The Number One Reason You Struggle To Lose Weight
The 5 Simple Steps To Easy Weight Gain You Are Probably Following But Don’t Know It!
For a few years now you have noticed a subtle, yet steady, increase in your weight and the amount of fat you seem to carry.
Especially around the ‘love handle’ area of your body and your mid-rift.
You eat what you presume is a healthy and well-balanced diet, with room for leniency at the weekends to account for the odd meal out with friends, date night, or just a couple of glasses of wine at home.
There appears to be no reason for you being the dress size you are and unlocking the secret to reversing the problem appears to be more difficult than cracking the Divinci Code.
You feel stuck…with no idea how to find the path back to the body you had only a few years ago.
You’re not alone with this problem and it is something many of the Brides I work with have struggled with for a while before seeking some advice on the situation.
For them, there is no more important time to lose weight and sort out issues like this than in the run up to their Wedding Day.
And I presume that you are no different to them.
So let me explain to you what I explain to them…
…I’ll start by introducing the ‘Insulin Battle‘
The ‘Insulin Battle’ is my way of describing the war many of us rage inside our body each and every day that means we set ourselves up for a lifetime of weight problems.
And as you have probably already gathered, it all revolves around one of your ‘master’ hormones….Insulin.
Let me break it down for you nice and simply…
Step 1 Breakfast
You wake up early in the morning with low blood sugar levels, which is normal, and eat a typical breakfast of either cereal, toast, fruit juice, breakfast bar, porridge, or something similar.
Step 2 The Spike
The majority of this breakfast is carbohydrate based and inevitably increases your blood sugar levels, causing a ‘spike’ of sugar in the body and a sudden release of Insulin (sugar control hormone) to get the situation under control.
Step 3 The Crash
Insulin (a storage hormone) shuttles this sugar out of the bloodstream and in to the muscle and liver cells. Having excess sugar in the bloodstream is dangerous so this is a safety response genetically hardwired in to your body. This ‘shuttling’ of sugar often results in a dip in blood sugar levels.
Step 4 The Cravings
As your blood sugar drops, so does your energy levels and your concentration. So you will automatically, without even realising, seek out a ‘pick me up’ consisting of sugar, caffeine or both. This is usually something along the lines of crisps, sweets, chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, fruits, pastries etc. and causes another ‘spike’ in your blood sugar levels.
The problem here is that your liver and muscle cells are already full of sugar from breakfast and your previous day’s eating, so there is no room left for the sugar to be stored there. Instead, the body shifts the excess sugar to the fat cells where it is ‘safe’ and cannot cause your body any immediate harm.
Step 5 The Vicious Cycle
This causes another dip in blood sugar levels, creating the craving for more sugar based foods.
….And so the cycle continues, day-in-day-out.
Over time you body shifts more and more sugar to be stored in your fat cells as your muscle and liver cell remain full.
3 Signs You’re Stuck In This Cycle…
Sign 1 Where You Store Your Fat
Women who are stuck in this cycle common store the majority of their weight around the ‘love handle’ region of their body and their midriff.
It is also quite common for these women to store fat around their upper back, which is often more prominent when wearing a bra.
If you are storing fat predominantly in these areas then it probably linked to the cycle outlined above and it mess that there may be an imbalance in some of your hormones, particularly insulin.
Sign 2 Cravings
If you are the type of woman who craves sweet foods all the time then it probably because you are constantly fighting against the peaks and troughs of blood sugar that you are creating each day.
You may also find that you need caffeine to get you through the day, or even just to get you out of the house in the morning.
Over the years you may have noticed that you now require more of these foods and drinks in order to get the same level of ‘pick me up’ you used to get.
You commonly reach for these things in between meals, during stressful situations, when you are bored, and late at night.
Sign 3 Mental Fog
If you find that you really struggle to concentrate at certain times of the day, then this may also be a sign that you are stuck in the ‘insulin battle’.
The brain requires a certain level of glucose to function properly and if you are the type of person that is constantly going through ‘spikes’ and ‘dips’ in blood sugar then your brain will struggle to function as it fights for a constant source of fuel.
If you find it hard to stick to tasks, find your mind wandering, drift off, or even nod off during the day…then you may well be stuck in this cycle.
You may be sat there reading this thinking “Oh no…I’m screwed!”
But trust me…you’re not.
Sure, you are stuck in a cycle that isn’t always easy to get out of and certainly isn’t ideal for your health and weight loss.
But it is most definitely possible to un-do this and break the cycle with some changes in your eating habits.
I often work with women that suffer from these symptoms (usually all 3!) and we manage to get things under control, improve energy levels, and most importantly….start losing weight!
However, it is the one I come across most with the women I work with and is one of the ones that has the biggest impact on your weight/fat gain.
I also find that getting this aspect under control leads to many other health improvements, so it is the perfect place to start!
I’ve got 3 very simple, yet effective steps for you to take in order to get all of this under control…
1 Reduce Your Sugar Intake
You may have noticed a recent shift in the media from ‘Fat is the enemy’ to… ‘Sugar is the enemy’
In this case, sugar truly is the enemy and is the main this we need to get to grips with if we are to have any sort of impact on your weight loss and changes in body shape.
In modern society we find sugar in a massive percentage of the foods we eat.
For some of us, it is in everything we eat!
Well sugar acts as a preservative, makes things taste nicer, and is cheap to manufacture.
So from a business perspective (remember, the food industry is a business after all) it makes perfect sense to use this innocent looking substance in food.
The problem these days is that sugar has even found it’s way in to certain ‘health foods’, or at least foods that are branded as ‘healthy’.
Cereals, snack bars, smoothies, meal replacements, low fat ready meals, low fat yogurts, and a whole host of other foods we would perceive as ‘healthy’ all contain large amounts of sugar when compared to the amount of actual nutrition we gain from the food.
In fact, I pretty much guarantee that ANY food labelled as ‘Low Fat’ contains large amounts of sugar.
Next time you are at the supermarket, have a look at the back of the packet for yourself and you will see what I mean.
Even things as innocent as ketchup are loaded with sugar.
In some cases table sauces will contain 20-40% of their calories from sugar alone!
To get your Insulin levels under control and have an impact on your weight you need to make a conscious effort to reduce your sugar intake overall, so make sure you start checking the sugar content of the foods you most commonly buy.
Aim to consume most of your nutrition from single ingredient foods that are natural.
2 Eat A High Protein Breakfast
I have already written about what to eat for breakfast to lose weight before and have even included 3 of my favourite breakfast recipes, so I won’t go in to too much details here.
However, I will explain why your breakfast should be high in protein.
As mentioned earlier in this post, most people generally eat a breakfast consisting primarily of carbohydrates (if they eat breakfast that is) and this can often be the initial stimulus for kick-starting the ‘Insulin battle’ each day.
That is because carbohydrate based foods have a profound affect on blood sugar levels and can often lead to large amounts of insulin being released in the body.
Therefore, we need to opt for foods that have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels but also provide us with plenty of nutrition and fill us up.
Protein based foods (that also contain good fats) tick all the boxes for this in my opinion, making them the ideal choice first thing in the morning.
I have included a full nutrition plan for you to download to help with this so make sure you grab a copy of that at the bottom of the post as it goes in to a lot more detail than I can do here.
3 Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Having worked with people that need 12 coffees just to get them through the working day, I understand how important coffee and other caffeine based drinks are for some people.
But that begs the question….
“Why do many of us rely so heavily on caffeine to get us through the day?”
The answer is fairly simple.
Because we don’t consume many foods that offer sustained energy levels and instead opt for ‘quick fixes’ and ‘pick me ups’ that offer sudden bursts of energy and concentration.
This inevitably leads to massive crashes in energy levels, leading many people to reach for caffeine.
Now as a whole, caffeine isn’t a bad thing (in most cases) and it is something I do consume myself.
However, there certainly needs to be a limit to your caffeine intake if you want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
Drinking lots of caffeine can simulate the roller coaster of energy outlined in the image at the start of this post, meaning that despite offering us a peak in our energy levels, it inevitably leads to a crash in energy a few hours later. This often leads to increased sugar intake throughout the day in an attempt to sustain these energy levels.
I will be writing more on this topic in the future as there is quite a lot to consider, but for now, concentrate on reducing your intake of caffeine each day and limiting yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee per day….without sugar of course 😀
The Answer Is Here…
Hopefully by now, you understand that the key reason you are gaining weight, or are struggling to lose weight, is because of the constant blood sugar roller coaster you are putting your body through each and every day.
The key to results, and long term success, is to get this under control and maintain consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Yes, there will still be fluctuations in your sugar levels, and yes you may still find that you are more alert and energetic at certain times of the day.
But you should notice that there is a lot more consistence to your energy and mood as your new blood sugar levels gently ebb and flow, rather than spike and crash like in the first image I shared with you.
This will lead to steady weight loss, changes in body shape, reduced bloating, sustained energy levels, increased concentration and a noticeable improvement in consistency of mood.
Oh, and those cravings……GONE!
If you would like a FREE step-by-step guide to help you implement the information from this post and also show the roles exercise and goal setting play in successful weight loss then download the FREE guide by clicking the button below…