Dieting and Exercising But Not Losing Weight
I felt it necessary to dedicate some space in my blog to the causes of not losing weight, although we are eating clean and exercising. Like many, I have been on that ship and know how frustrating this is and can be.
Why Can’t We Lose Weight?
When we follow what we hear should work with constant practice yet get no results, this can drive us up the roof. It is the most frustrating feeling one can ever experience. And when we constantly fail, we lose the motivation to continue trying. So why is it that some of us may be dieting and exercising but not losing weight.
We must seek help to see if we can pinpoint what may be wrong if this happens. In many cases, this is due to a medical condition that we may not be aware we are suffering from. Visiting a doctor or care provider is one of the best ways to get tested to see if we can determine what may be going on.
According to the National Library of Medicine, PubMed.gov, several endocrine diseases cause obesity. Some of these are:
Policystic Ovarian Syndrome also known as PCOS
A review confirms that Hypothyroidism “results in decreased metabolism and secondary effects including fatigue and weight gain.”
According to PubMed, Hypothyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland. The gland does not make enough thyroid hormones, and weight gain is a symptom of the disease. It is also known as having an underactive thyroid.
Many individuals suffer from this condition. It is one of the most known for difficulty with weight loss. Genetics seems to play a role, so it may be a condition that may show up in other family members. Females usually develop the disease. Treatment usually helps manage it.
According to a review in PubMed, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder afflicting females of reproductive age. It is common in women ages 18 to 35. A study concluded that women who suffer PCOS experience more difficulty with weight loss due to many factors aside from the actual disease.
This syndrome can cause many health issues and infertility, insulin resistance, obesity, and cardiovascular problems, are the most common. Women with this condition may experience infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods. It may cause an excess in levels of the male hormone (androgen). The ovaries fail to release eggs regularly. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown.
An article in PubMed describes Cushing’s Syndrome as a condition that is also known as Endogenous pathologic hypercortisolism. It is caused by having an excess of cortisol. The disease is prevalent and morbid. Individuals who experience this syndrome report a poor quality of life. Most of the signs and symptoms are hypertension and weight gain. Not all patients experience the same symptoms.
The hypothalamus as a small but crucial part of the brain. It controls several important functions, including sleep and growth. According to PubMed the disorder is due to damage to the ventromedial hypothalamus and causes weight gain, a feeling of hunger which is not normal and can cause overeating known as hyperhagia, a low metabolic rate, defective coordination between nervous systems known as autonomic imbalance, growth hormone (GH) deficiency, and various other problems that contribute to weight gain.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Some of the signs of some of these conditions are very similar. Be on the lookout for some of these symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Increased blood cholesterol level
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- Irregular menstrual periods or amenorrhea
- Dry hair or hair loss
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS:
- Amenorrhea (missed periods) or irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Unwanted hair growth (excessive facial hair)
- Thinning hair on the head
- Mood changes
- Sleep problems
- Severe fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Depression, anxiety and irritability
- Loss of emotional control
- Weight gain
- Round face
- Cognitive difficulties
Other causes of struggling to lose weight may also be due to the following:
Depression: According to the US Department of Health, Depression is a serious mood disorder and affects how you feel, think, and go about your daily life. Some symptoms of this condition are:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Although it is believed that being overweight can cause depression, studies have also shown that depression can cause a person not to exercise and thereby become overweight.
Stress: According to the US Department of Health, stress is experienced by everyone, and it is not always a bad thing. However, suffering from it for long periods is not good for your health. According to PubMed (NIH.gov), studies suggest that stress may be linked to weight gain. According to Mayo Clinic, stress that is not addressed “can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.”
A note about this condition: Stress is a silent killer. Do not ignore the signs and symptoms, thinking this is not happening to you. Studies have shown that people that suffer from this condition can need up to 20 days to recover. I should know. I once had to take medical leave from work because of it. It took me precisely 21 days to return to work with a feeling that I was strong and well enough to get back to my usual tasks. My doctor himself warned me not to take this condition lightly as it is, as he put it himself, “a killer.”
I have found another way to treat stress aside from exercise. Remember, exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. This other item is terrific for stress relief. I love the aromatherapy oil difusser necklace and the lovely scented oils. These are perfect for relaxation. They have done wonders for me.
Medications: According to a review Antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihyperglycemics, antihypertensives, and corticosteroids all contain medications that were associated with significant weight gain. It goes without saying that if you consume prescribed medicine and are having a hard time losing weight, that may be the culprit. Some women who take oral contraceptives also tend to gain weight when taking the pills. Check with your physician to see if the prescription can be changed, especially if it is a brand name drug substituted by a generic one which may not cause the side effect.
Syndrome X: Metabolic syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic, is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
If you have difficulty shedding the pounds, the best thing to do is visit a professional to get tested to rule out that you are not suffering from any of these or other conditions.
It is frustrating to work hard and follow the rules to lose weight, not to see any results. This is the case with many people, especially women.
When you are armed with the knowledge and tools that you need to know what to do when you are not sure what is wrong, you have the benefit to find a solution and get back on track with your weight loss goals and road to becoming healthier.
What If It’s Not a Medical Condition?
But what if the reason for your struggle is not because of a medical condition? I must go back to the importance of eating and drinking clean. I, too, have been an offender of not making the right choice. The unhealthy one would involve soft drinks and juices. And don’t mind me, juices are ok if they are natural and organic. I bet you didn’t guess that even low sugar liquids can affect your health.
In my next post, I share how the regular consumption of low or zero sugar drinks and low-calorie sweeteners’ is not good for us and how water is essential to reach our health goals.