21 Jul 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?
We are a team of nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. 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.
Below we will take a look at some of the causes of weight loss resistance and how to overcome it.
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.