The real 5 reasons your not losing weight despite diet and exercise

You are doing all the so-called “right things”, yet nothing is happening.

No matter what you seem to be doing, it’s just not working. Being in this space for too long leads us into frustration and maybe even defeat. We can’t fathom cutting any more calories or force on more exercise. Weight loss has consumed our entire life — with hardly any energy or drive for much else. Have you ever experienced this situation? I know I have time and time again! Today will be the end of that for you. I have some strategic and straightforward tips that can shift the needle if you face this right now. Consistency with your nutrition and exercise is vital, and making this a long-term habit will see you succeed now and well into the future. Think of it as a lifetime pursuit of health, longevity and body composition mastery. You probably won’t reach it, but it’s going to be a lot of fun along the way. You never know what you might learn in the process. 

One: Strength train often and be active

Strength training is one of the critical parts of fat loss that most don’t fully understand. It’s easy when you start to assume that getting on the treadmill will help you get to your goal sooner. Cardio is something you should be doing every day if you can — that’s part of being as active as possible. That way, you can keep the fire of your metabolism going day in day out. Weight training works hand in hand by building muscle, reshaping your body, and increasing your metabolism’s efficiency. A critical part of weight loss is maintaining your insulin sensitivity, which helps in the weight loss phase- even when we are sleeping. Triggering this with food alone is hard, but the results start powering through when you mix exercise into it. If you are already weight training and not getting results — then change your program. It would help if you were not on the same program for longer than four weeks. Your body tends to become used to the same thing. The same goes for your cardio. Try cycling, walking, or even climbing and HIIT to radically alter your body fat-burning potential. Of course, you have to change it up to make those necessary fat loss shifts. 

Two: Drink lots of water & eat fibre-rich foods.

Most people don’t drink enough water, leaving themselves open to dehydration, lethargy, stress and inflamed. We should be drinking at least 2–3 litres of water — even more if you train and sweat a lot. Don’t wait until you are thirsty — that’s far too late. Instead, keep a bottle with you at all times, and ensure you take sips throughout the day. Fibre fights inflammation because it helps the beneficial bacteria in your gut to thrive. That then filters through to your whole body. As a result, you will also experience a drop in weight. Water and fibre together help to keep you full for longer stretches, leaving you less susceptible to snacking and overeating. Include a lot of greens in your diet as well. Overall, this alone will help you trigger fat loss and better health (including your gut! 

Three: Protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Include protein sources throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar steady, and eliminate the need for snacking. If you can stop your brain from experiencing that mental shut down during the day, you will be less likely to grab a chocolate bar or sugar-filled snack. Think of all those times when you felt a slump in energy — we inevitably seek the means to perk ourselves up. If it’s not a sugar snack, maybe it’s more caffeine instead. However, you can bypass this slump entirely by focusing on eating protein sources throughout the day (which, of course, aid in your weight loss). Protein is not only found in animal products; it’s also in many other options such as vegetables, nuts, seeds and oats. If you are eating oats for breakfast, increase your protein by adding protein powder and nut milk. Adding fats to your breakfast will increase the beneficial power messages from the brain to all your muscles and tissue. Skip the high sugar cereals, pastries and bars. Instead, opt for a nutrient-rich start to the day to power on through. 

Four: Control or eliminate stress

The higher your stress levels are, the higher your body fat is or will become & the harder it will be to lose weight. Those who suffer from chronic cortisol may battle with fat stores in the midsection. No matter how much exercise or healthy eating, the body fat doesn’t shift. That’s because cortisol makes us insensitive to insulin. Instead of storing it as body fat, we want to train our bodies to take insulin and divert it to the appropriate places for energy. The stress happening in your life isn’t the only contributing factor. Internal pressure plays a HUGE part in this equation too. If you have gastrointestinal or other inflammation forms, such as endometriosis, you may unknowingly suffer higher than average cortisol levels. Rectifying this involves eating a diet rich in nourishing fats (like salmon and olive oil), protein and moderate amounts of healthy carbs. In addition, adding relaxation to your day will help eliminate inflammation. Walking, practising deep breathing, yoga, meditation and massage, all play a part in helping diminish stress levels and encourage mindfulness. There isn’t’ just one thing that helps diminish cortisol — it’s several things we must work on daily. Once you stop, the symptoms start magnifying. 

Five: Eating fat sources

Fat does not cause fat gain — which I mistakenly thought in the ’80s and ‘90s. Healthy sources of fat in our diet helps to combat inflammation (as mentioned above), therefore lowering our cortisol levels. We need to work on making our cells as sensitive to insulin as possible. Cell sensitivity allows glucose to “burn baby burn” as fuel. Therefore, we can get away with eating carbs a lot more frequently without negative consequences. It helps our bodies build muscle, which is essential for overall health and longevity (not to mention lowering our weight!). Fats that you should include regularly are nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, seafood and seeds. Perhaps one or more of these tips can help you achieve the weight loss results you want. I want to finish off with the importance of maintaining your cortisol and making those cells of yours sensitive to insulin. Without this, we will always be in the battle of fat loss and fat gain. Finding the right balance can be pretty challenging, and you might need to experiment with foods and exercise. If I can give you the best tip to bypass all of this extra work, please try Intermittent fasting. IF helps regulate hormones because you spend more significant portions of your day not eating, as opposed to eating. That will help your own body become sensitive to insulin and burn fat stores for energy. It will also decrease inflammation in your body. As for cortisol, in the beginning, fasting may make you a little stressed out (because you are hungry), but I promise you that it will become second nature to you after a month or so. Then, a new calmness and sense of mindfulness will take over, and you will be thankful this journey brought you here.

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