This is something I’m often asked when discussing weight struggles with those who reach out to us for help. And to be honest, I’d asked myself this same question many times in the past.
Like many of our clients, I’d been down all the usual dead-end paths – given up foods, adjusted my diet, worked out at the gym, and I’d always arrive back at the same point. And it’s incredibly frustrating to be doing ‘all the right things’ and not getting anywhere – or worse, still gaining!
But when I finally found the solution, it was a ‘lightbulb moment’ for me. I realised I’d been focusing in the wrong area all along. I should have been asking, “What’s really happening here?” and, “What do I need to do differently in order to be healthy and for my body to function correctly?”.
After all – everything worked perfectly when I was younger, so what happened?
I don’t want to bore you with my life story, and to be honest, the triggers for my body to go from harmony to imbalance might be different to yours, but essentially the ‘take home’ here is that something definitely changed. For me, it was a number of factors (including stress), and for many of our clients, pregnancy is one of those contributors. Your body goes through so many changes while bringing a new life into this world!
Of course, food choices play a part in our weight, but it’s not the whole story. How your body responds to the physical demands of pregnancy, and the stresses of modern life, is equally important.
In pregnancy and also during prolonged stress, your body creates a complex cascade of hormones and biochemical reactions, often resulting in reduced insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is one of the hormones that plays a crucial role in controlling body weight, and as insulin sensitivity reduces, it becomes easier and easier to gain weight, and more and more difficult to lose it.
In the distant past, obesity was rare because of the natural cycle of the seasons. During summer and autumn when fruit and grains were abundant, our ancestors would naturally gain weight because they were eating more of these types of foods. This was their body’s way of preparing for winter. And over the colder months when food was scarce, they would burn up those fat stores.