Check out these causes of weight loss resistance | Health & Food
Or many people who struggle with weight issues, often not just because of overeating or eating “junk food,” weight loss resistance can have many causes. I want to gain insight into the root causes that may be contributing to resistance to weight loss and gain insight into how I can work with clients.
The most common reasons people struggle to lose weight are hormone-mediated and ultimately driven by (what else?!) highly processed foods, toxins, and stress. Hormonal drivers include insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, excess estrogen, and chronic stress.
Insulin resistance – High-glycemic diets and chronic stress both increase the glucose load on the body. Over time, elevated blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance. In this condition, there is insufficient cellular energy, excess sugar in the organs and cardiovascular system, and the body stores more and more fat. You want to check your fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c for insight. However, usually years before fasting blood glucose or HbA1c starts to rise, fasting insulin starts to rise and is in the upper half of the normal reference range. Ideally, it should be below 10. This marker is widely available and can be actively used to develop a more complete picture of insulin sensitivity and glucose handling. Some strategies for addressing insulin resistance are:
Eliminate sugar and sweeteners. After the initial transition period of a few weeks, this should also include eliminating all natural alternatives such as stevia, erythritol to allow taste buds to adjust over time to not expecting most foods to be artificially sweetened. Instead of emphasizing whole fruits or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes to satisfy our natural cravings for sweetness.
Temporarily eliminates all grains – or at least food made with any grain flour (especially gluten, but preferably all grain flour). In many people, especially those with insulin resistance, they cause the same type of blood sugar spikes (and insulin surges) as sugars. Stone ground whole wheat flour raises blood sugar a lot more than table sugar!
Break your fast every day with meals that contain protein and healthy fats. Our blood sugar stability and appetite for the rest of the day are largely influenced by what we eat for the first meal of the day. I've found that clients lose weight most successfully when they consume at least 15 grams of protein (eg, the equivalent of two whole eggs) with their first meal of the day. Consuming protein increases feelings of fullness and promotes the release of a hormone called glucagon in the body, which promotes fat burning.
Load ahead with the day's food. I don't believe in counting or tracking anything that can be counted (e.g. calories, grams of fat, grams of sugar) because I think it makes people obsessed with their food. Instead, I've had great success with a simple tip I give my clients: consume about 80% of the food for the day by 3pm and eat nothing for more than 3 hours before bed. For most clients, this will include a moderate breakfast, a substantial lunch around 1pm and an early afternoon snack. The average American eats a small (or none at all) breakfast, a moderate lunch, and wolfs it down home for a fairly substantial dinner. As people begin to follow this new routine, they will feel less hungry for dinner and their dinners will be smaller. This allows the body to burn body fat for fuel throughout the night. After 5 p.m., the average American burns nearly 50 percent of its calories for the day. As you can probably imagine, this is a metabolic disaster zone for those trying to lose weight. Generally, food that we don't burn for energy for about three hours after eating is stored as fat (regardless of the food type!). After dinner, most of us won't burn off a ton of calories with an exciting game of tennis – but rather just relax on the couch.
Fast overnight for 12-14+ hours Weight loss is encouraged if a person is generally in good health and sleeps well.
Hypothyroidism – An underactive thyroid can cause everything to be sluggish. Fatigue can lead to less exercise, and a slow metabolism can lead to weight gain. It is important that you do a complete thyroid workup – TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO and TG) to look for all types of hypothyroidism (note that subclinical thyroid Hypofunction can still have a significant impact). You may find autoimmunity (Hashimoto's), impaired nutrition (e.g. low T4 from iodine deficiency), impaired stress (e.g. high conversion of T4 to reverse T3), and/or impaired inflammation (e.g. T4 poor conversion to T3) hypothyroid function.
sex hormone imbalance, such as estrogen dominance or testosterone deficiency—problems that exist in both men and women. Testosterone is important for many functions including libido and joint health, and it is known to be important for building muscle and reducing body fat. For example, testosterone may be low due to stress, excessive exposure to estrogen, or excessive alcohol consumption. A deficiency can lead to lack of motivation, irritability, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Most of our androgens are produced in the adrenals, so if the adrenals are busy producing stress hormones, testosterone production will suffer, but in addition, cortisol blocks testosterone receptors. In addition, because adipocytes are endocrine tissues, adipocytes can convert androstenedione and testosterone into strong estrogen through aromatization, and adipocytes may cause excess estrogen and testosterone in the case of excess body fat. On the low side.
estrogen dominance is a common problem that causes symptoms such as PMS (often with cramps), heaviness, prolonged, blood clotting periods, and stubborn weight gain. Most often, estrogen dominance is due to blockage of estrogen metabolism or clearance or increased estrogen load from endocrine disrupting chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, parabens, phthalates, etc.) due to. In this case, a great opportunity is to clean up personal care and cleaning products and eat as many 100% organic foods as possible.
pressure! Chronic stress disrupts all of the above motivations, and as such, it is often the main driver of stubborn, overweight people. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone released under stressful conditions to break down muscle and generate blood sugar during gluconeogenesis. It does so while increasing insulin resistance. High cortisol also reduces thyroid action by increasing the conversion of T4 to reverse T3. Many people trying to lose weight unintentionally increase their cortisol (and their reverse T3), such as with excessive exercise or a calorie deficit. Notably, persistently low cortisol due to prolonged stress or burnout can also reduce thyroid action by reducing cellular uptake of thyroid hormone. Sources of stress that can make weight loss difficult include:
• emotional stress
• Persistent physical trauma
• Ongoing chronic pain
• Excessive exercise
• Chronic diet/calorie deficit
• Lack of rest and/or poor sleep quality
• Too many stimulants
• Allergen exposure – environmental, food…even food sensitivities, see below
• Toxicity eg heavy metals, mold, chemicals
food sensitivity It can cause a variety of symptoms, including systemic inflammation and weight gain. First try to eliminate 100% gluten and dairy for 4+ weeks as a trial. From there further elimination diets can be attempted and, if appropriate, food sensitivity testing considered. None are comprehensive, but total IgG with complement (not IgG4) or combined IgG/IgA are most helpful in eliminating false positives.
If you struggle with weight loss resistance or even insulin resistance, read this article and fine-tune those issues. If you need further support, I'm happy to help guide you through the process at www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.