The Fat Trap of Motherhood*

Tuesday, 27 March 2018, By Sarah Broad

How many of us decide to go on a diet; succeed and stop, decide to go on a diet; succeed and stop, each time putting on even more weight. I absolutely put my hand in the air and say that this sounds exactly like what I did until I started with Vision. Does this sound like anyone you know?!

Before I go on, I know this doesn't apply to everyone but speaking to many of my friends and clients it does seem to be a trend, particularly amongst Mums. There seems to be two main reasons for this trend; the first being the obsession with the scales and how to lose weight the quickest and easiest way. This is often when you take the unhealthy option of not eating very much, increasing your visceral fat levels but dropping the numbers on the scales until you start eating again. The other reason is how to lose weight and keep it off.

By the time someone walks through our doors they have often felt as if they have tried everything and failed. Look back over someone's history and you may well find it was something that happened in childhood that started this pattern. Did you realise that it is far more common for teenage girls to give up sport than boys - ask why? Maybe it's that studying takes over or socialising but it sets up a pattern and the "Fat Trap" begins. Perhaps the scales don't move to start with, or that your favourite skirt still fits just fine but visceral fat has begun to develop. Then move on a few years and add a couple of children and all of a sudden there's no time for you. This is when weight loss becomes harder and harder and the basic fact is, that you are now really unfit too.

Once you start on the trend of losing weight and putting it back on easily, it somehow becomes easier to put more weight on each time. Hormones of course play a part and suddenly ghrelin becomes your enemy (the hunger hormone). Peptide YY can also be abnormally low, this helps to suppress hunger, as does leptin and it also helps increase your metabolism.

Most people are aware of the basic formula, eat less and move more but even this isn't as simple as first thought, as some people need to move more and eat a little less than others. It needs to be made clear that a body that has been subjected to constantly yoyo dieting will react differently to a body that hasn't. Often muscles of yoyo dieters burn 20 to 25 per cent fewer calories than non-dieters while performing normal everyday activities and aerobic exercise and so it is a little more difficult to burn off what you have eaten. Add the fact that the brain will have a greater emotional response to food if you have lost weight and you have a perfect scenario for failing.

What is really important is the feeling of wellbeing and general fitness and this maybe needs to be a priority rather than just the number on the scales. Being a Mum is a juggling act and you need to remember to be kind to yourself!

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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