Why can’t you lose weight!
You have tried everything under the sun to do so, yet have never found success.
If this describes you, then you need to know that there is a good reason why you cannot get rid of that unhealthy body fat. And most of that reason can be found within yourself. I am sure that more than a few of you find that to be offensive, and your feelings will be hurt. But, the truth is, facts don’t care about feelings my friends. If you can’t lose weight, you are about 95% likely to not be doing something right about your nutrition. You are not special in that you can’t lose weight. And, you are far from alone in this problem that affects about 68% of western society.
Your difficulty stems from the fact you consume more calories than your body requires to maintain any given weight!
Simply put, you are still eating too much. No matter what you think, or have been told – weight loss and management is truly nothing more than calories consumed versus calories burned. This is true even for some health related issues that might “cause” weight gain.
You might believe that you can’t lose weight because of your thyroid – you are wrong in thinking this. If your thyroid is underactive, it isn’t producing enough hormones, and your metabolism will be slower than normal. This condition is called hypothyroidism. That means your body won’t burn calories as quickly as it should. Slowly, over time, your underactive thyroid will lead to weight gain – anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds or more. Most of the extra weight is due to water and salt. By paying attention to the calories you consume each day, even this can be mitigated by a caloric deficit.
Because an underactive thyroid can be tricky to diagnose, you should talk to your doctor if you are gaining weight for no apparent reason.
I can’t lose because I have a slow metabolism!
Your metabolism might not be as slow as you think. Although there is such a thing as a slow metabolism, it’s rare. And it’s usually not what’s behind being overweight or obese – that’s ultimately a result of interactions among genetics, diet, physical activity and other factors. Even if it is a little slow, you can still lose weight by reducing your caloric intake. The greatest factors in weight gain as you age are often poor diet and inactivity.
The best way to sustainably lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume, while still meeting the caloric needs of your Basal Metabolic Rate. This might mean you lose weight more slowly – but it will be easier to keep the weight off if you don’t burn through muscle mass.
Do you even track the calories you consume in a day?
If you have trouble losing weight, you may be inaccurately estimating how many calories you’re consuming. Unless you measure your portion sizes, it can be easy to overconsume healthy but calorically dense foods, such as nuts, peanut butter or olive oils.
A lot of people we encounter tell us they only eat once a day and still can’t lose weight. Okay, the problem is still that they are eating more calories than they need in a day. Only eating once per day does not allow you to eat as much as you want if you desire to lose weight.
The bottom line for the vast majority who can’t lose weight is that you are eating too many calories. But there are some medical reasons you might not be able to lose weight – in this case you need to see your doctor. There may be something seriously wrong with your health.
Seven medical reasons that cause weight gain:
- Inflammation and cellular damage. Inflammation is an essential function of the body for fighting infections and healing injuries. Chronic inflammation, however, is a dangerous health condition that can be caused by environmental or dietary factors such as prescription medications, smoking, air pollution, and certain foods, including sugar, wheat, and dairy. Dairy is usually the main source of calcium for most people – don’t remove it from your diet unless you know that your calcium requirements are being met otherwise Chronic inflammation can lead to cellular damage, which in turn impairs normal functioning throughout the body. Both the inflammation and cellular damage need to be addressed in order for weight loss to take place.
- Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland produces several hormones that regulate processes throughout the body. In many people, the thyroid is either overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). If your thyroid is underactive, it may not be producing enough thyroid hormone, which is needed to keep cells functioning throughout the body. If your thyroid slows down, then everything else slows down – including your metabolism. It can be very difficult, but not impossible for people with hypothyroidism to lose weight. They may also experience fatigue, sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, depression, muscle pain, and severe PMS.
- Chronic stress and depression. Stress triggers the release of a hormone known as cortisol, which influences many processes throughout the body. If you are living with chronic stress, anxiety, or grief, the result is often high, prolonged levels of cortisol, which can lead to health issues such as a depressed immune system, elevated blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. Chronic stress and depression also often lead to emotional eating, which in turn causes weight gain.
- Cushing’s Syndrome. Elevated levels of cortisol in the body for an extended period of time can also lead to Cushing’s Syndrome, which is characterized by weight gain, especially in the face and upper body, as well as acne, lethargy, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and irregular periods. Cushing’s Syndrome occurs more often in women than in men, particularly in women between the ages of 25 and 40.
- Syndrome X. Weight gain is often inevitable for those suffering from Syndrome X, which refers to a group of health conditions that seem to be related to insulin resistance. When your body doesn’t respond well to insulin, it affects the function of other hormones throughout the body, including those that help control your metabolism.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms may include acne, excessive facial hair, irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, difficulty getting pregnant, and unexplained weight gain. Although there is no cure for PCOS, it can often be managed through lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, exercise, and weight management. Keeping PCOS under control helps lower the risk of infertility, heart disease, and uterine cancer.
- Hormonal changes. The only thing constant about hormones in a woman’s life is that they change. Three of the most notorious periods of hormonal change are puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause, these natural hormonal changes may make it more difficult for you to shed excess weight.
Diets almost never work long term. A great many studies have shown that people who diet actually gain more weight over time. Instead of approaching your weight loss from a dieting mindset, make adopting health-promoting habits your primary goal as a sustainable lifestyle. You can accomplish this by eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet, exercising as much and as often as possible, and doing those things that make you happy on a regular basis.