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Weight Loss...It's hard, but not impossible




I recently posed a question on my Instagram story, " the hardest part about losing weight is...?". Some of the more common responses were: *not being able to eat foods I enjoy *changing my whole lifestyle *being consistent *not having enough support around me *losing the last 5 or so kilos *emotional/stress eating *thinking it will come straight back on again *going to extreme and resulting in failure *explaining myself to others about why I am eating the way I am.

In all the responses it clearly showed that it is something that many who do begin the weight loss journey or are thinking about it find very hard. The fact is...IT IS. Have you ever watched that weight loss commercial which is telling us how easy it is to lose weight? Or have you heard about this or that pill that will make your weight just melt away? Literally billions of dollars are spent each year on weight loss products and services, and yet millions remain overweight or obese. The fact is there is no short cuts. One key strategy to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat...less in, more out. As easy as that sounds, it usually isn't. And some of the common reasons above are genuine, good reasons for this. The fact is, when we lose weight, we trigger mechanisms that make it hard to keep that weight off. Some within our control and some not. Pointing out some of these may make you look more kindly at your body and know that weight loss is a process, it's a journey with many wins but also many challenges.

Firstly, metabolism slows down when you lose weight. Metabolism varies from person to person for various reasons depending on gender, age, fat vs muscle ratio. But for everyone, metabolic energy burn occurs in 3 ways. Resting metabolism - energy used to keep your organs functioning, to keep you alive. This accounts for about 50 to 70% of the total calories you burn. Thermic effect of food - energy used to digest food and turn it into energy. About 10% of calories you burn. Physical activity- energy used to move around and also purposeful exercise. About 30% of your calorie burn. Hence, when you lose weight, your metabolism slows due to simple physics...the heavier you are, the more calories it costs to move around and the more calories it costs to maintain your body at rest. As you become lighter, this changes.

Secondly, if you are going to choose to lose weight in a way that you don't like, you will n be able to sustain this once the weight is off. Think of your metabolism like a spring -

the more effort you put into losing the weight the more you can stretch that spring (that is, lose weight). But if you let up that tension on that spring - by stopping whatever eating and exercise regime you were on to lose the weight- your metabolism will spring back and the weight will come back on. Perfect example is the yo yo dieting...regimes which are unsustainable and weight keeps going up and down. Hence, the diet and exercise changes you make to lose the weight have to be kept up to maintain your weight when you reach your goal.

Thirdly, hormones in your brain will sometimes make you feel hungrier when you lose weight. Just another change which happens when you lose weight 🙄. Your hormones change in ways to alter your appetite. The hormone leptin, which is released by fat cells and tells the brain when to eat and when to stop, drops as you lose weight and it triggers a starvation signal to the body. Hence, people seem to want to eat more because of this.

Fourthly, to lose weight, what you eat is more important than how much you exercise. Exercise only makes up a small part of your weight loss journey, the majority comes from what you consume. Interestingly, many people on the weight loss process use exercise as an excuse to allow themselves to eat more. When people do this they tend to consume more than they actually burned off at the gym. Having said that, exercise is still a crucial part in a person's overall lifestyle. In fact, those that have lost weight and have kept it off have one thing in common...they have incorporated a really good exercise program into their lifestyle.

Many people have this idea that to keep weight off long term they have to eat less forever. Studies have actually shown this is not necessarily true. A reason for this is that, those that have incorporated a healthy, consistent exercise regime during their weight loss phase, are able to increase their exercise to more moderate to vigorous as they become lighter. This naturally will burn more calories than what they were burning when they were heavier.


So, as you can see from just the few biological reasons, weight loss is a long term process and not something that a quick fix solution will suffice. Weight loss can definitely be achieved but you need to get the right help and that help needs to be ongoing. The right support, the right guidance is key to not just losing the weight but keeping it off in a way you can sustain.


Weight loss is not impossible...weight loss is hard but hard is not impossible. It is the things we work hardest for that will reward us the most 😉

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