How To Overcome Weight Loss Resistance

How To Overcome Weight Loss Resistance

What is weight loss resistance? And how can you overcome it to reach your desired weight and maintain it long term?

For many people who are having trouble losing weight, it’s difficult getting to the root of why it’s so hard. Our clients are educated women and men who typically have a good understanding of what healthy food looks like. They know that if they want to lose weight, they’re better off eating a salad over a pizza. And yet still they are experiencing challenges with managing their weight. These challenges might be around emotional eating or lack of self-prioritisation. Other times there can be an underlying physiological reason as to why the body is holding on to weight. This is sometimes referred to as weight loss resistance. So how can you overcome it?

Below we will take a look at some of the causes of weight loss resistance, and how to deal with them. 

We are a team of nutritionists who specialise in weight loss and we work with our clients to get to the root of what’s preventing them achieving a weight they’re happy at. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, schedule a complimentary call with a member of our team. 

WHAT IS WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE?

Weight loss resistance is an inability by the body to let go of excess body fat, despite following a sensible plan. If you’ve consistently stuck to a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet and been in a calorie defect, yet you’ve still struggled to lose weight, the chances are you have weight loss resistance.

WHAT CAUSES WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE?

Weight loss resistance can have various biological causes. Four of the most common causes we see in our clinic include:

Menopause: Many women we work with have found that hormonal changes in the lead to, during and after the menopause have made managing their weight increasingly challenging. 

Under active thyroid: One of the most common causes of weight loss resistance in the clients we see. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, can reduce the body’s metabolic rate and lead to weight gain. Other symptoms may include feeling the cold, low mood, constipation, hair loss and dry skin. However, for some of our clients an inability to lose weight is their only symptom.

Elevated stress: Increased levels of the stress hormone costisol can lead to weight loss resistance. We often see this in clients who are experience heightened stress in their life or those who are trying hard to lose weight but who are exercising excessively, dropping their calories too low, or fasting for extended periods when it doesn’t suit their body. Much can be done to return the body’s cortisol output to normal and enable fat loss. 

Overactive immune disorder: A lesser known cause of weight loss resistance. This term was coined by functional nutritionist Vince Pitstick. Overactive immune disorder is a condition where the body’s immune system malfunctions causing a range of symptoms, including an inability to lose weight. This can occur as a result of viruses including Covid-19.

Other causes that can be related to or independent of the above include elevated systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.

Much can be done to address these root causes of weight loss resistance and support the body in returning to a state of optimal health and letting go of excess body fat.  

IDENTIFYING THE ROOT CAUSE

If you’re struggling to lose weight, the first thing to do is identify the root cause. As nutritionists who take a functional medicine approach to weight loss we are always looking to get to the root cause of what’s led to our client’s weight gain. 

How do we do this? When we see a new client we will start by taking a detailed case history in our Client Health Questionnaire. This looks at many aspects of our client’s health, diet, lifestyle, medical history, family history and more. It analyses the different systems in the body for signs of imbalance. During your initial consultation your practitioner will go through this in detail and speak with you to further evolve their understanding of your state of health. 

After this, your practitioner may recommend tests to assess aspects of your health in more detail to identify what could be preventing you from effectively managing your weight.

TESTING FOR WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE

There are many tests available to us as practitioners and our job is to identify which test(s) make most sense for you. So what tests might your practitioner recommend? Here are four of the most common tests we run when assessing weight loss resistance:

DUTCH test: A hormone test looking at levels of oestrogen, progresterone, testosterone, DHEA and more.

Thyroid profile: A comprehensive thyroid test looking at six different markers of thyroid health. This is significantly more comprehensive than standard NHS testing which typically only looks at one or two markers.

Adrenal stress test: A salivary cortisol test which assesses the body’s stress hormone levels at four or five key points over the day.

Parasite testing: Certain gut parasites can prevent successful weight loss. 

HOW TO OVERCOME WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE

Once we have got to the root cause of your weight loss resistance, we can work on implementing a plan to overcome it. What this looks like will depend on what the tests uncover. It typically involves tailored dietary guidelines, a supplement protocol and lifestyle recommendations. It may also include medical treatments from one of our partner doctors. For example, if we identify suboptimal levels of hormones, we may refer you to a hormone specialist for a bespoke hormone treatment plan. There is no one size fits all and we always create personalised plans for our clients based on their unique circumstances. Your plan may evolve over time as your body heals.

WORK WITH US

We understand how frustrating and upsetting weight loss resistance can be. We have seen many clients who have tried hard to lose weight and yet the results they’re getting aren’t what they deserve given the effort they’ve put in. The solution that’s needed is often considerably more sophisticated than eating less and exercising more.

If this sounds like you, we can help. We work with you to help you identify and overcome the root causes of your weight challenges. Our team create bespoke strategies for supporting you in achieving your happy weight and an optimal state of health. We provide you with professional guidance and practical support to get you to a weight you’re happy at. And ensure you stay there long term. If you’d like to find out how we can help you, book a complimentary call today. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure. We look forward to hearing from you.  

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SARAH LAW

Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.


Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.

 

Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.

 

To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.

AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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