So you've been hitting the gym everyday, sweating your butt off, staying away from ice cream like it's the plague and eating salads like it's going out of style.
And yet that scale just won't budge. And, yes we all know that the darn thing can lie but pants don't and those things still won't button all the way up. Let me tell you, I feel your pain. I wore a pair of pants the other night that were so tight I had to unbutton them halfway through dinner! No joke. It just ain't worth the pain!
Ok now back to your pain, and let's acknowledge it as that. Because you've been through a lot of pain and you don't have anything to show for it. And that is a serious pain.
Wait, wait before you go drowning yourself in a bowlful of self pity and a bag of Ruffles potato chips with french onion dip, let's explore some reasons why the weight isn't budging.
Sometimes it's a little trickier than eat less and exercise more. So here are my top 4 reasons that are keeping you from losing the weight:
1. Your hormones are off
When your hormones are off they can have a major impact on your weight loss efforts. The thing is hormone issues can vary greatly; estrogen dominance, low testosterone, adrenal fatigue, and hypo(low)thyroid. There's a couple other hormone issues that I'll cover in the next points which just goes to show how important those hormones are for lasting weight loss.
Here's the deal, we live in a culture where the symptoms are treated with a bandaid such as taking The Pill for intense cramps, bad acne or major moodiness (anything other than it's intended purpose...avoiding pregnancy). The thing is, these bandaids don't address the underlying cause, that cause often being hormonal imbalance.
If you're struggling with energy levels, like crashing at your desk after your mid-morning snack, your sex drive is non-existent, you feel cold all the time, your desk is loaded with post-its because you can't remember a thing, you're finding stray hairs where hairs just don't belong, and/or your midsection is expanding faster than the rest then you may want to look into your hormones being out of balance.
2. The stress is ruling the roost
Yeah, yeah we all know too much, or chronic stress is good for us. But we aren't quitting our jobs, our kids aren't turning into angels overnight, and money doesn't grow on trees. The thing is too much stress can be a major roadblock for weight loss. It increases that beautiful hormone cortisol, that has saved our ancestors from the attacking mammoth (did mammoths attack? Hmmm) by triggering the 'fight or flight' response.
But rarely do we need that response these days, so instead of burning up all that extra energy cortisol helps release we stay at our desks sipping our grande double espresso non-fat latte. The other trouble is we've got a lot of stress inducing factors coming at us...physical, mental, environmental and emotional stress can all trigger this response. The best part, it leads to weight gain, especially around the belly, blood sugars out of control, raging cravings, and to top it off, digestive issues arise.
3. Your blood sugar is on a rollercoaster ride
Living with a diabetic you will become acutely aware of your blood sugar levels (yes I've pricked my finger to check mine, and no it doesn't hurt that bad, this coming from a needle-phobe). And I'm so grateful for it because learning how to balance your blood sugar levels is one of the best things you can do to help get your hormones in balance (see point #1) and lose that stubborn weight.
You see when your blood sugar levels are constantly going up and down at extreme levels throughout the day, your hunger hormones (insulin, leptin & ghrelin) are going to get out of whack. This results extreme cravings and pretty darn quick fat storage. Consuming foods high in processed sugars or simple carbs is going to be the quickest way to start the rollercoaster.
When you want to be done with the ups and downs, focus on increasing your fiber intake, quality proteins with each meal, and quality fats (fat doesn't make you fat so get over that fear!).
4. Those toxins are taking over
Our food, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, make-up, cleaning products, plastics are all everyday things we use that add to the toxic load we encounter. And then you add the pollution in our air and water, oh man. I don't want to scare you, cause we've got some pretty amazing systems in our bodies set up to take care of all these toxins.
But sometimes they get through the protective barriers, so our bodies lock them up in our fat cells to protect us. When you've got too many toxins locked away your body is gonna hold on to those fat cells that much harder. This is one reason why seasonal cleanses are a great way to support your health. Support those cleansing organs (liver, kidneys, colon, skin, lungs and lymph) and you'll be on your way to say adios to those fat cells.
Each of these points can get pretty darn complicated, for time's sake I kept things short here. But I hope to be diving into them further in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for the expanded version on each of these topics so you can learn exactly what do to get that weight in check!