Dear SLIMQUICK Coach,
I’m really frustrated!!! I’ve been struggling with my weight for so many years, and about six months ago, I finally decided to stop complaining about it and to do something about it already! So I’ve become really careful about what I eat, I cut out soda, fried foods, white flour, most sugar. I treadmill run or spin almost every day. I dropped weight at first, but then the scale just seemed to flat line. I’ve tried different diets, different products, different kinds of exercises at the gym. I see some results, but definitely not what I expected from all the work I’m putting in! WHY???
Dear Really Frustrated,
I am extremely impressed and proud of you for taking the bull by the horns and for working with dedication and commitment towards your health, weight and fitness goals. Even if you aren’t seeing the rewards on the scale (yet), HAVE NO DOUBT: all that work you are doing IS bringing you incredibly important and irreplaceable rewards for your health and longevity.
So good for you!!! You’ve taken challenging steps and are doing amazing things for yourself! Don’t quit by convincing yourself that you’re not moving ahead – you are!
However, not visually seeing the results in your weight or how your clothes fit can feel incredibly frustrating, no doubt about it. You’ve cleaned up your lifestyle, started making healthy choices, you practice what you preach…and yet, your weight seems to have hit a resounding plateau, far before you’ve reached the goal weight you were shooting for.
One’s ability to successfully lose weight is tied into several different factors, like diet, activity level, sleep, stress management, hydration, environmental factors, genetics, etc. Even when you’re following all of the weight loss coach’s orders, there could still be some unexpected lifestyle factors and health issues continuing to impede your body from letting go of that weight. While people tend to get fixated on calorie counting and heart rates, you may be shocked to discover that factors you never even considered could be at the real root of those stubborn remaining pounds.
Consider whether these 5 health factors below may be getting in the way of what you weigh.
Then, if possible, I suggest booking at least one or two consultations with a certified nutritionist and fitness trainer. They will be able to analyze your current weight loss program with a fine tooth comb and help you sift out anything that might be acting as a possible setback to your attainment of your weight loss goal.
1. Nutritional Deficiencies
Weighing too much because you’re eating too little may seem like its way off the mark – especially when the majority of North Americans are overweight and follow an all-you-can-eat philosophy at meal time.
However, paradoxically, a 2005 statistical examination revealed that the most overweight people in North America were also the most undernourished. How could this be? It’s because the foods that make us overweight are also the foods that are the most nutritionally empty. The standard American diet (SAD) is largely comprised of these processed, refined, synthetic, “enriched” foods. Essentially useless to our nutritional needs, these foods wind up stored as fat rather than used up, packing on the pounds.
And not only do processed foods not contribute natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, but they actually deplete them even more in our bodies. The more processed foods you eat, the more nutrients your body expends trying to cope with them, making your body weaker, more sluggish, and more prone to weight gain.
Nutritional research has found that overweight people tend to be low in common plant-based nutrients, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium. Other common deficiencies associated with weight gain include vitamin D and omega 3.
Make sure you don’t fall in the trap of these common nutritional deficiencies with these Savory Spinach Recipes
One very important strategy for combatting nutritional deficiencies and weight gain at the same time is by staying away from processed, refined and artificial foods, as well as deep fried, hydrogenated, and highly sweetened foods. And, while cutting these foods out, increase the amount of whole, natural plant foods – like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds and whole grains – in your diet, making them center-stage in each of your meals. Include cold-pressed plant oils and lean animal protein in your diet, like cold-water wild fish. Spend twenty minutes a day out in the sun without sunscreen, or take a vitamin D3 supplement.
Constipation could be both an indirect cause of weight gain as well as a symptom of other imbalances that lead to weight gain.
Several studies have shown that the types of bacteria you have living in your gut are largely tied to your weight. The right balance of gut bacteria keeps your metabolism humming, helps you break down food effectively, absorb nutrients easily, and get rid of waste and toxins with good bowel functioning. The wrong balance of gut bacteria produce toxins in your body, makes you feel bloated and gassy, slows down the transit of food through your digestive system, and encourages higher calorie absorption and lower nutrient absorption. Constipation is often a sign that you have an overabundance of the gut bacteria that encourage weight gain and not enough of the gut bacteria that encourage weight loss.
Find out how to tackle both your weight and constipation issues at the same time here.
And learn more about how to ensure that your microbiome is ideal for healthy, safe and successful weight loss, here
3. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormones are chemicals in your body that are managed by your thyroid and your diet. They regulate all of your body’s internal processes and responses, and their function directly affects whether you feel hungry or full, whether your body stores or burns fat, whether you feel energized or tired, whether you feel satisfied or experience cravings, whether you feel content or moody, etc.
The first tip-off that your hormones may be in a state of “imbalance” is if you find that you are often low in energy, feeling a sense of insatiable hunger, and experiencing a lot of food cravings and mood swings throughout the day. This could indicate that hormones like insulin, cortisol, leptin, estrogen, testosterone and ghrelin are not in the right balance, all of which lead to weight gain and belly fat.
Often, you can reset your own hormones naturally with nutritional adjustments. Start by increasing the amount of protein you eat per meal, to about 20 to 30 grams per meal. You can get this from about 3 ounces of lean poultry, steak or fish, or with one scoop of SlimQuick PURE Protein ® powder in a smoothie. Also, increase the amount of plant fiber you eat. Protein and fiber stabilize blood sugar, reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel fuller longer and shed belly fat. Other foods that help stabilize hormones are green tea, turmeric, and ground flax and chia seeds. If weight loss continues to be a problem after you’ve changed your diet, reach out to your doctor for a thyroid and adrenal exam.
Certain prescriptions can cause the pounds to pack on. Unfortunately, weight gain is an unwelcome side-effect of meds like birth control pills, anti-depressants, heart disease and blood pressure stabilizers, hormone therapy, medications for rheumatoid arthritis, anti-seizure, breast cancer, and even migraines and heart burn. These drugs could seriously affect your appetite and metabolism, leading to major weight fluctuations.
NEVER stop taking any prescribed medication before consulting and getting approval from your doctor first. If you suspect your medication is to blame for your weight gain, speak to your doctor about possible alternative drug options available to you, or other treatment avenues.
5. Stress & Sleep
It turns out that stress is not just a state of mind. It’s also a state of body. A flabby body, that is.
Research has shown that an increased amount of stress hormone, cortisol, in the body can cause depression, memory loss, digestion problems and low libido. It also increases appetite and cravings while lowering muscle mass and bone density, all of which lead to weight gain and belly fat. A Yale University study found that even slender women with high cortisol levels had a higher than average amount of abdominal fat. Therefore, successful weight management isn’t only about staying active – it’s also about knowing how to relax.
Explore different methods of stress management and relaxation techniques, such as going for walks, listening to music, mediation, taking a bath, breathing exercises, etc.
Also, getting enough sleep each night is essential for keeping weight-gaining cortisol levels down while keeping weight-controlling leptin hormones up. Studies have shown that getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night leads to weight gain – even when diet and exercise are in play – while sleeping 7 to 9 hours is associated with successful weight loss.