Everyone has experienced moderate weight fluctuations from time to time. There is no cause for alarm when this happens. It is important to recognize that there are a multiplicity of factors that can alter your appetite and thus your weight. For most of us, it does not necessarily mean that there is any pathology involved. All things being equal, your body tends to regulate itself given the opportunity.
If you are otherwise healthy, you can make some changes in your dietary habits as well as in your activity level, and you should be able to reverse the situation. What you should never do is embark in crash diets or practice extreme deprivation. Both of these practices are dangerous and can inflict permanent damage to your body. If your first reaction is to focus on the scale, sometimes to the point of obsession, remember that, in reality, you are much better off thinking about getting healthier rather than just striving for skinnier.
The very outdated technique of caloric restriction does nothing for your long term health and only yields, at best, temporary weight reductions. We now know that each person has his or her own unique biology and that is precisely the reason why the same diet does not perform equally for everyone. The issue of excessive weight needs to be approached from multiple angles and always with the individual in mind. A one size fits all formula will never solve such a complicated problem. The system that will is centering your efforts on attaining optimal health as a mean to reaching your own ideal weight.
The dilemma of focusing solely on weight loss is that you lose perspective and forget what really is at stake. When you lose weight by radical means, your body has the innate tendency to adapt to the new circumstances. Inevitably, your weight loss slows down and eventually stops altogether. Your metabolism starts demanding that you continue to cut back the amount of food you ingest and/or increase the level of exertion in order to keep losing weight. In time, this formula becomes completely untenable and people tend to give up on it. Even more detrimental is the fact that, in the process, your overall health suffers.
For achievable, long term weight loss the focal point needs to be on hormonal balance rather than calorie counting alone. Insulin is the master hormone when it comes to weight management. It helps your body transform the sugars that you ingest into energy that you can use. Unfortunately, consistently consuming excessive amounts of sugars in your diet will throw your body off kilter. Your insulin levels will stay continually elevated in an effort to process all that sugar entering your bloodstream.
If this state of affairs persists, you will end up falling victim to insulin resistance. Your pancreas will be working overtime trying to produce enough insulin because your body has adapted to such high levels that now it takes extra insulin to process all that circulating sugar. In an ironic twist, the more insulin your pancreas produces, the more sugar you start craving and soon you’re trapped in a vicious cycle of hyper and hypoglycemic states. A visible sign of this process is the accumulation of abdominal fat. When you feel that spare tire creeping up on you, you can bet that you are edging slowly but surely towards a pre diabetic state.
Now, remember that not all calories are created equal. If you source your calories from healthy, low glycemic foods you will start to lose weight. On the other hand, an equal amount of calories from foods such as soda, pastries or refined carbohydrates will make you retain, and possibly increase your weight. Thus low glycemic diets (those based on real, unadulterated foods) are the only way of eating that guarantee you’ll lose the weight and keep it off for good.
Contrary to what you might expect, it is not complicated to create an eating plan of low glycemic foods. These are traditional and readily available foods. They are unprocessed, simple foods such as meats, low starch vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. The goal is to combine these foods in a way that doesn’t cause sugar levels in your blood to spike quickly after a meal. For that purpose, you should eat carbohydrates in combination with protein and fiber. For instance, eat an apple with a serving of nut butter or a whole grain toast with some animal protein and healthy fat such as an avocado.
If you follow these simple suggestions and strive to keep to a low glycemic diet, the weight will take care of itself along with other health issues. In addition, trying to sleep according to a regular schedule and exercising moderately two or three times a week, will firmly set you on the road to improved health. It will help you reduce your stress levels and your cravings for unsuitable, processed foods. That is a bonus we all can get used to with hardly any effort.