Science + Psychology + Spirituality of Health & Wholeness1

5 (more) Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight

Barriers to Weight Loss, Part 2…

Here are 5 more reasons you can’t lose weight even though you are trying your best and doing everything “right”.

The Wrong Diet: The #1 bad guy here is excessive carbohydrate (aka sugar) intake. It can lead to fat gain pretty quickly.  Carbohydrates (starches, grains, and sugar) are converted to glucose in the blood.  Eating too many refined and processed carbohydrates triggers an increase in insulin. This opens the doors of fat cells for efficient storage.  Eating too many processed carbs, skipping breakfast, and unbalanced meals can cause unstable blood sugar levels which also makes losing weight difficult.

Another key point here is that there is no one diet perfect for everyone. What you hear out there as the best diet, may not work for your body. No matter which expert recommends a certain diet, it doesn’t mean it is what will work for you. We all have unique needs regarding diet and lifestyle. There is no “one size fits all”. You know your body best.

Toxicity: Toxins can make us fat because these chemicals disrupt the body’s ability to utilize and metabolize food.  The high toxic load we are exposed to in our society causes imbalances on the cellular and whole body level.

The burden put on the liver alone is detrimental, as the liver is a major detox and metabolic organ.  As the body gets overwhelmed, it starts storing the overflow of toxic byproducts in the fat cells.

Difficulty losing weight can be the body protecting itself. The body is avoiding the harmful effects that would result if fat was lost and those toxins were released into circulation again.

Inadequate Rest: Timing, duration, and quality of sleep can affect metabolic and hormonal functions related to health. Sleep effects our metabolism, our energy level, and our appetite. When our sleep cycle is off, our hunger hormones — ghrelin and leptin — become altered, thus increasing our appetite.

Maybe you have noticed that when you are feeling tired you eat more and grab for snacks more often. Your body is looking for an energy source. Insufficient sleep impairs glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, meaning the way the body stores and processes carbohydrates is altered. This increases food cravings and explains how research has discovered a link between poor sleep and risk of diabetes.

Hormone Imbalance: Stubborn weight loss may mean that hormones are out of balance.

When thyroid, adrenal and/or sex hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone) are out of whack, weight loss can be utterly impossible despite the proper diet and an active lifestyle.

Adrenal fatigue, which occurs with chronic stress, will also hinder your weight loss progress.

Another well-known controller of weight is the thyroid.  Thyroid hormones drive metabolism, temperature, and energy production.  Other hormones that have already been discussed, such as insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin are also key players in weight loss.

Imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are major weight loss barriers for both women and men.

The take home here is that all the hormones work together, in either harmony or disharmony.  When one is off, the rest will follow, creating an overall imbalance inhibiting any sort of budge on the scale.

The only true way to know if a hormone imbalance is the missing barrier to weight loss for you is to ask your health practitioner for a full metabolic and hormonal work-up.

Last but NOT least… Emotional Weight: Not only are we what we eat, but we are also what we think.

As Dr. Bryan Walsh says, “Our physiology follows our psychology.”  Our physical body is a reflection of what we think. So allowing negative thoughts to flood our consciousness about our body only affirms that which we are trying to change.  Thoughts such as “I am so fat” or “I will never lose this weight” only deepen the struggle.

The more we think and talk negatively to ourselves about our body, the more we manifest extra weight, and make losing weight more difficult.

“The self will fulfill our beliefs about ourselves even when they are destructive and disempowering,” says motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Emotional eating stems from underlying core issues that are denied and avoided by turning to food as an alternative to dealing with them. Food is the drug of choice for so many people.

Many people use food to soothe uncomfortable emotions, to replace love, for reward, and distraction. This unconscious practice leads to overeating and cravings. Excess weight can be the physical manifestation of the emotional burden kept inside the body.

According to Dr. Walsh, “When you have a lot weighing on your mind, your body becomes weighed down as well.” There are a number of subconscious beliefs that keep weight on.  For example, weight can serve as an unconscious method of protection and can be used to feel safe.  Being overweight may become an identity one is afraid to let go of.  There may be fears that others will see you differently if you lose weight, so it is safe to remain overweight.  The possibility of losing friends or being seen differently is too scary to risk.

Food is a coping mechanism for many people, so there may be worries around how to manage stress and anxiety without food.  Letting go and clearing out emotional wounds can be the key to feeling lighter and letting the weight go. EFT tapping, yoga, and body work, such as massage, acupuncture and energy therapies, are very effective practices to release stuck emotions.

Are you ready to solve the mystery of your weight struggle? Contact me at faith@faithshevlin.com for further guidance and information on how to uncover what specific barrier you may be up against.