Common Dietary Mistakes Which Reduce Fat Loss Part 1
About 70% of my clients list weight loss as one of their goals when they first book in to see me for a naturopathic and health & wellness coaching session.
I take a holistic approach to weightloss which involves looking at overall health, hormone balance, stress management, sleep and lifestyle factors and of course your diet. Despite the prevalence of various diets and a thriving industry of weight loss products and supplements, there is more to it than just calories in and calories out. Whilst we need to look beyond just what you're eating, what you eat and your habits around eating will have an impact on your weight or your ability to maintain or lose weight. But with is so much conflicting information about what to do or what not to do when you're trying to lose weight it can be hard to know if you're on the right track, particularly if you're not seeing the changes that you seek!
Here are 5 common habits which can compromise your weight loss
1.Eating too much sugar- including hidden sugar in fruits and other ‘healthy’ foods
How much sugar are you consuming each day? A diet of natural wholefoods will naturally contain ample sugar to fuel your brain and body. We do not need to consume any added sugar, yet it seems that it is added to almost everything! Most cereals have large amounts of added sugar, even fruit juices which are naturally sweet often contain added sugar! Pre-made sauces and yoghurts are two common foods which contain high amounts of added sugars. Soft drinks account for a large amount of many people’s daily sugar consumption, containing between 5-10 teaspoons of sugar in each serving!.
The trap with sugar is that it is highly addictive, so once you have even a small amount, you very quickly want more. If you can get through the 3-4 days of withdrawal when you cut sugar out of your diet, you will most likely find that you stop wanting it and you will energy more balanced moods and energy levels.
Once you stop regularly eating refined or added sugar, you will begin to taste the natural sweetness in vegetables and grains so much more. Fruits are obviously sweet, due to naturally occurring sugars. Whilst some fruit is a healthy option, two to three pieces per day is enough. Fresh vegetables are a good way to get an abundance of nutrients with less natural sugar.
To add to the confusion around hidden sugars, sugar is often listed on food or ingredient labels under different names.
Below are a list of sugar’s many names to look out for on food labels:
Sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, malt syrup, maltose, xylose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, rice syrup, honey, dextrin, maple syrup.
2.Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners
Many people who are wanting to lose weight or ‘go on a diet’ decide to give up sugar and replace it with artificial sweeteners. As mentioned already, these are worse for you than actual sugar! Many of them are broken down into toxic by-products and they also provoke the release of insulin in the same way as sugar does- remember that insulin is a fat-storing hormone. Anything which increases
the toxicity of the body hinders fat loss as the body must create or hold on to fat cells to store toxins in its attempt to protect your body.
3.Eating Fake foods
There is a whole industry based on making ‘weight loss products’ or ‘diet’ products. Many of these are processed, non-foods. Food which is made in a lab is not able to meet the nutritional needs of the body. Read labels and anything which contains hard to pronounce, chemical sounding names is best avoided, as it is unlikely to be able to provide the body with much goodness. A body starved of nutrients, will keep signally you to eat in an attempt to meet its needs for nourishment. Many of these chemicals, just like artificial sweeteners, are toxic to the body increasing the load on your liver to metabolise and reducing your liver’s ability to focus on burning fat.
4.Choosing the wrong kind of Carbohydrates
Our diets tend to contain too many starchy (high sugar) carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and flour products. Eating fibrous, naturally occurring carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits actually provides plenty of carbohydrates.
Breakfast gets your metabolism going for the day. Not eating breakfast also causes problems with your blood sugar balance and places stress on your adrenal glands. This can lead to releases of cortisol and insulin, both of which encourage fat storage.
Keep an eye out for part 2 where I will share another 5 common dietary habits which can slow or stop fat loss and even lead to weight gain.
Need some support and a plan to help you reduce your weight in a healthy and sustainable way? Book a consultation with Annabel today!
6 Week Holistic Weight Loss Program also available, read about it here