The more clients I work with, and the more I dig into diet and nutrition, the more confusing it sometimes seems to be…
I have witnessed first hand there is no singular perfect approach for everyone, and I would be very suspicious of anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.
This is especially true when it comes to weight loss. It seems some people look at sugar or bread and instantly ballon up, while others can eat a pint of ice cream a night with no visible body composition repercussions. It’s an unfair world we live in
Though there isn’t a golden rule, over the years I have witnessed some general trends and some fairly powerful anecdotes from clients who struggled for months, years or decades to lose weight, and were finally able to figure it out.
If you’re one of these people—struggling to make sense of why your body isn’t losing the weight you want—consider the following:
GET OFF ALL OF THE SUGAR
You might think sugar just means refined sugars, like putting a sugar cube in your coffee, pounding daily Coca-Cola's, or eating apple pie for dessert. Technically 'sugar' is just a word to describe the molecular structure of certain foods. That means there are far more forms of sugar than the granulated white stuff. So while you've 'ditched the sugar', you also continue to eat fruit every morning alongside a glass of orange juice (with pulp because it's healthier right?), snacking on figs or dates at lunch and put honey in your coffee because it’s a 'natural sweetener'.
There were many members of Forge Valley Fitness who experimented with this concept throughout September and October during the Whole Life Challenge. If you ask any of them, the results were outstanding.
I worked with a client recently—and have heard many other similar success stories—who finally decided to give up all forms of sweeteners, including maple syrup, honey, agave, dried fruit, fresh fruit—you name it. The moment he did: BOOM! Weight loss galore.
If the thought of not being able to eat fruit or honey or anything sweet ever again makes you suicidal, relax a moment. Many people are able to re-introduce some sweet things back into their diet after a couple months of zero tolerance. But you need to go through the zero tolerance period first. Truth behold, it's likely that your palate has been tainted by sugar and sweetness. Cutting it out completely allows your body and mind to hit the 'reset button' and some of the sweets you used to like might taste totally over-sweet and you don't even want to have them back in your diet.
Don't believe me? Try it for 30 days and see what happens.
HEAL YOUR GUT
The problem for some is they’re eating lots of good food, but their gut bacteria is messed up. Their bodies have lost the ability to absorb nutrients effectively, which means their metabolism and digestive systems aren’t working as well as they should.
Often this is caused by inflammatory foods listed below, but sometimes our bodies don't handle even some GOOD foods very well. This is much more individualized and is best resolved with a blood sample for a food sensitivity test.
Check back on our website next week as we discuss the important factors related to gut health.
For now, take yourself through this 5-step checklist:
- Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet (gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes)
- Take a probiotic supplement (the higher CFU count the better)
- Eat more soluble fibre
- Consume apple cider vinegar and bone broth
- Look into supplements (namely Vitamin D, zinc, L-Glutamine, Betaine HCL, fish oil)
FIX YOUR SLEEP
Don’t believe me that sleep is THAT important for bodily processes like metabolism (i.e. weight loss)?
You have probably worked out after a night or two of bad eating. Maybe even after a night or two of heavy boozing. Maybe you even PRed your deadlift when you were hungover…
But imagine going two nights without any sleep and then trying to workout at intensity. The thought of it is painful, right? Two consecutive nights of little to no sleep and you probably feel way more ruined than you do from an entire month of poor food choices.
This article from the International Journal of Endocrinology explains more about how sleep deprivation has profound impacts on your hormones, your metabolism and your cardiovascular health.
In short, if there IS a magic trick solution, it might just be sleep.
Avoid the sugars, keep your gut healthy and sleep tight!