As you set out to achieve optimal health and bring your body back into a state of balance, there will be challenges along the way.
Read on to learn about the five big challenges to overcome.
1. Unwanted Sugar
This one goes without saying, but do we understand why?
Sugar is one of the founding pillars of unwanted weight-gain, and it has become increasingly deceptive at sneaking itself into the foods we consume.
It’s everywhere. It’s unavoidable. There are so many kinds of sugar that it can be difficult to know which kinds are considered ‘okay’ or even just slightly better than others to eat.
There are so many studies on the effects of sugar-intake on weight gain, on weight loss, on heart health, on mental health, and on pretty much every aspect of the word ‘health’ you can think of. The results are conclusive and have led to a general fear of the ‘s’ word among health professionals.
One interesting take on the sugar debate is to consider whether it is the sugar itself, or the quantity of the food consumed which is responsible for the weight gain. The word ‘excess’ is key to developing an understanding of this.
While it’s obvious that consuming excess of anything is generally considered to contribute to weight gain, the ‘empty’ calories which sugar contains (meaning they carry little to no nutritional or satiation value at all) mean that it is more often associated with weight gain than other foods.
2. Not Enough Water
Drinking water contributes to lasting weight loss and is a habit we can easily form, as the benefits can be felt almost immediately.
Not only does increasing water intake improve digestion, but it has also been known to reduce hunger cravings, shifting the focus away from needing food as a lot of the time our bodies just need more water!
By replacing other calorie-laden drinks with water, you can also reduce the amount of liquid calories you consume.
Many health professionals will recommend the standard ‘8 glasses a day’ as the ‘minimum’ requirements of water intake. However, this number is very general and optimum water intake varies from person to person. It is impossible to put a label on the amount you ‘should’ consume.
These variables range according to activity levels, food intake, climate, and environment, and other health issues or requirements (pregnant or breastfeeding mothers need more than those purely seeking to hydrate themselves through a busy day at the office).
In the end, as with many health and weight loss concerns, the key to establishing how much water you should be drinking is simply to become more aware of your own requirements and body-type.
Listening to your body and taking into account your activity levels on a given day (which fluctuate as frequently as your energy levels) will help you decipher when you need to hydrate and when you need to eat, etc, so you should be focusing on AWARENESS more than anything.
3. Not Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is an underrated feature of a healthy balanced lifestyle that is vital for anyone seeking to lose weight and balance out calorie consumption. When you think about it energetically, your body only has enough energy stored to last a certain amount of time. Where this energy goes is dependant on your daily activity rate, metabolism, and other external factors.
If you have more energy, it can be more generously distributed towards your metabolism, enabling it to properly digest your food and have some left over for daily tasks.
If you’ve suffered a lack of sleep and are feeling tired all the time, one of the first things the body naturally does is call on places where an increased supply of energy is available and those two things are sleep and food!
Studies have shown that it’s easier to overeat and engage in unconscious eating when you’re tired as it’s the body’s way of trying to make up for lost energy.
The bottom line here is that including SLEEP in your quest to improve your overall health and lose weight is almost as important a factor as the food you eat.
If you don’t want to be tempted to eat that little bit more at every meal to give you a boost, make sure you get it in the form of a good night’s sleep.
4. Too Much Stress
Another thing which can impact energy levels and weight loss in a similar manner to our sleep patterns are our stress levels.
No matter what your job is, chances are some element of work or daily life will cause you a certain level of stress. This is normal for us all. When it becomes significantly increased, however, we can begin to lose precious energy that could be used elsewhere (such as on our metabolism, or in our personal lives) to the excess stress.
Many people deal with this negatively by ‘stress-eating’, or emotionally abusing food to avoid having to deal with whatever stressor presents itself in the moment. Only by being honest with ourselves about the source of our stress or emotional pain, and dealing with it accordingly and sufficiently, can we hope to overcome tendencies to overindulge in food.
Food is a substance, just as much as anything - alcohol, caffeine, drugs. The only difference with food is that it’s a vital component for our bodies to stay alive and healthy. Therefore we must learn how to properly balance our relationship with it in a way that’s not only healthy, but sustainable as well.
Balancing out your weight and aiming to reset to a steady, healthy relationship with food is the best way to hope to obtain a lower weight naturally and sustain it for longer.
Listen in with Erin as she shares how she has gained more mental clarity, energy, and better stress resilience through my Metabolic Reset Program. She’s also lost 25 lbs!
5. Not Exercising
Many people get preoccupied with the exercise side of things (or the diet) and end up not being successful in their weight loss journey.
The key to sustainable, healthy weight loss is all about finding what works for YOU, and then creating balance within that. Too much exercise is unhealthy, as is too much dieting.
Try different kinds of exercise classes and styles until you find one that you genuinely enjoy - and even at that, you don’t need to stick to just one!
Just being aware of when your body needs exercise and heeding those cues can be the difference between a successful attempt at weight loss and an unsuccessful one. There are so many new emerging fitness classes and bootcamps now that you’re bound to find a style that suits your body, goals, and lifestyle, so DON’T GIVE UP!
Things like HIIT training (high intensity interval training) compliment weight loss as they focus on short periods of high-energy cardio activity, which gets metabolism moving and boost energy flow through the entire body.
You can overcome these challenges in your weight loss journey if you have the right mindset and support along the way. If you want to join a supportive community as you work on your weight loss journey, give me a call to find out more about the Metabolic Reset Program.