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Why you may not be losing weight, part 2

In the first post, we discussed the profound role that hormones can play in the struggle to reach a healthy, happy weight.

Today I want to look at sugar.

There is nothing wrong with including small amounts of sugar in your day- your body will break it down as fuel just as it would break down other simple carbohydrates.

However, sugar is a slippery slope and can be part of the weight loss struggle for several reasons. First, it provides little satiety, leaving you hungry again soon after eating. And typically you are not hungry for a pile of leafy green vegetables - it tends to set off the sugar craving cycle where your blood sugar spikes and then drops, causing you to look for more 'quick' energy, or more sugar.

This sugar roller coaster is a struggle for many women I coach, and it can lead to intense cravings, overeating, binging or weight gain. I'm guessing you already know whether or not this is you!

Sugar can be included in moderation when it is balanced with a healthy meal to prevent these spikes in blood sugar. As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to avoid eating sugar by itself if you are sensitive to the blood sugar swings. Instead of ice cream at 3pm or 9pm, include a half cup with your lunch or dinner. This will keep you a bit more balanced and prevent some of the wilder swings.

Focus on getting most of your carbohydrates from complex sources that will take longer to break down, keeping you full a bit longer and providing a variety of nutrients. Combine things like rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes or whole grain pastas with protein and healthy fat to keep you full for several hours and to minimize the cravings.

If you still struggle, you may need to look at micro-nutrient imbalances, which can impact your cravings for sweet (or salty) foods. Chromium, B vitamins and vitamin D3 are particularly helpful to bring your eating into better balance and to allow you to move forward in a healthy way. Working one-on-one with a nutritionist can also give you the tools you need to identify what will work for your individual body type.

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