So you’ve been trying this “real food” way of eating, and swear you’re following our PFC guidelines to a tee, but you’re not losing weight…what's going on!?!?!? You are certainly not alone in this quandary and we have spent lots of time helping frustrated clients break through their weight loss barriers. While you may seem to be doing everything right, our bodies are unique entities and it’s not just about food or burning calories like we’ve been brainwashed to believe. You might not be considering some key non-food components to your weight loss, so we’ll take this opportunity to bring them to your attention in hopes that this blog series gets the wheels in your head turning. If you’re still feeling discouraged and confused by the end of this blog post series, remember that our coaches are available as your own personal detectives and are experts at helping you determine which areas need a change. I won’t make you wait any longer–here are the most common roadblocks that we address for our clients struggling to lose weight even though they are eating PFC balanced. 1. You’re not eating enough. You need to be eating enough to support your metabolism! Many clients come to us with an extensive dieting history that includes restricting and depriving which often leads to binging. When we deprive our bodies of food, we also deprive our bodies of nutrients. In addition to healing their metabolisms by providing their bodies with enough food, many people who fit this mold have to work on reestablishing their “hunger and full sensors." For too long, people who diet have based their food intake on a number (calories, grams, points, etc.) given to them by a program or calculation. When making the drastic change from dieting to eating real foods that includes lots of fresh vegetables, quality proteins and healthy fats, it’s easy to under-eat because you’re used to depriving yourself. Your body appreciates that you’ve started giving it the good stuff, and it may take a few weeks or months to replenish its nutrient stores. Just like your car doesn’t run well without the right kind or enough fuel, your body doesn’t work efficiently when it doesn’t have what it needs! If your tank is not properly filled up, your metabolism will SLOW DOWN in an attempt to conserve energy because it thinks it’s starving and this is the proper mechanism to stay alive. This is why we recommend eating protein, fat and carbs (PFC) every 3-4 hours, as an attempt to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stay ahead of your hunger (since when you are hungry, your metabolism is already slowing down AND it is really hard to make good food choices when you are ravenous). If you're not sure how much is the right amount for you, you'll want to apply to our program so that we can help you. Our dedicated dietitian coaches work with you to figure out the right amounts for YOU until they’ve got a hold of their hunger and fullness sensors and can do this on your own! 2. You’re STRESSED OUT! How does stress affect your weight? Cortisol (known as your "stress hormone") is released in response to stress, anxiety and lack of sleep. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels, which cause your pancreas to release insulin (known as your "fat storing hormone") to bring the excess sugar to your cells to be stored as fat. You gain weight and blame it on the fact that you're too stressed and too tired to exercise. So you grab another cookie (or glass of wine) (or both). Sound familiar? This is yet another scenario that shows that your weight (and health) is not just a matter of balancing calories in/calories out. Hormones play a huge role in your metabolism and weight and can take some time to figure out. Give yourself 10-15 minutes of transition time between your workday and your busy evening to read a book or do some journaling, or just sit quietly (no technology please!). Too often, we rush from one thing to the next without giving ourselves time to process, focus, and prepare for the next task and can become worn down from this stressful, daily grind. Go for a walk outside. Lay on the floor. Snuggle with your dog. We don’t care what you do, just chill out for a few minutes each day. 3. You haven't healed your gut. The old saying holds true; “Health begins in the gut.” When it comes to evaluating your health and nutrition, the most critical and often overlooked starting point is the gut; where digestion, absorption and elimination, and even the production of brain chemicals take place! We can eat all of the right foods, but if we aren’t digesting them properly, we’re not going to see progress! Eating healthy food is only half of the story of good nutrition. Being in the ideal state to digest food is the other half. A great starting point is taking a high quality probiotic with Pure GlutaPowder or Pure GlutaCaps 10-20 minutes before all of your meals, and fish oil at your meals. The combination of these three helps to heal the gut and reduce inflammation so that your body can focus on using the nutrients you are feeding it to run most efficiently and heal itself. Many of our clients report improvements in digestion and significantly reduced cravings for sugar or carbohydrates within hours or days of starting this gut health regimen, not to mention...WEIGHT LOSS! Order your gut health supplements today, so you can get on track to healing your gut and metabolism! Gut health is an ongoing consideration. If you focused on it a lot when you got started but have totally forgotten about it now, you may need to make sure you’re keeping those inflammatory foods out and sticking with your supplement regimen. 4. You’re not eating enough fat. Despite the time we spend educating on the hows and whys of fat and it’s importance in weight loss, it’s not easy to unlearn years and years of bad information. Our clients will even tell us they understand the entire concept of why fat is essential, yet it’s STILL hard to eat fat after diligently avoiding it for so long. A strategy that seems to work is to continually remind yourself of why it’s important. And when I say continually, I mean every single time you eat. Remind yourself of how it keeps you full and helps stave off cravings for carbs. Keep a journal of how you feel during and after the times you don’t eat fat, and the times you do. Write it on post-it notes and stick them to your fridge. ("Healthy fat does NOT make me fat." "Eating fat helps me stay away from sugar." "Fat keeps me full and my blood sugars stable.") Moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid of fat. Fat is your friend, ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to lose weight. Aim for a MINIMUM of 1-2 Tbsps. at all meals and snacks (like half an avocado, a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of butter)—preferably more. 5. You're not being consistent. Consistency is key…even on the weekends. In order for your body to trust you enough to burn what you put into it, you need to be consistent. If 42 percent of the time (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) you aren't being consistent with following the Three-Three Rule (protein, fat and carbohydrates every few hours) and taking your supplements as scheduled, then your body isn't going to work for you. I'm not expecting anyone to be perfect (because we certainly are not!), but the first six to twelve months of making these lifestyle changes are crucial. You are training your body to work as it was designed to work, and in doing so you need to respect the healing process, and honor your body by being consistent. 6. You have a food sensitivity. Food sensitivities are at the root of many of our clients’ difficulties with weight loss (not to mention other various health issues). Many find through the process of elimination (with our help to ensure they are meeting all of their nutrient needs) that they have a food sensitivity that was standing in the way of their weight loss goal. The most common culprits are gluten and dairy—nearly 50 MILLION Americans and more than 70% of the world’s population are dairy intolerant. Forty percent of people in the world have a gluten sensitivity. That does not mean you have an allergy to gluten—it’s perfectly normal for any allergy tests to show that you are not allergic to gluten. You can still have a sensitivity without having an allergy. And if you are eating foods you have a sensitivity to, an inflammatory reaction takes place in your body and you are NOT going to lose weight. Your body is going to focus on healing areas that are affected (damaged and inflamed) by the food you are eating. When you have chronic inflammation going on, the last thing your body is going to focus on is losing weight. The best way to determine if you have a food sensitivity is to completely eliminate the food for 4-6 weeks, and pay attention to how your body reacts when you have or don’t have this food in your daily eating regimen. These are six roadblocks to weight loss that we see, but this list is nowhere near complete. We've since posted Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, where I address more factors that may be standing in the way of allowing you to reach your goals! Now, go grab my BEST tips to BOOST your metabolism in the meantime by clicking the pink button below!