Lifestyle Habits That Can Lead To Weight Gain
There are three reactions taking place in our body at any given moment: Physical, Psychological and Chemical
Whenever there is a problem in one of those systems, chemical (digestion), psychological (high stress levels, depression), physical (injuries) the body will drive most of its resources to “fix” that problem with the respective system.
It does this by taking resources from the other two systems. And this way they end up imbalanced.
It is important to identify the cause of your problem: weight loss, weight gain, injuries etc beforehand.
So today I would like to give you some examples of weight gain triggers from each system.
If you read the book “The Story Of The Human Body” by Daniel Lieberman, and other books on evolution, you will learn that we are meant to move.
And move a lot. Hunter gatherers used to walk 15km or more. Today we walk 10 min around Tesco and get food that’s already prepared for us.
Furthermore, the fact that our body is mobile, has joints, is a good hint that it is not supposed to sit but move in all ways possible. Bicep curls are not what I have in mind when I think about movement.
Too little physical movement
You probably walk 30 min a day or so and you think it’s enough. Allow me to disagree. In the society we live today we sit far too much for 30 min a day to be enough.
Maybe in the past when we used to work in different, more active conditions it was very good but today …. it is not enough. Walking is great but there is more needed: movement, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina.
Moreover, you can’t always, for the rest of your life, count the calories you intake and the energy you use. That’s just a burden if you ask me. So use up your energy by practicing some type of movement every day.
I give my clients 5 min, 8 min, 10 min routines to practice every day for a few weeks at a time, each of them at their own level, but they move their bodies as well as walk.
Too much training
Yes you can do that. When we do too much of the same thing, same routine over and over again without changing must you over train.
Under times of stress, such as exercise, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and its purpose is to maintain energy supply through the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and protein.
Cortisol is a double edge sword. When we are continually under stress, the body is constantly releasing cortisol. This triggers the release of sugar from the liver, which releases insulin from the pancreas, and which causes more fat storage.
The majority of harmful toxins come from medication, alcohol, cigarettes, and pesticides found in non-organic produce and processed products.
Your body protects itself from pollutants by building a layer of fat. It’s like an armour. When it can’t eliminate toxins, it stores them in your fat cells creating a type of buffer between the toxins and your body. And since the fat is protecting your body, its natural reaction is to protect itself by not burning the fat.
Exercising, breathing correctly, drinking water and eating the right foods will help your body eliminate those toxins, if done consistently and long term.
Create strong foundations which last for a lifetime.
Not eating truly nutritious foods.
Playing with food, this week good, next week bad, today was bad but yesterday was good is not the way to go. You will just go up and down, never finding a balance.
Aim to have a little bit of everything and a day when you can have anything you want.
If you keep the same diet for too long you plateau. A day off can get you out of the plateau.
Making too many exceptions and giving into cravings
If you want a lifestyle that is easy to maintain long term you need to stop thinking about food as a tasty, cultural treat and start seeing it as fuel for your body.
In essence that’s what food is: fuel. Food is not for us to play with and enjoy the taste. The taste is just an awesome add-on.
When this lesson sinks in, when you really understand it, your food choices will change. You will want only good quality fuel for your body and mind to function at its peak.
Not eating high quality foods that promote digestion
Fibre. We do not digest fibre but our body uses fibre for healthy digestion. Eating too much of it, particularly from sources such as pasta, creates bulk and we feel unwell, bloated, cramps etc.
When you eat the wrong foods your digestive tract suffers the consequences. This results in starvation response, which puts your body in fat storage mode and increases your hunger.
Eating too much, even if healthy
Quality and quantity are both important.
Carbs, fats and protein in high amounts will lead to fat storage. Your body can utilize a certain quantity of these essential macronutrients, it’s not infinite.
So if the body doesn’t use the nutrients for energy, or storage for later use, it will store the energy is in the adipose tissue, fat.
We mentioned cortisol earlier. High levels of stress release too much cortisol in the body which, leads to weight gain. In a tiny nutshell that’s how it works.
Stress, depression, worry all lead to unhealthy over eating and weight gain. We’ve all been there at one point in our lives.
However, I have experienced the stages myself and I can say that if you have good, solid foundations or food discipline habits in place, and they are automatic, emotional UNHEALTHY eating turns into emotional HEALTHY eating.
So instead of ice cream you will actually eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and other foods.
Negative self talk
Telling yourself all sort of negative things will not help either. You will only bring yourself into a position of stress, depression, worry and over eating.
If you have nothing particularly awesome to say, take action, change your habits, change your lifestyle accordingly and get yourself into the position where every day you have something awesome to say about yourself.
If you’d like to talk more about the three reaction do get in touch.