When you are trying to lose weight, there are often hidden road blocks that hinder your weight loss journey. Naturopath Annie Stewart, from NSW, lists seven simple hacks to help you get rid of those stubborn kilos.
1. Adopt a Blood Glucose Stabilising Diet: The foundation of any successful weight loss journey is a well balanced diet. One of the crucial elements to consider is blood glucose stabilisation.
When your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly, it can lead to cravings and overeating. Glycemic load refers to the amount of carbohydrates consumed multiplied by how fast your blood sugar spikes.
The higher the glycemic load the larger a sugar spike, the more likely you are to trigger fat storage.
High glycemic load meals have been shown to limit the availability of metabolic fuels in the late postprandial period (about 3-5 hours after eating), decrease fat oxidation (ability to burn fat), lowers energy expenditure (fatigue), stimulates stress hormone secretion (cortisol), and increases voluntary food intake shortly after (snack attack!). These effects have been reported in several studies.
2. Stabilise your blood sugar: Apple cider vinegar before meals has been shown to cut your blood sugar spike by 30%. Take 2 tablespoons before each meal. Other tips:
● 30 minutes of walking after a meal cuts your blood sugar spike by up to 50%
● Calf raises post meal can trigger muscle glucose uptake, significantly reducing the blood sugar spike.
● Eat your veggies first - Your mum was right, not only increasing your fibre, but the order in which you eat your food has been shown to affect the way your body metabolises sugars.
● Prioritise protein with every meal - nuts and seeds, legumes, quinoa, nutritional yeast, greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, lean animal meats, eggs
3. Fibre is your friend: Fibre is a powerful ally in your weight loss journey. Not only does it provide a feeling of fullness, but it also aids in digestion and influences your microbiome. Fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help you feel satisfied with fewer calories.
It also serves as a bulking agent, aiding in the elimination of waste and toxins from your body, regulating your bowels and reducing the risk of constipation - which can be a common issue during weight loss.
4. Improve your microbiome: The trillions of microorganisms residing in your gut play a significant role in your overall health and surprisingly your weight.
Research has established a potential correlation between body weight and the microbiome. DNA analysis has shown that obese subjects may have a different microbiome composition to lean subjects.
Gut bacterial composition is able to influence how energy is stored as well as influence glycemic control and satiety hormones.
To promote a healthy microbiome, include probiotic-rich foods like greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and lots of variety.
Prebiotic foods like garlic, onions, asparagus, broccoli and carrots can help nourish the beneficial gut bacteria.
Specific probiotics can be a useful adjunct to dietary programs to control weight, metabolic markers and body composition.
Try including a probiotic that contains Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (B-420™)
5. Address chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation can be a significant obstacle to weight loss due to its detrimental effects on insulin sensitivity.
When the body is in a state of chronic inflammation, as seen in conditions like obesity or certain autoimmune disorders, it can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and promoting the storage of excess energy as fat.
Inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of insulin, making cells less responsive to its signal. This results in higher levels of insulin being produced to compensate, which can promote fat storage and hinder the breakdown of stored fat for energy.
Moreover, insulin resistance can increase cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods, making it harder for individuals to maintain a healthy diet and lose weight.
Figuring out where your inflammation is coming from is essential in being able to address it properly.
Things to consider, chronic autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities/intolerances, stress, and poor sleep can all increase inflammation in the body.
6. Address your hormones: If you're been facing challenges in achieving weight loss despite your efforts, its essential to recognise that hormonal imbalances could be a contributing factor.
Hormones, such as sex hormones, stress hormones and metabolic hormones play a crucial role in regulating your body weight management mechanisms.
For women, hormonal imbalances can manifest in various ways. Excess estrogen levels, for instance can lead to the accumulation of fat deposits.
Conditions like PCOS may further aggravate the situation by increasing androgens, which can worsen insulin resistance and promote weight gain, among other symptoms.
During the transition into perimenopause and menopause (typically occurring between the ages of 40 and 50), hormonal fluctuations become more pronounced, making weight loss increasingly challenging.
Estrogen, a hormone vital for maintaining insulin sensitivity, tends to decline during this phase, potentially resulting in insulin resistance and the development of abdominal fat.
In men, assessing testosterone levels is critical when addressing weight management concerns. Low testosterone levels can hinder the body’s ability to efficiently utilise fat for energy.
Furthermore, considering the prevalence of endocrine disruptos in the environment, its worth examining whether external factors may be impacting hormone levels, contributing to weight-related difficulties.
7. Consider berberine: Berberine, a natural compound found in various plants, has garnered attention for its potential benefits in weight management and glucose metabolism.
Research suggests that berberine can be as effective as the medication metformin improving glucose metabolism.
It may help your cells use insulin more efficiently, reducing insulin resistance - a common issue in overweight individuals. While berberine supplements are available, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding them to your regime.
You can find Annie on instagram @ajhealth__