Diabetes, Dieting, Nutrition

That Have Nothing to Do With Calories

Are you frustrated because you’re not losing weight? Have you done your best to diet but the pounds just aren’t coming off? What the heck is going on?

Contrary to what we’re often told, sometimes it’s not just about calorie count. If you’re not losing weight (but feel like you’re doing everything “you should”), here are 3 things that might be going on that are sabotaging your weight loss:

#1 Pre-Diabetes

With our overweight, fast-food packed world, pre diabetes and diabetes are growing to epic levels. And having pre-diabetes can cause you to gain weight – and keep it on – even if you’re watching your calories.

Why is this?

Because diabetes (type 2 – the most common type) is a disorder of the insulin-blood sugar regulation mechanism in your body. Basically, under normal circumstances, insulin moves the sugar in your blood to go into your cells (so your cells can get nourishment).This keeps your blood sugar within a healthy range (because the insulin is removing the excess and putting it into your cells).

The insulin is like a key to open the lock of the cell so the sugar can get it.

In pre-diabetes (and eventually full blown diabetes), the lock on the cell doesn’t fit the key very well – so the insulin doesn’t work as well as it should. This causes your blood sugar to rise and in an effort to keep it down, your pancreas spits out higher and higher levels of insulin.

Here’s the problem – insulin is a “fat-storing” hormone. So when there are high insulin levels in your body, it is a signal for your body to stay in this fat-storing mode and not fat-burning mode. The higher insulin in the blood keeps your body in fat-storing mode and the weight gain cycle really begins – you can’t lose weight no matter how hard you try. (It’s a bit more complicated than this but that’s an overview of how it works)

If you think you may have prediabetes, there are lots of things you can do – you’re not doomed to diabetes. See your doctor who will do some fasting blood sugar and other tests on you to tell if this is the case.

There are also diet delivery services like Nutrisystem and Diet To Go (low carb) that have programs for diabetics – so you can lose weight with food that keeps insulin levels low.

 #2 Time of Day Eating

 This really affects some people – whereas others don’t notice it at all. This is all about when you eat the majority of your calories. Some people call this the upside down diet or the pyramid approach to eating.

Basically it goes like this: If you eat the majority of your calories before 2:00 p.m. (and especially in the morning for breakfast), you’ll lose weight easily and quickly. However this also works in reverse.

If you eat the majority of your calories at night you will actually gain weight (even if you’re eating a low calorie diet).

Why is this?

Basically it’s because your body burns up most of the food you eat at breakfast and lunch during the day. But at night, your metabolism is slowing down (since your body is gearing down for sleep and it knows it won’t need as much). So if you eat most of your calories at night – they’ll go into your fat stores. If you eat the same amount of calories per day – but put most of them in the morning – you’ll actually lose weight.

Again, this isn’t the case for everyone – but it might just work for you if you’re not losing the weight you want on your current diet.

#3 Stress Hormones Are Keeping You Fat

Stress hormones like cortisol are another thing (like insulin above) that will keep your body from burning fat. In fact high stress hormones will actually encourage the body to put ON fat – especially in the lower belly. If you’re not losing weight, ask yourself if you’ve been especially stressed out about something.

Then try to take steps to lower your cortisol levels. Some ways to do this are:

  • Deep breathing exercises every day
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Get a massage
  • Take a walk with a friend or loved one
  • Write in a journal
  • Take an Epsom salts bath

So those are 3 reasons you might not be losing weight even though you’re doing everything right with regards to your diet. Weight loss can be a challenge but don’t give up! Keep doing the right thing and eventually you will reach your goal!


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