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23rd Aug 2016

‘I Eat Healthily, So Why Can’t I Lose Weight?’ – Ursula Walsh Shares Her Secrets

Are you permanently on a diet, yet every time you step on your weighing scales you realise that you haven’t lost anything?

First of all, if you have only a few pounds to lose you shouldn’t go by the scale. Instead, take a closer look at your percentage of your body fat and how you look in the mirror. But if you have big numbers to lose, the scale can be helpful to show your progress.

Sometimes we are eating healthily and exercising and we still don’t see any changes! It can be quite frustrating.

Here’s a few things that might help you get back in the game:

Food allergies and intolerances: When we become intolerant to certain foods, our body becomes resistant to burning fat properly. This is because certain foods can cause inflammation. It may be the case that, even if they are healthy, your body can’t digest these foods properly. Foods that generally cause intolerance are: Wheat, milk, corn (maize), eggs, onion, legumes, sometimes broccoli or cauliflower. If you suspect you might have an intolerance, avoid the food in question for 10 days and eat it again on the 11th day. If you become sensitive after eating it then you might consult your GP or your dietician for a check up.

Eating a lot. It might sound silly and obvious but many people get confused between having five small meals a day and eating five full dinners. The key here is: three main meals and two small snacks. Eating every three or four hours will help keep your hunger and cravings away.

Hidden calories. You might think you are eating healthy, but there are a lot of foods that together, can add up to too many calories. For example: you prepare a salad and add a big drop of olive oil (240 calories), half an avocado (120 calories), a handful of nuts (300 calories), 100 grams of chicken (260 calories) and one cup of cooked rice (200 calories). This results in a 900-calorie meal! Choose one or two fats and instead add more veggies to your salad such as onion, tomato, peppers, cucumber, celery, grated carrot and corn.

Drinking too much alcohol. The weekend comes along, you have a night out, drink too many alcoholic beverages and all your progress is gone. You can easily enjoy a drink and still see the results you want, but do it in moderation! When you are on a strict plan to lose fat I’d recommend you have one drink per hour on a night out at most. Your body takes about one hour to digest one alcoholic beverage. Drink too fast and you’re just ingesting too many empty calories, which you will regret later.

You aren’t exercising enough. The best way to lose those extra pounds is by combining your healthy diet with exercise. If you are eating the same amount of calories that you are burning, you will maintain your weight. To burn fat, try to burn more calories than you are eating. Get out and get active for 30 minutes a day to see a difference.

You are stressed: The more stressed you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite. This can lead you to reach for a burger rather than a salad at lunchtime. Stress doesn’t help your digestion, your overall health or your weight.

You aren’t sleeping well: Sleep duration helps to regulate the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. If you are lacking in these, it stimulates the appetite. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue and this result in less physical activity. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down. Sugar remains in your blood, and you end up with high blood sugar, making it hard for the body to burn fat effectively.

Another reason you might pack on pounds when you’re sleep deprived is because your body goes into survival mode. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger and your metabolism slows down.

Ursula Walsh has shed over 56lbs since starting her Instagram account Mom Fitness Diary to document her weight loss. The Mexican mum-of-two, who lives in Co. Offaly, has amassed thousands of followers, all eager to keep up with her daily tips and recipes.