In today’s podcast we’re looking at some common blocks that stop people from loosing weight.
I’ll be explaining how hormones, specifically insulin, affect our bodies. Plus how you can create a healthy way of eating, that supports your weight loss goals.
I recently sent out a survey to people on my email list to find out what problems they faced when trying to lose weight.
Here are some of the responses:
Many of the comments highlighted common ways of thinking that aren’t true. Lots of unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment.
Here are some things that we actually know.
There are many reasons. One big contributing factor is hormonal imbalances.
There are several hormones that affect weight gain. Cortisol and insulin are big players in the game.
Cortisol is our “stress hormone”. When you’re stressed and sleep deprived, you have high cortisol levels.
Have you ever seen anyone on steroids such as hydrocortisone for medical reasons? They put on weight! Cortisol is a steroid hormone that our bodies make. When our levels are always high, it can contribute to weight gain.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by our pancreas. Insulin helps us metabolise glucose. High levels of glucose in our blood are toxic. (This is why people with diabetes get complications such as eye problems, nerve problems and heart problems.)
Insulin lowers the level of glucose in our blood by helping it get into cells where we can use it as energy. Once our cells have enough glucose, insulin will store glucose in other areas in our body. For example in our liver. And as fat.
Think of insulin as the “storage hormone”. When our insulin levels are high, our bodies are storing energy.
Our bodies can’t “use” and “store” at the same time.
Ideally after eating food, we’d allow time for our body to process that food. Once we’ve processed the energy in food, there’d be a time when our body needs energy. It gets that energy from the deposits around the body. After a bit more time, our body would eat some more food.
This looks like:
Eat, store food, use energy, eat some more.
During the “store food” phase, insulin rises. It then decreases as we access the energy deposits around our body.
Often we eat more quantity as well as more frequently. This means our insulin levels don’t have time to decrease.
This looks like:
Eat, store food, eat some more, store some more.
When insulin is constantly raised our bodies don’t get a chance to access our energy stores.
It may sound obvious but many people don’t think about how our bodies work. If you want to lose weight, you have to give your body the chance to use your fat stores as energy. (Unless you get them surgically removed.)
Don’t worry! This isn’t as difficult as it sounds! You don’t have to starve yourself to do this.
A common myth is that ketogenesis is the only way to burn fat. Ketogenesis is a pathway that our body uses when it’s used up all its carbohydrate stores. It starts to use fat as a fuel directly.
But you can use fat as an energy source before ketogenesis gets turned on.
The bottom line is that you need to consume less energy than your body uses.
Eating healthy foods is a fabulous way to do that without feeling hungry or deprived.
Your actions do have results.
Once you get used to healthy foods, you stop craving sugar.
Dr Orlena is a health coach. She helps busy mums go from "I can't lose weight" to feeling fit and fabulous. Find out more about her here.