Are those new years resolutions over already or are you still on track with getting healthy & in shape?

If you tried to lose weight but have fallen off the wagon it is probably down to 2 reasons:

  1. That the protocol / diet plan was not right for you. We are all individuals and respond differently to exercise and food. What might be right for me will not necessarily be right for you. It is a question of finding your unique formula using sound scientifically researched advice as a basis to start from rather than the latest media fad. Once you have found and tweaked the formula you need to master it & it needs to become part of your life if you are to maintain your weight.
  2. The plan was about cutting calories and increasing the amount of exercise that you do. This requires will power to stick to. (Will power gets exhausted when we continually draw on it and is further reduced by stress, sleep and nutrition). You can probably stick with this for maybe 3-4 weeks then it becomes a battle to sustain.

Sustained fat loss is about balancing hormones not counting calories. What you eat and how you exercise affects your appetite and mood. Here are some examples of what is going on with your brain chemistry:

  • If you go on a very restrictive diet to lose weight, you reduce the amount of neurotransmitters and hormones produced in the body. You will deplete serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm, peaceful, and contented and that also plays a key role in controlling appetite) this leads to cravings for different foods and It may also increase depression, anxiety and lethargy.


  • If you do not balance your blood sugar levels (if you skip meals, or eat simple sugars or starchy carbohydrates without protein) you will have very low blood sugar levels which causes intense cravings for carbohydrates (Ghrelin the neurotransmitter that controls appetite is produced). Then if you have simple carbs or sugar to satisfy the cravings you will cause the blood sugar levels to spike thus triggering insulin to be released to lower the levels, this leads the body to think there is a mass of energy available so it stops burning fat and stores it instead.


  • If you reduce your calories over a period of several days you will lower insulin and your thyroid hormone, which slows your metabolism and the release of fat from your body.
Why we resort to Emotional Eating

As you eat more dietary fat, the amount of endorphins increases (the body’s natural “high”, which gives pain relief and pleasure). Research has shown that the more fat in the diet, the more galanin is produced (which increases the desire for fatty foods) so the more fatty food you eat, the more your body craves it. – sound familiar!!
Research has also shown that eating less fat for several weeks has the opposite affect.
Eating extra starchy carbs and sugars will raise serotonin, which makes you feel calm and relaxed.
This is why the combination of sugar and fat (many desserts & chocolate) leaves you feeling calm and contented, but also sets you up to crave more.

When in a stressful situation the brain signals the release of cortisol which switches the body into emergency mode making us alert and energised. If we are in a state of ongoing – chronic stress (which most of us are due to our busy lives, lack of sleep and poor diet) cortisol is continually produced and serotonin is decreased. This can lead to anxiety, and even depression. The body searches for high energy pleasurable food (fat & sugar) and the cortisol then directs the extra calories to the abdomen where it is stored as fat. The fat deposits send back a signal to the brain to shut off the stress response.
When you eat your favourite food this will increase endorphins which may lead to an increase in your eating speed, which encourages you to eat more.
If you are feeling down,” there is an increase in the production of dopamine, which will lead to an increase in desire for food.
Sleep deprivation suppresses appetite, and increases hunger. You typically will eat 10% more calories after a night of little or no sleep.
Exercise naturally the raises the endorphins that lower anxiety and carbohydrate cravings and increases feelings of contentment.

So to lose weight you need to balance the hormones. You need to eat clean nutrient dense foods. Quality lean proteins and good fats to keep the blood sugar levels steady, and reduce cravings. You need lots of fibrous carbohydrates to maintain energy levels and some unrefined whole grain starchy carbohydrates.

Stuck for meal ideas then try the combined fitness – Clean Eating cookbook with 30 days of nutritious breakfast, lunches and dinners to help you regain your health & lose body fat.


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