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Make This the Year You Finally Shed Off Those Pesky Pounds

Make This the Year You Finally Shed Off Those Pesky Pounds

Does it feel like you always have the same New Year’s resolution of making this the year you return to the gym and lose those extra pounds before summer? You’re feeling gung-ho and ready to see results but they don’t seem to come? Instead, you maybe gain another few pounds or stay at the same weight? We know this feeling all too well. There are many reasons why you may not be losing weight and we’re hoping this article will shed some light so that you can make this year, YOUR year!

What’s stopping you?

It can be discouraging when you’re making a point to add daily exercise to your routine and you’re eating all the healthy foods but aren’t seeing results. There are a lot of aspects of our health that are often overlooked when it comes to losing fat and building lean muscle mass. Some common reasons that could be hindering you include: 

  • Not drinking enough water

  • Not eating enough protein

  • Not eating ENOUGH calories or eating TOO MANY calories

  • Not getting quality, restful sleep

  • Chronically high-stress levels contributing to elevated cortisol levels (adrenal fatigue)

  • Imbalance of hormones  

Not Drinking Enough Water

60% of the human body is composed of water, meaning water plays an important role in almost every single function within your body including:

  • Suppressing your appetite: The brain can often mistake dehydration for hunger pains. Making sure you stay hydrated can decrease the feeling of hunger. Drinking plenty of water can also help to satiate the stomach and send a signal to the brain that you are “full”.

  • Stimulating Metabolism: Drinking water can stimulate thermogenesis in the body when we drink water. This will increase the energy expended in the body which increases your metabolism. 

  • Water is needed to burn fat: Increasing hydration increases lipolysis; the process by which the body burns fat for energy. 

Therefore; ensuring you’re drinking a MINIMUM of 2L of water a day can aid you in your weight loss journey, but more is required depending on your activity level, your body mass, how much caffeine you consume in the day, as well as the climate and atmospheric pressure.

For individuals who struggle to drink water, adding fruit is always a great option or you can add an electrolyte powder for added hydration or a BCAA/EAA powder to get the added benefits of muscle recovery and protein synthesis.

Not Eating Enough Protein

The connection between a high-protein diet of at least 1 GRAM of PROTEIN per 1LB of Body Weight and weight loss has been studied for years and has shown substantial results. Some of the benefits shown are:

  • Increasing protein intake contributes to proper regulation of appetite-reducing hormones such as GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin. 

    • GLP-1 reduces appetite and releases insulin

    • Peptide YY binds to the brain receptors to decrease hunger and makes you feel full after eating

    • Cholecystokinin triggers the gallbladder to release bile in order help break down food and begin the absorption process

  • Digesting Protein burns more calories: 

    • Protein has a much higher thermic effect on the body than carbohydrates or fats at roughly 20-30% protein calories. Meaning 100 calories of protein actually becomes 70 usable calories in the body. This will also increase the amount of calories burned throughout the day by 80-100 calories!

  • Protein can prevent muscle loss. 

    • There is a difference between losing fat and losing weight, when we lose weight we have the potential to lose both fat and muscle mass. 

    • Studies have shown that eating a high-protein diet will help ensure that we are maintaining and protecting our muscle mass and that the weight loss is primarily fat

The need for protein increases as we are more active whether it be through exercise or our type of work, as well as we age. To maintain all tissues protein is required as protein is composed of all the amino acids which are the building blocks for our body. Adequate protein consumption can aid with the prevention of skin loosening and sagging, maintaining muscle mass, joint integrity, hormone production and regulation.

Shop our Proteins

Not Eating ENOUGH Calories or Eating TOO MANY Calories

The biggest thing with weight loss is our consumption of food. More often than not, people are under eating as they believe less food is what is going to help them lose weight. Our body requires food for energy not just for our physical movement throughout the day but for every process that happens within our body. Calories should be thought of as energy and the burning of calories should be thought of as the expenditure of energy. 

60-70% of the calories we burn in the day are purely for the processes that keep our body functioning and alive, such as:

  • Respiration

  • Heart Pumping

  • The circulation of blood 

  • Hormone production 

  • All of the actions of our brain and nervous system

  • Kidney function


10% of the calories we burn in the day are for used to convert the food we consume into energy, which means that mastication, propulsion, mechanical digestion, chemical digestion, and the absorption of nutrients account for 10% of the energy we expend during the day. 

That leaves us with 20-30% of the calories we burn, for our daily movement. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Our body maintaining posture

  • Walking

  • Talking

  • Brushing your teeth 

  • How you move and use your body at work 

  • Sports 

  • Exercise 

Many of us only account for the calories that we burn when we are exerting ourselves through exercise, but that is a small percentage if you compare it to the amount of energy that is expended just to keep you alive! 

It is important to ensure that you are never eating below your Basal Metabolic Rate as this is the amount of calories your body requires just to keep you alive. When you eat below this, your body goes into what we call “starvation mode” and when you fall into this, everything that you consume ends up being stored to be used for future use so that it can keep you alive. This is why sometimes you either don’t lose any weight no matter how hard you’re trying or you end up gaining weight.

If you know your Basal Metabolic Rate, you need to calculate what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is. This table is a great guide to help you figure out what that is based on your lifestyle. If you don’t know your Basal Metabolic Rate, there are many websites with calculators that factor your age, height, weight, and gender, but for the most accurate you can book a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis with our holistic nutritionist, Dr. Manjiri Nadkarin, MD (Ayu), RHN. This analysis gives you your BMR plus much more so that you can track your wellness and whether you are losing fat or muscle during your weight loss journey.

Book your BIA today!  

Not Getting Quality, Restful Sleep

Sleep is a big factor that is neglected when it comes to our weight loss journey. Giving your body that time to rest and recover from the day is vital for you to be refreshed and ready for the next day. Sleep aids us to have better management of our health in many aspects such as our immune health, stress response, hormone regulation, and cognitive function. 

It’s important to remember that just because you’re in bed for 8 hours of the night does not mean that you are getting 8 hours of quality, restful sleep. Waking up throughout the night, not getting into a deep sleep, and environmental factors such as light coming through the window during the night or  a TV in the bedroom can contribute to the poor quality of your sleep.

Another contributing factor to a disruption of quality sleep includes eating too late at night. When we eat within 3 hours before going to bed, we have a greater chance of acid reflux as the body has not been given a proper amount of time for digestion to occur and move the contents from the stomach to the small intestine. It's also important to note that studies show eating too late at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm which is programmed to digest and control blood sugar levels better throughout the day. This disruption can increase the risk of weight gain and decrease the quality of sleep. 

Making an effort to go to bed at a decent time can aid in getting a better night's sleep. Studies indicate that going to bed and falling asleep before 11PM is a must as the body produces a second cortisol surge after 11PM which can keep you awake, as well as trigger anxiety-like symptoms and cause difficulty falling asleep. 

High Stress Levels Contributing to Elevated Cortisol 

We should first start with what Cortisol is exactly... 

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the Adrenals which is responsible for regulating glucose metabolism, immune system hormones, cardiovascular functions and metabolization of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and best known for being responsible for the Flight or Fight stress response.

Elevated levels of cortisol over long periods will consistently produce glucose which leads to increased blood sugar levels. This means the body will stay in an insulin-resistant state if not addressed resulting in the body storing sugar as fat.  

Signs of elevated cortisol levels include:

  • insulin resistance

  • weight gain (especially in the abdominal area)

  • difficulty sleeping

  • Inflammation

  • chronic pain

  • food allergies 

  • higher feelings of anxiety

  • elevated mood swings

  • digestion issues (bloating). 

 High stress and elevated cortisol levels will affect our digestion of foods, which will inhibit the ability to absorb nutrients properly and slow down digestion. The lack of nutrient absorption can lead to a hormonal imbalance as many of the hormones produced in our body rely on specific nutrients that are sourced through the foods we eat such as Vitamin B, Zinc, and Vitamin C. 

Any nutrients absorbed will be made to focus on cortisol production instead of causing a major imbalance in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which will lead to difficulty losing weight or maintaining weight.

There are supplements that can help to lower your cortisol levels and help to manage your stress. 

Natural Factors Stress-Relax Serenity Formula is a top choice for anyone needing help to support normal levels of cortisol. 

Imbalance of Hormones

When we have an imbalance of hormones it can wreak havoc on our ability to control weight loss. Hormone Imbalance almost always looks different for each individual but some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling tired 

  • Insomnia

  • Weight gain -specifically in the abdominal area

  • Anxiety

  • Brain fog

  • Inability to regulate temperature

  • Constipation

  • Loose stool

  • Low libido

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Early menopause

  • And more

Being able to rebalance hormones can be tricky but by focusing on a healthy diet, exercise, sleeping well, reducing exposure to toxins, maintaining healthy liver function, optimizing your digestion, and reducing stress and inflammation gives you the ability to rebalance your hormones and have a better chance of reaching your weight loss goals. 

If hormone imbalance sounds like something you may be experiencing; some of our top supplements to help aid you in rebalancing your hormones are;

Womensense Estrosense; is a formula containing all-natural ingredients to help maintain healthy hormone levels. 

Ultimate Male Energy; is an all natural formula designed to support men’s hormonal health.


Supporting Research:

Rimes, J. (2019) Guide to Nutritional Symptomatology. 1st edn. Richmond Hill, Ontario. 

Suni, E. and DeBanto, J. (2023) Sleep and Overeating, Sleep Foundation. Available at:,can%20further%20reduce%20sleep%20quality. (Accessed: 16 January 2024). 

Thornton, S.N. (2016) Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss, National Library of Medicine. Available at: (Accessed: 14 January 2024). 

Turner, N. (2010) The Hormone Diet. Essence Wellness Inc.
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