By Amanda Brown
A weight loss journey is just that, a journey. It is a process of finding that sweet spot which delivers the results you desire at a pace which works for you. More importantly, once you have achieved what you want you then want to maintain and sustain everything that you have worked your butt off for! No one then wants to deal with the physical and mental game of yo yo-ing back and forth. Unfortunately, when it comes to the weight loss there are some factors that can play in the background which can work against you. In today’s post we are going to highlight what these factors are, then of course give you the tools and the knowledge to tackle the issues ensuring you avoid travelling down that path!
It All Comes Back to the Gut
More and more studies are being released around the importance of gut health. The studies show the carry over effects of being a person with a healthy digestive system and microbiombe. So what is this microbiobme that everyone is banging on about? It is our internal complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies. It is defined as a “community of microbes.” The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems. They are responsible for ensuring the effective breakdown and digestion of nutrients as well as regulating and controlling our immune system. The overall impact on your mental and physical health is huge. In addition, gut health plays an extremely important role in avoiding the yo yo affect during and after your weight loss journey.
Michael Mosley addresses this beautifully in his book “The Clever Guts Diet“. He discusses this matter from a couple of different angles. Firstly he quotes a study of how there were two lean mice at the same bodyweight. For one of the mice all they changed was gut bacteria by feeding in more bad bugs from a microbiombe of an overweight mouse. In turn this caused an upset in the balance of bacteria. Both mice were fed the same healthy nutrition. The mouse with more bad bugs got fat despite maintaining a healthy diet. This really highlights that you can be doing everything right but if your digestive balance is off this can affect your results. It is therefore important to focus your nutrition around gut healing and balance between good and bad bugs.
Things that your gut loves:
- Probiotic foods:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fermented foods such as Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kombucha and Kim Chi
- Bone Broth
- Aloe Vera
- Fiber – Slippery Elm is amazing
- Vegetables and lots of variety especially cruciferous vegetables
- Prebiotic Foods:
- Garlic, Ginger
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Onions etc
- Things to Avoid
- Processed Foods
- Foods which bloat you (possible causes gluten and dairy)
In another study by Michael Mosley, and again using mice instead this time they fed them a diet which causes them to put on weight. They repeated the process of restricting calories to lose weight and then overindulge to put the weight back on. What they found was that the rebound of weight gain got faster each time. It is as though our body has a memory and knows how to get fat and faster! What they did however discover was that including foods rich in flavonoids acted as a system ‘reset’ to break this cycle.
The key take away from this is to include a diet rich in flavonoids (see below) as you move through your weight loss journey.
Foods Rich in Flavonoids:
- Green Tea
- dark Chocolate
- Tomato skin
- Camomile Tea
- Yellow Onion
Fat Cells Don’t Disappear – They Make you Feel Hungry & Release Hormones.
Once fat cells have multiplied they unfortunately don’t just disappear when you lose weight, they just shrink. Fat cells along with added dreaded extra padding are also an endocrine organ of their own, meaning that they secrete hormones. This can branch into 2 hormonal issues where the adipose tissue (fat cells) secrete oestrogen and leptin.
Let’s tackle leptin first. Leptin is the hormone which controls hunger and feelings of satiety. As you gain body fat leptin is elevated and what can happen is you can develop leptin resistance. This means that the signalling of the leptin hormone loses its effectiveness, leaving you feel hungry all the time. If you have fallen into this trap you will need to work to fix the leptin otherwise you will struggle to maintain your weight loss.
Another handbrake that leptin can put on your weight loss efforts is the link where as a result of elevated levels you produce a hormone called reverse T3. To put it simply, T3 is considered the powerhouse of your metabolism therefore reverse T3 slows things right down.
Although over time this will eventually reset, it can mean that you have to have a tonne of self discipline along the way. Here are some additional tools to help manage this in the meantime.
- Remove refined foods, sugar and fructose from your diet and opt for more protein and good fats
- Be in bed before 10pm – no later
- When training opt for weight training and HIIT
- Include omega 3’s in your diet and limit omega 6’s
I am not going to dive deep into the issues relating to oestrogen or how to overcome them in today’s post, you can read more about this here. What you need to know is that along with various other ways you increase your oestrogen. Fat cells also release oestrogen. Before we paint oestrogen with a bad brush let us say that it is actually essential to female health. What is important and what you will hear us often say about our bodies is that everything needs balance.
In the case of too much oestrogen it can present with stubborn body fat around tummy, hips and thighs and sometimes a lumpy or cellulite appearance. Other things that will flag oestrogen dominance issues is painful periods, headaches around your cycle, sore breasts and bloating. As a general guide to overcome this you want to control the various ways that oestrogen can come into your body through toxins, plastics, the pill, skin care and beauty products. The next step would be to support your detox pathways with products such as Alpha Venus (which we stock at HQ) and also ensure that you have a healthy digestive system to help with elimination.
Move the Goal Post – Don’t go Back to ‘Normal’ Make Your New Habits Stick
Another important factor to help avoid the rebound cycle is the mental aspect and the language you use around weight loss. What we tend to hear often is people saying, ‘I will do this for a little while and then go back to normal’. The problem is if you take a look around you it is ‘normal’ to be unhealthy and overweight. If you go back to what people are doing around you (unless you are surrounded by super healthy beings) It is your ‘normal’ lifestyle which brought you to this point in the first place. Harsh but true. It is within discovering your ‘new normal’ and learning what it is and the habits you need to keep in order to have the desired outcome you deserve.
In searching for your new normal we LOVE finding replacement habits which are essential in the shift for long lasting results. Taking old habits and gradually replacing them with new ones that are the right fit for you. Only you will be able to identify what these are for you because they will be the replacements that you find work for you. It might take some work and you may wrestle with this for awhile before you find your matches but I have listed some classic examples which might help you with this.
We have definitely packed a lot of information into this post. If you can relate to feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to your own weight loss journey you know that we are just a phone call away. We love setting the record straight and we love supporting you on the road to better health.
Until next time,
The Queen of Lean