I Eat healthy and I Gain Weight
Since last December, I have gained 15 lbs. I am a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, I eat a very healthy diet, I know how to combine foods for best results… And yet, there are times in my life when things get out of control and the weight creeps back up.
There are many “behind-the-scene” reasons why we gain weight. They are linked to metabolism, genetics, medication side-effects, etc. We don’t necessarily have much influence on those different factors, so this is not what I will talk about today. Instead, I will tell you what in the past few months, has contributed to me putting on an extra layer of fat, even though I have been maintaining my weight for about 20 years and through 3 pregnancies.
It’s actually not the first time it happens to me. For various reasons, I have to be very careful with my food intake and lifestyle, otherwise it quickly gets out of control.
Here is what, since the beginning of the year, has lead to extra pounds.
Lack of sleep
Sleep, for many years, has been a top priority of mine. Sleep has a huge influence on our appetite, hormones, and decision making process. For the past months, my practice has been booming, the schedule is filling up, and I have found it slightly difficult to stick with my usual sleep pattern. Every time this has happened before in my life, weight gain was almost immediate and this time around it no different.
If you feel that you are doing everything right and yet you are gaining weight, I suggest that you look at what happens in your life at night. Do you sleep more on the weekend than during the week? Then you might be sleep deprived without knowing it. Do you ever wake up before the alarm? If not, maybe you actually never get your required amount of sleep. Most of us need around 7 or 8 hours. Do you get them? Maybe you need more than that. I definitely do!
For the past few months, I have been working out of the house most week nights. As a result, family dinners have decreased, and quite instantly, my weight has increased. Why is that?
When I eat with my family, we talk, we wait for each other to be done with one course before moving to the next one… Meals take longer and less food is gobbled up. When I eat alone, I am watching the news, reading an article, not paying much attention to what I am eating, not savoring my food and not giving time to my brain to register the satisfaction of eating.
As a result, not only do I eat more for dinner, but I also leave the table with no pleasure from my meal. That makes me crave for more an hour later, which leads to snacking.
Think about it!
Do you pay attention to the food (and beverages!) you put in your body? Sometimes, just being aware of what we actually eat and drink makes a huge difference in the quantity and quality of what we end up eating. Why don't try and be more mindful in the next few days. See how that feels!
My usual schedule allows for 4 meals per day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a substantial after-school snack. This is the French “goûter”, a delicious meal comprised for me of butter and jam toasts. Adding a snack here and there, as healthy as it might be, will lead to extra weight if those calories are burnt off.
We have to remember: even though there are a lot of factors involved in whether someone gains weight or doesn’t, the whole process can still be summarized in one simple equation. If we eat more than what our body uses, we gain weight. It's that simple. Now granted, some people will use less than others, and I agree with you, that’s not fair!!! Although, it's important to keep in mind that there are a few things we can do to increase how much energy our body needs, and they can be quite counter intuitive sometimes. If you want to know more about that, we should talk 🙂
Of course, it’s not all about quantity. Quality is also super important and if you need some inspiration for quality snacks, you can download my Ultimate Snacking Guide with 10 delicious ideas of sugar-free snacks.
Will sleep, mindfulness, and fewer snacks make me lose weight?
The short answer is, YES!
Now, I will be honest with you, there are a few other lifestyle “slip-ups” that have contributed to my recent weight gain. I won’t bore you with all of them, and also, quite frankly, I don’t feel like sharing all my "bad" habits all at once :-).
But if you want to talk about what might keep YOU from managing your weight, I’ll be happy to share more if you want to know more, and also to take a look at what you are doing in your every day life that might keep your health and weight loss efforts from paying off.
Steps for weight loss and better health
Most of us want to be healthy. Most of us want to make the “right” choices. But it’s often hard to know what to focus on first. Sometimes, we apply mainstream recommendations and they don't work. What if your needs are actually different? What if you are wasting your energy (and will-power!) on a lifestyle that is not meant for you?
If having a Nutrition and Behavior Change expert look at your lifestyle and point out of few specific changes you could make is something you would find helpful, I encourage you to pluck up the courage to request a Complimentary Consultation with me. We will hop on the phone and chat. Sometimes, a good conversation is all it takes to get going in the right direction! Allons-y ! Let's go!
None of my services and articles are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in my services, programs, and classes is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.