You may have tried dozens of different diets, visited a nutritionist, or practiced all kinds of exercise, but nothing has given you the results you desire. You’re probably wondering why it’s so difficult for you to lose weight, and what you can do to reverse the situation. Learn more in the following article.
The root of your weight loss problem may be buried beneath your genetics, for example, or it could lie in unhealthy habits. Even your hormones could be to blame for not letting you shed those pounds. It’s time to find a solution so you can stop trying diets and exercise routines that don’t work, causing you frustration, depression, anger, anxiety, and more.
Find out what the problem is
If you’re not losing weight yet doing regular exercise and eating well, then first and foremost, you need to determine if you really do have a problem. Evaluate your individual characteristics in order to better understand your metabolism, which could be another factor that’s “stabbing you in the back.” A good method is this short but insightful questionnaire:
- Do you find it hard to lose weight even when combining diet with regular exercise?
- Do you take any thyroid medications, antidepressants, insulin supplements, blood pressure medication, steroids, or anticonvulsants?
- Have you recently experienced sensitivity to cold or sudden temperature changes, constipation, fatigue, dry or pale skin, memory loss, thinning hair, or difficulty concentrating?
- If you measure your waist, is it greater than 35 inches (for women) or 38 inches (for men)?
- Do you have any of the following conditions: high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, or higher than normal triglycerides?
- Do you accumulate more fat in your hips and thighs?
- Have you experienced mood swings, irregular menstruation, breast tenderness, hot flashes, excessive sweating, or dryness in the genital region?
If you answer yes to at least two of the above questions, you’re more likely to have trouble losing weight than others.
Find out why you’re not losing weight
Some of the drugs that we mentioned above can contribute to weight gain or inhibit weight loss, regardless of how many calories you consume or burn. Consult with your doctor who can recommend an alternative treatment for you, for example.
You also need to take the potential for thyroid problems into account. Plenty of people find out they have a problem with this gland because they’re unable to lose weight (or the opposite occurs and they lose too much too quickly).
When the thyroid isn’t functioning properly you may experience symptoms like an intolerance to cold temperatures, fatigue, constipation, thinning hair, and poor memory function. If you think this might be the cause of your weight loss problem, or if there’s a history of thyroid disorders in your family, you can have a routine blood test to assess its function.There’s also a common condition called metabolic syndrome, which interferes with the body’s ability to manage its levels of blood sugar and causes more fat to be stored than normal.
And there’s still more to consider: if you find you’re storing more fat in your abdomen than in other parts of your body, your triglycerides may be too high. Pay attention to your blood pressure. Genetics can have a lot to do with all of these factors, so be sure to consult your physician. And remember that having a poor diet, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and consuming excess alcohol or tobacco products can aggravate the situation.
One of the questions above was exclusively for women. This is because there’s a condition that keeps women from losing weight easily that is based on the levels of the estrogen hormone. If you take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, your body may produce more estrogen than normal, which makes it easier to accumulate fat in the hips and thighs.
Other symptoms you might experience are a change in mood, excessive sweating, dryness in the vaginal area, and breast tenderness. Be sure to talk with your gynecologist. And if you glance in the mirror and notice that you’re roughly pear shaped – i.e. thinner in the torso and wider at the hips, this could be an indication that your estrogen levels are too high and why you’re having trouble getting rid of those pesky saddlebags.
For each problem, there’s a solution
Once you’ve figured out why you struggle to lose weight, it’s time to put a plan in action to reverse the situation.
For thyroid problems
In addition to taking the correct medication (as prescribed by your doctor) you need to reduce your caloric intake, eat more foods that are high in fiber, avoid refined and processed foods, choose lean meats, eat foods that are rich in iodine, increase your physical activity, and lower your stress levels.
For metabolic syndrome
Decrease your intake of refined or processed foods, eat more fiber, get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day (Monday to Friday), stop smoking and reduce alcoholic consumption, lower your stress levels, and take any medications prescribed by your doctor. You should periodically check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as your triglycerides and blood sugar.
For problems with estrogen levels
Up your fiber intake, choose soy products instead of meats (preferably organic), take a multivitamin every day, and perform some moderate to difficult cardio exercises at least twice a week, supplementing them with weight lifting to tone the muscles.