Bayleaf Clinical Nutritionist Alex Osellame discusses six things that could be contributing to your inability to lose weight or a slow metablosism.
1. Lack of sleep
Sleep is connected to many hormonal and metabolic processes in the body and is important in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. There is growing evidence showing that sleep loss and sleep disorders have a significant impact on the metabolism. So, are you getting enough sleep?
2. Alcohol consumption
For individuals consuming above 12.5 kcal/kg/day of alcohol (that’s basically any alcohol beverage), alcohol accelerates metabolism and decreases fat mass and leptin levels (hormone that regulates appetite) in the body, and the total calorie intake largely exceeds the normal. Alcohol also decreases testosterone in the body, which is an important hormone in both men and women that not only regulates the libido but regulates bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength. Alcohol also depletes B vitamins in the body, which are essential for a fully functioning metabolism and help us deal with stress.
3. High stress levels
Chronic stress can lead to dietary over-consumption (especially palatable foods), increased visceral adiposity and weight gain. The constant activation of the stress response can be interpreted as living in a constant unsafe situation. Historically our chronic stress response was in relation to war, famine, and needing to go long periods of times without food. Nowadays, it’s often financial, work or relationship concerns. For which it is beneficial for our body to store central (easy to use) fat and glycogen in the liver and hence, help supply the brain with energy on short demand.
4. Fad diets
Yep, we have all heard that fad diets are a short-term fix, and this my friends is true! If you drastically decrease your calorie intake, initially you will experience weight loss and perhaps even feel like your metabolism has sped up. But after time your body will compensate for this “starvation mode” which will slow your metabolism. The other problem that can occur when dieting, particularly if jumping from one to the other is that your energy consumption may not be consistent and again this can cause the metabolism to slow.
5. Obesogenic environments
Obesogens refer to a foreign chemical compound that disrupts normal development and balance of lipid metabolism which can lead to weight gain. Now although it leads to weight gain there is still yet to be more research preformed in this area before knowing its exact effects on the metabolism.
Like the rest of your body, your metabolism will go through the ageing process and start to slow as we age, particularly in menopausal women. This is when your nutrition and exercise choices become more important than ever. The change in the hormonal environment at menopause is associated with an increase in total body fat and an increase in abdominal fat. There is strong evidence that oestrogen therapy may partly prevent this menopause-related change in body composition. However, further studies are required to identify the women most likely to gain metabolic benefit from menopausal hormone therapy in order to develop evidence-based clinical recommendations.
As a clinical nutritionist who believes in individualising treatment, I love working with clients to tailor a specific compounded prescription and program to assist with addressing the core reasons behind why weight is stored or there is difficulty in losing weight. This includes a full dietary review and nutritional assistance. You can book an appointment with me over on the Bayleaf bookings page. I look forward to working with you and achieving your weight loss goals,
Yours in Health and Happiness,