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Fat Loss pitfalls- part 2

In part 1 of this article I discussed some training pitfalls relevant to a fat loss strategy. In this part I would like to offer some other advice focusing around nutrition, life style, hormones and the environment related to fat loss.

Here is a list of other factors that may hinder your fat loss plans and how to avoid them.

  1. Genetics. Some people are more susceptible to storing fat than others. This does not mean that these folks have to carry excess fat, just that they will find it more difficult to strip it off than others. More difficult, but certainly not impossible. We can strive to make the most of our genetic make up rather than the worst!
  1. Environmental toxins. Unfortunately in certain parts of the world especially built up areas, toxic levels in the environment are high enough to cause disruptions to our endocrine (hormones) system. For example, some of these toxins mimic estrogen and fool our receptors in to receiving them as normal estrogen. This causes an excess of these phony exenoestrogens which can lead us in to fat storing mode. There are many strategies to reduce these unwanted ‘pretenders’ but a simple one is to increase your green vegetable fibre, pooh everyday, be active and support your micro- nutrient levels with good quality multivitamins.
  1. Eating too many man made carbs such as bread, white rice, pasta, cereals, sugar, alcohol and so on. This is ALWAYS a contentious issue. We all love carbs and the body will crave them as it wants the serotonin boost and the instantly accessible energy that they temporarily give. However we are not designed to eat them in the vast and frequent quantities that we currently do. Our ancestors would probably only have eaten high GI carbs when he raided a bee hive (not very often I suspect). Even fruit in the wild has a lower GI than our currently ‘super sweet’ produce today. We should get our carbs from loads of veggies and some fruit (which both also boosts our fibre). Also keep an honest food diary and see how much processed food / drinks and carbs you eat…it can be very revealing.
  1. Failing to eat enough good quality fats. ‘Eat fats to lose fat’ is a well used and accurate statement. Good quality fats (smart fats) will aid fat loss through a host of pathways. For example, omega 3 fats from fish oil will help turn off fat storage and turn on fat burning genes. Other healthy fats include fats from grass fed meat, eggs, nuts, offal, olives/oil, butter, coconut, avocado etc. Fats are integal to good hormone function and cells communicate better on a high fat diet, in fact our brains are mostly fat. Poor quality fats like transfats, hydrogenated / man made fats are to be avoided as they have exactly the opposite effect! Do not get confused by colesterol, it is not caused by eating good quality fats, manmade foods and high sugar loads are among the main causes of ‘high cholesterol’ as well as lifestyle stressors!
  1. Not eating enough protein. Protein is probably the most important macro nutrient to maintain health and a lean body. (Some gurus say that fats are equally or indeed more important, either way, they are both vital). The protein source should ideally come from healthy animals. Strive to eat some form of protein at every meal. If you rely on protein shakes frequently outside of your training window then you have the wrong idea. The protein you eat ought to be chewable!
  1. Contraception. The pill can often cause fat storage due to its hormonal impact. I will say no more about that!
  1. Being angry and stressed constantly. We are more stressed than ever before. Stress causes us to release cortisol. Continuous and prolonged exposure to cortisol (low grade adrenaline) causes us to store fat, depletes or ability to produce digestive enzymes and weaken our immune system. So relax from time to time, 10 deep breaths, ditch the crap, stretch, listen to music, have a massage, go on holiday and so on.
  1. Continually eating food that does not agree with us. What we eat has a profoundly negative effect on us if it does not suit us! Food should make us feel good, either perky (dopamine enhancing) or relaxed (serotonin enhancing). If it makes you bloated, windy, congested, lethargic, upsets your stomach, gives you brain fog etc. then it is not suitable for you. Take note of how you feel after eating (up to 60 mins). You will quickly see what foods help and what foods hinder. The main problem foods are wheat and dairy. Or better still, just eat dead stuff, green stuff and vibrant coloured stuff and all of this is irrelent!
  1. Not getting enough sleep. Adequate sleep cures a lot of ills, but a chronic lack of it causes insulin and cortisol imbalances, reduces testosterone and limits our repair mechanism. The side effect of this disruption in our circadian rhythm (bodily daily time table) is additional fat storage. Therefore, avoid excess IT / TV time at night, black out the bed room, add magnesium to your nightly regime, avoid stimulants, hard to digest foods, dim lights at night, have a Epsom salts bath, have sex, stretch, write a next day ‘to do list’ to allow your brain to relax (not neccessarily in tht order!)…and so on.
  1. Not considering the health of your gut. The gut has been called the 2nd brain and for good reason. A healthy gut equate to a happy brain! There are a myriad of possible issues regarding gut health. The 2 main considerations are to ensure you can digest your food correctly and to ensure you gut flora (probiotic) levels are healthy. It seems that modern living reduces our stomach acid levels as well as depletes our probiotic levels. Fixing these basic gut necessities will help with a host of health issues as well as fat loss. Consider adding digestive enzymes during your meals to aid with the breakdown and digestion of food and then add a probiotic to help maintain or increase gut flora. If you do not pooh AT LEAST once a day please consider this paragraph carefully, as well as adding fibre to you diet.
  1. A lot of beauty products are absorbed through the skin and negatively effect our hormonal balance. They act like estrogens and can end up insidiously causing us to store fat. Find out what you are putting on your skin. Although this may seem a bit ‘out there’ please make no mistake, high chemical / paraban loaded products rubbed daily on your skin can cause fat storage.
  1. Lack of micro nutrients. Inadequate micro nutrient levels (vitamins, minerals, phyochemicals, antioxidants) cause a host of health issues not least of all indirect difficulty in reducing fat. In an ideal world we should be able to get all these ‘little helpers’ from the perfect food we eat. However the food / water we consume is often high in additives, hormones, heavy metals, preservatives, plastics, pesticides as well as lacking in some key micro nutrient. One obvious mineral that the majority of us are deficient in is magnesium which is a key mineral for health, energy production, alkalinity and more. To help ‘cover all the basis’ some form of multi nutrient support can help.

There are other considerations regarding fat loss, in fact we could bang on for ages but corrie is about to start so that is all I have for now! I hope these 2 articles have been of some use to you. Cheers for reading. More blogs on www.pfpexeter.co.uk