The motivation to lose weight can be very hard to find, particularly when you’ve often tried and failed before. Or when you’ve tried, done it… and then put it all back on again.
Comes a point when you just give up, accept that you are the weight and size you are and you’re stuck with it.
But the truth is that this is the best time to understand why it is that you can’t lose weight – or keep it off when you have.
In this article, we’re going to look at several things that affect your weight and are totally out of your control. These include:
After we’ve looked at the above, we’ll look at how to prepare your body to find the motivation to lose weight.
Hormones and weight loss
When you say “it’s my hormones”, people smile and give you knowing looks. But your hormones have a huge effect on your motivation, metabolism and mood.
If you’re under long term stress at work or at home, your body releases a type of adrenalin called cortisol, a hormone that affects their body shape.
And the problem is abdominal fat tends to stick around even if the original stress has passed. Why? Because by that time, your stress is about your body shape, but your hormones can’t tell the difference between the original stress and the stress about weight gain, so it just keeps pumping out the cortisol.
A study of 6,700 nurses published in the International Journal of Obesity by Overgaard et al (2004) indicated that stress and its accompanying hormone changes – due to workload in the case of those nurses – is a major contributor to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.
It really is your hormones.
Anxiety and weight loss
Anxiety, a close relative of stress, also affects hormones.
Stress and anxiety tend to go together and as a result your body shape changes over time. The more anxious you are, the more it affects your hormones.
Weirdly anxiety can also result in weight loss. Ever heard the expression “she lives on her nerves” about a very thin woman? That’s the anxiety – and that’s not healthy either.
Medication and weight loss
Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win.
Many people do not understand that when you say “my medication makes me fat”, you are telling the unvarnished truth.
But when you have a life threatening condition like diabetes, auto inflammatory disease or epilepsy, it’s important that you keep taking the medication to keep you alive.
Anti depressants, birth control pills and antibiotics are also necessary for your health in certain circumstances
Unfortunately, that same medication makes you really hungry. All the time.
The reason farmers fill their animals with antibiotics? It makes them gain weight. It also makes you gain weight.
And there’s nothing like having a baby to make you gain weight.
Metabolism and weight loss
Some are born with a slow metabolism.
Some have slow metabolism thrust upon them.
Some people just have slower metabolisms than others. They are born that way. Which means that the “average” calorie intake for an adult tends to put weight on them.
Alternatively, those who originally had average metabolisms and gained weight, lost it, gained it back again (and more) – known as yoyo dieting – tend to develop slower metabolisms through dieting.
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health on contestants from The Biggest Loser indicated that those who lose a lot of weight are more likely to gain most of it back and can even put on more weight than before they lost it.
Their bodies went into famine mode and never came out again.
What’s the answer? How to lose weight
The answer lies in preparing your body through addressing your stress, balancing your gut and letting your body know that this is not a famine.
Stress can be reduced through gentle movement or stretching like yoga, Tai Chi or Chi Gung. Meditation can also help.
You can begin to balance your gut through adding a probiotic to your diet. My favourite is Bio Kult, but there are other brands. Make sure you choose one with many strains, rather than just one.
Living food can also help: bio active yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are some examples of living food.
Add a fresh juice or smoothie to your diet. Not bought from a store, but made at home in your own juicer or blender. Fresh fruit and vegetables are incredibly nourishing. Nourishment tends to reduce hunger.