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7 Factors That Affect Your Ability to Lose Weight

Jan 8, 2021 / by Layla Tavakolian

With the start of the new year, we definitely see an influx in weight loss programs and "get fit" campaigns, but how do we make long lasting changes and identify the ROOT of what may be influencing our challenges - especially with fat loss. 
 
Speaking candidly, I have danced with fat loss over the last few years and was able to successfully identify factors that influence my body's stubborn resistance to losing weight. 
 
Here are 7 factors that are often at the core of weight management struggles:
 

1. Stress

Stress is a major culprit in stubborn belly fat and inflammation that can be difficult to resolve. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone that functions to increase sugar in your bloodstream and effectively give you "fight-or- flight" power. Our body stores all this excess sugar in our fat cells and this, in turn, turns into belly fat. 

Throughout the day, I try to remember to stop and take a few deep breaths in and out through my nose. This is an easy trick to help calm the nervous system and balance out cortisol production.
 
 

2. Macronutrients

How are you fueling your body? "Macro" refers to the three macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fat — our bodies require for energy and proper function. A macro-based diet looks at the percentage combination of the carbs, protein, and fat in your diet instead of calorie counts alone.

Identifying an appropriate fat/protein/carbohydrate ratios for your body is critical for successful weight management. Keeping track of macros can help you gain a better understanding of foods you're eating and how we can make changes that will help you meet weight loss goals more efficiently.

 

3. Excess Sugar and Carbs

Sugar and other carbohydrates taste great and are immediately satisfying. But since they are a fast burning fuel, the body quickly crashes resulting in low energy and mood changes - and ultimately you'll crave more sugar. It is a vicious cycle.
 
Reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fats will provide nourishment while also signaling satiety and a feeling of fullness. This is the first step to help break the cycle of sugar cravings, mood changes and energy crashes.
 

4. Hormones

Many of our hormones regulate metabolism. Baseline lab testing is a great way to assess what may be going on from a deeper biochemical level. 
 
A few important hormone levels to evaluate include:
  • cortisol
  • DHEA
  • thyroid hormones
  • estrogen
  • testosterone
Alive + Well has partner labs that allow us to offer affordable lab testing. Reach out to our team to schedule a free 15 min discovery call with our Functional Registered Dietician to evaluate the right lab testing for you. 
 

5. Inflammation and Water Retention 

Inflammation is linked to several diet and lifestyle factors. By making key changes in these areas, you can reduce inflammation in the body, lower your risk of degenerative disease, and help your body shed excess weight. 
 
Inflammation can also cause excess intracellular/extracellular fluid, which can produce a feeling of bloating, swelling and extra weight. A delicate balance of minerals, like sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium, are critical to help manage healthy fluid levels.
 

6. Food Sensitivities 

Food allergies and sensitivities can have a ripple effect when it comes to weight gain. While it may not directly cause your body to put on extra pounds, the reactions you experience may indirectly lead to weight gain.

If you experience a food sensitivity, and feel lethargic, your daily activity level and motivation may decrease dramatically, leading to higher numbers on the scale.

Identifying food sensitivities is often the first step to long-lasting weight management. For me, this was the secondary factor, after stress management.
 
Our team can help with tips for an elimination diet and food sensitivity lab testing
 

7. Toxins 

Our body has a brilliant way of storing toxins in our fats cells to protect us when the liver isn't able to process them effectively and rid the body of them. This protective mechanism works intuitively to not liberate these toxins into the bloodstream, and is often why individuals hit a plateau in their last 5-15 pounds of fat loss. 
 
A liver detox, as well as supplements to upregulate the body's ability to flush the toxins effectively, is incredibly helpful.  It is also important to carefully evaluating where in our lifestyle toxins may be accumulating is key as well. Skincare, beauty products, makeup, cleaning products, plastics, medications, etc. are great starting points to look at.
 
 
Determining a plan for optimal, long-term weight management can often be more complicated that you think - and goes way beyond self-control and counting calories. Our team is available to help create a personalized and comprehensive plan for weight loss that helps to determine the ROOT causes of weight struggles. Learn more here

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Layla Tavakolian

Written by Layla Tavakolian