How many diets have you tried? How many have worked? Probably not many if you are reading this now. If you are like most Americans, you’ve been let down by more than one “miracle diet.” It’s not your fault. Everybody is different, and a diet is the wrong approach. A diet that works for one person won’t work for another. Diets have a goal to get you to a number on a scale. Scales don’t tell you anything about health. The number on the scale doesn’t represent how healthy you are and that’s our true goal. Right? Let’s talk roadblocks to weight loss.
We don’t want to be a certain number, we want to be healthy. We are talking about how to support a healthy functioning body because a healthy body doesn’t hold on to water weight because of inflammation or excess body fat. The body will only hold on to excess fat because of hormone imbalance. Your diet might be making these worse rather than better.
Let’s be real, if you lost some inches so you looked and felt good you wouldn’t be worried about the number on the scale. You would just feel good. Let’s make the true goal: health!
It’s not easy. I know where you are coming from. I was the person facing the road blocks. Look at the three guys below. They are the same guy. Me! One thing I want you to know is that my journey hasn’t been linear. I keep overcoming roadblocks and becoming healthier. And it’s not by cutting calories. I eat lots of calories and fat, but I make healthy choices for my body.
So, what are the roadblocks that are keeping you from a normally functioning body and losing weight? There are common ones that I see in my practice that many people don’t realize are keeping them from their health goals. Let’s smash the scale and smash some roadblocks by looking at what is keeping you from your goal of being healthy.
Roadblocks to Weight loss (Or What We Call Road Blocks to a Healthy Functioning Body)
1-Stress Can Make You Fat
A lot of people, especially women, have a lot of stress. Do you have stress? That’s a silly question, right? Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, working parent, or not even a parent at all working hard to get yourself to work in the morning, we all face stress. It’s the way our society is built. The thing about stress is it can make you sick, and it can make you fat.
Ever heard of the stress hormone cortisol? Its main job is to wake you up in the morning. It starts going up about 2 am and once it does its job and wakes you up it should go down. For many this hormone is always high. Why? It’s also your fight or flight hormone. So, if you are chased by a bear you can run or fight. I’m running. It’s the only time I would run. Cortisol kicks into gear to make sure you have what you need to run or fight. Well we have so many stresses it’s too common for this cortisol to stay high all the time.
That’s a problem. It’s bad for your hormones, which we will talk about later, and it’s bad for your health. Stress increases blood sugar which increases insulin levels. Insulin deposits sugar into tissue to be stored as fat. Stress is making you fat- we need to have ways to help us let go of stress.
2- Hidden Inflammation
Inflammation comes in many different forms. What happens when you sprain your ankle? It swells up to help heal! If our system is stressed, it swells up with water. If you are chronically stressed it stays swelled up. That makes it impossible to lose weight. What causes inflammation? Traumas, toxins, and thoughts all cause inflammation.
Traumas are anything from an accident to bad posture. Toxins are things like the pesticides, or other chemicals, in our environment and in our food. They are also our food allergies which cause inflammation. They are also our thoughts, those things that stress us out. So, let it go and follow the “5×5” rule. If it won’t matter 5 years from now, then don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it.
Avoid the toxins, traumas and thoughts to avoid the added inches and water retention from inflammation.
3-Hormone Deficiency/Imbalance Throws Off Your Weight Loss Goals
Your hormones can be thrown off by environmental factors or the foods you eat. Let’s take the example of soy. Soy is a phytoestrogen that can throw off your estrogen levels. See more man boobs around town lately? The chemicals we introduce to our body can mess things up leading to things like man boobs and painful periods. None of that is normal!
A major contributor to hormone imbalance for women is that first road block we talked about… stress! Remember what happens when we see that bear? The cortisol kicks in. I know you don’t see bears but you do have a lot of stress. Most of us do. Your body reacts the same way no matter what and if you don’t have enough your body starts converting other hormones to cortisol and creating hormone imbalances that drain your hormones. The only way to know for sure what is going on is to get tested!
4- Immune System Impacts Healthy Weight Loss
Where is most of your immune system? It’s in your gastrointestinal system. It’s in your gut. If you are sick the body is going to divert to make survival a priority. This means the rest of your body functions are going to suffer depending on how stressed your immune system is. This is going to have an impact on the overall function of your body. The body you need to function normally for weight loss.
What can be happening in your immune system or your gut that can be blocking your health? It can be yeast overgrowths, bacteria, parasites, and/ or food allergies. Food allergies can be a HUGE contributor to a poor immune system. You might be on a healthy diet eating kale smoothies for breakfast and quinoa for dinner, but you could be allergic to these healthy foods. They might be healthy for some people, but not healthy for you.
If you have all this driving your gut crazy its going to impact your health. It is adding to your inflammation and keeping your from achieving optimal health. The only way to know how your immune system is functioning is to have it tested. If you are having symptoms like difficulty losing weight, brain fog, skin issues, hormonal issues, and other symptoms there are signs your gut isn’t in great shape.
5-How’s Your Lifestyle?
We all face roadblocks every day to the healthier version of ourselves. We have a choice every day to knock down those obstacles. The only person who gets to choose this is you. And I hear all the time, well what about when I go out to eat? You choose! What about when I go to a family member’s house and they are serving crappy food? Eat the crap if you want. But…You choose! Are you choosing health or crap? You get to choose!
A healthy lifestyle means eliminating the toxins that you can be in your health and personal care products like shampoo. It means exercise that’s constantly varied, is functional and exercise that pushes your limits. Maybe it means slowing down your busy lifestyle and setting priorities if the pace is stressing you out. It means eating foods that are healthy for you. It means skipping the sugar and all the other crap. Take time to make some easy food upgrades.
We have all these tools and we have to make all these decisions. It’s not easy. It can be hard to get up and exercise. It’s hard to avoid foods that aren’t good for us. It does get easier as you get healthier and you start knocking down roadblocks.
Get Past the Roadblocks to Weight Loss
Sometimes the biggest road block is you. You compare yourself to the health nuts on Insta. Some of those health nuts are really sick and others have made lots of healthy choices to get where they are. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. You forget it’s about comparing your progress to where you were.
Are some of these road blocks keeping you from being the best, healthy version of you? Removing some of these road blocks will get you closer and make it easier to conquer more road blocks. Like I said, my weight loss journey was never linear. It wasn’t a number on the scale I got to. It’s step-by-step knocking down road blocks.
Written by Dr. Jason Nobles
Check out this quick tip on eating fro weight loss from Dr. Jason!