So, you’ve been trying to make positive changes to your health but you feel like you are putting in a lot of effort with no results. Have you been trying to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your general health for what seems like forever, but you continuously feel like its too hard? I know exactly how this feels! Ladies, I personally went through years of my life eating healthy and exercising but would always fall back into the same old habits. It has taken some time but after addressing some of my own thyroid, nutrition and hormonal issues, I have been able to stick to my nutrition goals for a couple years (even throughout a few of my pregnancies). I am so happy to finally say goodbye to the yo-yo results and kick those nasty sugar cravings once and for all!
That being said, there are some roadblocks that are preventing you from meeting your goals. I have compiled a list of common reasons why you may not be seeing results when you feel like you are giving it your best!
- Stress – I am making this number one because this is so much more of a big deal than we make it seem. Personally, when I have a very stressful week my whole body is affected (hello cortisol). Suddenly, I’m not digesting food properly and my sleep is affected. Our entire body is completely thrown off from stress. The body will do whatever it takes to store body fat and keep you safe while you are stressed. That being said, do your best to find ways to deal with life’s curve balls. I know so much of our daily stress is out of our control but we need to support our bodies ability to deal with stress when we can’t change our circumstances. Personally, I exercise, take dance classes and support my adrenal glands with natural herbal products.
- Avoiding Certain Macronutrients- Macronutrients are the protein, fat and carbohydrate sources of our foods. Too often I find women cutting their carbs way down or not eating enough fat. When you don’t have the right balance of macros you are basically doomed. Your body will fight you to get what it needs for fuel . Personally, I love to track macros. It gives me a goal and allows flexibility in my diet. Each of our bodies are unique in their needs and therefore the perfect macro count will vary person to person. If you are new to counting and want to give it a try, go with 45% carbs 30% protein and 25% fat . If this works for you that’s great but don’t be surprised if you need to tweak a little here and there to find what your body needs. Some people may need a higher percentage of fat or carbohydrates but this is a good starting point.
- Too Few Calories- Women are totally prone to this. We want to cut out calories to loose body fat and then we end up overdoing it. Our bodies need calories for proper hormone health. If you cut your calories too low you will end up bingeing it all back and adding more fat than you started with. I’ve been there before and it is not worth it. Keep your calories as close to maintenance level as you can. Then, slowly take away 100 at a time until you see some results. Doing it this way you will get sustainable results instead of the constant yo-yo effect.
- Not Enough Water- If you aren’t drinking enough water you are bound to have some water retention and could hold onto excess water weight. I always go by the rule that you need to have 8 glasses minimum a day. The biggest problem many of us have is we also drink coffee, diet pop and alcohol. All these suck the water from your body and lead to chronic dehydration. Every time you drink one of these beverages you should also add 2 glasses of water to your daily intake!
- Nutrient Deprived Foods- It’s good to track your calories or macros but if your diet still consists of sugar, salt and packaged goods you will suffer the consequences. Your body will crave bad foods if you don’t give it food from the Earth. Fill your plates will veggies, greens, meats and a small amount of whole grains. The more whole the food source the better. This way your body will be content with the vitamins it’s given and the cravings will be gone!
- Skipping Meals – You are a super busy mom and don’t have time to eat. I totally get it. I have five kids, but you know what, you need to make this a priority! You can’t be a happy, good mama if you’re “hangry” and you won’t reach your goals either. Snacking on kids mac n’ cheese instead of giving your body a whole, healthy, protein rich meal won’t help your body one bit.
- Bites, Licks and Tastes (BLT’s) – My personal favorite and reason I still can’t see my own abs. I love to bite, lick and taste it all. I have fear of missing out and you likely do to. These little nibbles add up though and if you don’t have much body fat to loose it may be preventing you from seeing wee little baby abs. Chew some gum, drink herbal tea and do your best to stay clear of the BLT’s.
- Inflammation/Food intolerance- As a child I was intolerant to almost everything, wheat, dairy, gluten and even food colouring. It totally changed my behavior when my mom took these foods out of my diet. I went from a child almost diagnosed with ADHD to an attentive student basically overnight. That being said, food effects us differently as adults. Food sensitivities still create the same problems but they show up in sneakier ways. Bloating, gas, eczema and many other health conditions are directly related to food intolerances. If you are struggling and have tried everything I recommend eliminating some of the common food sensitivities and see if that helps.
- Sleep Deprived– You have heard it 1000 times before. Sleep and muscle recovery go hand in hand. Aim for 8 hours a night and you could be on your way to achieving your goals. I realize this isn’t easy though (going on a year breastfeeding again over here) but we can do our best!
- Underlying Health Issues- Finally, I don’t want to ignore the fact that many of us are being missed when it comes to our health diagnosis’. I have uncommon form of hypothyroidism and struggled for a long time. After multiple unsuccessful diagnosis’ with my family physician I connected with an amazing naturopath and paid for private bloodwork. Working with her was the only way we could discover my “special case” of hypothyroidism. Sometimes we need to fight for our health. Even simple things like being anemic (iron deficient) are overlooked. Hormones and deficiencies can effect our health in so many ways. Do your research and fight for it. You are worth It.
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*Disclaimer – I am not at health care professional. Every person is different so please seek medical advice from your medical professional before making changes to your heath care plan.