When you begin a healthy low carb, high fat diet (also known as Banting) you may notice that your weight loss happens quickly at first and then tapers off. You have a lot more kgs to lose before you reach your goal weight and you may be wondering what you can do to kick start it again.
The truth is that initially when we reduce our carbohydrate intake most of our weight loss is due to losing water weight. The reduction in insulin stops our body holding onto water so we drop kgs fast. After a while our water loss stops and we notice that the scale doesn’t move down as much anymore.
If everything is working correctly then the body should soon start burning fat for fuel and weight loss should be simple. However, it often isn’t that easy and women seem to battle more than men with weight loss plateaus.
1. Not eating enough. You need to be eating enough for your metabolism to work as it should. In fact, without proper nutrition, your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy and this is known as “the famine response”.
2. Eating too many carbohydrates. The more carbohydrates we eat, the more we trigger our insulin response. Stick to one portion of fruit a day and 1 cup of starchy vegetables. It’s important to be eating foods that satiate us and nourish us so we don’t constantly feel the need to snack or over-eat.
3. Lack of sleep. Even if you are eating the right foods at the right times and exercising properly, if you aren’t sleeping properly, or are sleeping for less than 6 hours a night, you might be sabotaging your weight-loss. Sleep regulates hormones which control your appetite, your metabolism and your immune system. All these things need to be working properly for weight-loss to occur.
4. You have a damaged gut. Health (or disease) begins in the gut. This is the point where digestion, absorption and elimination take place. Our gut also houses most of our immune system and most of our serotonin producing cells. If we have a damaged and inflamed gut we won’t be digesting and assimilating the nutrients properly. The inflammation will slow weight-loss and damaged gut will lead to other symptoms like poor immunity and digestive problems.
5. You are not consistent. If your body is going to trust that it is getting proper nourishment consistently, then you need to make sure you are following the rules 24/7, 7 days a week in the beginning. It’s not easy, but the first 6 months are crucial.
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