And what to do about them

losing water weightWeight Loss = Calories In < Calories Burned

The sum total secret to weight loss–that’s all there is, right?

Well not always and not exactly…

If you’re doing everything right–moving more, making healthier food choices, cutting back on junk foods–and yet still can’t lose weight, there may be something more complicated going on.  Here are 10 common, but surprising reasons people can’t shed pounds and what to do about it.

1. Underactive Thyroid

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, besides causing you to be sluggish and tired can also cause weight gain or make it very difficult to lose weight.  And many more people suffer from hypothyroidism than they know.  While a thyroid test may show you’re within ‘normal’ range, that is often a clinical understanding of ‘normal.’ In fact, you may still be below optimal thyroid function.

–> Supplement with Iodine or an iodine-rich herb such as Bladderwrack to boost thyroid function.

2. Hormonal Imbalance

Closely related to thyroid is a hormonal imbalance–the thyroid is part of the whole endocrine system, which also governs reproductive or sex hormones. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that aren’t being released in the proper amounts at the right times can also cause weight gain. This is particularly true for women who have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

–> First cut sugar, starch, and high-glycemic carbohydrates. Then realign the endrocine system, preferably with pituitary support (such as Otropin), but also looking at thyroid hypofunction and adrenal stress.

3. Too Much Stress

During times of stress, cortisol is released leading to cravings, conversion of sugar to fat, storage of fat around the waistline, and in chronic cases, adrenal fatigue.

–> Reduce your stress levels: meditate, gentle exercise, remove stressors from your environment, breathe, find your source of joy and peace, take Balance spray. Get checked for adrenal fatigue and if this is your issue, reduce stress and rebalance the endrocrine system.

 4. Inadequate Sleep

Closely related to stress, is sleep. Sleep reduces stress and reduces cortisol production. Not getting enough sleep means less energy (to move and burn calories) and you’ll be more likely to reach for a caloric pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired. It also means your body has less chance to heal and detox (see #9).

–> Sleep more (duh!). Aim for minimum 7-8 hours per night.

5. Blood Sugar Spike

You eat too many carbs, foods with high-glycemic index, or you’re eating too many times per day.  All of these raise your blood sugar and every time your blood sugar spikes above 90 or 100 you’re producing insulin to convert the sugar to fat (because that’s the threshold beyond which your body can’t use the sugar immediately). Once that happens, the fat is stored and its much harder to burn off than sugar.

–> Reduce your carbohydrate intake to under 100g per day.

6. Lack of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is more like a pre-hormone than an actual Vitamin.  The primary inadvertent source is sunlight, followed by foods. Vitamin-D increases metabolism, detox, and insulin sensitivity. Inadequate Vitamin D leads to illness, depression, and fatigue, all of which make you less likely to move or exercise and more likely to eat; it also lowers metabolism.

–> Get a Vitamin D supplement.

7. Food Intolerances

Some foods may not provoke an allergic reaction within you, but may still aggravate your system, even unbeknownst to you. Symptoms include gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, slow or poor digestion, immune response, allergy flare up, edema (water retention), and more.  If you’re continually eating foods that irritate the system, you may constantly be bloated (making you look fatter than you are), you may retain water as your body doesn’t know how to deal with them (making you retain water weight), or it may get stuck undigested on the walls of your intestines (which again leads to weight you can’t lose).

–> Do an elimination diet, or just become hyper-aware of any sensitivity to anything you eat, and then stop eating those foods.

8. Pharmaceuticals

Certain types of medicines can make you gain weight. Birth control is the most famous one. But many others have side effects that include weight gain and inability to lose weight.

–> Read the list of side effects, then evaluate whether that prescription is essential.

9. Toxin Buildup

Whether its environmental chemicals, undigested food, remnants of pharmaceuticals, or any other toxins, your body surrounds these toxins with fat cells to prevent the toxins from getting into the blood stream. Once you start on a diet or fat loss program and your body tries to shed the fat, it doesn’t know what to do with toxins contained in the fat cells.  So it starts holding on to the fat to protect your system from the toxins. And thus your fat loss is stalled.

–> Clear out systemic toxins. My personal favorite: “Immune.”

10. Not Believing Its Possible

Do you truly believe you can lose weight?  Do you see yourself as you are now or as you could be?  Do you believe you’re permanently stuck in your current body? Where do you want to be? How do you want to look?

–> Change your beliefs and visualize your new body.


<– See part 1 of the series: Guide to Weight Loss and Healthier Eating

See part 3 of the Weight Loss and Healthy Eating series: Tips on Controlling Bad Eating Habits –>