The age-old question of “how to lose weight fast?” has many people falling for get-slim-quick-schemes that eventually do more damage than help.
Most often, eating healthy meals and exercising is not enough when there are other underlying issues present. And no matter how much intermittent fasting you do or Zumba classes you take, that flabby ol’ fat isn’t going anywhere.
Before panicking and resorting to diet pills, take the time to go over these three reasons you might not be losing weight.
In the end, you’ll know what kind of medical professional you might need to contact regarding your health without putting your life on the line.
PCOS and Weight Gain
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a condition where you produce more male sex hormones (androgens) than normal. This hormonal imbalance can lead to weight gain by disrupting the action of insulin.
Insulin is the hormone produced by your pancreas to regulate the amount of sugar in your blood. If insulin cannot take the sugar to your cells, sugar levels will increase in your bloodstream. Your pancreas thinks that it’s not producing enough insulin to drive sugar to your cells, so it makes more insulin. Thus, you’ll be at risk of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and uterine cancer.
The bad thing about PCOS is that if you’re already overweight with high insulin levels, your insulin will further skyrocket. Soon you will be caught up in this never-ending loop.
The most common symptoms are irregular periods, facial hair growth, increased abdominal fat, and cysts (fluid-filled sac) in or on your ovaries.
Though the exact causes of PCOS are unknown, doctors claim that genetics and obesity play a massive role in developing PCOS.
Fortunately, some treatments decrease the effect of PCOS, such as anti-androgen medication, which reduces the level of male hormones. Good news comes from Metformin too, which helps your body use insulin more effectively.
Thyroid Problems and Weight Gain
The thyroid gland in your neck plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature and maintaining your weight.
This butterfly-shaped gland can cause your metabolism to work faster or slower: depending on the health condition it suffers. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than usual. This leads to hypermetabolism that can cause tiredness, hair loss, depression, and weight loss.
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid produces fewer thyroid hormones than usual, which slows down your metabolism and causes poor appetite, dry skin, reduced heartbeat, and weight gain.
Hypothyroidism can be caused by inflammation, surgical removal of the thyroid, and iodine deficiency. Iodine is the mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones. Though people, especially influencers, can claim that increasing your seafood intake can cure hypothyroidism, it is far from the truth.
The current treatments of hypothyroidism include mostly synthetic medications. However, medical professionals are currently using more holistic and natural thyroid medication in hypothyroidism. One such example is the use of desiccated thyroid extract, which is dried and powdered thyroid gland.
According to a study published on Vol 6 Issue 8 p.3 of the American Thyroid Association, desiccated thyroid extract was effective in treating hypothyroidism and reducing weight.
Stress and Weight Gain
When people are stressed, they can do the unthinkable. Some might go into a rage, some may cry a river, while others eat their stress away.
Continuous late-night snacking on sweets and salty foods can increase your weight over time. Overeating sweets increases your sugar levels and induces diabetes. Eating too many salty foods causes hypertension and fluid retention (cells gulping and retaining fluid).
Speaking of fluid retention, you are likely to weigh more during your premenstrual period. Your hormone called progesterone will make your kidneys retain water and salt. Don’t take your waist measurements during the premenstrual period. Instead, wait until you are done menstruating to get accurate results.
Besides snacking, your overall mental health has a significant impact on your physical wellbeing. Constant sadness, anger, and nervousness can modify your body’s chemical balance and increase the levels of stress hormones like cortisol. These stress hormones can harm your organs and cause inflammation.
A long-term state of inflammation will result in the reduction of your organs’ function and lead to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and liver failure.
Don’t blame yourself when you are trying everything in the nutrition handbook, and you still can’t lose weight. Sometimes the issue is not that obvious and needs to be screened through blood tests or stool samples.
Conditions like PCOS, Hypothyroidism, and Stress can interfere with your body’s natural way of dealing with extra fat. Hence, if you think you might have any of the above health problems, visit a certified health professional to assign you a proper treatment plan.