It’s Monday morning and you know the answer before you even get on the scale. You have been so meticulous about counting every calorie you ate and yet you are still unable to shift the excess weight. You hesitate as you step on the scale and you sigh as you see the number you expected, nothing has changed!
How did you even get to June without achieving your weight loss goal, especially when you followed the calorie restrictions to the exact number or less on some days? You find yourself feeling deflated and frustrated as weight loss has NEVER been this hard and you genuinely don’t understand why your body is not playing ball. You have waited months to be able to enjoy time out in public with friends and yet now you are dreading these nights out. You genuinely have nothing that fits you and that you feel good in. You feel the lump in your throat get bigger and you let the tears flow as you step into the shower to get ready for your day ahead.
So why is calorie counting not the solution to your problem?
You can count calories all you like, but if your body is inflamed, it will interfere with your body’s ability to lose weight. There are several ways in which inflammation can affect body weight.
When the immune system faces a threat of any kind (the same threat that might be impacting your thyroid) it will respond by releasing substances known as inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines can directly impact the body’s response to insulin and can therefore lead to the body becoming insulin resistant. You might not be diabetic or even pre-diabetic but gaining and storing weight around your waist is a good indication that your body is dealing with a greater demand for insulin.
Inflammation also interferes with leptin, a hormone which tells your brain when you have had enough to eat. When your body is inflamed it can impact this signalling, which again can lead to weight gain. This is less often the reason for those individuals who are counting calories, but helpful to understand the way that inflammation could be sabotaging your weight loss.
So, the answer you have all been waiting for is – how can you lose the excess weight if calorie counting is not working?
You need to understand what is causing your inflammation.
Some of the common causes of inflammation include:
- Blood sugar imbalances and not eating sufficient protein with meals
- Chronic stress, which can lead to elevated cortisol, resulting in increased abdominal fat
- Inflammatory diet. You might be counting calories, but are those calories nutrient dense or are they processed, refined, loaded with foods that are potentially an allergen to you?
- Nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D, iron, B12, folate, zinc
- High levels of toxins in your food, cosmetics, household cleaning products or environment. Toxins are stored in fat and will increase inflammation
- Exposure to mould in your home that you may not be aware of
- Gut infections that will keep your body inflamed
- Imbalance in gut bacteria can directly lead to inflammation
- Excessive exercise (you know when you are pushing it too hard)
The key to reducing the inflammation is to understand which of these (and there are more possible causes) might be adding fuel to your fire.
There are specific foods that you can eat that will help to reduce inflammation. Start by swapping out all the processed and refined foods for whole fruit and vegetables. Where possible cook from scratch and avoid condiments or sauces that might be loaded with pro-inflammatory ingredients. Limit your sugar intake as this is definitely THE most pro-inflammatory food in our diets today.
You can also aim to include some of the following foods that will help to combat inflammation.
- Oily fish (wild caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, trout)
- Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Olive oil
- Green tea
- Green leafy vegetables
- Coconut oil
You can significantly reduce inflammation by optimising your diet and by including anti-inflammatory foods. I also encourage you to work on creating a healthy sleep routine as sleep itself is an anti-inflammatory for your body. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day and do some form of exercise daily. Slowly start working on making healthier swaps for your cosmetics and make-up for some healthier alternatives, such as Tropic skincare and work on your household cleaning products too.
As a final thought I would like to stress that in many cases, especially in women with an under-active thyroid or Hashimoto’s, weight loss can be challenging, and it doesn’t start to happen until you get to the root of why your thyroid or immune system is behaving the way it is.
If you would like to know how you can reboot your thyroid to lose the excess weight, then book in for a free health breakthrough call with me.