Hands up if you’ve tried a diet (or 50), lost a little bit of weight, and then it all piled right back on? Or maybe you didn’t even get to the point of losing kilos because the diet was impossible? If I had a dollar for every new client that came to me saying ‘I’ve tried EVERYTHING and I can’t lose weight!’ … well, my bank account would be pretty impressive by now!
The thing is that when you’ve tried everything, it’s usually because you’ve tried everything that others have recommended. But the issue here is that it completely overlooks the personal aspect of your needs!
Now I would be oversimplifying if I said everyone who couldn’t lose weight was struggling with X, Y or Z. But in most cases, there are 3 core reasons that weight loss isn’t happening for you.
The 3 big reasons that you can’t lose weight
Yes, you read that right! You might not be undereating every type of food, but there’s a decent chance that you are restricting calories (often in a yo-yo effect), not getting enough protein or choosing foods that lack nutrition.
I get the mental process behind this. We’ve had the conditioning around calorie restriction from childhood. Were you even a child of the 70s if your mum wasn’t cycling between Pritkins, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig?? There are still plenty of fad diets around today, but our parents copped a massive dose of diet culture and inadvertently fed it to us.
The problem here is that your body is not going to release its precious protective fat stores if it’s afraid of undernourishment. Your metabolism can’t rev up if it doesn’t have the nutrients needed to run glands like your thyroid. And your hunger hormones aren’t going to settle if you’re not getting protein to support repair and maintenance.
So what’s it going to do instead? You guessed it – send out an SOS and demand MORE food. Even if you manage to restrict your calories, it will put in other protective mechanisms such as dropping your metabolic rate and skyrocketing cortisol.
Overdoing everything else
- Over-exercising (6 days a week of HIIT and Crossfit is not your friend)
- Over-burdening yourself with to-dos and making ‘busy’ your autopilot mode
- Stressing to the max – unfortunately, stress is harder to juggle in your 40s so the usual worries feel way worse!
All of these contribute to high stress hormones, particularly cortisol. And high cortisol is completely incompatible with weight loss! It actively stops you from losing weight by increasing your blood sugar, reducing your insulin sensitivity, tanking your thyroid hormones and adding plenty of fat to the abdominal area.
If that wasn’t enough, all of these cause inflammation – a form of physical stress for the body – and the cycle continues.
To put it simply: if you don’t stop overdoing it all, you’ll find you can’t lose weight thanks to these feedback mechanisms.
You can eat the most calorie-controlled diet and exercise plenty. But if your hormones are out of whack, your body won’t release weight. It’s as simple as that.
Oestrogen, insulin and cortisol are the big players to watch for. Cortisol we already touched on, so let’s have a quick look at the other two.
Oestrogen is like Goldilocks – we want not too little, not too much. Unfortunately, when oestrogen drops during perimenopause, it makes you more insulin resistant. And this sabotages any weight loss efforts.
Insulin is our blood sugar + fat storage hormone. A common issue that prevents weight gain is insulin resistance. Basically, your cells stop responding to insulin, making you hangry, inflamed and metabolically inflexible.
Once you balance these babies? A lot more than just weight loss falls into place. Think:
- Better sleep
- Improved energy
- Happier, more balanced mood
- Reduction of symptoms such as PMS and heavy bleeding
I think Deepak Chopra said it best:
Hormones get out of balance when life is out of balance
The good news is that when we rebalance life, our hormones follow.
So if I can’t lose weight and calorie restriction doesn’t work… what does?
I’m glad you asked! There is no quick fix for this situation, nor is there a cookie-cutter diet plan you can find online that is going to solve it all.
The key here is an approach that takes into account everything going on for you: your nutrient levels, your hormones, your health concerns, your lifestyle, and how your body’s metabolism functions. That’s where personalised nutrition is a game-changer.
It’s what I used to release 18kg over 14 weeks (plus I’ve maintained that loss for 2 years and counting!)
If you’re sick of quick-fix, one-size-fits-all options that don’t work for you and your body, I’m here to help. Weight loss might seem impossible in your 40s and beyond, but it doesn’t have to be! By taking a holistic and tailored approach, we can help you to not only look like a million bucks, but also feel amazing in your body.
Book in for a free discovery call today, and we can explore how I can help you to reboot your body and feel good again.