30 Jan Weight Loss Questions You Asked On Instagram
I opened up a weight loss question box on Instagram to see what you guys are wondering about with weight loss and I’m answering them here on another episode of Functional Nutrition Radio! Whoo hooo! I know weight loss can feel so frustrating and you may even feel like your body is broken, but I promise it’s not. Weight gain/stubborn weight loss is more of an indication that something is going on internally + we have to figure out what that is.
Now, it can be something simple like dietary changes or becoming more active, but I feel that most patients who come to see us are doing the best that they can. BUT, we still find things to work on none the less. Your body is INCREDIBLE and if that’s one narrative I want to change during a weight loss journey, it’s THAT. Your body is incredible and working for you – let’s be gentle to ourselves while we figure it out.
Onto the questions!
Why can’t I lose weight? Doc says it’s age, but I don’t believe that!
I love that you refuse to believe this because I do too! Not saying that changes in our body may switch up what we should do, but haven’t seen you those women who are in their 80s and they are absolute bada** and are more fit than ME in my 30s. I think when doctors can’t figure out, a scapegoat is age, but I don’t believe that as we age we only get fatter and unhealthier.
I do believe that sometimes it feels like age, but it’s not. It’s just decades and decades of abusing your body and not giving it what it needs and finally it catches up with us. I believe that’s why when the 30’s hit, it feels like our bodies are breaking. Most**** of the time the 20’s are hustling and staying up late for college, partying, eating crummy food, running on caffeine, stress of school and becoming an adult, etc. So while we love to blame age, I think everything just piles up and BOOM.
Stubborn weight loss can be everything from simply a poor diet to environmental toxins (because toxins are stored in fat cells, so it can be your body’s way of protecting you from circulating toxins). So, why can’t YOU lose weight? I don’t know – testing can help guide us in the right direction. Some areas that impact weight directly that we explore are:
- Environmental toxin load
- Sex hormones (but often are from other issues, so this is tweaked last)
- Gut inflammation
- Blood sugar imbalance
- High cortisol (aka stress hormone)
And of course we’ll explore diet and figure out how YOU should be eating, doing the right type of exercise for you + your hormones, addressing sleep, etc. Don’t worry, we break this down step by step for patients because it’s overwhelming moving through all the areas of health.
P.S. I’ve seen patients who had a lot of childhood trauma have struggle losing weight and they start doing that healing work and their weight comes off. I’m telling you weight can be WAY more deeper than what’s on your plate.
How to lose weight safely while breastfeeding?
I always love to say to give yourself GRACE, GRACE, GRACE during this period of time. You’ve literally grown a human (go you!) in your belly for nine months, we have to at least give our body time to bounce back. While some patients see success with breastfeeding and losing weight, some weight may stick around. During this season of life, I recommend:
- Getting as much rest as possible because your sleep is probably wonky during this season and that can impact weight. So, nap when you can and don’t try to stay up late more than you need to. When I do cortisol testing in breastfeeding moms in the first year, it usually is a bit crazier.
- Focus on nourishing foods – the right amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat for you. This will benefit baby’s nourishing breast milk, but will give you fuel for your metabolism. Since you are nursing, you are using more energy, so make sure that your body is feeling safe and not stressed out from a higher demand and low fuel intake. Protein tends to be the one most women won’t hit, so start at 1 gram per body lb.
- Get movement in. Start strength training and building muscle = better metabolism and just low key movement like walks. These smaller types of movement should NOT be forgotten because they can help move the needle with weight so much.
And you can’t get your hormones totally back to balance/normal while breastfeeding because your prolactin usually stays elevated, which will impact your other sex hormones.**
Without testing, best first steps if you think your hormones are holding you back with weight?
If you’re talking about sex hormones, we need to understand why sex hormones are off – assess your stress. Assess your exposure to environmental toxins. Assess how your gut is feeling. Sex hormones are FOLLOWING THE LEAD of other areas, so to improve sex hormones we need to improve the OTHER areas. Sex hormone imbalances are not a root cause.
Now if we’re talking about other hormones, like cortisol (our stress hormone) or our insulin (blood sugar hormone), these are root cause hormones. If blood sugar is a problem, ask yourself: how much am I eating? How often am I eating? What is on my plate? How is my stress? Am I getting enough sleep? These are all going to impact your blood sugar.
If it’s your stress hormone, ask yourself questions on how your feeling and what’s making you stressed.
Why does weight loss seems like it takes forever?
Everyone is truly different here and it can take awhile depending on WHY your weight is lingering. I rarely see weight gain/stubborn weight loss being because of ONE thing. It’s usually a combo of different things: high toxin load, eh diet, a bit more sedentary than you should be, etc. So sometimes it takes a while to start implementing all of these lifestyle and diet changes.
Because stubborn weight doesn’t happen overnight, it usually happens from years of not giving the body what it needs – so give yourself that time to get back to a healthy state.
If I’m not supposed to restrict calories, how do I lose weight?
Listen or read some of our metabolism podcast episodes or post. Like right here! In order to have a healthy metabolism and be at a healthy weight, we need to be fueling our bodies with the right amount of food, moving our bodies (being sedentary was never something we were made to do), reducing stress, getting enough sleep, reducing our environmental toxins load. I know I can feel like a broken record, but these are the things that will support your hormones, gut health, metabolism, and ultimately overall health.
While we were taught eat less + move more and our bodies do typically respond at first, it’s not a long term strategy because that can be pretty dang stressful on the body. Your body will go into famine mode + start to hold onto it. We want SAFETY. We want to tell our body all things are okay and we’re not going through a famine.
Can I have weight loss with menopause? Hashimoto’s?
You can always lose weight in any season. Some seasons may be harder, but it’s still absolutely possible. Ever hear “I used to do this, this, and this in my 20s and lose weight and now I’m 50 and I’ll gain 10 lbs looking at the food”? Your body and what worked for you decades ago may change. So, we need to figure out what your needs are NOW. With menopause, we do reach a point where we can’t fight against mother nature + we do have access to bioidentical hormone therapy to help us because when our ovaries retire, girl our ovaries retire. You can find a doctor that does bio-identical hormone therapy + it can help give you a boost, but the foundationals of a healthy metabolism still need to be assessed. *I do find that menopausal women do better with a lower carb diet (not a NO carb diet), but playing around with carbohydrates and types of carbohydrates can help move the needle a bit faster during menopause.
With autoimmunity, there tends to be chronic inflammation internally, which can impact weight. Especially when the autoimmunity is attacking the gland that is the king of metabolism. This is a whole other topic, but we need to help tame down the inflammatory and destruction of your thyroid and I find that starting in the gut (where 70%-ish of your immune system lies). Again, the journey may be harder, but is it possible? Heck yes, I see it everyday.