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Weight loss is not easy and that is a fact. Unfortunately I don’t have a quick and easy method to make you lose weight. Yes, that’s right. I am a nutritionist and I don’t have a recipe for weight loss. That’s because weight loss is complicated and there are many factors that contribute to why you are not losing weight. Often time the focus is on the “diet” rather than the reason why weight loss was not achieved. And, I have a secret to share with you…diets don’t work! But that’s for another blog. I have worked with numerous individuals striving for weight loss, some have been successful and some not so successful. Those that are successful are not focusing on a diet; instead, they focus on their lifestyle. And I want you to be successful too. Therefore, here are my 5 reasons why you are not losing weight.
1. You are not showing up. In order to lose weight you need to show up. Show up for yourself…on time, every time. Showing up for yourself means that you make a concerted effort to do something good for YOU each day. Honor yourself by caring for your body. Consume healthy food, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep each night. It is great to have a goal but you must show up in order to meet your goal. Show up at the gym, show up in the kitchen, show up on your yoga mat, show up for some me-time. If you want to achieve a goal you need to be present and show up each day so that you are successful. You got this!
2. You are on a diet. One sure way to not lose weight is by following a diet. As I mentioned earlier, diets don’t work. In fact, they suck. Diets do not work because they tell you what to eat instead of telling you how to eat. Allow me to paint a picture for you; and this may sound familiar. A person hears about a “miracle” diet and immediately starts to follow the regimen. Voila! Weight loss is achieved and now it’s time to celebrate your new found body by slipping into your old skinny jeans and going out with friends. You feel great, you look amazing, and you are proud of yourself. You should be damn proud of yourself! The diet worked and you stop following the guidelines so you can get back to your old self…after all, you are in your old skinny jeans.
Sound familiar? And let me guess, after a few months the pounds slowly start to creep back and within 5-6 months the weight returned. You are not alone, my friend. This happens to everyone that diets. This is because diets don’t work. Download my Smart Eating Guide to help you formulate a healthy lifestyle and ditch the diets once and for all.
3. You are not getting enough sleep. We NEED sleep. Plain and simple folks. A recent study found that individuals that sleep 4.5 hours or less have altered levels of ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and leptin is a hormone that reduces appetite. Alterations in these hormones lead to increased appetite and influences cravings of salty, sweet, fatty foods. Hello pizza, ice cream, and hoagies!
In addition, the study identified endocannabinoids (a chemical that increases appetite and stimulates the reward center in the brain) to be significantly elevated when a person is indulging on a meal or snack. More snacking leads to increased endocannabinoids. Therefore, sleep restriction may increase your appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Lack of sleep may also cause a food addiction by stimulating the reward center of the brain providing you that immediate feeling of satisfaction when you eat foods that are high in fat or loaded with sugar. And this, my friend, is how foods can be a drug.
Your loss of will power may actually be due to lack of sleep so you may need to evaluate your sleeping situation. It is suggested that you get at least 6 hours of sleep per night.
4. You are eating too much processed food. Okay, this one may not be entirely your fault because the food industry entices us to consume “healthy imposters”. Healthy imposters are foods that we perceive as nutritious but they are actually not. Healthy imposters include processed foods such as cereals, bread, yogurt, and dairy products. I know, I know…you have been told that cereal is good for you and you are supposed to eat yogurt to get all the “good bacteria”. My friend, you have been fooled. And you are not alone.
One thing to keep in mind is that the food industry is not here to make you healthy. They are here to make money. They get us with creative marketing that makes us perceive their foods are healthy. And the key word is “perceive”. They are not saying their foods are healthy, rather you are getting the perception that they are healthy by hiring athletes and movie stars to promote their products. Hmmmm…now I’ve got your thinking. Think about it; Gatorade has never claimed to be healthy but we perceive it as necessary because our favorite athletes drink it to re-hydrate.
Let me give you another example. Greek Yogurt. Everyone loves Greek Yogurt and people are eating it like it’s going out of style. And yes, yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can enhance the micro flora in the gut. But you can also produce healthy bacteria in the gut by eating foods that contain insoluble fiber, aka: vegetables. So you don’t need fancy yogurt to enhance your immune system…eat a salad instead.
Yogurt also contains saturated fat and a ton of sugar. The American Heart Association suggests no more than 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. One teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar so take a look at the food lable. Most brands contain 22-24 grams of sugar! That’s it folks. You have met your sugar quota for the day by eating this “healthy” imposter. With that said, not all yogurt is bad. Choose plain yogurt and add it to recipes in place of mayo or sour cream.
Download my Smart Eating Guide for helpful tips to eliminate processed foods from your diet.
5. Workouts are stagnant. I fall into this trap because I am a creature of habit. I eat the same breakfast everyday and I do the same workout all the time. This is not necessarily a good thing. The body becomes accustomed to the amount of stress we place on it. And I am referring to the good type of stress here, such as exercise. If you do the same exercise all the time your body will become accustomed to that amount of physical activity.
Initially you may see results but over time those results may diminish. So, you must change up your routine. Trick the body. Do something different and introduce new exercises so the body is always working at peak capacity. I mentioned that I do the same workout all the time therefore I recently joined a 6-week boot camp; the results were GREAT. Try something new! This keeps things exciting and will keep you motivated.
I’d love to hear from you. Try these tips and let me know how it goes!