The 4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight!
Its time for some real, juicy and balls to the wall honest, talk.
(I am not sure that is even a phrase but hey-ho!)
I have steered clear from talking lots about weight loss, to be honest. Partly because I don’t want to encourage the ‘thinner is better’ mentality. I don’t want to encourage women to hate their bodies because it’s not a specific number or looks like that beautiful 17-year-old model.
But also because it still feels like a vulnerable topic to discuss. I am not a twiglet health coach whose natural healthy weight is a 9 st. I actually weigh more like 11st. You can’t see my ribs when standing, I don’t have a six pack and I do have love handles. And to top it off my health is still not plain sailing either. Sure I feel SO much better than I did even a year ago (yay) but it’s still a process as I learn to regain my energy and heal my body.
And I sometimes (inaccurately) feel like in order to talk about weight loss I need to be a size 8. But really the only thing I have that is a size 8 is a pair of old pants a friend left at my house that I use to do some dusting with.
(I didn’t realise how weird that was until right now!)
But I care about it. I don’t want to be a stone heavier than I am right now and I have gained some weight in the past year due to my adrenal and thyroid imbalances and I want to how to sort that out – in a gentle and loving way. Plus we know there are health risks involved in being very overweight and we all just want to feel awesome in our bodies – right?
Why do we gain weight and then really struggle to lose it? What gets in the way of you losing weight in a healthy and real way? What stops you finding your ideal weight and size?
Now to be clear, when I am talking about weight loss I am basically talking about getting your body to the weight and size upon which it THRIVES. For some this may be 8st for others it may be 12st. And it can change over time – your healthy weight as a 40 years old is unlikely to be the same as it was when you were 18. But the main goal is full body health. Yes a healthy weight, but also a healthy digestion, healthy mindset, healthy hormones and energy production. I have done the whole dieting club thing in the past and whilst I lost weight my actual health declined meaning I had gained nothing.
Basically what I am saying is that this is about FEELING amazing, whatever that means for you in numbers. The goal to feel kick ass – am I right?
So why might you be struggling to lose weight? What could be getting in the way?
Well, lovely there can be so many reasons and often it has nothing to do with eating too many pies. The thing we fail to recognise in our society is that often a bit of extra weight can be a sign of inflammation in the body. It’s a sign of an imbalance, that something is off. It isn’t always about people being greedy or lazy, in fact, I would RARELY say it had anything to do with that.
So let looks at why you might be struggling to lose weight or why you, like myself, have put weight on recently without really changing a darn thing.
1. Your body is stressed.
Stress comes in many forms and as I tell my one to one clients all the time, it can be physical, emotional or environmental. You could love your job, love your partner but if you live in a mouldy house (a STRESS) then you might gain weight. You might eat super healthily, exercise regularly and sleep well but if you are stressed out about a divorce (a huge STRESS) then that could be why.
Stress impacts our body on a cellular level. It causes us to produce hormones like cortisol to help us cope and survive the perceived stress/threat and often these stress hormones cause our metabolism to slow and our body to focus its energy on ‘surviving‘ not on burning fat.
(Please be aware I am not going into detail and these are super basic explanation. Its not ‘all’ about cortisol, in fact cortisol can be helpful in the right amounts.)
You have got to remember your body’s focus is on survival and defending you from any perceived threat/stress.
So lets look at some specific stresses that will lead to weight gain or weight loss resistance:
- blood sugar imbalances
- pre – diabetes
- thyroid issues
- adrenal dysfunction
- food intolerances
- other chronic inflammation
- sex hormones out of whack
- auto immune conditions
- leptin resistance
- toxic environment
- heavy metal toxicity
- divorce/finance issues/bullying etc
- always on the go – never-resting
2. You don’t’ eat enough.
Most people don’t eat enough. I know right you’re thinking, ‘surely I can’t lose weight because I eat too much?’
But most of the time people aren’t eating enough of the right foods. I am not talking about eating enough white bread, but eating enough nutrient dense foods. Eating more fats, protein, veggies, and fibre to be exact (I call them the Fat Burning Four in the Flourish Academy).
Also, so many women especially have damaged their metabolism from years of calories restriction and dieting. They have spent years going from eating 1200kcal or even 900kcal to then back to 2-2500kcal and this messes with our hunger hormones, especially insulin and leptin. And one of insulins jobs is to store fat.
So to lose weight you actually need to ensure you are eating enough of the right foods. Surviving off of 1200kcal a day is rarely healthy and might give you results in the short-term but longer term you will put all the weight back on and more AND have damaged your hormonal set point to boot.
3. You’re unwilling to make meaningful change
Losing weight and being healthy depends on making key lifestyle shifts. If you are hoping to lose weight in a 4-week program and then go back to your usual habits and self-sabotage then you are fooling yourself.
We need to accept the fact that health is the result of the small daily choices we make. Not the big bold moves. It’s about the small habits we create and sustain. Sure we might have a period where we focus on it more intensely (like during the Flourish Academy) but really its about creating new habits that last.
So for example when I truly embraced this and accepted the fact that I could not eat crap and still look and feel good I started to make small sustainable changes. I started to slowly create new habits. And now because these habits are embedded in my lifestyle, I eat healthily and living well is pretty easy for me. I don’t force myself to drink lemon water upon waking, I don’t force myself to exercise or to eat gluten-free. I don’t have to drag myself away from the fridge kicking and screaming because I am really hungry.
Have you accepted that there is no quick fix?
That to feel your (unique) best requires a lifestyle shift, it requires taking (small) powerful actions every day and refusing to play victim.
4. You eat inflammatory foods
Now to be fair this is just another way of saying point number one but I feel like it is worth repeating.
Excess fat can just be another source of inflammation. It can be the result of you eating foods that your body doesn’t like. It can also be due to nutrient depletion or underlying health issues as listed above.
The most common inflammatory foods are dairy, gluten, and refined sugar. Sure there are others and we are all individual but in general, if you are struggling to lose weight and remove these foods for 3 months I bet you start to see a shift. Not because you eat less (nope – you should be eating more) but because you are reducing the inflammation on your body.
So there you go lovely, and if you want to know more about how to become a Fat Burning Female then I am running a FREE training workshop this Monday at 7.30pm where I am going to run through the 3 part strategy to becoming a fabulous fat burning machine.