There is nothing more frustrating than doing everything right when it comes to weight loss and still being unable to lose weight! What’s even more frustrating is when someone tells you to work out more and eat less to solve the problem. Thanks, tips!
If anyone’s body hates to lose weight it’s mine! If anyone ever tells me to workout more and eat less again they’re likely to get a punch in the face. I can work out 2 hours a day, eat next to nothing and my weight won’t budge.
I often see women in my practice who are exercising, barely eating but still can’t lose a pound OR continue to gain. This phenomenon is happening more and more in North American women these days with weight loss resistance swiftly becoming the new norm. For many, there is no fancy 21-day quick fix or hard-core boot camp that is going to do the trick. For women like myself there needs to be some intense interventions to shock the system into finally letting go of the weight.
To have success with majority of the interventions I’m sharing with you, you MUST get control of eating habits. If you are an emotional eater or have any health problems either physical or emotional, you need to deal with those things first – otherwise you will run the risk of losing a shit ton of weight only to gain it all back plus some. Believe me – I see lots of women who have done the same!
No diet, no weight loss hack will EVER work if you have not dealt with the emotional aspects of your weight problem. If this is you then the answer is seeking out help or begin doing some soul searching before attempting any more diets. However, if you fit the following profile then it may be time to take things a step further;
- You have tried multiple diets and either lose a few pounds or none
- You eat well 80% of the time which means whole foods, low sugar, low to no processed foods
- You have a regular exercise regime
I have rounded up my 10 top weight loss hacks to help you get the scale moving down and keep it down. Warning: some of these are controversial and are not for everyone. I recommend working with a health care professional before attempting any of the following…
1. Liver cleanse
The liver is a key regulator of hormones and a dysfunctional liver can result in abnormal levels of key hormones that play a big part in weight loss. If the liver is overtaxed, the immune system cannot efficiently handle the toxic load. Symptoms of a taxed liver can include WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE, allergies, food intolerances, chemical sensitivities, skin rashes and chronic inflammation. Now before you run out and buy a liver cleanse, I don’t mean clean up your liver for 10 days and think “Sweet all is good, I lost a few pounds time to go back to normal!” I mean cleanse your liver for at least 3 months! Start with a quality liver cleanse for 6 weeks to begin detoxing and follow it up with continued daily support with herbs such as Milk Thistle, Dandelion root, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) and curcumin.
2. Stop drinking
Quitting drinking can be the only weight loss hack a woman needs to get that scale moving downwards! I don’t mean cutting back here either I mean totally get rid of it for good! Besides the obvious of it being hard on your liver, consumption of alcohol raises estrogen levels and slows down fat burning. The older we get the worse we are effected. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, when our alcohol consumption goes up, our diet quality tends to go down. Who wants to eat a salad when they are hung over? Let’s not forget that depending on what you drink, those extra calories can add up to a thousand calories or more per week. Swap out alcohol for healthier habit that helps de-stress your life and you may find the weight finally begins to come off!
Sleep has a massive impact on our weight and is something that is commonly overlooked and undervalued. When we sleep we reset two key hormones in hunger – Leptin and Ghrelin .
These two hormones are the most potent hunger controls out there. Both hormones, help us to regulate appetite and hunger. When you go for periods of time with not enough sleep this will impact these two hormones and drive you to eat more food. Not only that it has been scientifically proven that lack of sleep creates stronger cravings for high calorie foods. Studies showed the more sleep deprived people were – the more they wanted junk food. Aim to get a solid 7.5 or more of solid sleep every night.
Did you know that over 90% of weight loss resistance is hormonal! Hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, insulin and thyroid are some of the more common hormones that when out of balance can cause weight loss resistance. Your hormones control every aspect of weight loss including your metabolism, where you store your fat, how much you eat and how often you want to! This means any degree of hormonal imbalance will sabotage your efforts – regardless of your diet and exercise habits. If you exhibit signs of hormonal imbalance I highly recommend having your hormones tested! You can purchase an at home hormone test kit here.
5. Change your diet
This may seem like an obvious one if you have a crappy diet but I am talking to the women that eat a clean diet and have been following the same eating style for a long period of time. Maybe you have been Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Ketogenic, raw etc. and to begin with you likely had some good results when you first started the diet but your weight has long since plateaued. An example of this is the Ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb, moderate protein) which initially jump starts weight loss for a lot of women but can further slow down thyroid and/or worsen the adrenal system for any women who suffer with any thyroid issues or moderate to high stress levels, thus eventually leading to weight loss stalls and/or gains. On the other side of the spectrum if you eat a diet low in fat with lean proteins and complex carbs like sprouted wheat it can drive blood sugar dysregulation, create inflammation and deplete the body of essential fats to help make hormones. All of which can cause, you guessed it, weight loss resistance! Try carb cycling with a low carb or keto diet or switch completely to something different and try it out for 30 days.
6.Up your fiber
Fiber can impact some of the above-mentioned hacks. It helps the body remove toxins, in turn lightening the load off the liver. Fiber binds to excess harmful estrogens and can help balance your hormones. Fiber keeps the bowels moving, gives you a sense of satiety and helps feed good gut bacteria including the ones that help with weight and hormone regulation. Aim for 35 grams a fiber a day!
7. Extreme diets
Once again, I will mention it is crucial to have a healthy eating practice in place before trying the following diets or they will have little chance of being sustained!
HCG 2.0: A modern adaptation of the original HCG diet that was first published by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in 1954. HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. Theory behind HCG is that the hormone, in small amounts, allows the body to burn up excess abnormal fat stores in the body and has been shown to help reduce fat cells. HCG 2.0 utilizes current research into a variety of topics such as low-carb, ketosis dieting to modernize Dr. Simeons protocol. With his original research and concepts combined with low calorie ketogenic diet you can lose big amounts of weight in short amounts of time. I have personally seen HCG 2.0 work very well for women and men. HCG is available through a prescription with Naturopathic doctors who specialize in the HCG diet. You can read more about HCG 2.0 here. If you are interested in learning more about HCG call your local Naturopathic offices to find a provider. In Kamloops call Dr. Tracy Levins or Dr. Steven Jones at Kamloops Naturopathic Clinic.
Ideal Protein: The goal of the Ideal Protein diet is to stabilize blood sugar and promote weight loss by providing your body with an optimal amount of protein. The program involves purchasing proportioned, prepackaged Ideal Protein foods specifically formulated so they’re low in carbohydrates and fat. The Ideal Protein diet restricts carbohydrate intake to deplete your body’s stored glucose to encourage your body to burn fat for fuel. Within about three days on the diet, your glucose reserves run out, and your body begins burning fat, according to the Hans D Gruenn Medical Center. I have seen ideal protein work well for people with weight loss resistance. To learn more about Ideal Protein check if anyone in your local area provides the program. In Kamloops check out Pratt’s Pharmacy Wellness Weight Loss Program
8. Three foods, 2x a week
Reducing variety is one of the most eﬀective strategies for spontaneously decreasing calorie intake. This was demonstrated quite dramatically by Chris Voigt, the executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, who went on a two-month potato-only diet to demonstrate the health beneﬁts of potatoes. Though his goal was not speciﬁcally to lose weight, his calorie intake spontaneously decreased from an average of 2,200 calories a day to 1,600 calories a day while eating nothing but potatoes (and a small amount of cooking oil).
A less extreme way of beneﬁting from this strategy is to pick three foods and eat nothing else for two days a week. Choose foods that will provide a relatively balanced diet, such as a starch (e.g., potato), a protein (e.g., chicken, beef, ﬁsh) and a green vegetable (e.g., broccoli). Potatoes are a particularly good choice since they are so satiating. Cook everything gently and add only a small amount of fat, a single spice or seasoning, and a small amount of salt. This method can help speed up weight loss and also break through weight loss plateaus thanks to the natural reduction of calories and little food reward.
9. Stop doing cardio
“WTF KAREN are you crazy!” I know it sounds crazy but if you once again live a high stress lifestyle and you are experiencing signs of too high or too low cortisol levels (your stress hormones) cardio could be adding fuel to the fire. Cortisol dysregulation is one of the main issues I see in my practice preventing women from losing weight. I tell these women that switching out their daily 5 k run for an hour of yoga may actually help with their weight loss efforts. If you suspect your stress levels are too high, switch to lifting weights which doesn’t impact your cortisol like cardio does. Plus, bonus hack, for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving one of those muscles!
10) Stop dieting
My final bit of advice and will unfortunately be disregarded by most, is stop dieting and accept your body. Sometimes are body just simply likes being exactly where it’s at. Thanks to modern day media we are led to believe we should have 6 pack abs and a rock-hard ass. Women are naturally supposed to carry fat on their bodies especially after certain times in our life like pregnancy and menopause. If you have been fighting your body for what seems to be a lifetime maybe it’s time to switch your focus on loving and accepting exactly what you have. Believe it or not this small but very challenging piece of advice can help you lose weight. I don’t know if it’s because we quit stressing about it or maybe without the pressure we put on ourselves we don’t turn to sugar as often but I have seen it work and I also have seen women just simply become happier and more content in their lives when they quit fighting their own bodies on a daily basis.