You try hard, but that scale won't budge. It's only human nature to wonder if those pounds will ever come off. But don't raise the white flag and chuck your diet just yet.
This blog will cover all the main issues associated with dieting and weight loss. Not only will this blog help you to identify possible reasons why the scale has stopped budging, but it will also help you realize that there is a proper and healthy way of going about this.
We hope after spending some time reading this blog you will be left with valuable Doe’s and Don’ts to achieve your personal goals and to not get discouraged when you don't see the results immediately.
Calories in vs. calories out
The “calories in versus calories out” model is based on the idea that to maintain a stable weight, the number of calories you eat needs to match the number you expend.
“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from the foods you eat, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn from daily exercise and from your body performing its normal functions.
To lose weight you need to be eating in a 500-calorie deficit from your maintenance calories on a daily basis. This also applies to people who are trying to gain weight; you need to be in a 500-calorie surplus from your maintenance on a daily basis.
This needs to be consistent for 7 days straight, which would equal to 3500 calories of surplus or deficit calories. These 3500 calories are what equals 1 pound of weight gain or weight loss a week.
To make this step easier visit our website for our free BMR calculator. This calculator will find your calories out for you based on your Sex, Age and activity factor.
This calculator takes into account your daily energy expenditure from exercise also, to ensure you are getting the right amount of calories to fuel your body daily.
Eating fewer calories to lose weight seems very straight forward but unfortunately, it's not as simple as it seems. In order to lose weight, you do need to cut calories, and that will allow your body to pull some fat out of storage (your fat cells) and burn it off.
That being said, you still need to eat enough calories, in the right balance, to support the other parts of your body you want to keep strong and healthy, namely your organs, muscles, bones, immune system, hormones, etc.
Undereating essentially means that you starve these systems in your body and they'll become run down, damaged or stop working properly. By just cutting your calories drastically and starving yourself you are only doing more harm than good.
Signs of under eating
Low Energy – Even with 8 hours of sleep a person who is in a large calorie deficit might feel like they are constantly fatigued with no energy.
Bad Sleep Cycle – Oddly enough when a person is in a dangerous calorie deficit they have a lot of trouble getting a full night sleep. This might include the problem of falling asleep or staying in a deep sleep throughout the night.
Brain Fog - Brain fog can be a sign of several health challenges, but it’s also one of the key symptoms of not eating enough throughout the day. Constantly forgetting things or the lack of focus can be attributed to large calorie deficits.
Male Low Sex Drive - There are multiple reasons why you experience a low sex drive while dieting. But generally speaking, anytime you’re in a negative energy balance (taking in fewer calories than you burn), you enter a catabolic state and testosterone levels drop.
Female Menstrual irregularities - Hypothalamic amenorrhea is a condition where your period stops due to increased stress that usually comes from a combination of over-exercising and under-eating. It's estimated that 30 percent of women who lose their periods may be suffering from hypothalamic amenorrhea.
Losing Weight But Not Fat - “survival mode”, is where your body tries to cling onto the small number of calories it has access to, instead of burning fat storage as energy, the body will burn muscle and save the fat for potential hibernation.
Insulin sensitivity is when the cells in the body do not absorb Insulin properly. Over time, insulin resistance can cause a range of problems, including permanently high blood sugar levels and cell damage to organs, muscles, limbs, and eyes.
People with insulin resistance often receive a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, which might lead to type 2 Diabetes. People who are insulin resistant may need extra checks to make sure they do not develop type 2 diabetes.
Certain dietary and other lifestyle choices can increase the risks related to insulin resistance. Making dietary changes can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
*** Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems***
Foods to promote Insulin Sensitivity
Non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, dark leafy greens, and peppers.
Tomatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamin C and E.
Citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and limes.
High-fiber foods, including beans and lentils.
Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and barley.
Protein-rich foods, including lean meats, fish, soy, legumes, and nuts.
Fish with a high omega-3 fatty acid content, such as salmon, sardines, and herring.
Foods that contain antioxidants, such as blueberries.
Sweet potatoes, which have a lower GI than regular potatoes.
Water, especially as a substitute for sweetened drinks.
Green Tea after meals.
Supplements to help with Insulin sensitivity
Cortisol is a critical hormone with many actions in the body. Normally, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands in a pattern called a diurnal variation, meaning that levels of cortisol in the bloodstream vary depending upon the time of day (normally, cortisol levels are highest in the early morning and lowest around midnight).
Cortisol is the body's primary stress hormone, and it plays a role in many bodily functions, including controlling blood sugar levels. High cortisol levels have shown to put the body in a "Fight or Flight" response.
If this is a prolonged issue that lasts weeks to months, the body will not have time to focus on anything other then survival.
Cortisol also plays a role in
Regulating the body's sleep-wake cycles
Managing how the body utilizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
Controlling blood pressure
How to help lower Cortisol levels
8 hours of quality sleep a night.
Healthy balanced diet
- Adrenal Cocktail – 1tsp Cream of tartar, 4oz orange juice, and 1tsp pink Himalayan salt.* To be taken for 30 consecutive days.
Food quality (Processed/Whole Foods)
Whole foods represent foods that retain their natural composition as well as contain no artificial additives or preservatives and have gone through little or no processing (i.e. cooking, grinding, or blending). Whole foods contain vitamins, minerals, water, fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, fiber and much more.
Our bodies have been in a tight relationship with whole foods for as long as we have been on this planet. We require the full spectrum nutrition for optimal functioning, which only whole foods can provide. Whole foods are much more nutrient-dense and provide the body with its vital vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body.
Here’s the category where almost 50% of Canadians calories come from – and where we should cut back. These foods go through multiple processes (extrusion, molding, milling, etc.), contain many added ingredients and are highly manipulated. Examples are soft drinks, chips, chocolate, candy, ice cream, sweetened breakfast cereals, packaged soups, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, fries and more. These foods are also much less nutrient-dense and much more calorically dense than their whole food counterparts.
What we eat has a big impact on our health, and processed foods like candy, soft drinks, pizza, and chips do not contain enough of the beneficial nutrients that the body requires. The more processed foods we eat, the poorer the overall nutritional quality of our diet. Also, switching your food choices to more whole, minimally processed foods will help aid in providing your body with the essential nutrients but also, will allow the body to burn energy more efficiently.
Changes in body composition
It can be very frustrating to exercise and eat a healthy diet only to see the number on the scale stay the same. However, just because your body weight isn’t changing doesn’t mean that your hard work isn’t paying off. Especially if you are exercising and following a proper meal plan for your body type, your body composition may be improving.
The scale will tell you how much your body weighs but it does not specify what your body is made up of. Body composition refers to everything in your body, split up into different compartments, fat mass and fat-free mass. Fat mass refers to all the fat tissue in your body including subcutaneous fat and visceral fat (the fat around your organs). Fat-free mass is everything else, including muscle, organs, bone, and fluid.
If both fat-free mass and fat mass change during a specific period, you might not see any change on the scale. For example, if you start exercising, you may gain two pounds of muscle in the first month. At the same time, you may lose two pounds of fat due to burning more calories through exercise or changes in your diet. Since your fat-free mass increased by the same amount as your fat mass decreased, your bodyweight won’t change, but your physical appearance will change.
If you focus on the number on the scale, you may become discouraged or frustrated because your program “isn’t working.” This is one example of why knowing your body composition is much more useful than knowing your body weight. This is why it is important to take progress pictures about every 2 weeks so that if you notice the weight on the scale doesn’t change but you look different and closer to your goals, it is a clear indication of a body composition change, and there is no need to get frustrated with your program.
It is important to remember that changes in body composition don’t occur overnight, this is a long process and week by week you might barley notice any changes but in the long term when you look back on your progress it will be clear how much your body has really changed.
We recommend only weighing yourself once a week, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Since your weight fluctuates daily based on how much water and food you have consumed.
To maximize your time spent exercising, consider choosing physical activities that burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. This typically involves using the large muscles of your lower body at a moderate or vigorous intensity.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, a 154-pound person can burn anywhere between 140 and 295 calories in 30 minutes doing cardiovascular exercise. Here are some different methods of cardio and the number of calories you can burn in 30 minutes:
Hiking: 185 calories
Dancing: 165 calories
Walking (3.5 mph): 140 calories
Running (5 mph): 295 calories
Bicycling (>10 mph): 295 calories
Swimming: 255 calories
Not Adjusting to your Body through Plateaus
As you continue through your weight loss goals, your body will hit plateaus. These plateaus are inevitable and will happen to everyone. When being in a small caloric deficit of 500 cal a day, eventually your body will adjust and you will stop losing fat at those calories. There are a few ways to combat a plateau in your weight loss journey.
- Decrease your calories by 150-250 per day
- Increase your cardio 10-15 min
- Try different training routines that implement more high-intensity training techniques
- Use a fat metabolizer or thermogenic fat burner
These different techniques will help you to break through those plateaus and to keep you making progress every week. By tracking your weight and taking pictures weekly it will be easy to track your progress.
You will most likely hit more than one plateau throughout your journey so it is important to always keep things fresh and interesting. Your body is very smart at adapting and becoming more efficient so we would recommend changing your cardio/workout routine every 4-6 weeks.
Remember, all weight loss is a process and it doesn't happen overnight. If you are struggling to lose those extra pounds try implementing some of the strategies listed in this blog.
At Platinum Supplements we carry a large variety of weight loss supplements, to help you in the process of increasing Energy, Endurance and Calories burned.
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