Weight loss resistance and how to overcome it
You’ve tried exercising, eating healthy and cutting calories, but you still can’t lose weight! What’s going on? Most women over the age 35 who struggle relentlessly with their weight are dealing with a systemic imbalance that is physiologically blocking weight loss. This is known as weight loss resistance, which urges your body to hang on to extra weight — no matter what diet or exercise measures you take. We know this situation is extremely frustrating, and while there is good reason for it, there are also effective solutions.
Your body chooses what to do with every nutrient you put in it and if the system is working smoothly, it makes healthy choices and you’re at a healthy weight. But our systems are vulnerable to a lot of disruption, especially after the age of 35, and once the body is out of balance, it becomes nearly impossible to lose excess weight. Women, who do manage to lose weight, often gain it back quickly — unless they address the root systemic imbalance.
The most common systemic imbalances that lead to weight loss resistance in women are connected to thyroid disorders, adrenal imbalances, sex hormone fluctuations or neurotransmitter imbalances. Once the body regains balance, the weight comes off easily.
Most common causes of weight loss resistance
As early as 35-years-old, our estrogen and progesterone levels can begin to fluctuate. And in an effort to preserve fertility for as long as possible, the body hangs on to extra fat — especially in the belly because this fat can make estrogen.
When thyroid hormones are low, key chemical messengers like serotonin, beta endorphin and leptin become mixed up and disrupt our eating behaviour. These changes can strengthen cravings, inhibit the sensation of fullness, decrease energy, lower moods and lead to weight gain.
During times of stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline to mobilize quick energy for a “fight or flight” situation. Yet most modern stress doesn’t call for extra calories for us to physically fight or flee, so these get stored as fat. Long-term stress causes your body to hang on to every calorie it can in preparation for crisis.
When the feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin or beta endorphins are out of balance, intense carbohydrate and sugar cravings are the result. These cravings are an attempt by your body to rebalance itself because carbohydrates aid in the body’s production of serotonin.
Other factors that can prevent weight loss
In addition to the four most common imbalances, women also suffer frequently from digestive imbalances, detoxification issues, and inflammation, which can lead to weight loss resistance. Digestive trouble is often linked to food sensitivities, and your body views this situation as another form of stress, increasing cortisol and maintaining weight as a protective measure. An overload of toxins can mimic our hormones and disrupt fat deposition, as well as alter the way we metabolize sugar. Inflammation can cause weight gain through the loss of insulin control and quick conversion of carbohydrates to belly fat.
Four steps to overcome weight loss resistance
- Understand your imbalance. Knowledge is crucial when it comes to beating weight loss resistance.
- Rebalance with herbal support. In addition to a balanced diet, you can use targeted herbal supplementation to bring your body naturally back into balance. Black cohosh, passionflower and red clover are great herbs for hormonal imbalances. Astragalus root, Siberian ginseng and rhodiola or 5HTP help the body rebalance under stress and high cortisol. Bacopa monnieri, hops and sage work well for a sluggish thyroid.
- Boost your metabolism. Aside from the well known metabolism boosters like exercise, a good night’s sleep, and healthy foods, you can support your metabolism with green tea extract, chromium, and herbs.
- Don’t deprive yourself of food. Balanced meals and snacks are the only way you’ll be able to stick with a new eating approach. Each meal should include some form of protein, fibre, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates.
PRODUCTS FROM THE HEALTH IQ RANGE THAT CAN ASSIST WITH WEIGHT LOSS:
- 5HTP to help balance the serotonin
- APPETITE CONTROL to help reduce sugar cravings
- CLA to boost the metabolic rate and help to break down the excess fat build-up in the body.
- Cut out all bread, and reduce the rice and potatoes and cut out all sugar
Portion of this article was taken from the Medical Journal on Woman’s Health