You’re positive that you're not eating more food or more junk food but you're still gaining weight.
Is this even possible?
Yes! You’re NOT crazy. Here's why.
We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.
There is definitely more to the story than just what you're eating.
A lot of this comes down to your metabolic rate, which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and what you eat.
Let’s look beyond the “eat less and exercise more” scapegoat and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you're eating the same.
I’m talking about things like:
- Sleep; and
Our bodies change as we get older. People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.
Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women. And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.
The thing to know is that this is very common and not your fault. Talking with a holistic nutritionist can help you address concerns like digestive symptoms, chronic pain, and low energy levels so that you can continue to feel (and look) your best, regardless of your age.
Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain. There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.
When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down. And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight…even though you're eating the same way you always have.
Here’s a tip: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested. It’s a simple blood test from your MD, or a more comprehensive saliva test is available through Naturopathic Doctors. Oh, and try the thyroid-friendly recipe that I created for you at the end of this post.
There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. Sleep is one of the most regenerative and healing activities for your body. The best part? It’s completely free!
As we age it can become more difficult to get a good night's sleep, especially if we’re under stress.
The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.
It's true! Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain. That’s because your body isn’t getting the opportunity to regenerate and complete all of its necessary night-time functions.
Sleep deprivation can also make you feel hungry, which leads to more impulsive eating (because when you’re exhausted, so is your willpower).
Here’s a tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Start by implementing a calming before bed routine that includes being in low lighting away from screens (that includes your phone!).
Before bed is a great time to practice yoga. Try the following poses to help prepare your body for rest:
It seems to be everywhere! So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.
And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?
While you can't necessarily change your stressors, you can try to adjust your stress response to them.
Here’s a tip: A great way to begin a mindfulness practice is to use an adult colouring books. Play some soft music, sit somewhere peaceful and focus on your breathing as you colour. Notice your thoughts as they come up, and continue to return your thoughts to your breath.
Meditation and yoga are beneficial stress-reducing practices. You could try a meditation app like Headspace to get you started in just a few minutes each day.
There are many factors that can affect your weight, even if you're eating the same way you always have. Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected and can each contribute to weight gain, even if you haven’t changed your diet.
Recipe (Thyroid friendly iodine): Asian Seaweed Bowl
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 avocado (thinly sliced)
½ cucumber (diced)
½ red pepper (thinly sliced)
1 green onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ garlic clove
dash salt and pepper
Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the ingredients in your bowls.
Serve & Enjoy!
Tip: This is a great lunch to take on the go. Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the ingredients in your bowl. For protein, add cooked chicken or a hard-boiled egg.