Lifestyle Factors Affecting your Weight Loss
"Obesity is a multifaceted problem with many contributing factors including but not limited to genetics, hormone levels, over consumption of food, and sedentary lifestyle (Metab, 2011)."
Hey Back2Lifers :) Coach Matthew here. I'd like to talk to you about some lifestyle factors that effect you losing weight. Most of the time, weight loss isn't happening simply because you're not maintaining a calorie deficit (whether you know it or not). However, there are some additional lifestyle factors that can have an impact as well. Lets explore them together!
There are a few different lifestyle factors that contribute to weight reduction in the absence of caloric restriction. These lifestyle factors are macronutrient composition of meals, meal frequency, exercise, sleep, and psychological stress. (Metab, 2011).
Macro nutrient Composition
'In the same study, both lean and obese subjects reported less satiety 30 minutes after the ingestion of the high-fat meal compared with the high-carbohydrate meal.' (Metab, 2011). This is one of the reasons why we promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle, with foods you enjoy. Carbohydrates clearly have a role to play in your weight loss. When chosen wisely, (whole grain vs white) you will stay fuller, and have energy to carry out your day without constant snacking and over eating. Choose quality carbohydrates that are high in fibre, protein, and other nutrients.
At the end of the day, studies show that as long as protein content remains relatively high (around 30% total calories), it doesn't really matter whether you go low carb or low fat. The important thing is maintaining a calorie deficit
Although this area has hardly been studied, some preliminary studies show that meal frequency, along with some hormones, may have a role to play in weight loss (Metab, 2011).
Eating more frequency may give the impression that you are eating more while still maintaining a calorie deficit. This effect is compounded when you choose nutrient dense foods, that keep you fuller for longer.
Exercise can help to control weight through an increase in the number of calories expended. Nothing new here people! The only time this may be an issue is if you are doing extremely high volumes of exercise and it is too much stress on the body. This is usually the case if you are already stressed with work, family, etc. If this is the case, you may be hindering you fat loss goals. Take a step back, de stress, and ease up on the activity until you're feeling better.
"An inverse relationship between sleep duration and body mass has been reported in both adult  and adolescent  populations as well as in different cultures " ( Metab, 2011).
There are many hormonal responses and repairing processes going on while we sleep. If we shorten this process on a steady basis, we will compromise our ability to lose weight and feel better. I would suggest getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you are carrying a sleep deficit, your first few nights may be even longer until you recover.
Stress is stopping your weight loss in its tracks for two reasons:
1) It's causing you to eat more to cope with your stressful environment.
2) Stress elevates your cortisol levels, which is shown to have a negative effect on your fat tissue.
Stress management and proper sleeping patterns are the best long term strategy for combating stress. Go for a walk, try meditation or yoga. You may also try supplementing with melatonin but ensure you talk to your healthcare provider first.
So there you have it! A few reasons you wouldn't normally think about when tackling weight loss. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
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