Are You Gaining Weight Because You're Not Eating Enough?
If you're not getting your daily nutrients, it could lead to weight gain! What's worse -- eating certain foods can make your nutrient deficiencies worse.
How Can Nutritional Imbalances and Deficiencies Impact Your Weight Loss Journey
You've been exercising and eating healthy foods, but you're still not losing weight or you're losing weight at a rate that's much slower than expected. So what gives? Well, it's possible you could be suffering from weight loss resistance, a condition that arises as a result of nutritional imbalances or nutritional deficiencies.
When we think of malnutrition, we usually think of an emaciated, starving child. But the reality is very different. Even if you're a normal weight or overweight you can still be malnourished or undernourished.
What Are the Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies and How Do They Happen?
Nutritional deficiencies usually arise as the result of a poor or imbalanced diet. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, his experience working with more than 10,000 patients over the course of 40 years has led him to the conclusion that nutritional deficiencies are very commonplace.
Research has revealed that Americans are overeating, yet they're eating all the wrong things, resulting in serious deficiencies. Here's a look at a few of the nutritional imbalances that have reached epidemic levels in the U.S.:
- 30 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A;
- 80 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D; and
- 90 percent of Americans are deficient in a crucial type of beneficial fat, known as omega-3 fatty acids, which are key to controlling your blood sugar levels.
There's also a good chance you're deficient in other vitamins and minerals like magnesium and zinc.
If you're lacking the right nutrients, this can actually exacerbate and worsen your weight gain, even leading to obesity. This happens for a few reasons. One reason is that your body needs certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in order to break down fat and build muscle. What's more, you could be left feeling lethargic and sluggish if you're eating the wrong foods and that can make you rather reluctant to hit the gym.
What Foods Exacerbate Nutritional Imbalances and Deficiencies?
There are a few types of foods that are believed to be responsible for contributing to nutritional imbalances. In short, these foods tend to be those that are high in calories and fat and low in vitamins and minerals.
A few of the most common “problem foods' include:
- High fructose corn syrup;
- Refined vegetable oil;
- Refined flour;
- Foods that are high in trans fats; and
- Processed foods.
It's probably no surprise that these foods are also linked to obesity and weight gain. In fact, a study revealed that Americans are, on average, consuming 500 calories per day more than the average person was consuming in 1970. This has been attributed to the increased intake of foods with high fructose corn syrup and sugar-rich drinks and foods.
Processed foods (especially those that are low in fiber) have also been connected to so-called “leaky gut syndrome,” a mysterious catch-all term that encompasses a number of different symptoms such as poor nutrient absorption, food sensitivities, cramps, bloating and gas.
Even so-called “healthy” foods aren't always rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. That's because factory farms that raise animals for meat or milk are constantly giving them powerful antibiotics and hormones. Plus, the animals are fed a diet that's more economical than it is nutritious, so the quality of the meat is severely impacted.
Today's farming practices are also problematic when it comes to crops, which are often planted in poor, depleted soil that lacks the nutrients required to produce robust, nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables and grains.
How Do You Treat Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause Weight Loss Resistance?
If you're suffering from weight loss resistance – an inability to lose weight properly – there are a few different strategies that you can try. Dr. Hyman recommends a multi-faceted approach that's intended to correct nutritional imbalances, which in turn, “reset” your metabolism, normalizing your body's ability to burn calories and use energy. You'll also enjoy normalized hormone levels, which can reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. You may see an improved ability to build new muscle too. More muscle means that your body burns more calories, even when you're resting.
This is achieved with the following strategies:
- Eating organic, nutrient-rich foods, with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and essential fatty acids. You also need to avoid processed foods, high-fat foods and foods with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and refined oils and grains.
- Eating at least 6 ounces of lean protein daily, like fish or lean poultry meats.
- Eating healthy fats from plant sources like seeds, nuts, olive oil and coconut oil.
- Soothe and heal your intestinal tract with probiotics, a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement, zinc and glutamine supplements.
- Getting a good night's sleep, which is crucial to preventing illness and allowing your body to heal.
- Reducing chronic stress, which can skew your hormone levels, even leading to B vitamin deficiencies.
- Exercising on a daily basis, which will help speed your metabolism, cleanse toxins from your body and improve your overall health.
With these tips, you'll be well on your way to correcting nutritional deficiencies, losing weight and improving your overall health.