5 Things That Can Interfere With Weight Loss
1. Poor sleep
When we get insufficient sleep (not enough sleep or constant broken sleep) this can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced from fat cells that tells your brain to burn fat for energy. It also signals your brain when we are full which helps you to stop eating. If you’re leptin resistant the hypothalamus (in your brain) doesn’t recognize leptin. This causes fat to be stored. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep also increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is our main stress hormone, it’s also a fat storing hormone. Not only that, lack of sleep also increases our hunger hormone ghrelin. Poor sleep = ↑ cortisol, ↑ ghrelin, and leads to insulin resistance. A perfect storm for weight gain and trouble losing it.
2. High stres levels
As mentioned in the previous slide.. stress increases our cortisol levels, and cortisol is also a fat storing hormone. When we’re under constant stress our body isn’t worried about breaking down fat, or digesting food properly, or balancing hormones. The message we send our body when stressed/busy/ anxious/worried is to ‘get out of danger’ quickly. So the food we eat can get ‘stored’ for later use. Also, the messages we send ourselves matter when it comes to stress. You can’t heal a body you hate. Negative self-talk is also a form of stress. Mental health and the way we live our lifestyles plays a huge role in weight management. Stress alone can slow down metabolism and increase food cravings.
3. Toxic load
We all come into contact with toxins on a daily basis which can predispose us to many health complications and diseases. So getting serious about reducing our toxic load is something we all need to consider for many reasons. Some people may even work in more toxic environments, so if that’s the case with you then finding ways to support your detoxification pathways could be helpful. Toxins can also increase inflammatory mediators which can lead to insulin resistance and leptin resistance – both of which can make it more challenging to shift weight.
4. Unstable blood sugar
When glucose is constantly elevated from eating a higher carbohydrate and sugar diet or from not balancing meals with adequate protein and fat you get a constant release of insulin into the bloodstream. High levels of insulin puts the breaks on burning fat for fuel and encourages fat storing of foods coming in. Having steady blood sugar levels is key for lowering insulin and allowing your body to tap into fat burning mode.
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5. Poor gut health
Microbiome health matters! Gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria) can lead to intestinal permeability, and can also increase fat around organs and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Studies have shown people who eat a more varied diet of fermented foods on a regular basis have a greater gut diversity, which han been correlated with lower weight. Studies have also shown people who are overweight have a less diverse microbiome and also that people who have leaky gut tend to be more overweight. This can lead to more inflammation in the body and metabolic syndrome.
Other underlying conditions:
Thyroid – thyroid imbalances such as an underactive thyroid can contribute to weight challenges. Checking TSH, T3 & T4 at the very minimum is what I recommend to clients to get a wider look at how their thyroid is functioning. TSH alone is not a good indicator of how your thyroid is functioning.
Hormonal imbalances – high estrogen levels can lead to more weight gain. High testosterone levels for women and too low for men can lead to weight gain. Low progesterone levels can lead to higher estrogen levels which can contribute to more weight gain.
As you can see weight loss is about SO much more than what you eat and how you exercise. There are so many factors to consider when it comes to weight loss. And there is no one magic pill or supplement that’s going to help you shift weight either.
Mental health plays a huge role in weight loss too. You need to get real with yourself when it comes to losing weight. What’s the underlying factor that’s holding you back, are your goals unrealistic, do you need to seek help for emotional eating or getting over negative self talk, or are you under-nourishing yourself. We need to get healthy to lose weight. It’s a long game, not a short game. Quick fixes don’t work and are not sustainable.