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Why is it So Hard to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?

How to Lose Weight In 6 Simple Steps:

1. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Macronutrients examples

Maybe Intermittent Fast Diet is exactly what works for you long term, and I’m happy for you if it does. However, it’s okay if there are seasons in life where it stops working. It’s okay to try the “five meals a day” style of eating and see perhaps right now it may be better for you vs. eating twice a day. Whatever method you choose to practice just make sure you still stick to general healthy eating base guidelines such as aiming for 80% of your daily caloric intake to be from natural wholesome foods, preferably organic and seasonal.

Limit Sugar and White Flour and other processed foods that have funny sounding ingredients added to them. Whatever style you choose, keep in mind to make sure you are getting all your micronutrients and macronutrients, and that your style supports your health and that it works towards the goals that you have. To briefly explain, macronutrients are the main nutrients required by the human body for energy, growth, and bodily functions. They include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, each playing a distinct role in providing energy and supporting health.

Ensuring you consume a variety of macronutrients (such, as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (like vitamins and minerals) is crucial for keeping your health in check. These nutrients play a role in supporting functions generating energy maintaining immune system health and facilitating growth.

A rounded diet not helps your body function optimally but also prevents deficiencies and contributes to your long term health and happiness. By striking a balance, between macronutrients and micronutrients you can aid weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness boosting metabolism, and aiding in muscle building. This equilibrium promotes weight management while lowering the risk of diseases encouraging a more active lifestyle.

Additionally ensuring you get the right nutrients helps maintain energy levels for engaging in physical activities.

- Protein

Eating protein is crucial for weight loss as it boosts metabolism, reduces appetite, and helps preserve muscle mass while shedding fat, ensuring a healthier and more effective weight reduction process.

- Healthy Fats

Including healthy sources of fat in your diet is essential for weight loss because it helps keep you fuller for longer, supports cell function, and provides the necessary fatty acids your body can't produce. This aids in controlling cravings and improving overall nutritional intake for effective weight management.

- Vegetables

Eating a variety of vegetables, such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, and root vegetables, is vital for weight loss and overall health. They're low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. This combination helps in appetite control, boosts metabolism, and supports bodily functions, leading to effective weight management and enhanced overall wellness

2. Move your body

When you overtrain, your body shuts down and stops responding to the caloric deficit, much so like starvation diets do. Your metabolism slows down as a defense mechanism for survival. You start burning calories less efficiently too because your body is in the constant flight or fight mode, which naturally releases cortisol levels, and once cortisol levels are through the roof it’s merely impossible to lose that stubborn weight. And wait! There’s more! What also happens is that when you over exercise it often leads to overeating, and when that happens the body is just happy to store everything as fat to protect itself, since it knows by now that it will need a lot of energy to do all of these activities that you put yourself through by over exercising.

Fitnello woman back squatting.

3. Eat more fiber

Eating a diet in fiber brings health advantages, such, as assisting with weight loss. Fiber, which can be found in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes helps you feel full for periods and reduces the chances of overeating. It promotes digestion by encouraging bowel movements and can prevent constipation.

Additionally, fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady preventing spikes and drops that can trigger cravings and excessive eating. Moreover, it supports a balance of gut bacteria, which's crucial for effective metabolism and weight control. With its ability to increase satiety promote health stabilize blood sugar levels and improve gut health fiber is a nutrient in the journey, toward weight loss and overall wellness.

4. Eat mindfully

For most people, the main issue is an unhealthy relationship with food.

The “all in or all out” mindset! Thinking that to lose weight, you have to be on

a strict diet for a short period before you can go back to eating whatever you

want once you lose a bit of weight. It simply doesn’t work this way.

Permanent weight loss requires a permanent change in terms of your eating habits. When you make healthy eating your lifestyle, you will never face another overeating episode, or craving highly processed junk food, conventional sweets and refined packaged foods loaded with additives. Those ingredients that make you keep coming back to it no matter how much you try to stay away.

When I go to Starbucks, I never find myself wrestling in my mind the temptation to get a white mocha, or another highly caloric drink that’s loaded with sugar and dairy because “I’m craving it” or simply because that’s what I’m used to getting when I'm not “watching my diet”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or if I’m on vacation or even if I’m not trying to lose weight. I never want to order anything other than just Black Americano, because I’m already used to drinking coffee this way, and not loaded with sugar and fat from dairy. In fact, I actually really do not enjoy coffee that is sweet and tastes more like liquid dessert instead of a coffee drink.

See, I trained my palate to appreciate the goodness of pure coffee, so having a starbucks frappe that I used to have all the time as a teenager is not even on my radar. It’s like saying a hard core vegan will never be tempted to eat a cheeseburger right? So it becomes easy to avoid these foods that are not good for you when they no longer serve as a temptation for you.

This can only happen after you train your palate to eat natural wholesome foods for a long time, and deliberately stop all practices of unhealthy eating habits like late night snacking on junk food or emotional eating. (The unofficial meaning of emotional eating is eating anything and everything that you normally do not eat thinking that somehow you feeling sad, or depressed or mad automatically cancels out the calories out of this food, and that because of our emotional state of mind all rules you normally practice about healthy living just fly out the window).

Emotional Eating is a real issue that many people struggle with, and it can easily be stopped only if you truly transform your value system for food. Apply this to your everyday life! Completely remove junk food out of your life and no longer see it as pleasant and good. Eventually, regardless of the situation, It will no longer be tempting to you. You’ll have a completely different value system for food. Those foods that today might serve as a threat will have no more power over you, but you need to be willing to take the first step to cut it out completely. You won’t crave a bag of chips or ice cream when you feel sad or anxious anymore.

Changing your eating habits and becoming truly healthier and someone who enjoys and values highly nutritious foods, you will never feel deprived. You’ll start to crave healthier options such as organic 75% dark chocolate. It will be more satisfying than regular chocolate, with lengthy ingredient lists that you can’t even pronounce.

5. Stay hydrated

Fitnello woman with water bottle

People who are dedicated, to improving their fitness and engaging in weight loss activities should make sure to prioritize staying well hydrated for important reasons. Firstly water plays a role in enabling the body to function at its best during exercise. When individuals work out they sweat to regulate their body temperature leading to loss. Inadequate water intake can result in decreased endurance, heightened fatigue and compromised muscle function ultimately reducing the effectiveness of the workout and recovery process.

Secondly, individuals aiming to cut down on calorie intake and shed weight can view water as an ally. Water supports metabolism making it easier for the body to burn fat efficiently. Research from the National Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism indicates that drinking 500 ml of water can increase metabolic rate by 30% within half an hour to 40 minutes of consumption while promoting a feeling of fullness.

Furthermore maintaining hydration levels is essential for facilitating detoxification processes that aid in eliminating waste products and supporting organ function, especially for vital organs like the kidneys and liver. This becomes particularly crucial when the body is breaking down fat and releasing toxins. In addition, to advantages, adequate hydration also influences performance and mood—key factors in staying motivated and focused on attaining fitness and weight loss objectives.

6. Get plenty of sleep

Getting sleep is crucial, for both losing weight and maintaining health yet its often underestimated when focusing on diet and exercise goals. The significance of quality sleep in the weight loss process cannot be emphasized enough as it directly influences the mental processes that regulate body weight and composition.

A lack of sleep can disrupt the balance of hormones like ghrelin and leptin which play roles in controlling hunger levels. Sleep deprivation can raise ghrelin levels triggering feelings of hunger while lowering leptin levels, which signal fullness to the brain. This hormonal imbalance may result in increased appetite and cravings for calorie foods.

Furthermore, inadequate sleep can have an impact on metabolism and the bodys ability to efficiently process glucose. Research indicates that poor sleep quality can lead to a metabolism reducing the number of calories burned while at rest. It can also contribute to insulin resistance, a risk factor for obesity and type 2 diabetes making weight loss efforts more challenging.

Moreover, insufficient sleep can impair function and emotional resilience – aspects, of staying motivated and disciplined in sticking to diet and exercise routines. Feeling tired can lower your abilities during exercise making workouts less effective. Additionally being stressed emotionally might lead to eating. Making unhealthy food decisions.

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What about calories and portion control?

Have you ever thought that if you workout you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight? Okay! I will be the first one to raise my hand again and say I’ve been there and I’ve done it. I worked out so much in the past, more than you can imagine! More than two hours for six or seven times a week. Some days I would even do three hours a day, pulling in two cardio sessions and one hour of weightlifting, while not losing any weight. How can this happen, you may ask! It’s actually quite simple, losing weight is not as simple as mainstream media says it is. It is not calories in calories out. It is so complex! Otherwise we would not be struggling with it so much.

Calories and portion sizes vary for each individual's weight loss journey because everyone has a unique metabolism, body composition, and lifestyle. These factors influence how many calories one needs to consume to lose weight. A physically active person might require larger portion sizes or more calories to fuel their activities compared to someone with a sedentary lifestyle. Tailoring calorie intake and portion sizes to personal needs, goals, and activity levels is crucial for effective weight loss.

Check this recipe list for simple meal ideas for fast weight loss:

How fast will you lose weight?

Fitnello woman measuring waist

It will not be all of the sudden, that’s for sure! However, with a strong desire to be healthier and have a positive, healthy relationship with food you must desire a deep internal change, and you also probably should have a reason why that is far more significant than just losing weight. When we follow a weight loss diet, we don’t really care for what we eat or how we eat as long as we lose weight. We foolishly trick our mind to think it’s healthy, where in reality we might be stirring up a very unhealthy relationship with food. That’s why it’s a surface based change, nothing happens on the inside and we still have the same mindset that an afternoon tea with a piece of cake sounds wonderful. It's all about a mindset change and giving yourself healthy options. You will get to choose if you want to include raw green juice everyday to boost your immune system and increase a real raw mega dose of micronutrients into your body. You will decide for yourself if you want to eat animal protein sparingly, if you want to include it daily, or not at all.

Getting Started

Step 1: Make a commitment

Before you get to make all these decisions on your own terms and create your own healthy lifestyle, I challenge you to give your 100% so you can really see what an effect it has on your body, your mood, your digestion, mental focus, and how well your clothes will fit. These nutrition guidelines are more suitable for a short period of time in order to reset your system and allow your body to naturally detox. However, you can certainly start applying some of these principles to your everyday life. For me, I know that eating raw until dinner is an amazing short term detox, but it is not something I could ever commit to long term. Nevertheless, I can appreciate the goodness of raw food during a detox phase and perhaps add more colors to my plate when I resume back to my healthy lifestyle eating habits.

Step 2: Take stock of where you are

Ok, so lets say it’s new years and you set yourself a goal to lose weight. You start strong, lose some weight, but life gets in a way, you lose focus and nutrition starts to slack and workouts are not as often as they used to be. So you gain the weight back, feeling bad about yourself you go back to that same exact method that you used in the beginning of the year - counting calories or doing a ton of cardio or whatever method you used to lose that initial weight in the beginning of the year.

You just go back to it because you only remember how it helped you lose 10 lbs last time, but you never question why it didn’t work long term. You don’t stop and think that maybe this approach is not working after all because you keep slipping and resorting to the same unhealthy eating behaviors that make you gain all the weight back. Or perhaps, it’s a strict workout regimen you keep coming back to.

Step 3: Set realistic goals

Stop and ask yourself why you were not able to keep up with it. Maybe it’s unrealistic to set expectations to do an hour of cardio every day. In any case, it’s very helpful to analyze what approach you have been taking and why it hasn’t worked for you long term. Don’t blindly go back to the same approach, but instead try something new and see if that works. Let me just say a healthy lifestyle seems to be working out very well if you truly adapt to it wholeheartedly. The goal is to get to a place where you can start making healthy eating your style of living, not just while losing weight but in any situation in life such as vacations, parties, day of the month, etc.

Step 4: Identify resources for information and support

Having support from friends, family, and community plays a crucial role in your weight loss journey, providing motivation, accountability, and emotional encouragement when challenges arise. This social support can boost your resilience and commitment to your health goals, making the journey less daunting. Additionally, consulting with qualified professionals such as physicians, dietitians, and fitness experts offers tailored advice and support. These professionals can design customized diet and exercise plans based on your unique health profile, monitor your progress, and adjust strategies as needed. Their expertise not only guides you toward more effective results but also ensures that your weight loss journey is healthy and sustainable, combining the best of both emotional support and professional guidance.

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Step 5: Continually monitor your progress

Keeping track of your weight loss progress is crucial, for reasons acting as a guiding light that supports and motivates you on your path to health. It serves as proof of your work giving you a morale boost by showcasing the results of your dedication no matter how big or small. By checking in through weigh-ins, body measurements or fitness milestones you gain insights into how effective your diet and exercise routines are. This helps you set goals and make any tweaks along the way. This approach allows you to better understand how your body reacts to strategies so you can tailor your efforts to suit your needs.

On the side neglecting to monitor your progress can pose obstacles on your journey. Without a record of whats working and whats not it becomes harder to identify methods and avoid ineffective ones. This could lead to wasted efforts and less, than optimal outcomes. A lack of progress may dampen your motivation and dedication as key achievements go unnoticed. Moreover failing to keep tabs on your journey might mean missing out on chances to adjust goals and strategies when faced with plateaus or setbacks leaving you unsure of where to go

Device of the month: Body-weight scale

Fitnello woman on body-weight scale

I personally struggled with this for so many years and I know countless stories of women sharing the same thing. The weight on the scale drives us insane. It’s down then it’s up again, it seems like it has a mind of its own sometimes. The most classic example I will bring up for this common mistakes section is when you start exercising and eating right and you do such an amazing job for your first week, then you step on scale and it’s up 2 lbs. Sounds familiar? I’ve heard in my practice way too many stories like that but now I tell my clients that I coach for weight loss upfront “Don’t get discouraged if your weight doesn’t drop the first week.”

See, when we start to workout our muscles are sore and they retain fluid to help the recovery process. That fluid weighs on the scale and it causes a temporary water gain, where in reality you might feel light, and your jeans might even fit looser, but the scale is showing you a number that’s 2 lbs more than last week. In that case, many people get discouraged and give up confirming their false belief that nothing seems to work and that they will never lose weight.

What's the healthiest diet?

The notion that there is only one way to lose weight. Whether it’s plant based, low carb, high protein, eating twice a day or five times a day, whatever your preconceived notion is for ultimate weight loss, you should know one thing. One umbrella does not fit all. In fact, one method could work for you one year and the next year another method could be better, because you’re in a different season in life, so you need to find what works for you. Although, there are some general universal common understandings to healthy eating such as wholesome foods, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, avoiding foods with extensive ingredients list, avoid eating tons of processed sugar and white flour, etc. There are many methods that you can apply that can actually work for you personally and give you ultimate health, energy, a positive mindset, mental focus, energy for working out, a healthy gut, balanced hormones and so on.

For a person who is following the Whole30 diet, it might seem like the healthiest diet on the planet and they love it. If it’s working, then great for them! But personally, for me, I can’t say that I would be happy to follow Whole30 long term because I love my smoothies, protein shakes, and high protein pancakes made with oats and egg whites, which all of it are technically not Whole30 approved. This is what helps me to maintain a low body fat %, stay fit, have energy and most importantly, keep me happy, which is an unofficial description of what a wholesome healthy diet should be. So as my sister always likes to say, “to each its own”, but bare in mind that there is a universal understanding of healthy nutrition and those are the guidelines that we all benefit from. However, the style of eating that you take on is your choice, and you will have to find that out on your own. You will get to choose if you want to include fresh Green Juice every day to boost your immune system and increase your micronutrient intake through raw wholesome foods.

A Paleo Dieter will never convince a hardcore Whole-food/Plant-Based eater that their style is healthier, both will agree to disagree while both eat generally speaking wholesome unprocessed foods, limit sugar and junkfood things that come out of a package with lengthy ingredient list. Both generally speaking feel amazing and believe that there is no better method to eat any healthier, and both are right. This is what I mean by understanding that there will be many methods of eating healthy, you just have to choose the one that works for you personally. As for me, I will always be a hard believer in 5 small meals a day each containing a clean, lean source of protein to support my athletic strong body. Maybe down the road I will adapt to some other style but so far this has stood the test of time for me and my clients.

My hope for you is that you completely let go of everything that you once believed to be the proper way to lose weight, as well as your past experiences. Both the good and the bad, especially the extremely frustrating - and even annoying - (I hear you) weight loss attempts. I’ve been through it all! And what I learned is that nothing seems to work until you aim towards changing from the inside, changing your outlook on food and your nutritional habits. If you want lasting results with weight loss - and I mean never fight with the scale again -, you need to aim towards fixing the core issue that caused you to gain that weight in the first place.

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