It's the time of the year where everybody puts out weight loss tips. You'll see the same things over and over: eat right, exercise, meditate… and hundreds of advertisements for different supplements.
They're all excellent suggestions, things you really should be doing. If you've heard them over and over again and it's just not doing it for you, maybe you need to try something a little bit different.
It's time to see what your cat has been trying to tell you.
The Top 5 Weight Loss Tips Even Your Doctor Isn't Talking About
Cats sleep most of the day. But, most people do not get enough sleep. If you're not getting enough sleep, your body produces more cortisol, the stress hormone (we'll talk about that in a bit). And the more cortisol you create, the harder it is to sleep.
When you get a good restful night's sleep, your body detoxifies itself, repairs damage, and stabilizes your metabolic pathways. Your body burns fat better, and you have more energy the next day.
How much sleep do you need? Well, that really depends on your body type. You may be a person that only needs a few hours of sleep, or you might need many more.
Test yourself: without an alarm to wake you up, would you sleep longer than normal? If so, you need more sleep. Whether you add sleep to your morning routine or evening routine, add a few minutes every day until you wake up when you want naturally.
This is a supplementary few people talk about. MSM contains sulfur, used in every cell of our body. It controls multiple functions within your body, most importantly the ones that govern energy and fat storage.
It's also essential for muscle mass. If you want to build strong muscle, retain that muscle a long time, and increase your metabolism, this is a supplement to jump on. Why? Because when your metabolic rate goes up, you lose weight faster even without doing anything. MSM is not going to help you lose weight directly. It's going to help your system feel good and work better so that everything else you do is more effective.
One of the most insidious ways weight creeps up on a person is through systemic inflammation. Most people don't even realize they have widespread inflammation throughout their bodies. It starts as a little ache here, taking a day or two to recover from a workout there.
It hints at indigestion, a rapid heartbeat, and losing your breath. It can show up as susceptibility to infection, catching the colds and flu easier.
Most of the time, you can take care of this inflammation yourself. Switching to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and cutting out gluten and dairy goes a long way to reducing inflammation. Adding in something like probiotics and anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger and turmeric can reduce your body's problems (MSM helps, too).
Because, even if you're exercising daily, inflammation can slow down your progress and stop your weight loss altogether.
Fatiguing of itself can stop weight loss. But, when you combine it with adrenal fatigue, you get a whole different set of issues. We have a good article on adrenal fatigue that explains it (link).
Some of the hormones that the adrenal glands put out help dictate your metabolism and energy production. Of note is the hormone cortisol. This hormone gets pumped out every time we have a moment of stress. The bigger the stress, the more it gets produced. If we only had stress occasionally, this would be a perfect thing. It increases our heart rate, blood pressure, attention and focus, and reaction time.
But, if there's a lot of stress in your life, especially if you experience it every day, cortisol can become a problem. That high blood pressure becomes very high, and you start getting burned out because you're always at attention and running in high gear. You just can't get a moment to relax and burn out happens.
Cortisol also makes it very easy to gain weight and hard to lose weight. It encourages fat storage. That's why it's so essential for you to control your stress. It helps you lose weight easier, reduces health problems, and may reverse adrenal fatigue.
You might not be losing weight because you don't have the right hormones in your system to make it possible. As we age, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone decrease. Particularly in women, this decrease can start happening in the late 20s, becoming much more noticeable after the age of 35.
Hormone replacement therapy is one avenue for addressing this, and some herbs and supplements can boost your natural production.
Estrogen helps determine whether or not we store or burn fat. Testosterone helps control the building of muscles. If they drop, your body's going to keep more fats and lose more muscle.
So, if you're struggling to lose weight, you might want to look at a couple of unusual things. Because just like a cat, you might need more sleep, less stress, and to let your body relax.