Have you tried every diet on the market, and even though it might have worked in the past, you are now unable to control your weight anymore?
Or maybe you lose weight, only to gain it back within a few months?
This situation is not that uncommon and it is now referred to as "weight loss resistance". In this post, I will discuss in details the causes and consequences of weight loss resistance, and how to break through the weight loss plateau.
There are several factors that can lead to weight loss resistance:
- hormonal imbalances, for example estrogen dominance, testosterone insufficiency or thyroid dysfunction
- adrenal dysregulation due to chronic stress, injury, illness, death of a loved one, divorce, etc.
- neurotransmitter deficiencies, like moodiness, irritability, depression, cravings
- digestive issues, for example leaky gut, IBS, etc.
- systemic inflammation, for example joint pain, eczema, asthma, etc.
- impaired detoxification, as in acne, congested liver, poor kidney function
These factors contribute to disrupting metabolic processes which creates an energy problem. This energy problem is the cause of the weight loss resistance: the body is no longer using the energy intake (foods and beverages) as fuel and instead stores it as fat.
Let's now discuss the consequences of this energy problem. Adrenal fatigue is either a cause or will be a consequence; whatever comes first, low levels of circulating cortisol are usually seen. As metabolic damage begins the body starts to produce extra cortisol (the body’s major stress hormone produced in the adrenal glands), but eventually will fall below normal and remain low, which mainly causes low stress resilience, lack of energy, chronic fatigue, sleep disruptions, and many more symptoms.
If thyroid malfunction was not a cause, it will eventually be impaired: drops in T4 and T3 (the body’s major fat burning hormones) are common since TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is produced in the adrenal glands. This will further slow down the metabolism. This is the catch22 of the weight loss resistance.
Hormonal imbalances like low testosterone levels are common in men and women, except those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These imbalances lead to low stamina, poor recovery, decreased libido; as well as improper progesterone to estrogen ratio that can range from low to high estrogen levels, and most commonly low progesterone, which results in poor sleep, night sweats, and irritability.
Leptin, the body fat locating hormone, becomes insensitive to the amount of fat stored in cells, which results in uncontrolled fat storage, a condition referred to as leptin resistance.
Lastly, the immune system kicks in overdrive: it becomes overly excitable and begins to attack things it shouldn’t including ingested foods, the body’s own organs, and other everyday chemicals resulting in food sensitivities, autoimmune diseases, and sensitivity to chemicals and the environment.
You might now start thinking that the causes and the consequences of weight loss resistance are similar. Indeed, all of these metabolic processes, which are under hormonal control, can get primarily disrupted causing secondary hormonal imbalances. The condition that is weight loss resistance is rather complex and the solution is even more complex.
The solution to overcome the energy problem at the root of the weight loss resistance is to make the body understand that energy IS available.
The actual process, however, is rather complicated, as there are a lot of hormones at play in the metabolism: thyroid (metabolic rate regulation), cortisol (stress regulation), insulin (blood sugar regulation), leptin (fat storage regulation), aldosterone (fluid balance regulation), etc. An individual assessment of nutrition and lifestyle habits as well as environmental factors is necessary to pinpoint the roots of the condition in one given person.
However, there are some habits that people in this situation tend to neglect. Grab the free guide to Reverse your Broken Metabolism and start implementing the simple steps right away and you will be on your way to revive your stalled metabolism!