Are you struggling to lose weight? There could be a few things happening, or a combination of a few things happening. Here’s our top 5 reasons you aren’t losing weight and what to do about it.
- You lack motivation.
It’s impossible to convince someone to lose weight. We coach patients on what to do, but what happens once they leave the office is completely up to them. You will only be successful when you decide to make a change. It doesn’t have to be a drastic life or health event that gives you the boost, although unfortunately that is a common catalyst. Sometimes its just a better understanding of health and the science behind weight loss that gives you the motivation. But remember, in the beginning it takes pure determination and will power to make a change. So, if you’re waiting for a spiritual ‘aha’ moment, you’ll be waiting forever.
What Do I Do? Buddy up with either friends or a practitioner that's achieving success in the area you’d like to. Use it as an olive branch. Keep engaged with the health world and practitioners that inspire you to keep it fresh in your mind. Success motivates success. But remember, you are the only one who can ultimately do it.
- You don’t sleep.
If weight loss has stalled out, or just simply isn’t happening, check your sleep. It’s crucial for weight loss to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. That’s the normal rise and fall of all the processes in the body. If you stay up late at night watching television, flipping through Instagram or working on a computer, you are telling your body it needs to continually pump cortisol, essentially saying, “it’s still daytime”. Since cortisol continues to pump, melatonin never gets a chance to play. That’s your sleepy hormone. This is the beginning of a flipped circadian rhythm, sleep disturbances, hormone imbalances, energy loss and weight gain, among other health risks. The CDC recently labeled third shift working a carcinogen. That should tell you that sleep is critical for health! Studies have linked a lack of sleep to changes in appetite regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin. Simply put, a lack of sleep makes you grab for more sweets!
What Do I Do? Work on your circadian rhythm. Shut lights off an hour before bed. Turn off electronics. Wear the nifty little blue blockers to encourage your body to slow cortisol’s roll and kick in melatonin. Use transdermal magnesium spray, which is a calming mineral before bed to help your body unwind.
- Hormones are imbalanced
We have an entire endocrine system of carefully connected hormones powering on and off in perfect harmony. When any of these hormones get thrown off, symptoms arise. Hunger hormones can be controlled through proper combining of macronutrients. Sex hormones can wreak havoc causing you to gain weight. For example, if you are deficient in estrogen, your body will begin to lay down belly fat to produce more estrogen. Your body is on your side, however it’s a bummer of a cycle because you wind up thicker through the midsection. Balancing your hormones is essential to weight loss.
What Do I Do? If you suspect your hormones are off, get tested! When you know what’s happening, there are nutrients that can do wonders for balancing hormones. We recommend the DUTCH test. Consume healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil and olive oil to increase the healthy production of hormones and control your hunger.
- Gut Health Compromised
If you’ve been eating the typical American Diet or been given an antibiotic, your gut health has been compromised. We are made of trillions of bacteria. In terms of our guts, sterile is not better. We have the good guys and the bad guys. And like anything, we hope the good will outweigh the bad. But in order for you to have a thriving gut microbiome, they need to be fed properly. The bad bacteria can produce LPS which is toxic to you resulting in insulin resistance and weight gain. The science and research behind your microbiome has recently exploded. Your immunity lies in your guts. We normally think of our guts as simply a long tubular slide for our food to enter and ultimately exit the body. However, throughout that slide, nutrients are excreted, hormones are regulated, gut bacteria are fed, toxins are bound. It’s an entire process that can either boost or blast your health.
What Do I Do? Take probiotics and eat more fiber.
- Blood Sugar out of Whack
Our blood sugar is vital for healthy weight management. You absolutely cannot maintain a healthy weight with the spikes and dips that accompany a high carbohydrate diet. When your blood sugar gets out of balance, fat is stored. But why does my friend eat terrible and never gain weight? Let me be clear, skinny fat is a very real thing. Skinny does not mean healthy. Fat can also accumulate around organs. Because someone’s metabolism handles weight differently doesn’t mean they’re healthy. People can mistake a healthy number for internal health and that’s a silent and deadly error.
What Do I Do? Watch the glycemic index of the foods you’re eating. Keep the sugar content to a minimum and eliminate processed, packaged foods.
So how do I undo the damage I’ve done by eating unhealthy foods and not exercising? Eat healthy foods and exercise.