Four roadblocks to weight loss

This time of year, many of us struggle with getting back into “summer” shape. It seems that at the end of the season, we always have a few extra pounds to lose.

But every year, no matter how resolute we are, we throw in the towel after a few weeks. It doesn’t help that some of our friends seem to lose 10 pounds just looking at a treadmill, while we  do everything right and see few if any results.

The reason: the four roadlocks. Once you identify which one is hindering your weight loss efforts, you’ll finally be able to get the body you’ve always wanted.

The first roadblock is insulin resistance. This could be the biggest missing piece to the weight loss puzzle.  Without addressing it, any diet you try is doomed to fail.

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body process sugar.  After a meal – when blood sugar levels rise – your body releases insulin to convert the sugar into energy for your cells.

But when you’re insulin-resistant, your body has difficulty converting the sugar.  It tries to bridge the gap by producing more insulin, but that doesn’t work because insulin resistance interferes with the conversion process itself.

In fact, many people with insulin resistance have excess glucose and insulin in their blood.  The combination makes it impossible for your body to metabolize food effectively.  And when insulin levels are up, you can’t burn fat.

Now here’s something that’s really going to blow you away.

According to U.S. census data and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, about 25 percent of Americans are insulin resistant! But insulin resistance is just one roadblock on the way to lasting weight loss. Another is chemical imbalance.

This one is typically characterized by carb cravings, extreme ups and downs weight gain, insomnia and depression. The good news is that most mild imbalances can be kept in check by taking nutritional supplements.

There are many triggers for chemical imbalances, but one of the biggest is stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on two important neurotransmitters in your brain called serotonin and dopamine. Those are chemicals that transfer information between your cells.  Think of them like the cable wire that gets your favorite show from the television station to your home…

When your body is low on serotonin and dopamine it complains – loudly and constantly – to your brain by creating carbohydrate cravings.

A lack of serotonin and dopamine can also lead to anxiety, depression and insomnia.  Of course, those all create stress too!  It’s a vicious circle.

Bingeing on carbs provides temporary relief because it increases your ability to absorb tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you tired) and raises serotonin levels. Bingeing leads to a feeling of calm, but its usually short lived.  Why?

Because carb-bingeing also leads to guilt and disappointment. Next thing you know, you’re stressed out again, and the whole cycle starts over.  No wonder they call it the “diet rollercoaster”. So that’s half of the equation – but there are still two other common roadblocks you can fall into when it comes to weight loss…

The third roadblock has to do with food sensitivities. While simple sensitivities may not produce a crippling reaction like allergies, they could be waging a behind-the-scenes war in your body.

Maybe you’re feeling some of the collateral damage; chronic fatigue, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, joint pain.

There are seven common foods responsible for almost all food allergies and sensitivities. Probably the most common – and often overlooked – is intolerance to wheat (or gluten) products.

Low-carb diets usually address wheat sensitivities because you can’t eat many wheat products while on them.  But here’s the rub: Those diets also limit the amount of non-starch vegetables you can eat, because they contain carbs, too. But non-starch veggies help satisfy carb cravings a healthy way.  By cutting them out of your diet, you actually increase carb cravings!

This is one of the glaring problems with low-carb diets.  They just aren’t sustainable.

The final roadblock – it’s one that you just can’t avoid: your environment. A University of Texas study found that our foods have 35 to 60 percent fewer nutrients than they did 50 years ago, the result of modern farming and breeding practices. Of course, fewer nutrients in food mean fewer in your body.  And trying to function without the right nutrients is like trying to drive your car with no gas.

But there are even bigger problems to consider. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition found that people with the lowest calcium levels were 24 percent more likely to be obese than those with the highest. To add insult to injury, antibiotics and preservatives in food, chemicals in water and rampant air pollution put incredible strain on your immune system and metabolism.

They also destroy friendly bacteria in your gut that fight disease, maintain healthy digestion and help you breakdown and absorb nutrients from food. In fact, about 85 percent of the bacteria in your digestive system should be the friendly, probiotic kind, but for most people, only about 15 percent actually are.

As you can see, it’s a perfect storm.,

So are you ready to find out which roadblock is crippling your weight loss efforts – and discover what to do about it?