There's a lot of talk about weight loss - both positive and negative - and it's important to understand it by getting back to basics.
What Causes Weight Loss?
There are lots of things that can cause weight loss, but we need to consider whether or not the weight loss is intentional or not. Weight loss is caused by our body burning more energy (calories) than we need, but can also be caused by other things, including serious health issues.
Intentional Weight Loss
Intentional weight loss is when a person looks to reduce their body weight and is done for many different reasons.
They could do this by exercising or exercising more (so that more calories are burned), eating mindfully or in a calorie-controlled regime, increasing water consumption, getting enough sleep, or a combination of all of these.
Unintentional Weight Loss
Unintentional weight loss is when someone loses weight without changing their diet or exercise routine and can be a sign of serious illness or stress. It can have a number of different causes, including:
- Stressful events, such as job loss/redundancy, relationship issues, divorce, grief and economic uncertainty
- Mental health conditions
- Digestive problems (including IBS and coeliac disease)
- Other health conditions, including thyroid conditions, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease and more
Does Drinking Water Help Lose Weight?
Science suggests that water can help with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, remove waste from your body, reduce overall liquid calorie intake, and make exercise easier and more efficient, all of which could contribute to results on the scale.
How Do Hormones Affect Weight Loss?
As we know, hormones support many vital functions within the body, including our ability to maintain muscle, lose body fat, and experience stress and hunger. Therefore, when a hormonal imbalance occurs, it becomes considerably harder to lose weight.
What are the Best Foods to Eat to Aid Weight Loss?
There are lots of different foods which can help with weight loss, including
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Veggies
- Lean Beef
- Chicken Breast
- Boiled Potatoes
- Beans and Legumes
- Oats (both raw and in porridge)
- Chia Seeds
- And more
As previously mentioned, it is important to make sure that you are burning more calories than you consume.
Is BMI a Good Measure of Your Health?
As a single measure, BMI is not a perfect measure of health, but it’s still a useful starting point for important conditions that become more likely when a person is overweight or obese. In my view, it’s a good idea to know your BMI.. but it’s also important to recognise its limitations.
Why Weight Often Doesn’t Matter!
- Your body composition is changing!
- Your weight fluctuates each day.
- Your weight does not always show your health!
- Muscle Mass weighs more than Body Fat!
- Your scales do not account for everything (you have bones and organs and a big heavy brain in your body too remember!)
If the number on the scale can make or break your day, you are not alone. It’s normal to feel disheartened when your weight is up and happier when the number is down. You could have 3 women that weigh the same but have 3 different shapes and sizes. It all depends on how much muscle and fat you carry and where!
Stop focusing on your weight and just worry about adopting a healthier lifestyle.