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This amazing article was written by Nicole, a holistic nutritionist with a strong belief that it is possible for everyone to discover how good their body is designed to feel. Nicole works in partnership with her clients to achieve a lifestyle that is both balanced, fulfilling and nourishing. Go check out her fantastic blog with healthy recipes, or follow her on Facebook!

Are you working hard at changing your diet, but the weight you’re looking to lose isn’t coming off? These are some of the top trends I am seeing with my clients as to why the extra weight isn’t budging, even with a real food approach.

You Have Underlying Hormonal Imbalances

If the body is in a state of adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance or if the thyroid is imbalanced, then the body needs to become chemically balanced before weight loss can successfully occur.

Hormones play a large role in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and if the body is chemically imbalanced then weight loss is not the priority.

Stress also plays a role in this point, as increased cortisol levels can be contributed to weight gain for most people.

Your Body Is In An Energy Deficit

If there are fewer calories going in than going out, over time the body begins to believe that food is scarce. This results in the body holding onto fat as a form of protection. If you aren’t providing yourself with enough food then the body saves energy by reducing body temperature aka. slowing down your metabolism!

This makes digestion weaker, reduces your pulse and slows down thyroid function. This is a survival response, your body doesn’t realize that you’re trying to lose weight, your body just knows that it is not getting in enough energy to optimally function and it begins to shut down to save energy.

You’re Eating Foods Your Body Cannot Digest

When you eat foods that your body isn’t able to properly break down and digest, foods end up working against you.

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If you have nutritional deficiencies than the body is more sensitive to foods that are harder to digest. Often this being dairy and gluten, when you eat foods that you aren’t digesting you are not actually absorbing and assimilating nutrients.

You Cut Out Carbs or Sugar

You want to eat the right carbohydrates that are essential for stimulating the thyroid to convert thyroid hormone T4 to T3 in the liver. Without glycogen storage in the liver from consumption of carbohydrates the body will not make enough of this conversion.

You’re Overdoing Cheat Days

If your cheat days are more of a binge-eating-marathon opposed to one special meal, you might be sabotaging your health and weight loss results. Just because you are eating clean all week does not mean that a cheat day is not going to affect your body.

These cheat meals add up, and consuming an extraordinarily large amount of nutrient deficient foods contributes to weight gain.

Remember that your body doesn’t know it’s a cheat day, it just knows that it has a whole plate of alfredo pasta and a chocolate brownie to digest and deal with.

Without encouraging orthorexia – if your body can’t burn all those macronutrients you just ate, it stores it as fat and it makes your body sluggish. Eat well to feel well. Enjoy the occasional treat, just practice moderation.

You’re Eating too much of Nature’s Candy

Many seem to think that because fruit is natural, that it can be eaten in infinite amounts. However many benefit from limiting fruit or fructose consumption.

Fruit contains a natural form of sugar called fructose, however this form of sugar is not a preferred source of fuel for the body, as the body uses glucose for energy production.

The fructose in fruit is primarily metabolized by the liver and stored as fat if there is no other use for it, fructose adds up quickly – and it is the fructose in HFCS (glucose-fructose syrup) and agave that proposes an issue as concentrated forms of fructose can contribute to obesity and the development of a fatty liver.

It is best to limit fructose consumption to 15-20g – To see what that looks like, check out my Fructose Content in Fruits Handout.

Your Body’sNot There Yet

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Weight loss is not a priority when your body and internal organs are not nourished. You cannot take a short cut to weight loss, it should come only after the body is healthy enough to do it naturally.

“YOU NEED TO BE HEALTHY TO LOSE WEIGHT, NOT LOSE WEIGHT TO BE HEALTHY.”

-DIANA SCHWARZBEIN

Your Environment Isn’t Right

Being with someone who is on a similar path as you plays a huge factor in your how you will achieve your goals. You can’t expect to shed the weight if your partner is suggesting takeout and baked goods and encourages you to sleep instead of hitting the gym.

Build the communication of your goals with your partner, find compromises and make healthy alternatives to regular habits.

You’re Not Giving It Your All

What you might consider healthy might not actually be healthy for you. There is a huge difference in a weight loss plan that you have created yourself (with info from tv & internet), and a Customized Wellness or Meal Plan that was designed by a Holistic Nutritionist.

While chicken is good for you, low-fat chicken fingers would not be. Your optimal health is going to come from whole, fresh foods and not from those with clever marketed packaging with key words such as “Diet” “Low-Calorie” “Low-Fat” and “Gluten-Free” (working with a Holistic Nutritionist has its benefits)

 You Exercise on an Empty Stomach

When you exercise in the morning, before your first meal you have not broken the fast that you have been participating in all night as you sleep.

When you go to exercise without fueling yourself, the body burns muscle for energy – not fat.

Give yourself energy (food) to make it through a workout, you don’t need to eat a large meal, just try having an egg or two with some microgreens or spinach at least 1 hour (ideally two) before hitting the gym or the pavement.

You Aren’t Sleeping Enough

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Sleep is precious you-time. You heal when you sleep, your cortisol and stress levels decrease and your energy increases. You need your valuable sleepy-time to keep up your energy levels for the day. Skimping out on the sleep can also affect your bodies ability to control appetite!

You’re Distracted While Eating

Standing while eating and snacking in front of the TV are two sure ways to consume more than you actually need. Pay attention to your meals and snacks, if you are distracted by your phone or TV suddenly your bowl or plate is empty, you aren’t feeling satisfied and you reach for more. Give your meal the attention it deserves, focus on your portion sizes, think about every bite and slow down.

 You’re Drinking Calories

Juice, sweetened teas and sodas are unnecessarily adding extra sugar and calories to your day, with no fiber and protein in these beverages you are just sending some sweet sugar into your blood stream which is increasing blood sugar levels, even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, your body only needs to much energy, these drinks are empty calories and the body stores this excess sugar as fat.

You’re Just Walking

Ok, so walking is a great form of movement. We need to be moving every day; 10,000 steps should be your goal. But walking is not necessarily exercise. You want to increase your heart rate in order to call it exercise, so if you hit the gym to walk on the treadmill it might be time to re-think.

Exercise and nutrition go hand and hand, so why not accelerate fat loss by pairing a real food diet with some high quality sweat time.

Not sure what to do in the gym/can’t afford a personal trainer? Check out Orangetheory Fitness, a new style gym that’s popping up all over the globe.

This style of workout focuses on a 5-zone interval, heart rate training workout. You are provided with a heart rate monitor and during your 1-hour session you will adventuring through all 5 heart rate zones with your trainer.

The goal is to get into the “orange zone” where you are at 84%-91% of your max heart rate for 12-20 minutes. This heart rate training is backed up with science and after your 60-minute session you will be burning calories at an accelerated rate which is called EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption).

The result is the “Orange Effect” – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burning for up to 36 hours after your workout!

If you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss, performing something as simple as a 3-Day Reset Juice Cleanse can help to nudge your body into fat burning mode by resetting your digestive system! http://www.holisticole.com/services/reset-juice-cleanse

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Holisticole
Holistic Nutritionist
Nicole Eckert is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner + Founder of Holisticole. On her holistic living blog: holisticole.com - you can find amazing clean-eating recipes, informative blog posts and online programs.
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