The REAL Reason You Aren’t Losing Weight
You’re working out 5-6 days a week and eating healthy foods, but you’re not losing any weight. You’re frustrated because your male partner is losing weight like crazy and you’re stuck. You’re not alone. Many women struggle with this exact issue and become frustrated and often give up after trying every diet and exercise plan possible. In this blog, I’ll talk about the real reason you aren’t losing weight. Your hormones. Specifically, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.
It’s not that your metabolism is slowing down, it’s because it’s not functioning properly!
Here are some signs that you could be experiencing a malfunctioning metabolism:
- Decreased energy after lunch and any other meal
- Increased cravings for sugar and sweets
- Bloated abdomen
- Foggy-headed after eating carbs and sugar
- Rarely eat breakfast because you’re not very hungry in the mornings
- Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep
You don’t have to be overweight for your cells to be insulin-resistant. Even if your weight is perfectly normal, you can still suffer from its effects. Metabolic dysfunction doesn’t develop overnight and could be caused by one or more triggers including:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Belly fat
- Normal aging
If you’ve tried to lose weight and haven’t made any real progress, one thing is clear: Your metabolism has changed. Your new metabolism is storing fat. Insulin resistance is a syndrome at the center of many chronic and serious health problems, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. Insulin is one of your “major” hormones and it has a cascading effect on the rest of your hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Restoring balance to all your hormones is essential for good health. You can take control over insulin resistance and begin to feel better.
When your body breaks down foods into the sugars it needs for energy, i.e. glucose. In order for your body to function at it’s best, your blood sugar should remain stable. That’s where insulin comes in. It’s secreted by the pancreas to keep the blood sugar level under control so your body can utilize the glucose effectively.
Our society has become more dependent on refined simple carbohydrates rather than complex carbohydrates that aid in maintaining stable blood sugar. These simple carbs–sugars–enter the bloodstream more rapidly, causing a significant insulin response, and over time, our cells become “resistant” to the higher amounts of insulin because they just can’t keep up with that amount of sugar in the bloodstream at that fast rate.
Think of your cells as little sponges. When the blood glucose levels are so high, the cells are saturated and cannot absorb any more, just like a wet sponge can only hold so much water. When the cells can’t use the excess glucose, it’s turned into fat by the liver. Fat cells have tons of glucose receptors, so they grow and grow, and it’s all a vicious cycle.
You will feel exhausted all the time and turn to those problematic carohydrate-heavy foods for fast energy. Your extra fat cells are also little estrogen factories which allow any weight gain to feed the estrogen dominance that causes so many symptoms during the early stages of perimenopause.
How do you heal/prevent this?
Eating in a way that balances your blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and improves your liver detoxification is the key to preventing and reversing insulin resistance and diabetes.
Base your diet on whole foods with high fiber, lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in sugars and flours, with a low glycemic load. Include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying foods with omega-3 fats and olive oil, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Eat protein for breakfast every day, such as whole eggs, a protein shake, or nut butters.
- Eat something every 4 hours to keep your insulin and glucose levels normal.
- Eat small protein/healthy fat snacks in the morning and afternoon. Almonds are a good choice.
- Finish eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed.
- Avoid excessive quantities of meat. Eat lean organic or grass-fed animal products, when possible. These include eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, buffalo, and ostrich.
• All processed or junk foods
• Foods with refined white flour and sugar (breads, cereals, flour-based pastas, bagels, and pastries
• Everything containing high-fructose corn syrup
• All artificial sweeteners (aspartame, Sorbitol, etc.) and limit caffeine
• Starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn
• Processed fruit juices, which are often loaded with sugars and are void of the fiber your body needs to metabolize those natural sugars.
• Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils such as most crackers, chips, cakes, candies, cookies, doughnuts, and processed cheese
• Red meats (unless organic or grass-fed) and organ meats
• Large predatory fish and river fish, which contain mercury and other contaminants in unacceptable amounts, including swordfish, tuna, tilefish and shark
• Dairy — substitute unsweetened, almond milk, or hazelnut milk products
• Alcohol — limit it to no more than 3 glasses a week of red wine per week
Exercise is critical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity. It helps reduce central body fat, improving sugar metabolism. Regular exercise will help prevent diabetes, reduce your risk of complications, and even help reverse it. If you’re experiencing well-established insulin resistance or diabetes, more intense exercise will be necessary.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to be placed on medications by your physician while establishing a nutrition and exercise plan. Be wary of long term use of medications, as they usually treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause. Many people are able to get off of medications with diet modification and exercise. Always consult your medical professional before starting an exercise routine, or attempting to stop or decrease a medication.
Thanks for reading my blog about the real reason you’re not losing weight! If this is helpful to you, please share!
Now for a hilarious, real-life mom video!
Cederquist, M.D. Caroline J. “Insulin Resistance: The Real Reason Why You Aren’t Losing Weight.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 5 Feb. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-j-cederquist-md/metabolism-dysfunction-th_b_6430370.html.
“8 Steps to Reversing Diabesity.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 20 Oct. 2014, drhyman.com/blog/2011/11/17/8-steps-to-reversing-diabesity/.
Grundy, S M. “Hypertriglyceridemia, Insulin Resistance, and the Metabolic Syndrome.” The American Journal of Cardiology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 May 1999, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357572.