Three reasons why you can’t lose weight
I see clients every day who tell me the same thing - that they’ve tried one diet after another, lost weight and then gained it all back again!
In desperation, they’ve added in hardcore bootcamp classes, thrashed it out in the gym or started running multiple times a week but still aren’t seeing the results they expect.
If medical experts have been telling us for decades that the key to successful weight loss is calorie restriction, healthy portion sizes and regular exercise, then why is it so difficult to lose weight in real life?
When I first started my career as a nutritionist and personal trainer, I believed (just like you) that food and exercise was the answer. And while it worked to some degree, it wasn’t enough.
But then I became a Metabolic Balance Coach and realised how important it was to recognise our unique biochemistry and metabolism as a key player in weight loss struggles. My clients’ results all began to improve. Those who had plateaued for months or years suddenly got the breakthroughs they had worked so hard to achieve. This fuelled my desire to learn more about the human body at a cellular level and took me on a journey to becoming a Functional Medicine Practitioner.
Now that I have access to more information, scientific data and medical testing, I can help my clients establish the root cause of their weight and health issues and create a simple step-by-step plan to ensure they achieve their weight loss goals and enhance their long term health.
Today, I want to share with you the three reasons why you can’t lose weight
How many fad diets, weight loss programmes or diet ‘detoxes’ address these three key areas of your health before putting in place a food or nutrition plan? My guess - not many!
This is the key ingredient to weight loss and optimum health. Metabolism relies on the body’s own unique chemistry to carry out the millions of processes it needs every day. Many people believe they have a slow metabolism, but this isn’t really true. It all comes down to your food choices which influence the chemicals and hormones in your body. For example, the thyroid gland influences metabolism and is an important factor in weight gain or an inability to lose weight (as well as a host of other symptoms including always feeling cold, dry skin and poor hair condition). An imbalance in thyroid hormones will affect your weight.
Stress is another important factor in metabolism. Stress hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline) influence glucose and fat production, while insulin (the main hormone produced by the pancreas) causes increased cholesterol and higher blood fat levels (also know as blood lipids) leading to a build up of fatty tissue, especially around the middle.
Establishing certain markers in the blood, such as cholesterol (HDL and LDL), triglycerides, thyroid hormones and blood glucose levels are all important factors to consider before beginning another weight loss plan.
We are all aware of the visual signs of inflammation that occur after injury - heat, pain and swelling - but the internal signs of inflammation are much harder to detect and often don’t appear until cellular damage has occurred for a sustained period of time.
Inflammation is the body’s natural defence mechanism against foreign invaders or injury. When the body senses a foreign invader it produces chemicals known as cytokines which are designed to protect you. However, when these inflammatory cytokines become out of control, your immune system becomes damaged and inflamed and leads to tissue damage and (eventually) disease.
The most common of these inflammatory diseases is type 2 diabetes, but high cholesterol and high blood pressure are also caused by inflammation. As the body produces an excess of inflammatory cytokines, we become more dis-eased. If we continue to ‘feed’ the disease with sugar, bad fats, refined and processed foods and other chemical and emotional stresses, we may develop far more serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other autoimmune illnesses.
In simple terms, we need to put out the ‘fire’, calm down the inflammation and prevent the disease from progressing. All the while the body is inflamed, weight loss will be difficult and excess body fat will be gained easily.
The first step to healing (ideally after medical testing and consultation with a Functional Medicine practitioner) is to use food and nutrients that are naturally anti-inflammatory and provide a protective effect on human cells. Useful foods are berries rich in antioxidants, organic leafy greens rich in minerals and oily fish rich in essential fats. However, removing inflammatory foods (such as fried food, takeaway meals, processed snacks and excess alcohol) is another highly important stage of the journey.
You may wonder what on earth hormones have to do with weight loss, but everything in the body is intricately connected. Often we don’t exhibit symptoms of hormonal imbalance until inflammation, disease or damage has reached a certain level.
Insulin is the primary hormone involved in metabolism and is responsible for converting sugars and carbohydrates into energy. When we fail to use this stored energy, it very quickly converts to body fat and is the kind of fat that tends to sit around the middle. Other hormones to consider are the thyroid hormones (see Metabolism above) which can lead to problems even with minor imbalance. The thyroid is well known for its effects on weight gain and when combined with a decline in female sex hormones (such as during menopause) means that many women aged between 35-55 will struggle with their weight - even when eating healthily and exercising regularly.
Additionally, we must be aware that stress hormones affect weight gain. Cortisol interferes with insulin production and has the ability to generate glucose production which in turn leads to body fat production. Therefore stress has a direct detrimental effect on weight gain as it makes it harder for the body to break down fat.
How do I know which of these factors are affecting my inability to lose weight?
The human body is made up of a complicated set of processes that overlap and result in many different kinds of symptoms in each of us. Therefore, if you’ve been suffering with weight gain, inability to lose weight, disease or early symptoms of inflammation for some time, then it will be beneficial to <book a 1-1 Nutrition Consultation with me> to discuss your current issues and your options moving forward, including the level of scientific testing and support required to help you lose weight and gain the healthy, pain-free body you want.
If you want to do something today to boost your health, I’ve created a 7 Day Plan that helps address the three important areas of Metabolism, Inflammation and Hormone Imbalance as well as re-introducing you to healthy portion sizes and a variety of anti-inflammatory, metabolism-boosting and hormone-balancing foods.
The 7 Day Plan is designed to give your body a boost before embarking on long term weight loss and health-boosting lifestyle and dietary changes. It’s also the perfect choice for people suffering with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a lack of energy. The 7 Day Plan is an online programme available as an instant download and comes complete with seven days of email inspiration and a private Facebook group. For more information or to sign up today, here’s the link: https://www.pippacampbellhealth.com/7-day-plan
‘I found Pippa through Facebook and read about her services on her website. After an initial chat I opted for Metabolic Balance because I needed a longer term health plan. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol at 8.5 and under-active thyroid and desperately needed to lose 3 stone. I am near the end of my 3 month programme and my blood pressure is now normal, cholesterol down to 5.1 and I have reduced my Thyoroxine medication. I Have lost 2 stone. I am completely thrilled. Pippa’s support has been amazing through our Skype consultations and one meeting in Harley Street.’ Lesley Johnson, Cornwall