Slimming part II – mistakes and problems that we may encounter along the way.

Calorific value of meals calculated, fixed amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates in the diet, for this exercise and following the rules described in the first article. Weeks pass and the weight does not drop. You combine, you change your diet, you start to run more and then nothing happens… After losing 2-3 kg, the weight is like magic. More days pass and then nothing … What could be wrong? Why is the weight not dropping? It turns out that when losing weight, we can make many mistakes and encounter many problems. In this article, we discuss the most important of them.

Incorrectly calculated caloric demand

Very often there are mistakes in calculating your CPM. We often take too high an index of physical activity. For example, you go to Zumba 3 times a week, and you also have a sedentary job and hardly move. Many people believe that this is already strenuous physical activity and assume a high PAL. However, this is not the case at all. What is 3h of zumba throughout the week, the entire 7 days? It’s very little. It is known that such physical activity is better than nothing, and it is good that you do something, but that does not mean that you can take a high PAL. A high rate can be adopted by a person who works physically and also exercises in the gym. You have to be smart and smart about the topic.

You eat between meals

Many people cannot free themselves from constant snacking: candy here, cookie. And in this way, a lot of calories can accumulate and we can even exceed our caloric requirements so that, being on a reduction diet, the weight may start to increase. It is important to get rid of the habit of eating different sweets throughout the day. You may not count these calories, you may not remember them, but they themselves will count and save in the bacon.

You don’t count everything you drink during the day

Similar to the example above. If you drink 2 coffees during the day with 2 teaspoons of sugar and milk, a small juice between meals, sometimes a fruit cocktail, and in the meantime flavored water, you may unknowingly gain another few hundred calories. Unfortunately, very often people do not count calories in liquids, juices or drinks. And the coffee itself can sometimes be 500kcal! A glass of flavored water has about 60 kcal, if you drink 1l during the day, you already have 240kcal … Do you see how easily inconspicuous drinks can significantly exceed your caloric needs?

Too frequent and too big “cheat meal”

The term “cheat meal” has recently become very popular with us. Usually, you eat healthy all week, and on one day, instead of one healthy meal, you eat pizza or hamburger and here comes the problem. Because with one pizza you can compensate for the caloric deficit of the whole week. We’ll assume that you eat 300 calories less than you need every day, which is 1800 calories in 6 days. On the seventh day, instead of one meal, you eat a whole 2200kcal pizza. And what? Instead of being in a deficit, you can still be in a caloric plus. Weight will not drop.

You let go of healthy eating on the weekends

This problem occurs very often. You have your meals in order for the entire work week, meals at work and after work are planned, and you eat according to a predetermined plan. Everything is going great. There is a weekend, sleep longer, go to your parents’ house for lunch, meet your friend for wine in the evening and the whole plan is falling apart … It does not mean that while on a diet you have to lock up in your room and not go anywhere. You just need to plan your nutrition during the weekends as well. If you are overweight and want to lose weight, you have to be more restrictive in nutrition at the beginning, you must remember what is your priority at the moment. And this is the reduction of unnecessary fat tissue and taking care of your health. You can meet your friend for a walk instead of wine and chocolate.

You forget about spontaneous physical activity (NEAT)

Spontaneous physical activity is related to our daily functioning, unplanned physical exertion. It does not include planned workouts such as swimming, Zumba or training in the gym. This activity is related to the number of steps we take a day, whether we go up the stairs, whether we choose the elevator, whether we lie on the couch all evening in front of the TV or go for a walk. Two people who are slimming with the same parameters (age, height, weight) and having exactly the same diet will have different results. The one that will be more active during the day will lose weight faster.

You have health problems that you don’t know about or haven’t addressed yet:

  1. Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s – elevated TSH levels may result in impaired carbohydrate metabolism, higher glucose levels and the associated increase in body weight. In addition, thyroid hormones, i.e. thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), increase the activity of oxidative enzymes and the number and size of mitochondria in cells, and this contributes to increasing the amount of energy. They are responsible for the rate of combustion and the metabolic rate. Their low level blocks the process of reducing excess body fat, reduces the metabolic rate, and reduces thermogenesis. The conversion of T4 to T3 is very important because T3 is about 300 times more active than T4 and has the proper metabolic effect. Every cell in our body has receptors for T3, which shows the importance it plays in maintaining health, well-being and efficient metabolism.
  2. Insulin resistance – constantly elevated insulin levels interfere with the proper conversion of thyroid hormones and increases cell resistance to thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism and insulin resistance very often go together. It is also worth noting that abdominal obesity and overweight cause insulin resistance, but insulin resistance also causes inflammation and further increases overweight and abdominal obesity. And this is the vicious circle … Abdominal obesity leads to insulin resistance, which forces the pancreas to increase insulin production and promotes the formation of adipose tissue, which further enhances insulin resistance.
  3. Leptin resistance – leptin is a satiety hormone, is involved in the regulation of the feeling of hunger and satiety, promotes fat burning and maintaining a healthy body weight. In the case of an excessive amount of adipose tissue, the level of leptin increases, and then leptin resistance develops, i.e. cells become resistant to leptin, and we lose control over our appetite, eat more and more and gain more weight.
  4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – there is a hormonal imbalance that promotes the accumulation of excess body fat. About 50% of PCOS-diagnosed patients have insulin resistance, and this is more common in obese than in lean women.
  5. Problems with the adrenal glands – constantly elevated levels of cortisol, excessive chronic stress contribute to the deposition of fatty tissue around the abdomen. Stress causes an increase in blood glucose levels, which increases insulin secretion and leads to insulin resistance. Additionally, during chronic stress, the concentration of free fatty acids in the blood is too high, which also correlates with insulin resistance. And just as short-term stress can lead to weight loss, chronic stress promotes weight gain and the accumulation of body fat.
  6. Problems with the digestive system, intestinal problems (e.g. flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, gas) – it is associated with digestive problems, absorption, nutrient assimilation, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies (vitamin D, iron, magnesium, zinc, etc. ), indicate various diseases, e.g. celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, which will hinder the reduction of adipose tissue.
  7. Estrogenic advantage – excessive amount of estrogen in the body promotes the growth of adipose tissue around the hips, buttocks and thighs.
  8. Disorders of the intestinal microflora – A healthy microbiome is a greater chance of a slim figure. The good bacteria present in the digestive tract help regulate digestion and absorption. They also support intestinal peristalsis and regulate energy processes. You can learn more on this topic in this article KLIK.

However, illness and various health problems cannot be an excuse! You cannot say that you are overweight, because you are sick, that it is all because of your illness. If you have problems, you can also lose weight, look better and feel better. You just have to want and act.

Laboratory tests – is it worth doing?

I always recommend doing laboratory tests. As a preventive measure, it is enough once a year, and when we have specific health problems, it is worthwhile to monitor the progress more often. In the case of weight loss, I also recommend it. The tests will help us detect various problems, such as insulin resistance or hypothyroidism, as well as deficiencies of various minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin D3, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, which may hinder our efforts to get a better figure. Thanks to them, we can find the cause of excess weight faster, supplement the deficiencies and implement appropriate actions tailored to the individual situation and health condition.

Supplementation – is it needed?

There is no magic pill that can replace a well-chosen diet, exercise and make you lose weight just like that. No fat burners or cleansers will work if we eat more than we spend. As I wrote in the first article, the basis for reducing body fat is a negative caloric balance. It cannot be otherwise. That doesn’t mean supplements are bad, but you can’t take them mindlessly. It is worth using them to, for example, supplement vitamin D3 deficiency; improve immunity using vitamin C; improve the functioning of the digestive system using probiotics and various herbs; improve the functioning of the thyroid gland by supplementing selenium and zinc; improve insulin sensitivity using magnesium, cinnamon. However, choose supplements to suit your needs, not the need for supplements.

Learn more about losing weight in our other article in this series:

Slimming part I- “Miracle diet” or a detailed action plan.