Did you know that successfully losing weight is more than just about exercising regularly and nourishing your body? There are several health issues that prevent people from achieving their weight loss goals.
Here are the top three:
1. Blood sugar imbalances: Insulin is responsible for shuttling blood sugar (glucose) into our cells where it can be stored and utilized. It gets released in response to any increase in blood sugar – whether that is from high carb foods (pasta, breads, candy, muffins, desserts) or from stress. If you are consuming a lot of carbs and sugary foods, your blood sugar increases to such an extent that insulin can’t shuttle it all into the cells. It has to put it somewhere, so the excess sugar gets stored as fat instead. The more high carb/sugar meals and snacks you consume, the higher the fat storage in the body.
Make sure every meal you consume is balanced: 40% vegetables, 10% fruits, 25% protein, 25% low glycemic carbs + healthy fats (e.g.: avocados)
Eat protein at every meal – including snacks. Protein breaks down into glucose more slowly and will give you sustained energy throughout the day. It also helps reduce cravings!
2. High Stress Levels: When we are under any sort of stress – mental, emotional or physical – our adrenal glands pump out the hormone cortisol in response. Cortisol stimulates the breakdown of fats and carbs which get converted into glucose for energy. This is great if we are actually need that fuel to get out of danger or flee a situation. However, when we are under stress for long periods of time, excess cortisol gets released which causes an increase in blood sugar levels. When there is more blood sugar than our cells can use, it gets stored as fat and we gain weight. Increased stress also keeps us reaching for sugary foods and simple carbs because they provide instant energy and feel good hormones which give us a temporary sense of relief.
Find healthy outlets for your stress: exercise, meditate, spend time outdoors, do something that brings you joy, or watch a comedy.
Share the burden: chat with a relative or close friend about the issue and try to resolve it or make peace with it
Spend time with positive people and avoid “Energy Robbers”
3. Hypothyroidism: An under-active thyroid and weight gain tend to go hand in hand. The thyroid gland is like the master control of our bodies. It regulates our temperature, helps control our heart rate, and controls the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins. When our thyroid gland isn’t functioning properly our energy drops, muscles and joints can ache, we tend to feel anxious or depressed and we gain weight.
Get a complete workup of your thyroid done. It’s important to not only check TSH, but also Free T3, Free T4 and for any autoimmune antibodies being produced against the thyroid gland itself.
If your results are deemed “normal” using the broad parameters of traditional lab tests, have them checked based on functional medicine norms. Those parameters are narrower and based on where people feel their best.
Try to keep your stress in check. Our thyroid glands are easily impacted by high levels of stress and tension.