If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’re probably familiar with the idea that weight loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out – and yes, this is technically true. If you eat more calories than you burn, you store the extra energy as fat. On the contrary, when you eat fewer calories than you need, your body will get its energy from your stored fat cells instead, leading to a dip in the scale.
But unfortunately, it’s not always that simple of an equation, and many people find that they have a hard time losing weight even despite eating at a caloric deficit.
If calories are the only thing that you focus on during a weight loss attempt, there’s a huge piece of the puzzle you’re missing. Nutrients, hormones, and even other lifestyle factors can also play a vital role in how you manage your body weight and composition, which is why it’s so valuable to get tested and know where your biometric data stands.
You used to have to make a trip to the doctor’s office for a blood test that could give you answers to what was holding you back from reaching your goals. Luckily, with the advent of
These other trackable factors might be getting in the way of your weight loss attempts:
Improper macronutrient balance
A healthy diet is key for weight loss, but this goes beyond just knowing the total amount of calories you eat in a day. Eating the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can make a huge difference in how you gain and lose weight.
Ideally, you’ll want to lose fat but maintain your lean muscle mass, and this comes down to making sure you get an adequate amount of protein in your diet. Protein can be thought of as the building blocks for your muscles, and eating enough of it is key for making sure you lose fat, not muscle, in a caloric deficit.
In fact, one study found that in a comparison of low-protein to high-protein eating plans with high but identical calorie levels, the group that ate more protein gained both fat and muscle, while the low-protein group’s weight gains were almost entirely fat. This goes to show that the macronutrient balance made a huge difference in body composition, even despite comparable calorie counts.
In addition, the group that had a high protein intake was also shown to increase their resting energy expenditure when compared to the low-protein group. In other words, the group that ate more protein burned more calories, proving that what you eat is just as important as how much.
Inflammation and insulin
In addition, an improper diet with low-quality carbohydrates can be inflammatory and wreak havoc on the hormones that affect the way your body stores fat.
For example, take insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling how your body deals with the carbohydrates in your diet. If you eat a diet that is high in carbohydrates, especially simple carbs like sugar and refined flour, it can lead to blood sugar spikes that then lead to an insulin increase. The result? Increased fat storage.
Chronic stress and sleep deprivation
Besides your eating patterns and exercise habits, there are also other overlooked, less-acknowledged lifestyle factors that play a major role in either helping or hindering your progress.
For example, you may be eating right and exercising frequently, but the effects of chronic stress on your body can wreak havoc on your progress. Not only are you more likely to overeat as a coping mechanism for stressful situations, but an excess of the stress hormone cortisol can also cause your body to store fat.
Because a lack of sleep can also increase cortisol, getting a good night’s sleep is important to your weight management for the same reason.
In conclusion, calories aren’t the only things you should be tracking.
The bad news is that eating healthy isn’t always as simple as keeping track of your calories.
The good news, though, is that it is now easier than ever to keep an eye on all the “invisible” health factors that can either help or hinder your weight loss. Getting your hormones tested through a personalized health app like Base can give you deeper insight into your own hormone levels. Their monitoring system will alert you to the specific things you can improve upon to stop guessing and finally reach your goals.
This article has been sponsored by Criystal Inc.
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