Why am I not losing weight? 5 reasons for stubborn weight.
I have worked in the natural health and wellbeing industry for over 20 years and during that time have regularly helped people with weight loss - from a few kilograms to a lot more. Many people come in complaining they cannot lose any weight and keep gaining, or those last five kilograms just won’t budge.
I have certainly had some weight loss funny moments…
One woman, in an act of desperation, stripped down to essentially nothing in a bid to lose a kilogram or two. It took me by surprise when I turned around and there she was in almost all her birthday suit.
My all time favourite moment was when one lady complained that despite doing hours of exercise she had not shifted any weight. I was a bit flummoxed with this one - how was she not losing weight with this much exercise? Turns out her version of exercise was hanging her arm out of the window whilst driving to her weekend property a few hours away! This is not a joke - apparently the force on her arm from the wind whilst driving should have been enough exercise to shift her weight……
So if you are one of those people who, no matter what they eat and how much you exercise, you cannot shift the any weight, this blog is for you. Because one of the big things I have learnt over the years is that your body won’t shift weight unless it is ready to.
Here are 5 of the most common reasons why weight may not be moving.
Number 1 - You are going on a diet.
Sounds obvious right? You want to lose weight so you restrict your calories and go on a fad diet guaranteed to lose 5kg if you eat cabbage for 3 meals a day. You lose weight, contribute to the global warming problem with the excessive wind you produce and then watch the weight creep back on again and sometimes even go higher.
Losing weight is not about restricting your calories and increasing your energy output. It is about changing your lifestyle. If you lose the weight then go straight back to eating what you did in the first place then you are just repeating history.
My tip - Don’t think diet, think complete overhaul of what you are currently doing because your old lifestyle made you gain the weight.
Number 2 - Stop eating or skip a few meals
Again this makes sense - stop eating for a few days or skip a meal because then there is less energy coming in. Except if you there is no energy to burn your body goes into survival mode and holds on to whatever it can.
My tip - eat the right food regularly and your body will give up stored energy because it recognises that it is being fed and energy is coming in regularly. It won't go into survival mode.
Number 3 - Too much stress
Traffic jams, paperwork, full inbox, full schedule ferrying the kids around - modern lifestyle of stress, anxiety and overwhelm will not help you shed the weight.
Stress and anxiety over a long period of time increases a certain stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has a negative impact on weight loss by slowing your metabolism, increasing your appetite, and adding to insulin resistance.
Plus stress causes weight gain in the worst possible spot – abdominal fat storage around the middle.
My tip - get help with the stress first. A regular massage, meditation, time out for yourself or seek help with your health practitioner. Whatever works for you.
Number 4 - Not enough sleep
Late nights, early mornings and always feeling tired.
Sleep deprivation results in the release of the same fat storing hormone we see with stress (cortisol) but also makes us eat more and slows down our metabolism. Chronic lack of sleep results in grehlin levels increasing (the “I am hungry, eat more” hormone) and leptin levels decreasing (the “I am full, stop eating” hormone). Sleep deprivation also affects thyroid hormones which can slow your metabolism. What’s more, hormones can be affected after as few as 2 nights of poor sleep, specifically by increasing appetite and cravings for high sugar, high salt and starchy foods.
My tip - Aim for 8 hours sleep each night with regular bedtime and regular wake times.
Number 5 - Being a bit to toxic (physically not emotionally)
This is especially seen in people who lose weight, are doing everything right and then it suddenly stops.
Overweight people often have a toxic history of excesses, overindulgences and of taking medication due to their weight. Most toxins are fat soluble and are stored in fat cells so as we begin to lose weight they are released into the bloodstream to be dealt with (usually by the liver) and removed. This can slow down weight loss and even stop it completely.
My tip - a simple gentle detox to stimulate the body’s natural process of elimination will often get things moving again.
Whilst you will all recognise my bias, Naturopathy offers support and coaching for weight loss with a difference. We focus on the whole picture - not just what you are eating and how much exercise you are doing. We make sure you are eating well and foods that suit you. We make sure you are getting all the right nutrients to not just “function” but to feel energetic, fabulous and motivated. We look at other issues that may be impacting your ability to lose those few kilos and support those with our medicines. We look at you the individual.
Metabolic Balance offers all this and more. It is not a diet you get from the back of the cereal box - it is designed for you and your individual needs. It is real food plus there is one on one coaching with me to ensure that if anything does get in the way of your weight loss, we can support and find the solution. You can find more information here https://www.sagessehealth.com.au/metabolic-balance
And you won’t be only eating kale unless you want too…