Like most things in life, maintaining a healthy weight is rarely straightforward, and there is much more to it than simply promising to eat less and exercise more. Modern healthcare professionals are trained to recognise and help manage the complex issues that characterise our relationship with food. In this blog post we will explore these issues and inform you if you are starting out on a journey to a healthier you.
The additives that make weight loss difficult
The formula for weight loss is made even more complex by the contents of the food that we eat. Whilst industry experts may argue that everyone has a responsibility to read the nutritional information on the rear of our favourite food products, the jargon found here can be difficult to understand for the average Joe.
There are a selection of food additives that inconspicuously make their way into our foods, each of which has its own unrecognisable abbreviation on the food label. These additives include:
- Artificial colourings
- Artificial preservatives
Many of these chemicals actively increase the number of fat cells, whilst lowering the number of calories you burn – a problematic combination for those looking to lose weight.
Our bodies are to blame, too
There are certain hormones in our bodies that prevent weight loss - often hormones that are released as a result of our existing diet or other factors such as stress or lack of sleep. For example, insulin plays an essential role in the breakdown of sugars in our body, but too much can cause the production of excess sugar, sugar that is carried to the cells and stored as fat.
It’s all in the mind
Whilst the prospect of thinking yourself thin has been ridiculed in some quarters, more recent research has shown that behavioural and psychological factors can have a dramatic impact on weight loss. In studying patterns in the overweight and obese it has been found that the following issues were common among those with a high BMI:
- Those with low self esteem
- Those who had suffered physical, psychological or emotional abuse
- Those who had experienced an imbalanced upbringing
- Those with an pre-existing poor body image
Starting out on a journey to weight loss
Understanding your existing relationship with food is crucial to changing eating patterns and improving diet. Controlling portion size and calories is, of course, crucial to shedding excess weight, but achieving the right frame of mind can mean the difference between a temporary drop in waist size and a permanent move towards a healthier weight.
One important piece of advice regularly offered by health professionals is that skipping meals is never the answer, particularly if you are also combining a diet with a new exercise regime.
Tried everything and still not able to shift those last few elusive pounds? Consult your pharmacist about the availability of prescription weight loss medication to help your cause.