Ok …..So it is the normal story…. Having all gorged ourselves on rich and sugary foods over the Xmas period we all now are making those New Year’s Resolutions about eating less, eating more healthily and losing weight. But for most of us, resolutions fade and fail by the end of January, especially when weight loss is the goal. Successfully losing weight takes more than will power!
So why do we fail? The first mistake we often make and the route to easy failure is to stop eating … skip meals…….eat as little as possible. This route will be sabotaged almost instantaneously. Your body will see itself as in starvation mode and will automatically regulate metabolism so as to hold on to every calorie you do consume, because it will see the situation as one of self survival. In Palaeolithic days, holding on to weight was a great asset; those people that were adept at storing fat successfully would survive any periods of famine. Today, with our surfeit of available food and calories this asset has been turned on its head and become a fore-runner to obesity. If you do put yourself in “starvation mode” messages will be sent to the brain to make you eat or will block the action of appetite suppressors in your body known as leptins. Either way, you will feel ravenously hungry and who can succeed under those conditions?
All of those Christmas sugar laden goodies would have affected your blood sugar causing blood sugar spikes and troughs which impact negatively on your energy levels – one minute you feel energised and the next you are experiencing an all time energy low which sees you frantically reaching for the next quick “sugar fix”. ….. A vicious cycle and another failed weight loss attempt on the horizon!
One answer is to keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day. That way you will keep excessive hunger and fatigue at bay. The most important step will be to have breakfast …. Always!! Eating breakfast has been shown typically to reduce total calorie intake during the rest of the day and to favour fat burning over late night eating. Breakfast should always be a mix of both protein and carbohydrates. White toast and marmalade is not the answer… both have a high glycemic index meaning they convert very quickly to sugars in the body; the addition of some protein slows that process down. If you can’t face a breakfast, try a protein powder drink… ask your nutritional therapist about the range of Nutri UltraMeals for example –low calorie and low GI metabolic food in the form of a convenient and delicious shake. The trick then is to eat small but balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day. Don’t let your body think it’s starving it or it will fight back… and it usually wins!
But losing weight effectively and keeping it off needs a multi faceted approach and the way to a successful outcome will be different for everyone. A Nutritional Therapist can help you achieve a diet balanced in lean protein, complex carbohydrate and essential fatty acids and will also look into other issues such as your digestion, fibre and water intake, possible hormone imbalances, poor blood sugar and insulin control as well as adrenal or thyroid issues which might be causing you to hold on to excess weight. Phone 0844 504 8338 or make a booking on line with your nearest Therapist
Badman MK and Flier JS (2005). The gut and energy blance: visceral allies in the obesity wars. Science 307 (5717) p.1909-14
DeCastro JM (2004) The time of day of food intake influences overall intake in humans J Nutr 134(1) p104-11
Devkota, S. & Layman, D.K., 2011. Increased ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein shifts the focus of metabolic signalling from skeletal muscle to adipose. Nutrition & Metabolism, 8(1), p.13.
Kohlstatd. I (Ed). (2009). Food and Nutrients in Disease Management. CRC Press. USA
Nicolle L and Woodriff Beirne A (Eds) (2010). Biochemical Imbalances in Disease. Singing Dragon.
Pizzorno Je, Murray MT and Joiner-Bey H ((2008). The Clinicians Handbook of Natural Medicine (2nd Edition). Churchill Livingstone
Wolever TM and Jenkins DJ (1986). The use of glycemic index in predicting blood sugar response to mixed meals. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 43 p.167-172