You are positive that you're not eating more food or “junkier” food but you're still gaining weight.
Is this possible?
Yes! You are NOT crazy!
And here's why.
We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight. There's definitely more to the story than just what you're eating, right?
A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat. If you're not sure what this means, here's a refresher ... metabolism.
But, let's go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you're eating the same.
And if you're looking for an easy recipe, try my sushi seaweed bowl. It's thyroid-friendly, paleo and can be easily modified to AIP. Eat up!
Funny things happen the older we get. People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.
Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women. And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.
The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit.
One of the easiest things you can do is to start working on digestive health. As we age, we naturally produce less hydrochloric acid and other enzymes that help break down foods. This can leave us feeling gassy, bloated and much older than our actual age. AND depending on our unique health status, certain foods may contribute to aches/pains.
Not all people should eat dairy. In fact, we naturally produce less and less lactase as we age (lactase is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar in dairy). Many with arthritic conditions find that nightshades (tomatoes/peppers) contribute to their aches/pains.
Finding the right mix of foods is essential for optimum aging. We are all unique and it does require some trial and error.
Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain. There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course: other hormones; diet; chronic stress; inflammation of the gut (or even leaky gut); heavy metals.
When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down. And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight. Even though you're eating the same way you always have.
Supporting hormonal health is crucial. And one of the easiest things you can do is to feed your hormones the right type of fuel. This means tweaking your diet and lifestyle habits in a way the supports hormonal health versus plugging along like you already are!
There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night's sleep.
Poor sleep is linked to obesity and a higher body mass index. Not getting enough sleep can increase your appetite so you eat more! When you're fatigued, you don't make the best decisions and may reach for more sources of refined carbohydrates (anything containing flour or sugar) for a quick fix and sugar spike of energy.
The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.
It's true! Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.
Who ever thought you can sleep-off your weight? Um, yes please.
Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine.
It seems to be everywhere! So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.
And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?
While you can't necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them. Just like I tell my kids - you can't change the situation. You can only change how you react to it.
I'm a bit believer in box breaths. My friends at Harmony Yoga Wellness introduced it to me a few years ago (I was covered in a stress rash at the time). I figured it it helps the police and Navy Seals keep their stress levels under control, it should work for me! And it did. It's so simple that I can do this anywhere at any time. It also works for kids!
Here's what you do ...
Breath in through your nose for four counts.
Hold for four counts.
Breath out through your nose for four counts.
Hold for four counts.
Repeat 1 - 3 times
Pro Tip: Try meditation or yoga. Or even mindful eating around box breaths. What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now? Find something that works for you!
There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you're eating the same way you always have. Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you're eating the same way you always have.