Poor Metabolic Health: Why am I NOT losing weight?
And slowly gaining weight?
Are you someone who is trying to lose weight with calorie counting and cardiovascular exercise?
Have you been trying to lose weight for some time now, but instead of losing a few pounds, your counting calories and dieting have resulted in slow weight gain?
Are you at the point where your weight loss journey is exhausting you?
Have you tried to skip meals, do aerobic exercise, choose healthy fats, cut out fried foods and follow a low carb diet, but feel your weight loss progress is too slow?
The main reason you are not losing weight is due to poor blood sugar control. This means the energy from the food you eat is not being metabolised, instead, it is being stored as fat which hinder weight loss progress.
In our busy lives, it can be very easy to attribute weight gain to a host of common factors such as stress, mental health issues, hormones and the everyday pressures of work or home life.
And whilst it’s true that these things can hold an influence over how we feel within ourselves, the presence of constant slow weight loss progress may in fact be a clue or symptoms of poor metabolic health.
In theory, yes the best way in which to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake and simply burn off any excess fat will a regular exercise routine.
But your food intake needs to be converted into energy, if this part of your metabolic pathway stops working as it should, the result is poor blood sugar control which leads to insulin sensitivity and increased fat storage.
So if you have been struggling to lose weight, this indicates an underlying imbalance within the body’s metabolism.
What is the impact of not losing weight?
With that in mind, if you have been struggling to achieve your weight loss goals for over two or more years by consuming fewer calories and exercising regularly, then your metabolic pathways are likely struggling to utilise the energy and absorb the nutrients from the food you eat and dispose of toxins properly.
I’m Jen Adams, a functional personal nutritional therapist. My purpose is to teach those who want to learn how to improve their metabolic health for energy, vitality, and wealth and better understand how their food and lifestyle choices affect every part of their life.
In this series of articles about the symptoms of poor metabolic health, you’ll understand the importance of how you feel and what you can see when you look in the mirror as contributory factors to your metabolic health.
Identifying your everyday symptoms as clues to various underlying systemic imbalances will help you to enhance your future metabolic health and prevent the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
If you only treat these symptoms by calorie deficit alone for more than two years, without any nutritional lifestyle intervention, your metabolic pathways will begin to fail, and your symptoms may develop into a systemic imbalance in your metabolic health.
Your metabolic health is incredibly important and fundamentally everyday symptoms, such as struggling to lose weight are related to an imbalance or malfunction relating to either one of in part all three of functional metabolic pathways: Delivery of energy to your cells, detoxification of toxins and absorption of raw ingredients.
What is the cause of not losing weight?
In short, one of the main causes of weight gain is due to your previous unhealthy eating habits such as too many calories, eating too often, and too many sugary drinks creating sensitivity to insulin.
When you consume highly processed foods in particular in excess for a prolonged period of time, this will result in rising in blood sugars and it’s the hormone insulin’s job to regulate blood sugars to lower levels.
Every time you eat or drink sugary beverages, your body will continue to produce insulin, to take the glucose from the blood and delivery it into the cell for energy, and any excess will be stored as fat. As insulin is a fat-storing hormone
Unfortunately, when high blood sugar levels are sustained over a long period of time, the body will eventually become accustomed to this and you will become resistant to the production of insulin. Known as Insulin Resistance.
This is definitely not a good thing.
Should this happen to you, your body will crave more carbohydrates and sweeteners as a means to maintain levels of high blood sugar.
As your insulin is unable to deliver the energy into the cell it will store the excess energy in your fat cells, which will leave your brain without energy.
This is how hunger and cravings kick in…
Think of insulin as a switch, which can either set your body to a fat-burning mode or glucose burning mode.
When insulin is high, your body is in “glucose burning mode” and stores the glucose as fat.
When insulin is low, your body is in “fat-burning mode” and uses the stored fat for energy.
The average person’s metabolism will work better when their insulin levels are kept low most of the time.
What are the consequences of not losing weight?
The long term effect of not losing weight is insulin resistance, which is the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
This is why you are not losing weight when in a calorie deficit.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by high levels of circulating insulin, which over time leads to beta-cell failure and a reduced ability to produce insulin.
This will result in raised blood sugar levels (glucose intolerance), which can lead to damage to the blood vessels and nerves, as well as an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
If you are insulin resistant, the main reason you are struggling to lose weight, even though you eat fewer calories and exercise regularly, is because when you reduce your calories your body will start to break down muscle mass for energy, not the previously stored fat.
This is because when your body can’t deliver the consumed glucose into your cells for energy, it will turn to glycogen (stored glucose in the liver) and then to protein (muscle) for energy.
So, when you’re eating fewer calories and trying to lose weight, your cells need high levels of insulin levels, and your body will break down lean muscle mass for energy instead of stored fat.
This is why it’s so important to keep your insulin levels low if you want to lose weight and improve your overall health.
In summary, the main reason you are not losing weight because of your poor blood sugar control. If you want to lose weight effectively, rather than calculating calories and jogging to burn them off, you should focus on balancing blood sugars instead.
By managing the release of your insulin you can encourage your body to burn fat for energy instead of lean muscle. This is the key to sustainable significant weight loss and improved metabolic health.
The long term consequence of poor blood sugar control is diabetes, which can lead to damage to the blood vessels and nerves, as well as an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
You should focus on eating protein with every meal as this will ensure your body has the building blocks it needs to create the hormones required for healthy weight loss efforts.
In conclusion, the best way to lose weight is to focus on balancing your blood sugars, cleansing your liver and improving your gut microbiome.
This will enable you to help regulate your insulin sensitivity and deliver energy to your cells, detoxify toxins that disrupt your metabolism and create beneficial bacteria to reduce inflammation, therefore, improving your overall metabolic health.
Your weight gain is related to what you ate yesterday NOT what you eat today. So breaking the vicious cycle is easy to do by changing what you eat next, by reducing the number of insulin spikes.
What’s next? What is your metabolic health age – use the online Metabolic Age Calculator and answer a few simple health and lifestyle questions. It takes a few minutes, but it could help you lose weight much easier.
If your Metabolic Health Age is equivalent to or lower than your actual age, then that is great news! This means your blood sugar levels, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference are potentially all within an ideal range.
However if your Metabolic Health Age is more than 10 years of your actual age, and you are struggling to lose weight you could be prone to some or all of these conditions as these are all markers that directly relate to your risk of insulin resistance, fatty liver, dysbiosis, high cholesterol and blood pressure.
This article is part of my WHY series to help you identify poor metabolic health symptoms. Do you often ask yourself any of these…
- Why am I NOT losing weight?
- Why am I always TIRED?
- Why do I always FEEL so anxious?
- Why am I CRAVING food so much?
- Why can’t I SLEEP at night?
- Why is my body ACHING all over?
- Why am I SO bloated and have acid reflux?
- Why am I ALLERGIC to everything?