I’m so excited to share this with you. Countless times women have met with me and tell me how hard they are trying to lose weight yet aren’t getting results. Some are even gaining weight, despite doing everything perfectly.
I want you to step out of dieting darkness and know the things I tell these women right away about why they are suffering. Without further adieu, here are the top three reasons you may not be losing weight and what to do about it!
Life stresses you out. If you always lose weight on vacation, I’m talking to you! Your body type holds on to fat when stressed and doesn’t do well in the modern lifestyle. While quitting your job and shipping the kids off to the in-laws is an unlikely solution there are ways you can reduce your body’s response to the stressors in your life. Meditation, slow walks in nature, saying ‘no’ more often and stepping away from the laptop can help. Adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda or rhodiola can make a big difference in supporting your body while it is in a stressful environment. Examine where the biggest stressors are and look for solutions to reduce how much you have to take on day to day.
Your healthy diet isn’t suitable for fat loss. A healthy diet is not the same as a fat loss diet. Your body may need fewer grains or more protein, or maybe you’ll lose fat if you increase your fat content (No, I’m not kidding!). If your healthy eating isn’t getting you great results, then some fine tuning needs to be done, addressing what portion of your plate is protein, your fiber sources and how much fat works best for you. Many people with weight loss resistance have food intolerances and nearly all need to adjust their carbohydrates so they come from mostly vegetables rather than whole grains. Some need to go grain free, but not everyone. Do what is sustainable for you AND gets results. Increase your vegetable intake and explore an allergy elimination diet to uncover hidden food intolerances that may be keeping weight on. This is the least clear cut answer, because what works for your body is unique to you and is going to take some detective work.
You are exercising too much. This one observation is what led me down the path to discovering how hormones really make or break fat loss. Clients would come in and complain that they were working out on the elliptical or taking gym classes 5-6 days a week for an hour or more and they weren’t losing weight! I’d encourage them to take a break so they would not overtrain and become injured, and low and behold, those who did so lost weight! Excessive exercise – especially cardio – can elevate stress hormones and leave them unchecked by fat-burning growth hormones stimulated by higher intensity weight-bearing activity. Chronically elevated cortisol has a lot of negative impacts, one of them being weight gain.
Your hormones are whacked. Insulin, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones all work together to create and maintain the beautiful orchestra that is a healthy metabolism. If your hormones are imbalanced (and there are too many reasons to list here why that may be) it’s like the orchestra is trying to play with an untuned piano, too many trumpets and the strings section completely missing. It’s just going to sound ‘off’ and be anything but pleasant! If you have symptoms listed below, it is very worth your while to get lab work done and determine if your adrenal glands, thyroid, and sex hormones are all showing up and are well-tuned.