Identifying and Addressing Weight Loss Resistance

Identifying and Addressing Weight Loss Resistance

Identifying and Addressing Weight Loss ResistanceEvery day, people consult with their nutritionists, personal trainers, family physicians, and other healthcare professionals about losing weight. Many of these well-intentioned professionals advise those people to cut calories and increase exercise. On the surface, this seems like good advice. But there is a growing segment of the population for which these strategies just don’t work. They are the people who have a condition known as weight loss resistance.

Case Study

Elaine was only 21 years old when she joined Weight Watchers for the first time. She measured every bite and counted every calorie. She followed her workout schedule down to the letter. Still, the scale would only reflect a few ounces lost and sometimes she would actually gain weight. What was going on in Elaine’s body that would cause her to be unable to lose even a pound? It’s called weight loss resistance and it is becoming more and more prevalent in our society.

People like Elaine are very often extremely vigilant about watching what they eat and they don’t tend to slack when it comes to getting enough exercise. But ironically, this strict and disciplined lifestyle can work against the body and actually cause weight loss resistance. When this happens, it starts a vicious cycle that usually leads to weight gain despite increased efforts to lose.

What Causes Weight Loss Resistance?

Generally, weight loss resistance happens to women more than men and it is driven by an imbalance in the endocrine system. Some issues that lead to weight loss resistance include adrenal fatigue, thyroid imbalance, digestive issues, and chronic inflammation. Weight loss resistance can be induced or influenced by many of today’s lifestyle choices. Here are just a few:

• Caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can cause spikes in cortisol which, in turn, affects how fuel is burned.

• Dieting. Going on very strict or yo-yo diets causes hormones levels to swing erratically.

• Sleep. Not getting enough sleep – even for one night – can throw insulin levels off kilter. In addition, sleep studies reveal that people who don’t get enough sleep have significantly higher levels of stress hormones circulating in their bodies.

• Medicine. Taking certain medications can alter hormone activity making weight loss difficult if not impossible.

• Food intolerances. Not to be confused with food allergies, food intolerances are sensitivities to certain foods like dairy or gluten that have sub-clinical manifestations. As such, these conditions can affect your hormones without you even knowing it. And the problem is perpetuated because you keep eating the foods that cause the hormonal fluctuations.

When hormone imbalance occurs, a metabolic alarm sounds and the highly adaptable human body essentially learns to not only store fat better, but absorb it more efficiently as well.

Addressing Weight Loss Resistance

If you are having a problem with weight loss resistance, all is not lost. The first step is to understand what it is and what causes it. Here are some more things you can do to battle this condition:

• Identify what is causing your imbalance. This usually takes working with a doctor or holistic practitioner that has a deep understanding of the endocrine system. Once you understand what is driving your imbalance, you can customize a nutritional program that addresses your particular needs.

• Use only premium fuel. No, we’re not talking about your automobile. Metabolically speaking, premium fuel is whole foods such as organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, eggs, and dairy. Organic is important because even small amounts of chemical pesticides and herbicides can wreak havoc on the action of your endocrine system.

• Exercise smarter. Even though you may have been discouraged in the past when exercise did not yield results, it’s important to maintain an exercise program for both physical and mental health. For weight loss resistant people, short bursts of intense cardio like you will find in my XTrain workouts are better than longer, lower-intensity cardio sessions. In addition, building muscle through weight training should be an integral part of your workout.

• Make sleep top priority. Anybody who is interested in health – especially weight loss candidates – should not neglect this one. Adequate sleep provides time to restore your mind, regenerate your body, and reset your body’s natural hormonal cycle.

Weight loss resistance is a condition that is caused by hormonal imbalance. With this condition, people can eat a low-calorie diet and exercise and not lose weight. For weight resistant people, working harder is not the answer. To reverse weight loss resistance, it’s crucial to get bottom of what is driving your hormone imbalance and working smarter to correct it.


Related Articles By Cathe:

Is Cardiovascular Exercise Really Effective for Weight Loss?

Strength-Training vs. Cardio: Which is More Effective for Weight Loss?

5 Reasons You Might Be Gaining Weight after Menopause

8 thoughts on “Identifying and Addressing Weight Loss Resistance

  1. I think its so uncany that this article was posted. I have been suffering from and unexplained weight gain of 30 pounds. I am an avid exerciser, very good w eating habits when I’m serious about losing weight. For 2 years I hve been battling it, working out like a nut, twice a day, running, and wuld actually gain. Then recently my hair has fallen out very bad so I begin to do research bc my doctors tested my thyroids as being just fine. I’ve been reading about horomone imbalances literally in the past 3 days. And now this article came out. I’m definitely making an appointment fist thing tomorrow. I also learned that its pretty much an epidemic and many are suffering. Its very devestating to gain weight, not be able to fit your clothes, do Cathe’s xtrain and your pants are tighter. Thanks for this article, it was helpful.

  2. This hits the nail on the head for many people frustrated with an inability to lose weight despite clean eating and regular exercise. This is really important information, but the sticking point is what to do with the information. It is very very challenging to find a physician who has the time or incentive to dig deeper and investigate the complex hormonal inter relationships in the human body. Any advice?

  3. I have had this issue now for about 10 yrs. Many things can cause this including Eating Disorders. I was a chronic dieter and had several EDs. I was finally losing weight SLOWLY by walking and moderate strength training. Things I both enjoy but I had to make sure they stayed low to moderate intensity or my cortisol levels would sky rocket. This disorder even impacted whether or not I could get pregnant and maintain a pregnancy. Now that baby is born, I am struggling with this big time! Lack of sleep, crazy eating schedule (hey, don’t you know baby screams just about the time you’re going to make something to eat), low energy, and pregnancy weight gain all play a role in weight loss- only losing half the weight gained and now slowly regaining.

    Thanks for the info! It really does help bc I know I am just sitting around all day stuffing my face and laughing at exercise. This just motivates me to ditch the stress, any that I can, bc that too make this condition worse. I am going to stop focusing on the numbers and instead focus on enjoyment of movement (including my fav Cathe strength DVDs) and my hunger cues… along with Intuitive Eating and paying attention to what my body wants. Slowly but surely I hope with time and patience and hiding the bathroom scale, I will find that I can get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. That’s all I want! I stopped wishing and hoping for a smaller size than that.

    A lot of people are quick to assume we’re just lazy with uncontrolled eating. That we sit all day, stuff nothing but fast food into our mouths, and make excuses for not wanting “it” badly enough or working hard enough to get “it”. I wish more people would realize that for a portion of people, isn’t about calories in vs calories out; it’s a lot more complicated than that and for some of us, it’s literally out of our hands regardless of how hard we try.

  4. I found some relief with calorie cycling and (no kidding) adding back in some of my treats like ice cream. (organic)

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