It’s estimated 72 billion dollars was spent on weight loss products in 2018. If you’re like most women, you’ve spent your share of money and time on products, procedures, and processes in an effort to change your weight. The remaining 9 reasons weight loss is so difficult, will help shed light on, and provide actionable steps for, your weight struggle
Be sure to subscribe to our weekly “life-changing devotions” so you can receive the ebook with all 18 reasons Losing Weight is So Difficult and the bonus resources we’re tucking into it. As soon as it’s finished, we’ll send it to our subscribers. If you want an easy to use actionable resource on difficult weight loss, you’ll want this ebook.
If you’ve not read our other posts in this series, please go back and read:
- What Makes a Woman Beautiful (in God’s eyes)
- A Bitter Journey – an Honest Look at Women’s Struggle with Weight Loss, 1
- Why Losing Weight is So Difficult, part 1
- A Reason for Celebrating – an Honest Look at Women’s Struggle with Weight Loss, 2
These provide the foundation for today’s post.
Now for the remaining 9 reasons weight loss is so difficult.
9 Reasons Weight Loss is Tough, part 2
Food allergies and/or Intolerances
The “Big 8” ~ milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy are known to cause food allergies but not weight gain. Take the “Big 8” and add eggs, corn, dairy, all forms of gluten, and sugar and you’ve got the most common food intolerance’s.
If you’re allergic or intolerant of these foods and still eating them, your body is likely inflamed.
This isn’t an anaphylactic or histamine type response that leaves you gasping for breath or itchy from head to toe. It’s a delayed response.
The reactions people have to foods are quite varied but underlying every reaction is inflammation. It’s this inflammation that makes for stubborn weight.
Anything inflamed is going to be bigger than it is when not inflamed. Stub your toe or bite your lip and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you think your stubborn weight may be related to food intolerance’s, remove the above foods. If you’re intolerant or allergic to any of these foods, removal will likely get your weight loss journey back in motion.
Would you believe more than 60 million Americans suffer from digestive problems? These kind of numbers break my heart.
Many of these problems could be associated with changes in gut bacteria, your microbiome. Microbiome changes have also been linked with obesity.
Researchers first recognized bacteria’s ability to influence weight gain when they removed all gut bacteria from a group of normal weight mice. They then placed bacteria from obese mice into their colon.
Wanna know what happened?
The normal weight mice gained weight.
This led researchers to investigate people and…you guessed it, they found the same thing.
They then looked at how diet impacted the weight altering bacteria and one day of a “western” style diet was enough to shift bacterial populations to the weight-gaining kind.
You may already know it – eat the Food God Created.
A whole-foods largely plant-centered diet promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. These are the ones who help keep your weight at the weight God created you to be.
Don’t you love how God made everything to work in perfect harmony?
Undernutrition or Undernourishment
This occurs when you aren’t getting enough calories and/or nutrients. A person can get more than enough calories and still not get the nutrients their body needs.
People who eat too many processed foods are at greater risk of being undernourished.
To work correctly, every process in your body requires vitamins and minerals. If you aren’t getting these nutrients from the Food God Made, your health is at risk. People eating calorie dense, nutrient poor food often gain difficult to lose weight. This also increases the risk of
- cognitive decline,
- type 2 diabetes,
- a slowed metabolism,
- impaired use of “fat as fuel”,
- high blood pressure, and
- insulin resistance.
I truly believe this is one of the reasons America continues to gain weight, while also getting sicker and sicker.
We’re not eating the nutrients needed to sustain life.
What do you do about it?
Food quality is the reason for the undernutrition we talked about above. We will say it again and again, we need to eat the Food God Made.
I know it’s not easy.
We’re surrounded by foreign objects labeled as food. Goodness – those foreign objects are pretty and crunchy and salty and sweet and always leave us wanting more.
That’s on purpose.
A 2011 study examined the diets, and corresponding weight, of 121,000 people over a four year period. The results shouldn’t be surprising. People who ate more potato chips, red meat, processed meat, sugary drinks, and potato products gained the most weight.
Those who ate the most vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts, and yogurt lost or didn’t gain weight.
There’s one well-studied “diet” that consistently provides weight loss and health improvements, the Mediterranean diet (it’s largely comprised of the Food God Made). This diet focuses on quality whole foods and can be tailored to fit a keto, whole 30, paleo, or any other popular diet type.
By focusing on the best quality ingredients you can afford.
Here’s how you can tailor your own whole foods “Mediterranean style” diet:
Hormones can play a big role in weight gain or stubborn weight loss. Insulin, thyroid, cortisol, and sex hormones can all contribute.
- Insulin, when out of balance, causes your body to store fat. Not something anyone wants to happen.
- Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and having your thyroid hormones at proper levels is critical for maintaining a healthy weight.
- Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone but today’s modern stressors don’t usually involve lions, tigers, or bears.
Go back and look at how stress impacts weight for a refresher on cortisol.
Last but certainly not least, are sex hormones. For women this could mean weight struggles due to PCOS (high male sex hormones) or due to changes in estrogen levels.
Estrogen can cause weight gain in men and women and scary fact – it’s how cows are fattened up before slaughter.
Eating refined carbs, too much sugar, or alcohol can all contribute to altered estrogen levels.
The start to correcting insulin and sex hormone imbalances involves eating a whole foods diet comprised of the Food God Made.
To lower cortisol levels and ensure balanced thyroid hormones, start by following the steps we outlined here.
In a perfect world, substances foreign to your body such as drugs, food additives, and environmental pollutants, would be rendered harmless and safely removed from your body.
Unfortunately, there are so many foreign substances in today’s landscape they may not be moving easily out of your body.
The health of
- your gut microbiome,
- the way you were raised,
- your diet and lifestyle,
- and stress
can all impact detoxification of these foreigners. When substances can’t be removed safely, they’re stored.
Wanna guess where many of them get stored?
Yup, adipose tissue’s a big one.
If you’ve reached a weight loss plateau your body may be protecting you. God created your body to keep you alive, healthy, and able to bring Him glory.
If it’s going to open the adipose doors and release stored xenobiotics, it’s gotta have the tools to safely move these guys out of your system. How your body does this is almost as complex as the xenobiotic subject.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to what your body needs:
This is detoxification at its simplest.
There are many cases that require more extreme dietary changes, supplementation, and sauna.
If you believe xenobiotics are impacting your body weight, begin with the above, or consider contacting an IFM trained practitioner who can safely guide you through a protocol for removing foreign substances.
There are many things that influence metabolism so we’re only going to skim the surface. To start, we’ll look at the food side of metabolism.
The most common diet strategy is to reduce the number of calories eaten. There’s a catch though.
When you make a significant decrease in the calories you’re eating, your body responds by efficiently preserving fat stores. This leads to a
- decrease in insulin (good),
- thyroid hormone production, and
- resting metabolism (not good).
If you don’t stay the course with your whole food, reduce calorie diet your body will respond to the season of calorie deprivation with weight gain.
Second, is the amount of energy you burn. Roughly 60% of your energy is burned while you’re “resting”. Your resting metabolism is influenced by
- body weight,
- body composition,
- genetics, and
- the bacteria in your gut.
You also burn calories when you’re digesting food. The more processed the food, the less calories it takes to digest, and the more calories you absorb.
Eat whole foods and you’ll absorb fewer calories and burn more in the digestion process (hello weight loss win).
Your metabolism also kicks in and burns calories when you’re active. The more muscles you use the more calories you’ll burn. But don’t think this means you’ve gotta be an Ironwoman. Even twiddling your thumbs will burn a few calories.
The simple version to a healthy weight metabolism = pick a whole foods diet you can stick to for life and move your body.
Your body needs water.
Between 60-70% of a woman’s body is made of water. In order to keep things operating the way God designed them to, we’ve gotta continually replace lost water.
A 2016 study looked at 9500 people and found a significant correlation between inadequate water intake and overweight/obesity. We also have different water needs, depending on our size, so the 64 ounce “rule” won’t always work.
When you drink more water, you eat less food, and burn more fat. If you’re not drinking enough water, the reverse is true.
Hmmm – anyone thirsty?
The good news is, vegetables and fruits contain water and count towards your daily need.
Here’s a “rough” how much water do I need equation:
- your body weight/2 = ounces of water needed per day
Why we gain weight as we age is a question still begging an answer. It could be genetics, enzyme activity, or modifiable lifestyle patterns.
If you’re middle-aged or menopausal and just beginning to put on weight, focus on the big four:
- diet, and
It’ll require some tinkering and time, but the weight gain should subside.
If you’ve been inactive and eaten a less than stellar diet most of your life, change those things. It’s never too late.
And here’s something no woman ever wants to hear, “a little extra weight as you age is a good thing”. What?!
Yes, it’s a good thing. Your body knows the likelihood of contracting a serious sickness or disease increases with age and it knows you need some stored energy if that happens.
If you’re going to prevent or combat age-related weight gain you need to be mindful of what you eat and intentional about moving your body.
Noticing a theme in all of these difficult weight loss areas?
For the most part, they all require the same fundamental tools:
- the right amount of whole foods,
- physical activity,
- no stress, and
- good quality sleep.
If you haven’t signed up for our weekly devotions and lifestyle tips, make sure you do. We’re putting all the “Why Losing Weight is So Difficult” information into an ebook.
Everyone on our newsletter will receive it as soon as it’s finished and…it’ll have some great bonus material (everything you’ll need to get started with a healthy weight promoting life).
All of the what, where, when, why, and how’s for keeping your body at the weight God created it to be.
Notice I didn’t say “weight loss”. This was purposeful cuz I know plenty of skinny and perfectly sized women who think they need to lose weight.
As women of God we’ve gotta change our approach and make it about sustaining the life God gave us to steward. We should eat the best food possible because we know it’s keeping the temple of God in tip-top God glorifying shape.
Physical activity should be done so our muscles and bodies remain strong for the work God’s called us to.
Stress should be given to the God who holds our life in His hands and provides our every need.
And sleep, good ‘ol sleep – this one can’t be shortchanged. The mind of Christ, your mind, your ability to speak God’s Words, and do all He’s called you to operates best after a good night’s rest.
I pray you’ve taken the time to do each of the Wednesday devotions and that you’ll spend time asking God if there are any weighty matters He wants you to adjust.
Know that Sarah and I are praying for you and supporting you every step of the way. We’d also love to hear about your journey. Leave us a note in the comments below or send us an email here. Until next time…