Contrary to what some think, French women can get fat. As soon as they start integrating some of America’s worst traits like a sedentary lifestyle, larger portions, a disconnected fitness regimen and more stress than their body can handle – they, too, pack on the pounds. I know this because it happened to me. I was an overweight, yo-yo dieter who battled with weight issues and frustrating fad diets for years.

That being said, when a French woman reconnects to her roots and goes back to the way she used to behave she sheds the pounds. With the help of a scientific committee, I created the diet program called LeBootCamp. LeBootCamp is a true global diet with 1.2 million members in the U.S., Italy, Canada, France, the U.K. and more.  

LeBootCamp Diet is based on four pillars: gourmet nutrition, easy fitness, motivation, stress and sleep management. There are also four principles: No forbidden foods and no calorie counting, body-cleansing, alkaline-balancing, and sugar management. These elements are incorporated in a four-phase approach:

Detox: Two weeks of food to feed your body antioxidants, eliminate toxins, and boost your energy.

Attack: Embrace healthy new life choices and start losing weight.

Booster: A seven-day kick-start when you reach the end of a benchmark, or need to start fresh.

Maintenance: Keep that unwanted weight off for good.

What you eat and how much exercise do matter when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, but there are also some hidden factors that could still be making you fat. There are three other factors that can contribute to weight gain:

1. Being reachable 24/7: 

With the development of social networks we are reachable 24/7, anywhere, and whatever we are doing. The lines between work and private time have been blurred or erased even. It is almost impossible to enjoy a lunch with friends without having at least one member of the party texting another friend (sometimes at the same table) or a colleague.  It is impossible to wake up at 3 a.m. and not check one’s emails. As if the earth would stop spinning if we stop being reachable. This feeling that we need to be available, socially and digitally active constantly is draining. It creates insomnia (what if somebody tries to reach me during the night). It creates constant stress (what if somebody posts something nasty about me), it creates expectations from ourselves (I want everybody to like my new photos) and from others (your boss expects you to respond to his 11 p.m. email). To fight against this my suggestion is to truly and completely shut off all phones and computers before retiring for the night. If possible, put those devices in another room, or better, on another floor. Making it hard to reach them will help you sleep better. During the day establish rules like: no texting during lunch, turn off social networks for 3 hours a day and have a completely unconnected day per week.

2.Energy Vampires: 

It could be the hot girl who is thin almost effortlessly and is stuffing herself with creamy cakes all day long, our best friend or our mom doubting our resolution to get fit this time once and for all, the diet saboteur at work who brings you a 4 p.m. rich snack every day, or the boss who asks you to come to work at 6 a.m. when he knows perfectly well that you have to take care of your kid in the morning. These are all energy vampires. Get them out of your system, address book or schedule for at least two weeks (granted, it won’t be that easy for your boss). Limit your interactions with them as much as possible until you have gained such a self-confidence that those vampires won’t be able to impact your self-resolve.

3. Poor breathing techniques: 

Finally, poor breathing techniques can lead to fatigue and hence lack of energy to exercise. Indeed, when we are stressed we tend to practice what we call shallow breathing. At one point your body needs so much oxygen that you need to take a big inhalation. This symptom means you are oxygen deprived already. To avoid this and stay on top of your game I suggest practicing yoga breathing exercises inspired by Ayurvedic medicine.

Valerie Orsoni is the author of “LeBootCamp Diet: The Scientifically Proven French Method to Eat Well, Lose Weight, and Keep it Off for Good.” Follow her on Instagram for recipes and fitness routines. For more go to LeBootCampDiet.com.