Journal

Top tips for weight loss

5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

1. Underestimating your calorie intake

There is a simple equation when it comes to successful weight loss; eat less calories than you burn.  Not so few calories, however, that your body goes into starvation mode.  Put bluntly, if you were to solely exist on kit kats but remained in the correct calorie deficit you would shed weight.  Clearly I am not advocating such a diet as the most important thing in any eating plan is to consume the right macros and nutrients to function optimally. Yet I think it’s important to cut through the myths that pervade some modern day dietary fads denoting that there is some kind of magical mystery or formula when it comes to weight loss. In my experience, the biggest downfall people succumb to is misjudging how much they eat and  thinking that working out gives them a free ticket to over indulge on a regular basis.

Tip
Keep a food diary. Note absolutely everything down; the extra glug of olive oil, the cappuccino you might mindlessly drink mid morning or that gorilla sized handful of nuts that doesn’t’ resemble the human hand hence tripling the calorific intake.  Myfitness pal is a great app for recording your daily food intake. It’s important to measure and weigh all your food just so you have a realistic idea of portion size and calorie content. 

2. Stress Levels

Over exercising, being in a too low calorie deficit, disrupted sleep patterns and just general everyday stress creates a negative reaction in the body. Cortisol, is the enemy of any dieter and this hormone is greatly elevated for most of the time in those under duress. In terms of weight loss, elevated cortisol levels and stress can actually make the body resist weight loss. Cortisol makes us crave sugar laden food and also store fat around our mid section, never a good look.

Tip
Relax. This is the obvious solution, but so many of us don’t know how to do this. That’s because switching off is actually something we have to learn through practice. The best active methods of relaxation would be meditation, yoga or a hobby where you mentally engaged and ‘in the flow’ Try and cut out all stimulants including caffeine and sugar which throw the body back into fight or flight syndrome.

3. Consuming too much sodium

Too much sodium makes the body hold water, giving the appearance of soft, spongy skin. Women are also more inclined to hold onto water due to hormonal fluctuations in their menstrual cycle.

Tip
Cook all your food from scratch and use salt sparingly. Many pre packed foods, even those that claim to be healthy are laden with salt. After all it is salt that makes food taste flavoursome and chefs and food companies are wise to this. It is possible, however, to reeducate the palette and cook with other herbs and spices that are more beneficial and give a punchy flavor kick.

4. Muscle weighs more than fat

For anybody keen to change their shape then weight loss might not necessarily be the golden ticket. Instead, fat loss with an increase in muscle mass is what most people should aspire to. A strong, toned body is infinitely more attractive and healthy than a body that is purely skinny, yet the skinny body will without doubt weigh less. That is because muscle is much denser and heavier than fat. For those training with heavy weights, their weight might remain the same but their body composition should be evolving.

Tip 
Have your body fat accurately measured. Forget the generic Bioimpedence devices that give ridiculously inaccurate readings. Opt instead for a Dexa body scan or a reading done by a Bodpod. Overtime you should see your fat percentage decline and your muscle mass go up.

5. Not weighing yourself accurately

Forget past advice which told you to weigh yourself on a weekly basis. Our weight fluctuates on a daily basis; hydration levels, sodium intake, hormonal fluctuations and what we ate the night before. Better to weigh yourself daily over the course of a week and then take the rolling average.

Tip
Make sure you weigh yourself first thing in the morning. After you have gone to the toilet and without clothes. Use a good quality electronic scale so that you have clear and accurate readings.

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