Reasons Why Weight Loss Is Hard

I am going to be honest with you – weight loss is not easy or straightforward. You have to work at it. There is no magic bullet, or pill or even a perfect diet. Despite the hundreds of diet books that proclaim a quick fix 6-week super easy plan or a supplement or tea. The message of eat less and move more is vastly over-simplified. It’s not just a case of finding
the perfect diet – there are lots more factors at play. The reality is that the body is displaying excess fat due to other dynamics in the body. Excess body fat promotes inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body then promotes body fat and before you know it you are in a vicious cycle which is hard to escape.

Our bodies are designed to hold onto fat. In fact, it is desirable to have the ability to hold on to fat as in times gone by this meant that you would have survived the harsh winter of not such a ready supply of food. Our bodies are designed to put on fat during food rich times such as late summer and autumn when the harvest is bountiful, and our bodies are also
capable of periods of fasting where we use up this surplus fat. However, we are not having these periods of famine or fasting. There is a constant supply of snacks and hyper palatable foods all year round and all day. So in order to lose weight we have to fight against our basic survival instinct – which isn’t easy to do every day and every month.
This is just one of the reasons that I like to impose a no snacking rule at GreggWallace.Health. We have lost the ability to fast. We can’t leave the house for more than a few hours without taking something to sustain us. However, our bodies just don’t need this constant food supply. They like the periods of fasting to clean up. Even better is a long period of fasting
overnight. Finishing your evening meal and then going 12 hours without food. If you aren’t used to this, you might need to start with 10 hours – but then you can easily stretch this to 14 hours with no issues if that works for you and your lifestyle.

Nutrients not calories
The typical Western diet is full of calories, but not necessarily nutrients. Think fizzy drinks, muffins, cakes, bread, biscuits and chocolate. They provide the body with calories which help to put on weight. However, our body is thinking of nutrients in order to work efficiently and if it’s not getting the nutrients then it puts signals out that we need more fuel. We then
get more cues to reach for food. This is why the recipes at GreggWallace.Health are full of real ingredients and not just based on calories. While a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight – the quality of your calories is much more important than the number of calories. If you just eat empty calories, then you will find it so difficult to go into a calorie deficit as your body
will literally be crying out for nutrients. The typical calorie dense but nutrient light foods are also usually highly palatable. Food manufactures work hard to discover the bliss point so it become virtually impossible to have just one biscuit.


A huge barrier to weight loss is stress. A highly restrictive diet is a stress on the body. A highly restrictive diet will force weight loss temporarily – but only in the short term and is not sustainable. The body stresses and so tries to protect itself – by holding on to fat. Other stresses in the body also impact weight loss – poor sleep, too much cardio exercise, not enough rest, too much alcohol, burning the candle at both ends, no downtime. High stress whether from work or home life will mean that your blood sugars will be elevated the next day – even if you eat a blood sugar balancing diet such as the one at GreggWallace.Health. If you have elevated sugars then your body will crave more sugar, which then causes you to put on
weight. Stress is a huge mediator to overweight and I urge you to look at stress reduction techniques if you feel that your life is stressful or your response to stress is elevated.
Mindfulness and stress reduction choices such as yoga, walking, listening to music and stroking a pet have all been shown to reduce stress levels. My favourite is deep breathing. We all have to breathe – but when we are stressed, we tend to breathe in shallow and short breathes. Try breathing in for the count of 4, holding for 4, breathe out for 4 and then hold again for 4. If you are stressed, then the metabolic uncertainty in your body will cause your body to store fat – even if you are eating less calories.

Yo-yo dieting
I hear from a lot of you that you have turned from one diet to the next in a bid to find one that works for you. Unfortunately yo-yo dieting puts a stress on your body, and this reduces your basal metabolic rate. This is the rate that your body burns calories just from breathing or trying to keep warm. If you do a short-term diet and then go back to the way you ate
before (which made your body store fat) then this makes it harder for you to lose weight next time. In order to change this cycle you need to change the way you eat for life. Weight loss needs to be sustainable and forever. This is why Gregg talks so often about “being good most of the time is good enough.” You need to do this for the rest of your life and so it needs to be sustainable even if that means the odd indulgent meal, glass of alcohol with friends, or slice of cake on your birthday.

Your lifestyle habits become the same as the 5-6 people you tend to hang out with most. If the people that you hang out with overeat, indulge in lots of alcohol, order lots of takeaways and have a sedentary lifestyle – then the likelihood is that you will too. Going against this in the short time is not too hard – but to go against this long term is much, much
harder. However, good your friends or family are, they start to judge or sabotage you. “How come you are not eating cake? You’re so boring not drinking alcohol. Go on have another chocolate…” If you want to lose weight permanently then you are going to need to make different lifestyle choices. This means that you need to be confident enough to stand out and be different. Otherwise, this is akin to a yo-yo diet. You’ll lose weight, but then bad habits will creep back in and you’ll put the weight back on again. We want you to stay fitter and healthier for life. This is why the GreggWallace.Health Members Facebook group is so invaluable. This is your tribe. This is full of people being different – making healthier choices and not judging you or trying to tempt you to stray.

In this blog I have outlined all the reasons why it is so hard to lose weight. GreggWallace.Health though is different. This is a sustainable way to lose weight. We are not promising a quick fix or losing a certain amount in a particular time frame. We want you to lose weight at a pace that suits your body. This could be as little as 1lb every 2 weeks. However, we want that weight to stay off – forever. The way to do this is to change your habits. Not all at once – but slowly. Every week or month set yourself a new challenge or habit to try. Don’t make them too hard. You want them to be achievable and something you can still see yourself doing a year from now. You need to change the way you eat and your lifestyle forever for success.

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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC