In my video today I wanted to talk a little bit about why traditional diets don’t work… and why you might have struggled to lose weight and keep it off in the past.
I run my Eat Well for Life Weight Loss a few times a year, as people ask me about it so regularly. So this post is to talk about some clear reasons why you might have struggled in the past, and how I can help you lose weight, but also learn to eat well and nourish yourself for life so that you don’t have to ‘diet’, ever again.
Here’s my Top 4 reasons why you may have struggled to keep weight off in the past.
1. Motivation: Are you motivated to lose weight?
At the beginning of our dieting journey, we are really motivated to lose weight. Our trousers might feel tight or we feel sluggish and lacking in energy, so we have a clear motivation there to make some changes.
So we go on a diet, we lose some weight and then our trousers aren’t so tight anymore and we’re feeling better. What does that mean? It means that first motivation you had is now gone, we’ve actually lost that drive that kick-started us into following a diet. That’s why I teach my clients about the need to change your mindset – replacing that little voice that you hear in your head all the time with a new message that will keep you motivated to stay healthy for the long term.
2. Stress: Are you too stressed to lose weight?
The second thing that might be holding you up is stress. We cannot underestimate how stress makes us not only crave all the wrong foods, but also the hormones that are released when we are stressed really can affect:
- how we store weight
- how we put weight on and
- how we don’t let go of that weight
When we’re stressed our blood sugar is more imbalanced and when that happens we’re not only more likely to crave the wrong foods, we’re releasing more insulin which drives us to store weight around our tummy and not let go of it.
We also release more cortisol, which is another hormone that affects how we store fat, and where we store it – particularly around the tummy. Cortisol can also stop our thyroid hormones from being so effective, so may slow our metabolism even more. This is why we really need to be looking at how your body is releasing those hormones and getting those on more of an even keel.
3. Sweet Tooth: Are you eating too much sugar?
Traditional diets focus on limiting calories or low-fat foods. One of my main aims is to reduce sugar intake. I want you to be more sensitive to insulin, as I said above, if insulin is being released in high amounts then you’re more likely to store fat. So that’s why even if you’re following a very low calorie diet you still might be holding on to fat, because you’re driving your insulin levels up by eating too much sugar and carbs.
I don’t believe in most calorie controlled diets – they’re not realistic long-term. We have to monitor calories a little bit when you’re first losing weight, but I don’t count calories with my clients.
When we are looking at eating well for life we have to address your sweet tooth and how much sugar you are including in your diet – even from fruit sugar. If we get what’s going IN your diet really right as well as taking out what we shouldn’t have in our diet, it makes it so much easier to beat those sugar cravings.
4. How fast is your metabolism?
If you have been following a low-carb diet or a very low calorie diet for years and years, your metabolism might have slowed down. This means that the minute you deviate off that plan your body grabs hold of that food, and stores any excess as fat as quickly as possible.
Our metabolism is like a thermostat, and if it’s set low, we can’t deviate off our strict diet plans. With my clients, I introduce techniques such as “carbohydrate cycling”… which is a really good way to make sure you don’t have to follow low carb all the time – life is for living, and sometimes you need chips, pasta or cake!
I also encourage a little bit of intermittent fasting and I’ll be telling you on my course about the right kind of exercise to use to make sure that you boost your metabolic rate – that’s particularly important for those of us that are in our late 30s 40s and above.
So that’s why you might be struggling to lose weight or have put it on without even realising. You can find out more about my upcoming Eat Well for Life Weight Loss programme using the link below. If you have any questions about this topic, do get in touch – you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org