holistic health & pain managment
weight loss

If losing weight isn’t complex then why do so many of us struggle?

It’s that time of year again; I’m starting to notice the new members in the gym who are looking to drop some bodyfat ready for the beach. Many of them were here on the 2nd of January, but by around the middle of the month, many had said “to hell with it”; they couldn’t commit to their New Years Resolution.

I’ve seen this trend year after year, both men and women with the best intentions, but they just can’t seem to stick their plans. This scenario happens in virtually every gym and fitness class around the world.

The purpose of this blog isn’t to look at why people lack the motivation or discipline, it’s really to ask the question and set out why we believe people struggle to lose weight, or if they do, maintain the weight loss.

There’s more to it than just cutting calories

Many PT’s and nutritionists will just tell you to cut calories; put yourself in a calorie deficit, and for some people, this can work. If an individual is already healthy, eating natural, wholesome foods, then it can be as simple as eating a couple of hundred calories less a day, and the bodyfat will drop.  But for many of us, it’s not quite as simple as that.

You see for those who are already healthy, but maybe carrying a few extra pounds, their metabolism, endocrine system and gut biome (gut bacteria) are all likely to be functioning correctly. However, this is the exception rather than the rule.

You’ve got to be healthy to lose weight and maintain it

We underestimate how complex the human body is. Virtually all functions of the body, work in harmony, and if just one is out of balance, this can have a cascade effect on other systems.

If we take the gut bacteria as an example, we have around four bacteria for every cell in our bodies. That means we’re made up of more bacteria than we are cells. Our digestion is entirely reliant on having a colony of good gut bacteria, and if we don’t feed them the sorts of food they like, natural, wholesome foods, then they die and can’t do their job. Whats more, these good bacteria keep the harmful bacteria in check, forming well over 60% of our immune system. So, if we don’t look after our good gut bacteria, we stand a much higher chance of catching an illness and suffering from a malfunctioning metabolism.

Excercise is not the most efficient tool for weight loss

As someone that exercises a lot, I am the biggest advocate for getting out there and ‘getting a sweat on’. However, the benefits of exercise are primarily for your cardiovascular system, strengthening muscles, making you more flexible etc., not for dropping body fat. We’ve all seen people jogging in the street; you can see that they are hating what they are doing, but they’ve got the belief they’re going to shift a few pounds.

Many people end up in disappointment, often actually putting more body fat on. We go back to the fact that they probably weren’t healthy in the first place, but they just started to put their bodies through something that they are not used to and physiologically ‘all hell breaks loose’.

Our bodies naturally want to be lean

How many wild animals do you see carrying excess body fat (except for an animal that lives in the sea)? The answer is not many. Humans are naturally meant to be lean, but the modern diet of refined, processed foods and sugars makes it extremely difficult to achieve. Only by switching to clean, wholesome foods and eliminating man-made foods, do we give our body a chance to regulate and reach the desired composition.

Why do so many fad diets fail?

Many of these fad diets and some of the well known long established ones, seem to end up in failure for so many people. The reason behind this is that they don’t teach people how to eat and to make the correct choices. Often these diets do create a calorie deficit, but they still allow people to eat an excess of carbohydrate and refined, processed foods. This method is not an efficient way to lose weight, and in many instances much of the body weight they lose is muscle. As soon as they start to slack off their diet, the pounds will pile back on, but now they’ve got less muscle which is responsible for burning much of our daily calorie intake. The result, they now can’t eat as many calories as they used to, just to maintain their weight.

Stress and sleep

Other factors that can significantly affect our ability to lose weight are stress and lack of sleep. We all know that stress can be a killer and lead to many chronic illnesses, but equally, it can put the brakes on any attempt at shifting some weight. It’s easier said than done, but working on managing and reducing stress is a must when it comes to good health.

Sleep is definitely not overrated. It’s that time when the body heals and deals with the toxins which have accumulated throughout the day. Our hormones kick in to help these repair mechanism, burn body fat and prime the body ready for the next day. If we don’t get a minimum of seven hours, these processes will not have finished their job.

Losing weight doesn’t need to be complex

Losing weight isn’t hard, providing you understand what is going on with your body. Eating healthy, natural foods and eliminating the bad ones is always a good start; taking a good quality probiotic to help get your good gut bacteria in check will also assist you on your journey to a leaner body.  But remember, it does take discipline and treats must be consumed sparingly. You will find that once you become more healthy, the cravings of old will be a thing of the past.

We are here to help

We understand that there are quite a few factors that need to be considered when looking to lose weight, so please feel free to drop us a line. Our experience means we can tailor a weight loss plan for you and support you along your journey to a  leaner, healthier body.

Dave