Beating the bulge. Losing weight and keeping it off

From cabbage soup diets to the high-protein mania of Atkin’s diet, there are many ways to lose weight. These diets may provide a quick-fix, yet often the battle is not losing the weight in the first place, but keeping it off for good.

You are a complex mixture of cells, organs, emotions, experiences, desires, fears and biochemical reactions. There are many reasons why the body may store fat and often it requires the help of professional to pin point the exact areas to focus on.

Let’s have a closer look

Our cells, organs and biochemistry rely on many nutrients to function effectively. Often bodily systems need a helping hand. The thyroid gland for example can easily become sluggish during periods of stress or simply because we do not give it the nutrients it needs. Even a slightly under-active thyroid gland will create a lowered metabolic rate and weight gain.

Every cell in your body requires water and a quality cell membrane to be able to take in nutrients and let out toxins. If your body is too toxic or dehydrated, it will store toxins as fat. Liver, kidney and bowel function may need supporting if toxicity is an issue.

Slave to biochemistry

If you eat processed foods, crave sugar or overeat it’s probably due to an imbalance in your biochemistry. These types of foods create a biochemical craving in the body, which you literally have no control over. Sugar is extremely addictive.

Sweet misery

As your craving instructs you to reach out for a sugar fix, whether be it in the form of cake, biscuit or savoury, refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta and crisps, your blood sugar levels rise to the  point where there is too much sugar in your bloodstream. Insulin then steps in to take drastic measures to get that excess sugar out of your bloodstream. Not only does this cause a huge blood sugar low, it creates fat storage.

The cravings begin again…

When the blood sugar drops, your cravings kick in and the whole cycle begins again. You have become a slave to your biochemistry! Once a craving has kicked in you lose the ability to choose healthy foods and instead reach for those quick-fixes, stimulants and are likely also to overeat.

Address the driver

Your brain chemistry also plays a role. If you feel depressed you are more likely to reach out for sugary foods to give you a better feeling. You start to rely on the sugar-high, yet come crashing down again with the sugar low. Looking at how you feel around food, why you eat the food you  do and how you are feeling about yourself, can give you clues as to whether you need to work on your emotional balance. Therapists who focus on emotional releasing may be able to help you. Focusing on foods to boost your mood will also aid the process.

It’s all in the mix

Eat fresh foods in their natural state.

Avoid the sugar rush. Stay away from white products, sugar and refined foods.

Boost your mood with quality protein, green leafy vegetables, omega 3 oils like flax and oily fish and consider addressing your emotional health.

Eat slowly and chew well. It takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you are satisfied.

Supplement with a high dose multivitamin and mineral for optimum health. Being overweight means something is out of balance.

Address your stress. Weight gain usually follows periods of stress. Take time to relax properly and get a good night’s sleep.

Exercise! Aim for 30 minutes daily. Be it just walking, gardening or doing housework. Get active!

Lift weights. Muscle burns more calories than fat. You’ll raise your metabolism as you raise those dumbells.

See a nutritionist. This will set you off in the right direction and keep you motivated.

Enjoy the journey

Above all, be mindful of your actions, taking steps to honour yourself, prioritising feeding your wonderful body with all the nutrients it needs to be balanced. Whatever you have been doing up until this point is OK. Everything you have ever done has lead you who you are now. Simply choose to make changes if that’s what you now desire. But remember, whatever goals you set yourself, enjoy the process of getting there. Your life is a wonderful journey.

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