Supporting You In Weight Loss
Weight loss is not just about calories in and calories out. We have all been trying to do that for a long time with pretty dismal results.
Fat gain is not simply calories in minus calories out; the body is so much more complex than that.
When you reduce the calories you consume, your calorie expenditure also drops.
If you drop from 2000 calories to 1500, your body immediately reduces your energy expenditure and you may end up feeling tired, cold, hungry and sluggish.
Your weight loss likely stops and may then start to come back.
Calories in and calories out are not completely independent; when you drop one, the other adjusts. Calorie counting is doomed to fail.
There are several variables that can contribute to weight gain as illustrated in the diagram below. We work progressively through your body systems to see which is challenged and may be obstructing your weight gain.
It may be dietary related around the intake of carbohydrates and sugars (including alcohol).
It may be due to continual grazing through the day fuelled by emotional triggers that have very little to do with physical hunger.
Balancing blood sugar to help weight loss
When you eat starchy or sugary foods they are broken down in the body into glucose which is carried around in the blood stream to be utilised in the cells for energy.
The level of glucose in the blood is carefully controlled by a hormone called insulin. When blood glucose rises after a carbohydrate-rich meal, insulin is released to bring blood glucose levels back down to ‘normal’ levels. However, if your blood sugar rises too rapidly, the body can end up releasing too much insulin. This causes the blood sugar to swing to low again, making us feel tired, grumpy and once again, hungry. We call this blood sugar imbalance as the effects of high and low sugar rollercoaster throughout the day.
If your blood sugar is constantly imbalanced, the body starts to ignore the insulin message, a condition called insulin resistance. This leads to permanently high blood sugar levels which can cause weight gain and can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
Balancing hormones to help weight loss
Weight loss could be hormonal because of male or female hormone imbalances or the effects of chronic stress and cortisol.
Oestrogen levels that are too high or too low can both contribute to weight gain.
High levels of oestrogen in the body can play a role in insulin resistance and rising blood sugar levels and weight gain.
Low levels of oestrogen can also cause a very stubborn type of weight gain. That often happens during the menopausal period. The ovarian cells no longer produce oestrogen, so the body starts looking for oestrogen elsewhere. One source is fat cells. The body may start converting extra energy sources into fat, leading to weight gain, particularly in the lower body.
Cortisol regulates energy levels and energy mobiliation. But high levels can lead to hyperinsulinemia, increased visceral fat deposition and fat cell maturation, which can all lead to added weight on your body.
The thyroid gland is part of the body’s hormone system and has the main job of regulating metabolism – the rate at which we produce and use energy in the body. Thyroid hormones help stimulate different metabolic functions in the cells, regulate body temperature, help provide energy and contribute to ideal weight maintenance.
If there is an underproduction of thyroid hormones (hypothyroid) this can affect many different body functions, and weight gain is a common symptom.
Improving sleep to help weight loss
The less you sleep, the more likely you are to eat. In addition, your body becomes unable to manage those calories as effectively, especially the concentrations of sugar in your blood. Research has shown far higher rates of Type 2 Diabetes among individuals that reported sleeping less than six hours a night routinely.
When your sleep becomes short, you gain weight.
And it’s partly to do with our satiety hormone, leptin and our hunger hormone, ghrelin. Inadequate sleep decreases levels of leptin and increases levels of ghrelin so if you’re short of sleep you can feel less satisfied by the food you are eating which affects your overall hunger control.
It also affects what you choose to eat and often results in a craving for sweets, carbohydrate-rich snacks and salty snacks. Less appealing are the healthier proteins and essential fats.
Making it even worse, when you are sleep-deprived you may have less energy to move and become more sedentary. And so, it becomes a vicious circle.
We work with you to assess these kinds of imbalances as part of your weight management plan, and find ways to optimise these body systems to find a path back to optimal health and appropriate weight. This will include personalised diet plans and weight loss coaching, to support you in achieving sustainable weight loss goals.