So, you’ve followed the Military Diet but the scale won’t budge a pound? Trying to lose weight causes women a lot of stress. And we feel like a failure when we can’t lose weight. First of all, be kind to your body and to yourself. Positive thinking goes a long way in getting your body to work with you instead of against you. But sometimes there are physical problems at play in the body, things we can’t control with positive thinking alone.
Top Reasons Women Can’t Lose Weight:
PMS gotcha down?
Ah, being a woman has its perks, but hormones aren’t always among them. If you suffer from PMS, irregular periods, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, tender breasts and fatigue, you might have a hormonal imbalance. Your doctor can test for excess or deficient levels of progesterone and estrogen. Google the symptoms of hormone imbalance to see if that might be your problem. If so, it’s time to call the doc.
When people have weight problems or suffer from depression, the thyroid is one of the first things a smart doctor checks out. A slow thyroid is the most common culprit for weight gain or the inability to lose weight. If your thyroid is slow, your metabolism slows right down too. Besides weight gain, a slow thyroid leaves you without energy, dry skin, joint pain and depression. The good news is that once diagnosed with a simple blood test, thyroid problems are pretty easy to fix with medication.
Gut bacteria imbalance:
Maintaining healthy gut bacteria is key to burning belly fat and losing weight! Weight loss problems often indicate an unhealthy digestive tract. All that hard working bacteria in our guts help process food, absorb nutrients and make hormones. When your bacterial balance is off, so is your whole digestive system. Eating too much sugar and unhealthy fat fuels the growth of bad bacteria. Studies show that overweight people have more bad bacteria in their guts than lean people. Everyone benefits from the addition of probiotics to their diet. Probiotic supplements are expensive, but natural sources include tempeh, kimchi, keffir, sauerkraut, and yogurt (make sure the bacterial cultures in your yogurt are ‘live’).
Not enough Vitamin D:
Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) is closely related to weight gain and metabolism. A lot of people have low levels of Vitamin D without even knowing it. You can get your levels checked by a doctor. Lack of sun is one of the biggest sources of Vitamin D deficiency, but dark skin, a vegetarian diet, kidney problems, celiac disease or obesity also cause low levels of this vital vitamin. People with a Body Mass Index of over 30 often have low levels of Vitamin D too. If you suspect you’re Vitamin D deficient, start taking supplements. The bonus is that Vitamin D also makes us feel better in the winter months when sunlight is at a premium.
Not enough sleep:
Ask anyone how they are and half of them answer ‘tired’. I am sick of this answer! Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body. Lack of sleep is the worst. It’s so very important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to lose weight. Without enough sleep, your metabolism doesn’t function properly because of some pretty important hormones. Ghrelin is the eat more hormone, an appetite stimulator. And when you’re sleep deprived, you have more ghrelin and you eat more. Leptin is the eat less hormone, an appetite suppressant. When you’re sleep deprived, you have less leptin, meaning you also eat more. More ghrelin and less leptin is an equation for weight gain. Cortisol is another major metabolism controller. High cortisol levels from lack of sleep lead to a lower metabolism. Most people need at least 7 hours a night function at optimal levels. Studies show that people who get enough sleep have a lower Body Mass Index.
Life is stressful, especially for women. Long term stress increases cortisol production in the body. Cortisol is directly related to your blood sugar levels. A blood sugar level imbalance is the number one cause of weight gain around the belly.
Your liver isn’t functioning properly:
If you’re ingesting a lot of sugar, coffee and alcohol, your liver is probably begging for a break. The liver is responsible for processing all the toxins in your body efficiently. When the liver is overloaded, it slows down and eventually causes weight gain. Your liver would probably benefit greatly from a seasonal cleanse.
Sometimes you don’t have to look further than your medicine cabinet to find out what’s causing weight gain. Anti depressants and birth control pills are the two biggest offenders when it comes to weight gain or the inability to lose weight because of prescription medication. If you think your prescriptions might be causing weight gain, explore alternative doses and medications.
You exercise the same way, every day:
If you never vary your exercise routine, chances are your body is stuck and weight loss is stalled or stopped completely. Just like life, you need to shake up your routine a bit to shock the body back into fat burning mode. Add weight training, Pilates or Yoga. Interval training is one of the best exercises for weight loss. Quick and hard bursts of exercise have an amazing effect on your metabolism.