike and some are easier to store as fat. When you learn more about these principles you are much more likely to achieve fat loss for life.
So if you are going to start a fat loss program in January (or sooner!), please don’t go down the same old route of cutting calories and exercising that has failed you so many times before. Be wise and look at an alternative more effective strategy for fat loss.