With months of confinement brought on by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, many have struggled to keep their weight on target. The combination of stress and uncertainty, along with the inactivity imposed by quarantine, makes it easy to turn to food for comfort.
Today, we’ll look at some insights in controlling and losing weight you may not have heard about, and how they can help in this difficult time.
1. Poor Regulation of Blood Sugar
The level of insulin in your system isn’t just a question for diabetics; it’s something that has a massive effect on your overall health and weight. Foods with a high glycemic index score, such as processed foods, junk food, and fast food, can cause massive spikes in blood sugar, which in turn causes your body to release insulin, a fat-storing hormone that leads to weight gain and retention.
Conversely, extreme low-carb diets can lead to a hypoglycemic crash and low levels of blood sugar, which has the same result. So the answer, according to the Organic Dietitian, is to eat carbohydrates that are nutrient-dense, healthy fats, and proteins at every meal, which will help stabilize your blood sugar. Then, your body will naturally burn fat rather than store it.
Though we usually think of inflammation as something that affects joints or muscles, the digestive system can have major inflammation issues that can lead to weight gain. A secret to shedding pounds is to reduce this irritation in the stomach and bowels. The Organic Dietitian notes that there are many sources of gut inflammation, including sensitivities or allergies to toxic substances in processed foods.
Beyond diet, there are the risk factors of a stressful, unhealthy lifestyle, including bad habits like smoking and lack of sleep. Last but not least, bacterial or viral infections in the stomach can wreak havoc on your digestion. All of these mean that your body can’t properly digest food and lead to bloating and weight gain.
3. Unhealthy Hormone Balance
When hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol, are out of balance, this brings a host of physiological problems. Because hormones regulate energy levels and metabolism, having them in balance is crucial to losing weight and keeping it off
The Organic Dietitian points out that the hormones cortisol and estrogen can cause increased fat storage in our bellies. Whether it’s through natural supplements or hormone-replacement therapy, getting the hormonal balance is crucial.
4. Low Thyroid Function
Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid system doesn’t produce enough of the T3 and T4 hormones. Without these vital compounds circulating in the body, people can suffer from weight gain, lack of energy, and decreased sex drive.
Understanding thyroid function is particularly important for women who have been suffering from weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
5. Poor Gut Health
The medical term “gut dysbiosis” is a technical term for a gut that is out of balance. This means that good bacteria have been overwhelmed by bad bacteria, which can be the root of more problems like weight gain, difficulty losing weight, inflammation, hormone imbalances, and thyroid issues.
Eating unhealthy fats and sugars that encourage the growth of bad gut flora can cause bad gut health. Finding balance in your diet is one of the major secrets to finding balance in your gut and keeping excess weight off.
Of course, a key to losing weight extends beyond diet; lifestyle is also important. If you work too much, sleep or eat too little, and are constantly in high-stress situations, losing weight can be more challenging.
Emotional or physical stress causes the body to release cortisol, which can have a negative effect on your weight by causing your body to store fat due to fluctuating insulin levels.
Want to get a handle on your weight? Get a handle on your stress first.
7. Toxic Metals or Minerals
Metabolism is the rate that your body processes food, and it is a key to successful weight loss. Your body’s metabolism may be altered due to the presence of metals like copper, which are fat-soluble. This can cause your body to hold onto weight as protection against metals in your bloodstream.
One of the ways to find out if your levels of heavy metals or minerals are too high is to have your hair tested, as these substances will show up in follicle samples.
Now that you know the secrets of what might be preventing weight loss, don’t forget that a healthy diet and lots of exercise are the best remedies to many of these problems. When you are putting good food into your body and getting out for physical activity on a regular basis, it will absorb the nutrition from food without storing the fat, naturally.
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