Top Reasons you Struggle to Lose Weight

Top Reasons you Struggle to Lose Weight

Happy February!  The real start of the year!

I don’t very often talk about weight loss as it has a stigma and often it is about how you look, instead of how you feel.  A healthy body is also about body composition and not a number on the scale.  Having said that, the top goal of many of my patients is to lose weight and keep it off. After years of trying all the things they feel stuck in the same place, struggling to figure out why they can’t shed those extra pounds.

I understand that weight loss is a lot more complex than just counting calories and exercising more. In fact, weight loss resistance is often a symptom of an underlying health problem. These are some of the top reasons I see in clinic that could be holding you back from losing weight and keeping it off.

Top Reasons you Struggle to Lose Weight

1. An unhealthy gut

Your microbiome is an intricate ecosystem of trillions of bacteria and fungi that plays a pivotal role in regulating your metabolism and weight. An imbalance in this delicate system, also known as bacterial dysbiosis where there is an overgrowth of harmful bacteria compared to beneficial ones, can inhibit your weight loss efforts. Dysbiosis in the gut has been associated with increased inflammation, altered nutrient absorption, and metabolic dysfunction, all of which can make losing weight seem impossible.

For example, studies have shown that the microbiome of people that are overweight and obese are different from those found in people of a healthy weight. It’s also believed that these alterations are what cause changes in the immune system that feed low-grade inflammation and trigger the metabolic changes that occur with obesity and diabetes.

To support a healthy gut microbiome, start incorporating a variety of fiber-rich and fermented foods, add digestive enzymes and betaine first to help break down those foods and then add in a daily probiotic supplements to help restore bacterial balance. 

2. Chronic Stress

Chronic stress triggers the release of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels to too long can disrupt hormone balance and influence insulin sensitivity and imbalanced leptin levels – a hormone that regulates hunger and satiety. When a leptin imbalance occurs, your brain turns on all the hunger signals it can to make up for a falsely perceived food deficit. Everything you eat goes straight into fat storage instead of being used for energy. That’s why you can eat all the “healthy” food you want and exercise like crazy but still have trouble losing weight.  

3. Hormone Imbalances

Your hormones are responsible for regulating multiple aspects of weight management. For example, imbalances in sex hormones like progesterone and estrogen can significantly impact your ability to lose weight. That’s because estrogen promotes storing energy as fat in certain parts of your body whereas progesterone supports the metabolism of stored fat so that you burn it off. When progesterone levels are low it can result in weight gain as there is not enough of this hormone to prevent estrogen levels from going haywire.

Your thyroid is also responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism. Conditions like hypothyroidism, where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, can lead to a sluggish metabolism, weight gain, and difficulty losing weight. Also if you are stressed out for too long the body tries to help support you by slowing everything down.  All the Hormones in the body run on a feedback mechcanism and they are finely tuned to adjust to homeostatis… (Balance).

I run complete Thyroid panels in my office as part of my Standard Comprehensive Panel to look at the big picture and uncover the reason the Thyroid is not optimal.

4. Toxin exposure

Toxins are all around us and excessive exposure to these toxins like pesticides, heavy metals, and pollutants, can disrupt your endocrine system and inhibit healthy metabolism. Without proper detoxification, these toxins can accumulate in your fat cells, hindering their ability to function optimally. Therefore, it’s important to minimize exposure to toxins as much as possible and support your body’s natural detox pathways with specific superfoods like Cruciferous Veggies, Cilantro, Artichokes, Blue Berries, Beets etc and supplements like Milk Thistle, B vitamins, SP Cleanse, Biotoxin Binder and KL support. For More info Click Here.

5. Poor diet

Food sensitivities can often go undetected, but they can significantly hinder your weight loss efforts through perpetuating chronic inflammation. Also, the standard American diet is full of inflammatory foods like sugar, unhealthy fats and grains that, when eaten too often, lead to a damaged gut lining and chronic inflammation.

Identifying and eliminating potential trigger foods through an elimination diet or specialized testing, such as IgG or IgE testing, can help uncover the hidden food sensitivities that trigger inflammation in your body holding you back from weight loss.

Top Reasons you Struggle to Lose Weight


When it comes to weight loss, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Everything from underlying gut dysfunctions to hormone imbalances can make it impossible to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Since these dysfunctions can vary greatly between individuals, it’s important to seek out help from someone who knows how the dots are connected, has access to affordable diagnostic testing and can put you on the correct path for healing.

If you have been struggling then I am here to help.

Have a healthy week

Dr Pia