Why can’t I lose weight?

Make no mistake about it: diet and movement are the backbone of a weight management plan! There are many weight loss strategies, but they will likely have very little impact if we are not adjusting our diet and moving.

If you want to lose weight, changes in mindset and routine are required. Before embarking on the process, know that you have to overcome obstacles that come up and understand that the progress is not fast. It is a journey. Fortunately, you will find many others on the journey who can provide camaraderie and support.

Now that I have gotten the obvious out of the way, let’s talk about less-considered factors that can help on your journey.

  • Research shows that a Mediterranean diet filled with vegetables, good protein, healthy fats and low carbohydrates seems to be the most effective diet for weight loss.
  • Our gut microbiome is greatly affected by our diet, and if there is more of one family of gut bacteria than another, it can be much harder to lose extra weight.
    Focusing on digestion will help you lose weight faster. Chew your food well before swallowing, eat while calm, and drink adequate water throughout the day for better digestion.
  • Some studies have shown that intermittent fasting can be beneficial, but be careful: this can cause some adrenal issues in women.
  • Keep in mind that alcohol has more calories than any other food.
  • Exercise at the right time. A new study found that participants showed more success in a lower waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) when exercising between 7-9 am rather than in the afternoon or evening. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23851)
  • Numerous studies have shown that weight lifting and high-intensity interval training can add muscle mass and increase metabolism (which helps the body burn far more calories).
  • Sleep is a big factor in boosting our “feel-good chemicals,” which help us relax and drop weight.
  • Be wary of contributing factors to weight gain. These include hormone imbalances, endocrine problems (primarily thyroid), life stressors (family, relationship, and financial problems), and trauma. These can all shift our metabolism, neurotransmitter safety settings, and hormones to tell our bodies to hold onto extra weight.
  • Other potential factors that may hurt weight management include air pollution, depleted minerals in our soil, chemicals in our beauty products, preservatives, and pesticides.

Here are some nutrients that are important as you focus on weight management:

  • Vitamin D (overweight people tend to have depleted Vitamin D levels).
  • Magnesium is a natural relaxer that is depleted by alcohol, caffeine, and stress.
  • Fish oil reduces metabolic markers associated with excess weight.
  • Lactobacillus (a probiotic) can help shift the microbiome imbalance associated with extra weight.
  • Eleuthero and Rhodiola can help with adrenal and stress-related issues.

Everyone is an individual. Do the foundational work of good routines, food, and movement, but consider getting individualized care to find out what your personal obstacles are.

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash