Why You May Not be Losing Weight

When you’re following a weight-loss plan but not losing weight, there are a number of factors that could be at play. Common reasons for the number on the scale to stop changing include portion sizes that have crept up  – even a little makes a difference – or overestimating the number of calories you’re burning through exercise.

But what is you know for certain you are following your plan religiously, but still aren’t losing weight? It’s possible that you have something else going on, such as a medical condition, which could be thwarting your efforts. If your weight problems could be caused by a medical condition, the condition must be addressed in order for your weight loss efforts to be successful. Some possible medical reasons for weight gain include:

  • Chronic stress. Anxiety, depression, and other types of stress cause your body to produce chemicals such as cortisol that make it easier for your body to store fat.
  • Cushing’s syndrome. Also related to cortisol, this occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of this hormone, again leading to excess fat storage.
  • If your thyroid gland performs its job sluggishly and does not produce enough thyroid hormone, the result is slower fat burning, especially without enough exercise.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This group of symptoms caused by a hormonal imbalance includes irregular menstrual cycles, excessive facial hair, acne, difficulty getting pregnant, and, yes, weight gain.
  • Syndrome X. This is also known as insulin resistance and goes hand in hand with weight gain. When your body does not respond to the hormone insulin as it should, other hormones (the ones that help control metabolism) cannot do their job as well either.
  • Hormonal changes in women. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are all events that cause hormone-related weight gain in some women.

If you believe a medical condition may be causing your weight gain, be sure to talk to your doctor right away. Pinpointing the problem is the first step in remedying it and getting your weight loss back on track.

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