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by Ashley Ess December 02, 2022 4 min read

Have you ever dieted for weeks or months on end before throwing up your hands in frustration and asking yourself, "Why am I not losing weight?" If so, you're not alone.

Losing weight involves more than simply eating less and moving more. A key strategy in any weight loss journey is to take a close look at your food choices: Are you eating the right kind and quantity for your body? Does your diet support a healthy metabolism? Often, long-term and extreme calorie restriction can negatively affect your metabolism, disrupt your hormones and lower your energy levels -- making it more difficult to lose weight.

A healthy body weight can be within reach by taking simple, daily steps to fuel your body and support a balanced, efficient metabolism.

Eat Better, Not Less

To support weight loss and keep it off, it's important to focus on nutrient intake. Fad diets or short-term weight loss solutions don't look at possible underlying reasons you're having trouble losing weight in the first place, and often don't sustain long term results.

Extended periods of calorie restriction can actually slow your metabolism down over time. Depriving your body of the energy (calories) and nutrients it needs can have a negative impact on your overall health. When metabolism slows down, you may experience the following:

  • Poor circulation, resulting in cold hands and feet
  • Noticeable energy fluctuations as a result of imbalanced hormones (adrenals or thyroid)
  • Weakened digestion, bloating or feeling tired after eating
  • Less than one daily bowel movement (one to three per day is ideal)
  • Weight gain or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
  • Changes in appetite
  • Brain fog or struggling to complete simple tasks as a result of low energy or imbalanced hormones

A key foundation for successful weight loss lies in supporting a healthy metabolism. Dysregulated blood sugar can be another reason why you are having difficulty losing weight; keeping blood sugar levels balanced and supporting increased metabolic function can help your body to effectively burn more body fat.

Crash diets that force you to overly restrict carbohydrates or other key nutrients can throw blood sugar levels and hormones out of range. Instead, focusing on eating a variety of balanced, whole foods meals, incorporating movement and exercise and adopting key lifestyle principles can make your weight loss goals far easier to achieve.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Estimated Calorie Requirements

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is a measure of the total number of calories your body needs to function on a primary level, taking height and weight into account. This can then be adjusted depending on your level of daily activity (energy expenditure) to give you a starting point of the calories needed to support sustainable weight loss.

Next, take a look at what you're eating — and how much. Limit processed foods and instead replace them with nutrient dense whole foods; focusing on balanced meals that include protein, healthy fats, as well as a variety of colorful fruit and lots of vegetables. It can feel easier to get in the recommended 7-9 portions of fruit and mainly vegetables each day by having 2-3 servings at each meal, which should make up about 50% of your plate.

Protein and starch should each account for about 25% of your plate, with a few tablespoons of essential healthy fats like avocado or extra virgin olive oil. Aim for a few hours (3-4+) break between meals for digestion to complete and avoid snacking - especially when you aren't hungry to support balanced blood sugar levels and avoid unnecessary calorie intake that doesn't meet your energy needs.

Start With a Balanced Breakfast

A great way to get started in your weight loss journey is to optimize your first meal of the day. Incorporate an easy-to-digest breakfast smoothie that's nutrient dense and hydrating. Add antioxidant-rich frozen blueberries and a cup of greens to boost your essential vitamin and mineral intake, a plant-based protein powder and healthy fats like avocado, coconut cream or chia seeds for a delicious, nutritious burst of energy to fuel your day. Following a tried and tested meal plan can also help guide you toward successful weight loss.

No weight loss plan would be complete without addressing many factors beyond diet and calories that lead to success. To support a healthy metabolism, you should also consider the following:

  • Movement and Exercise.The amount of energy you expend through daily movement and formal exercise is an important consideration when it comes to achieving a healthy body composition and weight.
  • Manage stress. Chronic stress can lead to weight gain or make it harder to lose weight despite following a healthy diet plan.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. Our sleep quality and quantity affect blood sugar levels and hormone balance. If you regularly sleep less than seven hours per night, your blood sugar levels may be higher and your body may be less effective at burning body fat.
  • Supportive nutritional supplements. High quality vitamins and minerals can help restore nutrient deficiencies and ensure levels are at the appropriate amounts needed for optimal hormone balance and overall function.

If you feel like despite your best efforts you still can't lose weight - or keep it off, running a simple at-home lab test can help you to identify the underlying reasons why it's a struggle. Working alongside a certified health coach to understand your results and armed with targeted plan to rebalance your body, you can get the results you deserve.

We know that working on weight loss can be discouraging, but with the appropriate diet and lifestyle support and a holistic understanding of your health, you can be well on your way to your best self.

Reducing calorie intake is the most common approach when it comes to weight loss, but over extended periods of time it can slow down your metabolism making it even more difficult. Learn more about how to boost your metabolism while losing weight in this podcast.