When The Scale Won't Budge

There can be times when it seems that no matter what you do, you can't lose weight and keep it off. The scale just doesn't budge despite your efforts. Assuming you already have a solid foundation to build upon, including eating well, exercising, good digestion and getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep, here are some common weight-loss-resistant problems to consider:

And no, this pug doesn't need to lose weight, he just always makes that face.

And no, this pug doesn't need to lose weight, he just always makes that face.

1. Hormones Out Of Balance

Your hormones control everything. When testosterone levels are too low it is much harder to burn fat and gain muscle. When estrogen is too low you may be fatigued but also find it hard to sleep well. Then there's insulin and cortisol that need to be doing their jobs when needed and backing-off when when they're not needed. There are many more hormones involved but it's important to remember that they all effect each other in one way or another. Anytime one hormone is too high or too low it can cause inflammation, fatigue, sleeplessness, but also affect other hormones along the chain. 

2. Stress & Food Sensitivities

Both food sensitivities and stress cause inflammation. For example, when you have a food sensitivity, your immune system isn't permanently affected yet, like it would be if you had a food allergy. But you're still getting inflamed from the food or foods that don't agree with you (which still taxes your immune system). That inflammation is a form of stress.

Stress, in all forms cause the hormone cortisol to rise and insulin, another hormone, to drop (kinda circles back to what I was talking about in #1). That drop in insulin means there's nothing to shuttle excess glucose (blood sugar) into the cells. Instead the excess glucose causes more inflammation if it does not get used by the cells. This can happen if your immune is stressed or taxed due to an irritation with certain foods or if you're just stressed out by your daily commute. Food sensitivities or daily stress can lead to weight loss resistance. 

3. Low Functioning Thyroid  

Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones to help control your metabolism. Having a sluggish thyroid will lead to a sluggish metabolism. Other symptoms can include fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin and brain fog. One way people test this is by getting a standard thyroid functioning test, but it doesn't always show a problem. If you do get your thyroid tested, make sure to do a full thyroid panel to get a better picture of what is going on. This would include TSH, free T3 and T4 and thyroid antibodies. 

4. Exercise Plateau

It's important to change-up your workout routine so it doesn't become just that, routine. As gratifying as it is to have a 3 mile run become "easy", your body gets used to the movements and learns how to operate more efficiently, burning less calories. The whole point of a workout is to get your body to work. Remember how difficult it was when you first started exercising? One way to challenge your body again without overexerting yourself is by doing short bursts of intense exercise. This type of workout is often referred to as high intensity interval training (HIIT). You do a high intensity exercise such as a sprint for 30 seconds then slow it down to a walk for 30 seconds then repeat for 10-20 mins. This formula can be used for many different workouts, not just sprinting.

5. Holding Onto Toxins

Your body has a built in safety mechanism to save itself from being damaged by or dying of certain toxins by storing them in fat tissue, where they become inactivated. How smart yet not so ideal for your waistline! Your body will even create more fat just to store these toxins and your body also doesn't want to let these toxins go, so this can create weight loss resistance simply as a safety mechanism. A detox may be in order, but make sure you are having regular bowel movements before and during the detox, otherwise the toxins will not be eliminated and you may end up in even worse shape from the toxins floating around in your blood. 

Self love does a body good! 

Self love does a body good! 

Toxic emotions can also create stubborn and resistant weight loss. Guilt, worry, jealousy, resentment, low self-esteem and any negative emotions that you carry around without resolving can weigh you down not just emotionally but physically. Toxic emotions can cause just as much damage as toxic chemicals.

Maybe one or more of these hit home with you? Of course, there could be other possibilities like an excess of bad bacteria in the gut. 

It's important to know that if you're having trouble losing weight even though you're doing all the right things, don't ditch your good efforts. There are likely other underlying issues that need attention as well and keeping up your good efforts aka: having a strong foundation, will be the key to maintaining sustained health and weightloss.