Why can't I lose weight?

A to Z Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

People aspire to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, if you have tried to lose weight, no doubt you have ran into plateaus and other periods where you just didn’t make progress. Is there hope?

Of course, there is!

This is an alphabetical list of reasons why you may be having trouble losing weight. Hopefully, something will spark a light bulb in your brain, and you will be able to get back on track towards your weight loss goals!

Starting the list with ‘A’, for 

Absorption Problems in Your Gut

Insulin resistance can be one of your worst enemies when you are trying to lose weight. In other words, your body is unable to use the hormone insulin properly to process your food.

The sad outcome: your body keeps fat that is already there. This condition can be prevalent if you are at risk for diabetes, known as prediabetes.

The Details: What’s Going on in your Body

  1. Food is broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is the body’s primary source of energy.
  2. When your blood flows through the pancreas, your pancreas detects the glucose and releases insulin. Insulin enables cells throughout the body to use the glucose.
  3. Your cells use insulin receptors to transform the glucose to energy quickly or store the glucose as a future source of energy.

When this process goes haywire, your cells don’t get the glucose. Instead, the glucose builds up in your blood stream, and your cells are deprived of glucose.

Absorption Problems in your Gut

How Your Body Responds

Your body hangs on to energy stores, or fat, that it already has and any glucose that the cells do absorb goes into storage as yet more fat.

The Solution

There are several ways you can fight insulin resistance that causes nutrient absorption issues such as moving more, eliminating white foods (white sugars, white flour, white rice) from your diet, cutting out wheat from your diet, integrating more good grains into your diet, eating fruits and vegetables whole instead of as purees or juices, avoiding packaged foods, lowering inflammation via anti-inflammatory foods (walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, green tea, red wine, cinnamon, and turmeric), replacing fats such as lard and butter, and consulting your doctor about medicines that can help.

Binge Eating

Common when dieting, binge eating describes eating large amounts of food in short periods of time. Binging is not healthy and can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, regardless of whether you are binging on junk food or healthy food.

Here’s the kicker:

Depending on the calories, binge eating can wipe out a week’s worth of dieting.

The Solution:

Try these tips to break binge eating habits:

  1. When dieting, think adding new foods instead of restriction of unhealthy foods. These are the common phases when you diet with a restriction mindset: restriction → binge eating → guilt → restriction → binge eating → guilt. That is not healthy!
  2. Get out of the mindset that you have to be perfect with your diet.
  3. Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself on the scale. It’s normal for your body weight to fluctuate.
  4. Cheat days should not be in your nutrition vocabulary. Cheat days provide the perfect opportunity to binge.
  5. Celebrate small wins and don’t panic over small setbacks.
  6. Stay flexible with your diet.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, especially refined carbs such as sugar or grains that have  been stripped of their nutritious parts, can wreak havoc on your goals to lose weight. Eating too many refined carbs can create significant spikes in your blood sugar, which leads to cravings.

carbohydrates are so delicious

Try this: Substitute refined carbs for more complex carbs that come with their natural fiber.

Dining out Too Much

Let’s face it: we love to eat out. Just the simple idea of not having to cook some days is irresistible. But as you probably know, restaurant food is meant to taste and look great, and looking great doesn’t always correlate with being healthy, too. Those tasty sauces, salad dressings, and other delightful delicacies can reverse your weight loss progress.

dining with silverware

How you can fall out this trap at restaurants:

  1. Review the menu and decide what you want (healthy choices) before going to the restaurant.
  2. Eat before. We tend to make “in the moment” food choices when we are hungry. “In the moment” food choices usually aren’t healthy.
  3. Drink water. This will help quench your appetite
  4. If there are specific foods or ingredients you are trying to avoid, ask the waiter/waitress before ordering
  5. There is no shame in “doggy bags”. Many times servings at restaurants are more than a manageable portion, so split these up into meals for the next day.

Eating Mindfully

Make your eating time sacred. Whether you eat alone or with others, cut out the electronics, chew your food slowly, and take note of your food’s flavors, colors, smells, and textures. Continue reading