What's stopping you from losing weight? Surprisingly, it may not behavioural or psychological. Here are 7 biochemical factors that can prevent or stall weight loss.
1. Stress: Both internal stress on the body from infections and illness and external stresses from work, relationships and life events can prevent weight loss. Making your body more resilient to stress and minimising the effects of adrenalin and/or excessive cortisol release is key to moving forward.
2. Hormonal issues: This can include oestrogen dominance which leads to fat accumulating around the thighs, buttocks and mid-section, peri-menopause which can lead to changes in fat deposition or diagnosed hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which includes insulin dysregulation which makes weight gain easy and loss difficult. Understanding how and why these have developed is important. During peri-menopause and menopause, finding some balance and supporting adrenal health can help with managing weight gain during this time.
3. Sluggish liver function: The liver helps with detoxification and glucose management. When liver function isn’t optimal this can lead to weight gain and minimal fat burning. The best way to support this will depend on the underlying factors affecting it. Live function can be compromised by some medications, food intolerances, poor gallbladder function, constipation and chemical exposure to name just a few.
4. Imbalanced neurotransmitters: When our serotonin is out of balance this can lead to cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods to fill the gap or boost our mood. Or low dopamine can lead to relying on foods that trigger this, leading to developing habits around alcohol or sugar.
5. Inflammation: This has multiple causes but the impact on weight is the same. Inflammation encourages weight gain and having excess weight is inflammatory in itself. This is a difficult situation and is a prime reason why weight loss is tricky when you are carrying significant excess weight.
6. Thyroid function: Sub-clinical thyroid issues can also make weight loss difficult. This can be because of autoimmunity or a problem with making, converting and utilising thyroid hormones. Not all of this will be picked up by a simple ‘thyroid’ test with your GP as the initial test for thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) is not particularly sensitive.
7. Gut dysbiosis: Gut bacteria that have been negatively affected by poor diet or antibiotics can affect weight. Sometimes we are unlucky enough to inherit dysbiosis from our mothers at birth. Whichever way it occurs gut dysbiosis has been linked with the tendency to be overweight. Specific gut bacteria can help us manage glucose sensitivity, appetite, cravings and support metabolism.
Understanding what is keeping you stuck and knowing the best way forward is key to healthy, sustainable weight loss. Our very own bespoke body reset helps point you in the right direction.