What if your health and weight loss struggles really aren’t your fault?
What if by doing a few things differently, you could jumpstart your weight loss?
Weight loss resistance is the term I use to describe the common syndrome I see in people who fail to lose weight despite a healthy diet and exercise program.
As a naturopathic doctor I recommend taking a deeper look at any metabolic, hormonal, or physiologic imbalances that may be causing your body to hold onto excess weight. If you’ve been working hard to lose weight but aren’t seeing the results, consider these possibilities.
1. Food Allergies
Hidden food intolerances are the most common culprit for weight loss resistance. The top offenders include gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs and sugar. These foods can cause irritation and inflammation that keeps our immune system constantly fired causing us to feel puffy and bloated. Once the immune system is thrown off, metabolic damage makes weight loss impossible.
2. Low Thyroid
When thyroid hormone levels are low, our metabolism slows down and weight loss stops. Our thyroid can be negatively impacted by many factors including high cortisol, mineral deficiencies, toxins and food allergies. If you suspect a thyroid problem, make sure to get comprehensive testing to ensure your levels are in optimal range.
3. Hormone Resistance
The top three hormonal causes of weight loss resistance are estrogen dominance, insulin resistance and high cortisol. In addition to proper hormone balance, we also need to consider hormone resistance. Once it has set in, no amount of bio-identical hormones or dieting will help. The body adjusts by raising your hormone levels and ultimately slowing your metabolism. The solution is to reset the efficiency of your hormones by repairing and growing new hormone receptors.
Numerous studies have shown environmental toxins interfere with hormones and weight loss. Toxins are stored in our fat cells, blocking fat burning hormones. I start anyone who’s struggling with weight loss resistance on a 28-day metabolic detox; it’s the best way to improve liver function and rid any accumulated toxins safely and effectively while speeding up weight loss efforts.
Less than 8 hours of sleep impairs weight loss by increasing hormones that signal hunger, which leads to overeating and cravings for starchy, sugary foods.
When we’re under high stress, our adrenals release cortisol, our stress-handling hormone. Chronic stress leads to high cortisol and eventually cortisol resistance, which blocks the function of your other key hormones and leaves you feeling tired, burnt out and weight loss resistant.
7. Excessive Exercise
Studies have shown long duration, high intensity cardio, such as training for a marathon, is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss because it chronically elevates cortisol levels, which favor fat storage over fat burning. The best types of exercise for weight loss combine high intensity, circuit-style weight training (30 minutes or less) with low intensity exercise like walking, biking and yoga.
Here’s to kick-starting your health and igniting your weight loss!
Dr. Chelsea Gronick is a naturopathic doctor with expertise in helping patients with thyroid and hormone imbalances and weight loss resistance.