Some common weight loss issues are:
“I have reduced my food consumption (calorie intake) but the weight loss is not so significant. In fact I lost 3 to 4 kilos initially but now it is stagnant and I am not able to lose more”
“I exercise a lot but I don’t see myself losing weight”
“I have lost some weight but I feel fatigued, tired and don’t feel happy about it and I see the lost weight coming back”
These statements sum up the present weight loss scenario. People suddenly decide to lose weight or their healthcare provider tells them that they have to lose their excess kilos. Most of the time, people react with some quick measures like skipping breakfast or joining a health club which makes them lighter by a few kilos, but all or most of the lost weight returns as soon as the quick fixes are stopped and on many occasions, they start gaining the lost weight even when they continue the “quick fixes” that they started. Sometimes, people start on a popular diet fad like the fruit and vegetable diet or the no-carbohydrate diet. They lose some weight which they regain fairly quickly as they are not able to sustain it.
The problem is rooted in the belief, which is prevalent even among many healthcare professionals, that weight reflects the excess of calorie consumption only. So, the logical conclusion is either cut down the calorie consumption or burn more calories to balance the equation:
Calories in – Calorie out = Weight (A kilogram of weight has 7000 calories)
The above conclusion is logically correct. But the flaw in it is that we have a body and mind, which make their own decisions as to how much of what we eat should become fat so that our very survival is not in danger. This creates hurdles for weight loss, which can be grouped into three broad categories –
A healthy functioning of all the hormones, sufficient sleep, a balanced nutritional intake and minimal intermittent stress are all factors that contribute towards a sustainable and healthy weight loss.
Why unscientific reduction of calorie intake does not result in weight loss?
BMR is the calories spent by the body to maintain itself, which includes vital functions such as immunity. For example, if one eats 2000 calories, BMR would consume around 1500 calories. If we reduce the calorie consumption by 500 with a fond hope of losing a kilogram in 14 days (500 x 14 = 7000 calories), it may not materialize, because the body regulates the BMR to survive the perceived famine. If the regulation of BMR equals the calorie reduction, which is quite possible, there may not be any weight loss. The downside of this is the calories saved by the body to ward off the perceived famine, lands up in the belly as fat.
Cutting down on food intake may backfire and add belly-fat to the body.
This is especially true for Indians because we have the monsoon gene (a gene that came up to enable survival for many years as India was dependent on monsoon for food).
When you reduce calories, some people do lose weight but it may be muscle instead of fat making the Indians “thin-fat” people. Indians don’t eat excessive amounts of food. We eat foods that are mostly quick digesting foods. For example, breakfast of a typical Indian consists of quick digesting foods like idlis, instant cooking oats, breads, corn flakes, juices, milk and that causes an insulin spike, which results in the fat accumulation cycle. The other meals also largely comprise of quick digesting foods and therefore the fat storage cycle continues.
Hormones are essentially messengers in the body.
Insulin is a master hormone with many functions, some of which are:
Stopping the glucose production by the liver
Stopping the release of fat from fat stores
Signaling of hunger
When insulin is weak in the blood, the first three functions get impaired, while the last two functions get accelerated. This is called Insulin Resistance (IR), the effect of which is as follows:
IR in the muscle cells:
The nutrients cannot enter the cells. This causes fatigue and the cravings for more sugar.
IR causes excess hunger:
Normally the food we eat should last for 3.5 to 4 hours. The hunger induced by IR occurs earlier than 4 hours (in most occasions 1.5 to 2 hours) and this is the reason for frequent tea drinking, nibbling like biscuits and snacks, smoke breaks, irritability, etc.
IR in the fat cells:
The function of the fat cells is to store the excess energy and release it when the body is in need of energy. When there is weak insulin (during IR period), the insulin does not allow the fat cells to function effectively and fat cells continue to release excess energy even though there is enough energy in the form of glucose in the blood. All the excess fat in the blood stream is then deposited as fat in the belly.
Inflammation is the body’s tool to protect itself from injuries and infections. But when it is in excess due to IR, it causes joint pains and fatigue on many occasions.
An average adult needs seven hours of sound sleep
Lack of good quality sleep reduces thyroid hormone, growth hormone, increases cortisol and makes the insulin weak. This leads to fatigue at the start of the day leading to emotional, stress eating and eating quick digesting foods.
Causes the person to go towards the fat storage mode more easily. Scientific mind processes can enable individuals to reduce their intermittent stress.
Scientifically designed balanced nutrition and lifestyle can correct all the above factors and help a person lose weight sustainably.
Don’t blame yourself if your body shuns the physical activity and craves for comfort foods. The Insulin Resistance prevalent among fat people sends the false signal of starvation to the brain. What does a starved animal do?
- Conserve energy by reducing the physical activity
- Seek food (emotional eating)
This is exactly what the body of a fat person induces him to do. So the best way to lose excess weight is with the help of a good nutrition plan, so that the body and mind cooperate with your weight loss efforts.
Society may scorn a fat person. But quite often, close family and friends may consider a person sick if they lose weight, because they associate plumpness with good health. For instance, Ramesh gave up smoking 30 years ago and lost 20 kilos and kept it off for more than 15 years. It was easier for him to give up smoking than to lose weight. This is likely, as his friends and family are more likely to support his attempt to quit smoking as compared to reducing his daily consumption of food. But, while losing weight, he had to hear comments like:
“You were carrying your weight so well, why do you want to lose it?”
“Since you lost weight you are looking weak”
On most occasions, an individual looks for advice from friends, family and acquaintances, who may not have complete knowledge and experience in the area of weight loss or good health – which further derails the process.
These are some of the reasons why only 1% of the people succeed in weight loss i.e., losing weight and keeping it off for at least 5 years successfully.
My daughter and I are part of that 1% to have lost weight & sustained the weight loss and have also helped many clients lose weight substantially.
For more information on Insulin Resistance, refer to Insulin Resistance
Our Service Offerings:
- We can help you lead a healthy & active lifestyle, if you follow all what we recommend
- We make programs that are flexible to suit the individual’s lifestyle
- We incorporate individual’s favourite foods into the program
- We educate individuals to make their weight loss & health goals sustainable
- We help our clients become self-reliant and independent to make healthy food choices for themselves
- We transition people seamlessly into a healthy active lifestyle using practical nutrition, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy along with scientific mind and body processes
- We help with sleep and stress related issues as well, as they impact weight