Tried every fad diet there is but still not losing weight? Or maybe you lose weight, only to put it back on plus more? The problem with all of the weight loss “programs” is that they don’t treat the underlying causes of weight gain and they force you to live by regimented, unrealistic rules that cannot be sustained permanently. In order to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, you first need to improve your metabolism, clean out your system and order a change of thought processes and attitudes towards weight and food.
There can be many contributing factors to weight gain. Hormonal imbalances and low thyroid activity can play a major role in how fast your body burns energy. Stress, anxiety and lack of sleep also play a pivotal role. Your liver is a major player in stabilising weight, so you need to take care of your liver and help it to detoxify.
Here are my “12 Ways to Permanent Weight Loss”
#1 Eat slowly and chew, chew, chew Not only will eating slowly and chewing properly help you digest the foods, but it allows your body to register that it is full. Try it – you’ll be surprised how much impact such a simple thing can have.
#2 Eat Real and Whole Food. Packaged cakes, biscuits, breads, takeaway foods like hamburgers, hot chips and soft drinks are NOT REAL FOOD! A good rule of thumb is “if it comes in a package, it is not whole, real food”. So ditch the packages and start from scratch. Whole vegetables, fruits, proteins, nuts and seeds.
#3 Eat Fat to Lose Fat! Society is fat-phobic and has been brainwashed that consuming a low-fat or non-fat diet is conducive for optimal health and weight loss. Many still hold the belief that synthetic fats such as margarine (full of trans fats and chemicals) or vegetable oils are healthier options. Nothing could be further from the truth. All fats are not created equal. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production, a healthy immune system, optimal brain function, healthy skin and hair, and of course, fat loss.
#4 Balance Your Hormones. Your attempts at weight loss can be sabotaged by an imbalance of hormones. If you suspect that your hormones may be out of balance, it is important to address this to give yourself the best chance possible of losing weight.
#5 Make balancing blood sugar and stabilizing insulin a priority. If you eat a lot of sugar, the pancreas needs to secrete a lot of insulin to help bring your blood sugar levels down. This constant simulation of the pancreas to secrete insulin can lead to insulin resistance and even diabetes. When this happens, the insulin is not “recognised” by the cells. Because excess insulin acts as a fat storage hormone, the more insulin floating around the blood stream, the less likely you will be to lose weight.
#6 Restful Sleep. If your goal is to lose weight, you must ensure that you’re sleeping well. A lack of sleep decreases the release of Leptin, the hormone that signals satiety and increases the release of Ghrelin, the hormone that signals hunger. So when you lack sleep, you feel hungrier, eat more and put on more weight. Sleep deprived brains also crave sugars to fuel the brain, so you tend to go for the refined carbs and sugar filled foods.
#7 Manage your Stress Levels and Deal with Unresolved Emotions. Today’s society has become increasingly stressed. There are all sorts of factors that contribute to high stress levels – work commitments, emotional issues, physical exertion, past emotional problems. It seems that we are forever busy, with little time to sit down, relax and unwind. When you become stressed and anxious, the body releases stress hormones which signal your body to store fat and break down muscle tissue, so learning to manage your stress levels and taking time out to relax and unwind is essential not only for good health, but also for successful weight loss.
#8 Eliminate Foods you may be Intolerant to. If you are eating foods and getting reactions to them, like bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea or constipation, you may be intolerant to them. Often the foods we are intolerant to are the ones we eat a lot of and that we crave. These foods are toxic to your system, inflammatory, and cause stress hormones to be released which will make it even harder to lose weight.
#9 Improve your Digestive Function and Maintain a Healthy Liver. In order to successfully lose weight, your digestive system must be working efficiently so you can absorb the nutrition. If you have symptoms of a poorly functioning digestive system, such as flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation, it is important to address these issues. A healthy liver is also an important part of weight loss, because the liver helps in excreting fat storage hormones.
#10 Find the Time to Exercise There’s an efficient and inefficient way to exercise for fat loss. Resistance training and true interval exercise programs are the solution if you want to change your body, look good, feel good and keep your hormones balanced.
# 11 Help your digestive system. Manage portions and be mindful and present when eating to avoid overindulging. Help your entire digestive process right from the beginning by living by the “eat your liquids and drink your solids” rule. In other words, if you are having soup, don’t guzzle it down, sip slowly and allow your stomach time to react to the food entering it, and chew, chew, chew your solid food so it is a paste, and partially digested, by the time it reaches your stomach. Also, do not consume empty calories – make sure that the food you put into your body is nutrient dense.
#12 Avoid the Chemical and Toxic Overload. We are bombarded with toxins and chemicals every day .We breathe them, eat them, soak in them, apply them to our skin and even create them with stressful and negative thoughts. These toxins place a huge load on the body, in particular the liver and lymphatic system. A lot of these chemicals are stored in fat cells. If you body is not “detoxified” and your liver is struggling, it is much harder to lose weight.
Do you want lasting results? If so, STOP focusing on losing weight and instead focus on getting healthy first. When you focus on health FIRST, fat loss happens. If you feel that you need someone to guide you on the path to health and weight loss, engage the services of a qualified Naturopath or Nutritionist.
By Andrea Southern, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist at Stafford and The Gap in Brisbane. For an appointment phone 0412 791 705