Do you know what are the biggest weight loss mistakes that women make?
Weight loss, cooking & eating are the most popular topics for women (after relationships).
As a nutritionist I see women making the same dietary & lifestyle mistakes all over again.
In reality, losing weight (without restrictive dieting, constant hunger and low energy levels) is easier than you think.
In this series, you will discover the 5 biggest weight-loss mistakes that are stopping you from achieving your optimal weight and you will learn how you can avoid them.
How do I know? I made all these mistakes myself 🙋
I have been in the vicious circle of dieting for almost 20 years BUT by using these simple, science-based and sustainable key principles, I was able to lose 10 kg and keep it off!
In the past 5 years, I have helped many women 40+, who struggled with excess weight and bloating, to rebalance their hormones with optimal nutrition, lose belly fat and flow through their busy lives with ease 🍃 without :
👉 constant hunger
👉 sugar cravings
👉 energy slumps
👉 the feeling of scarcity
What is mistake #1? BLOOD SUGAR IMBALANCE
You think that you don’t eat any sugar, in fact, sugar is everywhere and has many names.
Are you buying organic healthy food, all-natural products with no added sugar? That is a nice marketing trick but agave syrup, coconut blossom nectar, maple syrup, molasses, dates, honey or sorbitol are all sugars with the same metabolic pathway.
It gets all broken down into glucose molecules.
Glucose (simple sugar) is the preferred source of energy in your body. Your brain loves glucose. The trick is to find the right balance.
If you eat too much sugar (bread, pasta, rice, fruit, potatoes) you will end up with high blood glucose.
Not only it is dangerous because glucose damages the arteries and contributes to cardiovascular disease, inflammation and many chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Hyperglycemia puts the body under stress and increases the stress hormone cortisol.
Your body is very clever and will try to remove the excess sugar out of the bloodstream.
For that hormone insulin nicknamed FAT MAKER comes into play too.
It will work hard and turns glucose into fat and store it for later when there is no food. Unfortunately, nowadays there is always food so the reserve of fat is expanding and you get overweight.
What can you do about it?
The trick is to find the right balance of glucose for your unique needs so that you don’t feel hungry & don’t crave sugar but at the same time, you consume a small portion of complex carbs (black rice, quinoa, beans) to keep your energy levels balanced.
In this way, you train your body to use the stored FAT efficiently so that you lose excess weight without losing
muscle mass and without hunger and fatigue.
The low glycemic load (GL) approach is the fastest, safest and most effective way.
The key to low GL is the kind of carbs you eat, how much but also when you eat them.
Food combination is crucial. You need to eat protein with every meal to regulate hunger & satiety hormones.
Hormones are chemical messengers delivering messages to your brain that you are fulfilled.
Fibre is essential. It will activate the stretch receptors in the stomach and send signals to the brain that you are full.
I teach my clients to create their own menu plan based on their unique needs, taste preference and lifestyle habits.
Here are my suggestions :
Breakfast such as homemade Bircher muesli, Skyr with almonds & berries.
🎯 Plain oats are a great source of fibre and slow-releasing low carbs.
🎯 Almonds are a great source of protein (23 almonds have 7 g).
🎯 Skyr or quark has around 19 g of protein.
🎯 Berries are high in anti-oxidants and will quench free radicals and protect your cells.
Do you prefer eggs in the morning?
Have 2 eggs with 5 tablespoons of wilted spinach & 1 slice of rye bread or frittata with leftover roasted vegetable.
Such breakfast will keep your blood sugar levels stable and you will not feel hungry for many hours.
#2 AVOIDING FAT
You are buying low-fat products, or you avoid nuts & butter with a good intention to keep the calories low.
I know it seems counter-intuitive, but some fat can help you burn fat and make you feel full for longer.
There is a big difference between saturated fat from animal products (which can only be burned for energy or stored as FAT) and unsaturated fat from nuts and seeds and cold-pressed oils.
Your body depends on omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids and can’t produce them on its own.
- 1/4 of your brain is made of omega 3 and a deficiency leads to poor memory and concentration.
- Your hormones need omega 3 as building blocks to prevent mood swings, depression, PMS, sugar cravings and weight gain.
- Your skin & arteries need good fat for cell membrane elasticity.
- Fat act as a carrier and help to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
By now you know why you need to eat unsaturated fat.
👉 It is easy to include small fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines) into your meal plans.
👉 What about mixing a handful of seeds (flax seeds, pumpkin seeds) into your breakfast or sprinkle on your salad?
👉 Cut 1/2 avocado into your salad to feel fuller for longer.
👉 One spoon of peanut butter with an apple as a snack?
So easy isn’t it?
Let’s look at mistake #3 CALORIE COUNTING
Did you know that calories indicated on the food packages could be out by up to 30%?
Traditional calorie counting doesn’t consider your unique physiology and hormonal status.
- Do you have your period?
- Do you have a large muscle mass?
- Are you stressed?
- Do you sleep well?
What about the cooking method or the thermic effect of food? Meaning the energy that your body needs to spend for absorption and digestion of the steak & fibrous cabbage salad versus the white baguette with butter and jam?
If you eat fresh whole food the molecules are in long chains and it takes much longer to break them down into single molecules for their absorption.
If the body doesn’t have a chance to break them down, the food will pass through the digestive system and you eliminate the calories in the stool without absorbing the calories.
Are you eating processed food such as white bread, white rice, rice cakes, puffed breakfast cereal?
Yes, they are lower in calories than avocado or nuts, but it is quite easy for your body to break these simple carbohydrates down without spending too much effort or energy during the process. What happens with all the quick energy?
You know the answer, don’t you?
All that energy is going to be stored as fat on your belly!
Salmon, on the other hand, contains unsaturated fatty acids (very long molecular chains) which are much harder for the body to break down.
You might consume 400 kcal, but your body needs 300 kcal to break it down.
That’s why you might even lose weight while eating healthy fat.
All calories are not equal so don’t be obsessed with calorie counting.
Follow these two golden rules:
- Eat real whole food that you find in the farmer’s market. Download my clean eating shopping list here.
- Watch the FREE 12 video series with a practical example of meal planning ( check the membership area).
- Eat only if you are physically hungry. Read this blog post on how to avoid emotional overeating.
What about mistake #4 SUPERFOOD?
👉 Are you following the trend of healthy smoothies for breakfast? (coconut milk, avocado, peanut butter with banana, chia seeds and extra protein powder)
👉 Do you eat giant avocado with quinoa salad followed by a healthy raw brownie with coconut whipped cream and you wonder why eating clean doesn’t make you lean?
The answer is easy. You eat & drink more calories than your body needs.
I know that here I told you not to obsess about calories but eating organic whole food doesn’t mean calorie-free! Unfortunately
Super-foods are calorie-dense, and you need only small amounts to get all the benefits of antioxidants, minerals and healthy fats.
Portion control is essential if you want to lose weight.
What is the example of snack portions?
- 3 Brazil nuts per day
- 2 pieces of fruit
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tablespoons of seeds
- 2-4 squares of dark chocolate (minimum 75% of cocoa and preferably 90%)
The remaining food (lunch & dinner) could consist of an unlimited amount of green leaves (rucola, spinach) steamed brassica vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale).
Protein such as 150g of lean fish or 2 eggs per day would cover your daily need of protein/
Wondering where is the desert?
Natural sugar such as coconut blossom nectar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup or fructose is still simple sugar that spikes your insulin levels.
By now you know that insulin is a FAT making hormone that you must get under control if you want to lose weight or achieve optimal health.
Read food labels and choose wisely!
Fructose is even more dangerous because it is easily absorbed and stored as fat in the liver so don’t consume more than 2 pieces of fruit per 🥭 and avoid hidden sugar in so-called “sugar-free healthy snack bars”.
MISTAKE #5 EXCESSIVE EXERCISE
You are working hard during the Bootcamp, intensive running or HIIT classes but you still don’t lose any weight?
The main mistake that you might be doing is the wrong level of intensity for too long or you don’t allow enough time for recovery.
The type of exercise you choose will have an impact on your hormones (cortisol, insulin, ghrelin) the fat makers.
If you are overweight, suffer from insulin resistance and you never exercised before the chances are you are working out in an anaerobic state. You might be huffing and puffing, feeling dizzy and your muscles are burning.
That’s what it is supposed to be like if you want to lose weight fast isn’t it?
Your body is using all the glucose (sugar) energy stores called glycogen from your muscles and liver.
If you don’t have a big muscle mass yet, the liver store of fuel is depleted within minutes and your body is under stress because there is not enough glucose in the bloodstream which is dangerous.
The adrenals will increase cortisol (the stress hormone) and the liver will increase blood sugar levels to keep you in fight and flight mode.
Hormone insulin comes to help (moving glucose to cells for energy production) so that you can survive this stressful situation.
Problem solved right?
No, because you still have high levels of cortisol and insulin in your bloodstream hours after exercise.
With these two FATS MAKING HORMONES in your bloodstream, you can NEVER EVER LOSE WEIGHT!
Moreover, after this stressful event called exercise you will get hungry and have cravings for carbs because your body wants to fill up and prevent the stressful event of scarcity in future.
Imagine that during your workout you burnt around 200-400 kcal. Even a small healthy meal or protein shake & banana (that you might eat before or after exercise) is around 700 kcal.
The excess calories get stored as FAT in the abdominal area.
What about starting slowly with your workout routines with yoga, Pilates or hiking?
Are you wondering what to eat after exercise or you feel that you need personalised nutrition advice?
Book your FREE discovery call and find out how I can help you to get into the best shape of your life.
Are you looking for a group online course? Get on the waiting list of my course Eat Clean Get Lean