Weight loss is a difficult thing. It’s not just about diet and the levels of physical activity. If you can’t lose weight despite numerous attempts, you might think that your body is betraying you, your metabolism is slower than normal, or that you'll need to eat only boiled chicken and broccoli for the rest of your life.
None of these statements are actually true. It’s a bad idea to measure your weight loss only in calories. There are some other factors, including hormones, sleep, inflammation, the gut microbiome, medication, unexpressed emotions, and genes that affect your ability to lose and maintain weight.
The process of losing extra weight should be empowering, rather than overwhelming. You can impact all of these factors, except your genes. But genes play the smallest role in weight loss because of how your environment interacts with them. A clean diet leads to cleaner genes. However, there are some inherited genetic disorders that could lead to obesity. If you have one of them, it’s best to visit a weight loss center for proper treatment.
Here are some things about weight loss you need to know to have a healthy weight for good.
Keep in mind that certain medications, especially antidepressants, can lead to weight gain. If you have gained weight after taking medication, consider speaking with your healthcare provider about an alternative option or adjusting your dose.
2. Gut microbiome
An imbalance in gut bacteria can slow down your weight loss. Scientists have found that high levels of bad bacteria can extract more calories from the foods you eat, cause constipation, interfere with the enzymes that enable fat burning, change the appetite levels, and alter the genes that express how quickly your body burns fat.
If you frequently experience bloating, then there is a possibility that you have an imbalance in the gut microbiome. taking a probiotic supplement alone won’t help, as it rarely resolves gut microbiome imbalances. Visit a dietician or nutritionist to examine your gut microbiome, and if necessary, take antifungal herbs and enzymes.
Sleep issues can raise hunger and increase your food consumption. According to one study, women who sleep only four hours of sleep for four consecutive nights consumed an extra 400 calories compared to their regular sleep days.
This might be partially due to how the brain responds to carbohydrates and fat after insufficient sleep. When scientists used MRI technology to evaluate the brain activity in response to food and less sleep, there was more activity in the reward and hedonic areas of the brain and less activity in the prefrontal cortex, which helps manage impulses.
Insufficient sleep can promote overeating. Try to sleep a minimum of seven hours per night. You can also try taking supplements containing magnesium glycinate if you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
When your weight suddenly increases for no apparent reason, you might assume that your thyroid hormones are to blame. Of course, they could become imbalanced, but sometimes they’re not. Though thyroid hormones play a huge role in the speed of your metabolism, there are other hormones that impact your weight as well. These hormones include insulin, glucagon, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, adrenaline, and the sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas to help transport sugar into the cells. It transports sugar to the liver and muscle cells to give them energy to function properly. If your body stores fat everywhere, this means you have too high insulin levels. So, it’s essential to regulate these levels.
How to do that? You need to limit your consumption of starchy and fast carbohydrates and consume smaller meals (large meals increase insulin levels as well). Eat more veggies instead of grains, replace wraps with lettuce wraps, and consume less cereal and add more seeds to your diet. Not everybody experiences problems with insulin. However, if your body feels like it has a layer of body fat everywhere, then consider implementing these dietary changes.
If you’ve noticed that your body stores fat on your upper thighs and butt, this could mean your estrogen is abnormally high. This usually means your body cannot detoxify estrogen as usual, or excess carbs are causing more available estrogen to circulate around your body.
The more fat cells your body has, the higher your levels of estrogen because fat cells produce estrogen. Try consuming a cup of cruciferous vegetables every day. This can help decrease estrogen, as these veggies contain indole-3-carbinol, a phytonutrient that helps the body metabolize and clear estrogen more efficiently.
If you have belly fat, this could indicate you have high levels of stress hormone called cortisol. To lower the levels of cortisol, you need to reduce your stress. You can try meditation, since it helps to reset the body’s cortisol response.
5. Unexpressed emotions
Unexpressed emotions are the most intriguing input into the fat loss/gain equation. This thing is often ignored since emotions can't be measured, however, when people gain weight for no apparent reason, the first thing to remember is whether you have something unexpressed.
It might be a residual thought from an argument with a loved one, a tense relationship with your mother, or something shameful from your youth. When scientists looked at people with obesity that were recommended to get bariatric surgery, they found that 75 percent of them had experienced at least one negative childhood experience, called an ACE. ACEs cover emotional neglect, emotional abuse, divorce, sexual abuse, physical violence, and a family member going to jail.
If something has upset you, it’s essential to express it. You can let it out on paper, or speak to a friend or a physical therapist. If you don’t get rid of emotions that are inside you, you can’t get rid of extra pounds as well.
As you can see, there are lots of factors that can affect your ability to gain weight. However, there is always hope. Don't give up. Find out the most likely reason from this list and get to work on it. Sustainable weight loss isn't always easy, however, it's far better than disliking your body for betraying you or feeling hopeless about your weight.
Poor diet, a gut microbiome imbalance, and untreated food sensitivities are the common reasons for chronic inflammation. The main thing is to find the root cause of overall inflammation and treat it. Try increasing your consumption of vegetables and limit the consumption of junk food. Figure out if you have any food sensitivities, balance your gut microbiome, and check your mercury levels. If you have amalgam fillings and consume tuna several times a week, mercury could be the root cause.