What’s really stopping you from losing weight?

Do you feel like you are doing everything right, eating healthy, reducing fat intake, exercising every day, but still, those stubborn pounds won’t budge? It can be so frustrating!

I remember a few years ago I was crazy about exercise. I worked out at the gym regularly and even trained for marathons. People usually think when you run around all day long you can pretty much eat whatever you like, I even thought so myself, but that was far from the truth. During this time I actually had to watch my weight more than ever before. A small extra treat in the evening and I would see it on the scale the next morning for sure. Who knew that too much exercise can actually prevent weight loss?

Weight loss is way more complex than just calories in and calories out. After all, we are human beings and not bank accounts.

So here are 9 main factors to consider if you feel your weight is stuck regardless of what you do.

Eating too little
If you are on a “starvation diet”, your body will shut down its weight-loss mechanism and hang on to its fat stores. As a woman you shouldn’t consume less than 1,500 calories/day for a longer period of time.

Exercising too much
Especially long cardio workouts can be very counterproductive. They cause the body to become more endurance-focused, storing energy as fat to ensure it has plenty of reserve fuel to keep you going.

Having hormonal imbalances
Hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, or low estrogen inhibit weight loss.

Suffering from depression and/or anxiety
Low serotonin levels (your happy neurotransmitter) cause you to crave more sugar and complex carbohydrates to make you temporarily feel better. Also, feeling anxious or depressed can prevent you from being more active.

Taking certain medications
Many medications can cause weight gain or hamper weight loss (e.g., female hormone pills, corticosteroids, and antidepressants)

Having too much stress
Our adrenal glands actually help control many hormonal cycles and functions in our body. But, when they are overworked from chronic stress, the body prepares for disaster by storing fat and calories.
We crave foods, we lose precious energy, and we gain weight.

Not sleeping enough
Not sleeping enough raises your cortisol level. This stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want more food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin (your “hunger” hormone)

Having food sensitivities
Food sensitivities that are not addressed cause inflammation in the body and  play a HUGE role in many chronic illnesses and weight problems. Eliminating these foods and allowing your body to heal is crucial to achieve permanent weight loss and optimal health.

Struggling with toxin overload
One way your body deal deals with accumulating toxins (e.g., from food, water, and the environment) is by increasing the number of fat cells and stuffing them with toxins as well as fat. This is likely done to get the toxins out of your circulation and away from key organs. It causes easy weight gain and complicates weight loss.

What does all this mean? Well, first of all, it is not your fault if you cannot lose weight, and it has certainly nothing to do with your willpower. So, if you feel super frustrated right now because the numbers on your scale just won’t drop, check with your healthcare professional if there might be any underlying causes that are making your life more challenging. Then take the following 4 steps:

  1. Nourish yourself with delicious foods you enjoy and don’t deprive yourself constantly.
  2. Relax more and stress less.
  3. Enjoy being physically active and don’t force yourself to do exercises you don’t like.
  4. Love your body. It is beautiful!