Health

5 reasons you aren't losing weight

Fuelling Your Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, April 29, 2018

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BECOMING your healthiest, fittest and most trim version of yourself is a very personal choice.

Health and probabilities of disease may be a science but even that may not be enough motivation. We are not in the business of encouraging people solely to get trim, but as you imagine a more comfortable version of yourselves, you may have tried losing weight.

Unfortunately for most, after a bit of initial success, there is no more weight loss or no weight loss at all. Well, here are a few reasons why.

Severely restricting fats or too many fats and oils

Fats are our penultimate source of energy and many fats are essential nutrients and are required for the function of oil-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, K. Good fat sources include oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado. Furthermore, the lack of dietary fats can cause chronic stress and stall your weight loss progress.

Additionally, according to a recent weight loss study at the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, it was determined that dietary fat restriction did not prove to be superior to calorie restriction for fat loss.

On the other hand, of course, as opposed to protein, carbs and sugars which contain 4 calories per gram, fats contain 9 calories per gram. They may not necessarily make you fat, but excess will contribute to it.

Attempt to get quality fats in your diet and your calories from fats should not exceed 20% of your daily caloric intake.

Low protein intake

Proteins are essential nutrients and are needed for all tissue repair and development. High protein diets have been shown to enhance weight loss. The challenge is to find protein sources which will not significantly increase caloric intake.

Your body will reward you greatly for the protein you take in because of the importance. You will feel fuller longer and cravings may be reduced. Increased protein has been shown to have a higher thermic effect, which boosts your metabolism. Proteins will also lower the levels of your hunger hormone, ghrelin, and boost your appetite regulating/satiating hormones.

Additionally, with exercise, sufficient protein will allow for the building of muscle mass, which is invaluable for heightening your metabolic rate, even when you are at rest.

Without sufficient protein you will find it difficult to lose body fat, build muscles, experience challenges with workout recovery, have constant feelings of low energy and increased hunger and cravings.

Calorie-enhanced foods

These are the obvious products and fast foods which anyone trying to lose weight know to avoid. However, purchasing seemingly healthy foods which are overly enhanced with oils and sugars, to make them marketable, often derail a diet. A paper published in the journal of Public Health Nutrition, researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that people who regularly cooked at home consumed fewer calories, carbs, fats and sugars than people who purchased meals.

Too much sugar and simple carbs

Simply put, sugars and other simple carbohydrates (refined flour products including bread, cookies, enriched pasta, white crackers, sugary cereals, etc) will perform three weight loss opposing actions.

1 Increase insulin levels, promoting fat retention.

2 Increase your cravings for more sugars and simple carbohydrates, often triggering a brain dependency.

3 Maintain habitual behaviour, cravings and over-indulgence.

So, at the very least reserve simple carbs for special occasions.

Complete elimination of carbs

Carbohydrates are not the monsters many would have you believe; complex carbs are excellent sources of energy and fibre. They are a great way to balance your energy needs once you have met your protein, fats, vegetable and fruit requirements. Complex carbs' fibre content also results in a more stable insulin response. As always, balance is important.

In a balanced, nutritionally dense diet, we need less carbohydrates than many people imagine. On the other hand, for many people, including complex carbohydrates in their diets will promote steady energy levels, controlled hunger and reduce the frequency and length of plateaus.

Healthy eating is a balance, and when you are working towards a leaner, healthier bodyweight, that balance becomes even more important than before. Too little energy or nutrients will stress your system, and stress inhibits utilising fat for energy. Eat controlled portion, eat healthily, eat with colour variety and eat cleanly.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 968-8238, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.

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