Millions of people make New Year’s resolution every January. For them, the new year brings new beginnings, a fresh start per se. Most people commit to living healthier by making lifestyle changes, while some get more determined to lose weight and get slim.
But there’s a problem. Some people who are determined to lose weight cannot shed some pounds. This has left many hopeless… so hopeless that many just stop trying.
Take note, though, that there are biological factors that cause someone not to lose weight. Yes, not being able to trim down isn’t always because of poor lifestyle choices or lack of exercise. Sometimes, the one to blame is a metabolic disorder or other physiological imbalances.
There’s actually a large percentage of people that exercise regularly and eat a very healthy diet but cannot lose weight. And these people are usually being told that they are dishonest or lazy — heartbreaking as it is.
But then again, lifestyle choices and poor exercise aren’t always to be blamed. There are a lot more factors that cause the body to refuse to trim down.
In the front of your neck is a butterfly-shaped gland… that’s your thyroid. The thyroid produces hormones that control the speed of your metabolism — the system in the body that helps use energy.
If you have thyroid disorders, it can slow down or rev up your metabolism by obstructing the production of thyroid hormones. There are a lot of symptoms associated with thyroid issues, weight gain included.
Low levels of thyroid hormones mean slower metabolism. And the slower the metabolism is, the more likely you are to gain weight.
Thyroid issues can also cause your energy level and mood to change. Hypothyroidism (or the low production of thyroid hormones) can cause you to feel sluggish, tired, and even depressed. Feelings like these can make you less motivated to work out or even to continue your weight loss program.
So, how do you know if you have hypothyroidism? The usual symptoms are constipation, dry skin, brittle nails, numbness in the hands, and for women, abnormal menstrual periods.
As published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, hypothyroidism and obesity have been linked together as “body composition, and thyroid hormones appear to be closely related.”
Thyroid hormones play a vital role in metabolism, food intake, and fat oxidation.
“There is clinical evidence suggesting that even mild thyroid dysfunction in the form of subclinical hypothyroidism is linked to significant changes in body weight and represents a risk factor for overweight and obesity.”
However, the journal claims that there needs to have more study before validating these facts.
Acid Reflux Disease
Acid Reflux Disease is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. When you have GERD, you feel a painful burning sensation or heartburn in your lower chest. This happens when stomach acid goes up into your oesophagus.
If you have GERD, then you probably will have a whole new meaning to term comfort food. It’s because the only way to reduce the pain is to eat food.
Eating food provides temporary relief. The food you eat and your saliva neutralizes the acid. But there’s a problem… once you digest your food, all the symptoms come back, including nausea, bloating, and constant hiccups. And they don’t just come back, and they even get more aggressive.
When you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s easy to overeat. And when you do, it leads you to gain more weight.
So how do you cure GERD without having to rely on food to ease the pain? There are a lot of home remedies suggested on the internet, like aloe vera and apple cider. While these may help, there’s no actual scientific evidence that supports these notions.
So instead of relying entirely on home remedies, it’s best to take over the counter medication. We also recommend consulting your doctor to help you choose the best medication that suits you.
When there’s too much acid production in the stomach, the lining of the stomach or small intestines have chances of developing sores (a.k.a duodenal ulcers).
One of the common ways of reducing the pain from the uncomfortable sores is, like with GERD, by eating food. As you eat food, the painful symptoms (including nausea and bloating) get temporarily neutralized.
The foods you eat temporarily covers the ulcer with a protective lining, which neutralizes the acid in the stomach. But then again, the painful symptoms come back sooner or later.
If you’re stuck into this dangerous cycle, you’re likely to gain weight.
So how do you fix ulcer? The best way is to take acid-blocking medication (also known as antacids). You should also not take NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as they could cause internal bleeding, which is life-threatening.
Leptin is a protein made in the fat cells. It circulates in the bloodstream and goes to the brain. Leptin tells your brain that you have a sufficient amount of energy stored in the fat cells you can use for metabolic processes.
If you are obese, you have a lot of body fat in your fat cells. Fat cells produce leptin in proportion to your size, meaning the fatter you are, the higher levels of leptin you have.
When you have leptin resistance, you have high leptin, but your brain cannot see it. And because of this, your brain is starved while your body is overweight or obese.
Leptin resistance is believed to be one of the main contributors to obesity. When your leptin fails to signal the brain about the amount of energy stored in the fat cells, your brain tends to think that there’s not much energy and that you need to eat more food to sustain your energy.
What causes leptin resistance, you ask?
These are some of the potential mechanisms that cause leptin resistance:
- Free fatty acids – when you have elevated amounts of free fatty acids in your bloodstream, your fat metabolites increases in your brain. This interferes with leptin signalling.
- Inflammation – inflammation in your hypothalamus also causes leptin resistance not only in humans but also in animals.
- High levels of leptin – elevated amounts of leptin cause leptin resistance.
One reason why you can’t lose weight is skipping breakfast. When you pass on the first meal of the day, chances are you’ll get hungry (even hungrier) later, so you may overeat at lunch.
It’s easy to forget about breakfast, especially if you’re always on the go. But letting yourself skip breakfast will only get you fatter than thinner.
Try this: eat within an hour of waking up. A protein-packed and high-fibre breakfast can help you feel satiated longer.
When you’re under too much stress, it can make you reach for high-fat and high-calorie foods. Also, when you’re stressed out, your body tends to store more fat.
Stress-eating shouldn’t be your way of coping with your stress. Try outdoor activities. How about a stroll in the park to wind you up? Or catch up with friends over coffee or tea?
Making lifestyle changes can also help you reduce stress. Get enough sleep, put work in control, workout regularly, and give yourself time to get close with nature. Perhaps you can develop new hobbies.
Yes, your gender may also be a reason why you can’t lose weight.
A recent study suggests that men can drop pounds quicker than women. And because men have more lean muscle tissue, they burn more calories than body fat, even during rest.
There you have it. Not being able to lose weight is not always because of poor lifestyle choices or the lack of energy, thereof, to workout.
Several physiological factors affect our body weight and even make it hard for some of us to burn weight. So if you can’t lose weight, it’s not because of your bad life choices.
It’s best to ask your doctor about the best program or medication you can take to lose weight. Identifying the cause of your inability to lose weight can be the first step to finally lose weight.