12 reasons you can’t lose weight

Are you eating healthy food and exercising regularly but the scale won’t budge? Or even worse, your weight is going up. You start counting every calorie, watching your carbs, having a green smoothie every day and exercising more, yet nothing happens. You try another ‘miracle’ diet and you get discouraged every single time because it’s just not happening for you. You start to lose motivation and your self-esteem goes down.

Does this sound familiar? Here are 12 common reasons why you can’t lose weight.

1.       You have hidden food intolerances

Food sensitivities are one of the most common causes of difficulty losing weight. The gastrointestinal system is home to about 80% of your immune system. Hidden food intolerances may cause your immune system to react and create inflammation.

2.       You are constantly stressed

Long-term stress will cause high (fat-storing) stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels remain high, your body will begin to store more fat around your waistline. It will increase insulin levels (a hormone produced by the pancreas) – the fat storage hormone. High cortisol increases blood sugar and that will give you sugar cravings.

3.       You are not sleeping enough

Sleep deprivation is associated with an increase in cortisol and decreased insulin sensitivity. You also won’t be able to fully recover from the exercise.

4.       You are exercising too much

Excessive exercise leads to increase in cortisol. There is a fine line between training hard and overtraining. Finding balance is key.

5.       You avoid good fats

Are you afraid of fats? Not all fats are created equal. Fats are an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in weight management, hormonal balance, healthy skin and hair, as well as supporting immune function.

6.       You are not eating enough

When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body will hold into fat and use your muscle for energy. This will slow down your metabolism.

7.       Your sex hormones are out of balance

Sex hormone imbalances can also cause weight issues. Do you suffer from PMS, breast tenderness or painful periods?

8.       Insulin resistance

In insulin resistance, the insulin isn’t working as efficiently as it should. Insulin is the main regulator of the sugar levels in the blood, helping to keep your blood sugar level from getting too high or too low. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it will try to manage by producing more insulin. That can lead to high blood sugar levels.

9.       Sluggish thyroid

The thyroid gland releases hormones that control metabolism. Sluggish thyroid means slower metabolism. Do you suffer from fatigue, feeling cold, very dry skin or depression?

10.    You are not drinking enough water

Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn. Drinking water before meals may reduce appetite and help with weight loss.

11.    You are not getting enough vitamin D

Studies show that low levels of vitamin D are associated with weight gain and obesity.

12.    You are not chewing your food

Digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that help break down food before entering your digestive tract. The longer food is exposed to saliva (through chewing), the easier it moves through your intestines. This kick starts the digestive process and allows proper absorption of nutrients essential for optimal health.


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  • Mason C., Xiao L., Imayama I. et al., Vitamin D3 supplementation during weight loss: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, W1G 9PF
Written by Milena Kaler, London Nutritionist | Weight Loss & Gut Nutritionist
London, W1G 9PF

Milena Kaler is a is a qualified nutritionist and naturopathic practitioner, trained in the principles of functional medicine and naturopathy. Scientific and holistic in approach, Milena looks at all aspects of a patient’s health. She aims to get to the root cause of health and weight issues instead of simply suppressing the symptoms.

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