Losing weight is not easy and for some it is so frustrating that they can’t stick to a program. Setting up a program that works for you is an essential component to success in weight loss. In addition, there are a few key factors that must be in place before you will lose the weight you want. Whether you are wanting to lose a few pounds or need to lose a little more set yourself up for success but making sure the following tips are followed:
1. Sleep: studies have shown that sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night on a regular basis will result in over 30% weight increase. Less than 7 hours of sleep promotes the release of a hormone called ghrelin that results in weight gain. Seven or more hours of sleep a night promotes the release of a hormone leptin that results in increased fat burning. Sleep more; lose more weight!
2. Thyroid: A low functioning thyroid will definitely impede or prevent weight loss; in fact, it can often result in weight gain. Often standard thyroid testing of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is not sufficient enough to reveal a sluggish thyroid. It is important to know how much free T4 (less active thyroid hormone), and free T3 (more active thyroid hormone) is being produced to determine if your thyroid is functioning properly. Many things can effect the conversion of T4 into T3 (stress, lack of sleep, low iron etc.) resulting in a lowered metabolism, which will halt your weight loss program. Testing thyroid hormones is simple but a very important part of your program preparation.
3. Cortisol: Ah, the good old stress hormone. It gets us through the day but there is a cost to pay. Elevated levels of cortisol results in blood sugar dysregulation, improper thyroid hormone production, abdominal fat storage and a multitude of other factors that will impede weight loss. Stress management and regulating cortisol production will set you up for success. One great way to do this: exercise!
4. Insulin Resistance: A high sugar diet will result in something called “insulin resistance”. Basically this occurs when your insulin levels are high too often due to high sugar intake so that the cells no longer respond. This leaves you with high blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is the first step toward Type Two Diabetes but it also results in abdominal fat storage. It is important to know that many people develop insulin resistance without eating a lot of refined sugar (cookies, cake, candy etc.) Diets high in food that have a high glycemic index such as fruit, dairy, gluten, simple carbohydrates such as carrots, potato, corn, and refined grains.
5. Too Few Meals: Many people are shocked that they cannot lose weight despite the fact that they “barely eat anything”. Food is fuel. The more nutrient rich your diet the more fuel you give your body eat time you eat. Eating sporadically, or eating nutrient poor food will lower your metabolism and cause your body to store nutrients as fat. Eating a breakfast high in protein and fiber is a great way to kick start your metabolism each day
6. You! Sometimes we are our own worst enemy at preventing our weight loss goals. I don’t have time; I eat well all week and only “treat” myself on weekends, my family won’t eat the foods I make to stay healthy. Sound familiar? There are hundreds of reasons why you can’t lose weight. NO MORE EXCUSES!
Don’t get caught in the set up of New Year’s Resolutions that last a few weeks but aren’t designed for success. Take your time, get yourself prepared and create a program that is designed to succeed.
Happy Healthy New Year!