For most people, weight loss and weight rebound is a rollercoaster of a journey that happens every year. The constant struggle to re-lose the same weight takes it toll emotionally and physically.
The most satisfying feedback I get from our 28ers is that we’ve given them a program that is finally not just achievable but sustainable so they can say goodbye to their unwanted excess weight FOREVER.
I caught up with the head of nutrition at 28, Steph Geddes, to look at one often overlooked reason you might have fallen victim to rebound weight gain.
1. Your microbiome is out of balance.
Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and probiotic supplements are growing in popularity amongst mainstream consumers and for good reason. As a society, we’re becoming much more aware of the importance of good nutrition and this is especially true when it comes to foods and supplements that promote good gut health. Good gut health means more than being free from digestive discomfort and recent studies have suggested that your gut flora can even play a role in determining your body shape. This doesn’t mean that being naturally lean is due to good gut flora, just like being obese is not a result of poor gut health. What it does mean is that your gut health can play a role in how long you keep off weight that you’ve lost.
Have you ever tried making your own Kimchi at home? Try my recipe for the easiest Kimchi
Our bodies have 10 x more gut ‘bug’ cells than functioning cells.
These gut bugs can be responsible for our cravings and it’s no surprise then that sugar, carbs and lactose are amongst their favourite foods. Continuing to feed these gut bugs the foods that they are craving only fuels the urge to consume and this can become a vicious cycle.
One-third of our gut bacteria are common but the other two-thirds are specific to us as individuals. This means that if you are significantly overweight, you will have gut bacteria completely different to someone who is naturally lean. Improved nutrition and exercise habits can help you to lose weight and naturally this will also alter your gut flora to favour your new lean shape. However, studies have shown that some bacteria can sit dormant for up to 6 months so the bacteria that was reflective of your overweight shape can still be sitting there and will actually thrive at any opportunity when your healthy habits might slip up- and this is when we can rebound weight gain.
The best way to improve your chances of long-term weight loss is to take a sustainable approach with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise and to maintain this for a minimum of six months. Ideally, of course, you should be able to sustain your weight loss for life!
2. Unsustainable lifestyle choices
If you’ve been a yoyo dieter in the past, chances are you learnt the hard way that when you regain the weight you lost, you often add a few extra kilos on top of this. As a society, we’re always looking for that ‘quick fixs’ and are resistant to anything that takes too long.
Studies have shown time and time again that these fad diets and short-term approaches not only cause you to gain back the weight that you’ve lost but you’re actually more likely to put on extra weight on top of this. Instead of looking for shortcuts or taking drastic approaches we need to be switching our focus to positive lifestyle changes that become sustainable healthy habits.
If you’re sick and tired of seeing the scales go up and down or you want to take a preventative approach to weight loss, sit down and create a plan that will work for you.
You don’t need to eat chicken and broccoli or train for an hour a day to lose weight. When you JERF (just eat real food) and make every workout count (28 minutes really is all you need) you’ll see just how easy and enjoyable healthy living can be.
You should look to create a balanced healthy eating routine that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived, overwhelmed or miserable. As part of that, try to incorporate a good balance of the following foods for a happy and healthy gut… and waistline!
Our most gut-friendly foods include:
- whole grains
- extra virgin olive oil
- … as well as some fermented foods and drinks (like kefir)