Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Let’s talk about why you may not be losing weight. For some people, losing weight can be a lifelong struggle. One by one, they try every fad diet and weight loss treatment but with little to no success. It is discouraging when they are unable to lose weight. They may even keep gaining weight no matter what diet or weight loss products they try.
Popular culture presents weight loss as simply a matter of restricting the food you eat. However, this is not a realistic vision for millions of people struggling to lose weight. Sustainable weight loss is never that simple. Some may actually be struggling with weight loss resistance, a complicated and multifaceted condition with no quick or easy solution.
Why do some people resist weight loss? What are the underlying reasons that people suffer from chronic conditions such as this? There are a variety of factors that affect your body’s capability to lose weight and contribute to weight loss resistance. Here are some possible factors.
If you want to understand weight loss, you need to understand your gastrointestinal system first. The gut affects your immune system and is home to trillions of bacteria. Current research is studying the relationship between these bacteria and weight loss.
Thyroid Gland Issues
The thyroid is responsible for a number of bodily functions, including regulating weight. This is why when someone finds it hard to lose weight, he or she often has his or her thyroid checked. The thyroid affects growth and metabolism and it is important to find out if there are any underlying problems that may be causing weight gain.
Resistance to Leptin
Fat cells are an important part of the hormonal system. They create leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to use stored fat for energy. However, if you have leptin resistance, your brain does not recognize leptin. It thinks you are in starvation mode and instead stores more fat.
The adrenal glands, also vital to the endocrine system, take on the job of producing cortisol, the stress hormone. If your body produces excess cortisol, it leads to the body holding on to weight. This is why you are likely to gain more weight when you are stressed.
Resistance to Insulin
Insulin resistance is a pattern where your body produces this particular hormone but does not use it properly. The problem with the body not using insulin properly is that this hormone stores fat. People with insulin resistance often struggle to lose weight.
So many different types of diet and weight loss treatments are available on the market, but there is not an easy way to determine which of them can offer you sustainable weight loss. However, with comprehensive diagnostics of your whole body system, it is possible to create a customized health program that can help you reach and maintain your weight loss goals. Identifying any factors that may be causing your resistance to weight loss can help you find ways to overcome them.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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