You’re doing everything right, at least you think so. You’ve cut back on calories, started an exercise program and have tipped the scale of “calories in vs. calories out” in your favor. The pounds should be falling off, but the actual results are frustratingly elusive. Typically, this frustration will lead to a feeling of hopelessness and the eventual scrapping of yet another weight-loss attempt. Unfortunately, the subject of weight-loss is a very complicated one, with the ultimate goal being something our bodies have been divinely engineered to counteract and sabotage. As human beings, we are hard-wired for survival and it is one of the most powerful, automatic systems operating within our bodies. When you consciously throw your body into a caloric-deficient state, you trigger a cascade of biological mechanisms designed to hang onto every precious pound it can. There have been several hormones identified that scientists initially thought might be the “magic bullet” for weight-loss, like lectin or adiponectin, among others, but these have only led to a deeper understanding of how complicated and sophisticated our innate weight-loss defense mechanisms are.
I recently started a fitness challenge group on a six-week program of exercise and proper nutrition, within an effective support system. After three weeks on the program, the participants have experienced meaningful weight-loss, lost inches, increased energy and boosts in self-esteem, with one exception. In this case, despite the exercise and reduced calories, there has been little or no change, which has understandably led to frustration and discouragement. Upon further investigation, I am now suspicious that what’s at work here is one or more of those designed biological defense systems at work. In trying to understand the lack of results, my questioning at one point led to the following response “My work schedule does not allow me to have a regular meal schedule, so I do what I can to keep it regular as possible.” For me, this was an “Aha!” moment. There may be two very powerful mechanisms at work here that are sabotaging her results.
Aside from the fact that just cutting back on calories and expending more energy will cause the body to trigger its defense mechanisms and hold onto fat, we have to consider the role sugar may be playing in the lack of results. With an irregular eating schedule, you run the risk of huge swings in glucose and insulin levels. You get a double whammy in that an extended period of not eating will trigger your body’s fat-storing mechanism. Then, once you finally do eat, if that eventual intake consists largely of sugar or simple carbohydrates, that too triggers the fat-storing reaction. The key to allowing the calorie imbalance to work in your favor is to eat consistently throughout the day, with proteins and complex carbohydrates (low Glycemic Index foods) making up the bulk of your diet. The recommendation therefore, in this case, will be to do the best she can to plan ahead and eat consistently throughout the day. Schedule five times during the day when to refuel, be consistent and consume primarily the slowly digestible food that will avoid the dangerous sugar spikes
If you’re struggling with a weight-loss program, this could be what’s keeping you from the results you’re expecting too.
PLEASE “SHARE” THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK , TWITTER AND LINKEDIN. THANKS!