Doing All the Right Things With No Results
Let's be honest.
This article is not for people who sit all day eating Cheetos and drinking soda while binge watching Netflix.
This article is not intended for people taking the latest Fat Burner hoping it will help them lose fat while still being able to sip on their fat free mocha frappuccino's.
This article is for the men and women who follow a good diet, exercise regularly and are still having a hard time losing weight.
Hard work should pay off, but sometimes it just doesn't and the question is WHY?
If all your hard work – eating healthy and exercising – doesn't work, then we're told that we just need to do more of it, right?
You need to eat cleaner and exercise more!
While that's the general narrative, the truth is it's wrong.
The missing link that most people have in the diet and fitness industry is this:
Physiology dictates how the body responds to diet and exercise.
Let me repeat… Physiology (how your body is functioning) determines how your body will respond to diet and exercise.
Now I'm not saying that diet and exercise are not important.
I've worked with hundreds of transformation athletes and the reality is, if you want to be sporting an 8 pack, you need to be willing to sacrifice more than just cutting carbs.
A good physique takes effort, diligent dieting, tweaking your diligent diet and then the ever difficult behavior of consistency.
It takes a shit ton of consistency in eating your super tweaked out diet and consistency in getting in enough sweat pounding exercise.
These tools are absolutely necessary for fat loss and for getting a body that you've always wanted.
But what happens when you're already following a good diet and you're exercising regularly, and you're still not getting the results you expect?
Physiology dictates the response!
I promise, if this is you, it's not your program or lack of effort, but your physiology.
Diet and exercise are very important, but the results we get from a proper diet and exercise are dependent on your current physiology.
In other words, the better your body is working (biochemically speaking), the better your results will be from dieting and exercise.
Today, millions of men and women are struggling to lose weight despite the fact that they are following some of the top dietary and fitness programs out there.
So if you've been eating a healthy diet and following a good exercise program, and you're still not losing fat, it likely has to do with your physiology.
This means that diet and exercise are not enough to correct underlying physiological imbalances.
In other words:
- You cannot improve nutrient absorption if your gut isn't letting you absorb said nutrients.
- You cannot correct a thyroid problem by simply following a good diet.
- You cannot balance hormones appropriately by simply changing the foods you're eating.
- You cannot build more muscle and lean out by simply exercising more and eating healthier.
Your body is far more complex and with all the added stressors of modern society, diet and exercise is simply not enough.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some of the most common underlying causes of weight loss resistance and abnormal fat metabolism by diving deeper into the concepts discussed in this article.
I will discuss several factors that can sabotage your efforts to losing fat and simultaneously getting fit.
The problem with most weight loss programs today is that they focus entirely on diet and exercise and not enough on physiology.
In other words, diet and exercise are great, but if the cells that make up your body are dysfunctional, fat loss is futile.
10 Physiological Reason's You're Not Losing Fat
1. The Blood Sugar/Insulin-Fat Loss Connection
There is a big reason why blood sugar/insulin is at the top of the list when it comes to fat loss.
Blood sugar problems are at an all time high and unfortunately, they're expected to get worse.
The CDC estimates that more than 100 Million US adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes.
I'm not sure if it's scarier that 90% of Americans have no idea their glucose levels are abnormal or that type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing conditions in children.
But it's not just high blood glucose that we need to be concerned with.
There is also a group of people who suffer from the effects of low blood sugar, or what could be more accurately characterized as reactive hypoglycemia.
This is when blood glucose gets too low, or you're experiencing periods of high and low blood glucose.
Regardless, chronically elevated, chronically low and/or shifting between high and low glucose is damaging to our health and our ability to burn fat.
More important is the understanding that just because you're not eating chocolate donuts, McDonalds or Frito Lay chips, doesn't mean that you're safe from glucose dysregulation.
This is the real epidemic – people who have a blood sugar issue despite a good, healthy diet and lifestyle and it's absolutely wrecking their ability to burn fat.
2. The Cortisol-Fat Loss Connection
Stress is everywhere in our society, and just like blood sugar dysregulation, only getting worse.
Chronically elevated stress hormones damage adrenal gland function, thyroid function and immunity.
Long term, unresolved levels of high cortisol impact sex hormones, metabolism and blood sugar, digestive function and brain chemistry.
Every single one of the above mentioned systems will in turn impact fat metabolism.
3. The Gut-Fat Loss Connection
If you didn't already know, the gastrointestinal system is intimately connected to overall health.
We all know how important a good diet is for our body. But just because you're eating the right foods doesn't mean you're properly absorbing them.
The digestive system is tasked with several functions including:
- breaking down the food we eat into nutrients that our body can absorb and utilize
- extracting and creating nutrients from the foods we eat
- processing and excreting substances such as hormones and toxins
- creating neurotransmitters and hormones and communicating with the nervous system
- housing the majority of our immune system
Major problems can emerge when we don't have enough good bacteria (or too many bad bacteria), which then prevents optimal absorption of nutrients, ultimately resulting in poor metabolism and cellular function.
In addition, a disrupted microbiome can contribute to the development of food sensitivities that cause inflammation and damage.
4. The Thyroid-Fat Loss Connection
The thyroid gland is responsible for your body's metabolic rate.
The thyroid gland is what “revs the motor” to either increase or decrease overall metabolism.
If thyroid function is low, you'll absolutely have problems burning fat.
However, not all thyroid problems are due to the thyroid itself.
And unnecessary thyroid treatment can cause long term damage of your thyroid gland, causing long term fat metabolism problems. Yikes!
The thyroid doesn't just impact metabolism, it also impacts our mood, digestion, immune function and energy.
Although thyroid issues and disorders are very common, few medical professionals know how to properly diagnose, test for and treat thyroid dysfunctions.
5. The Hormone-Fat Loss Connection
Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone have powerful effects throughout the body.
Both sexes have these hormones and the amount of each hormone can have dramatically different effects in both men and women.
If sex hormone imbalance is present, both men and women will have a hard time losing fat (regardless of diet and exercise).
Other hormone systems including the gastrointestinal system and thyroid systems interact with sex hormones to drive optimal function.
Again, the idea here is to have a deep understanding of how your body is working, rather than simply “topping off” low hormones as a quick fix.
Solving hormone imbalance requires way more than a “quick fix” pill, patch or cream.
6. The Toxicity-Fat Loss Connection
The liver is one of our first lines of defense against harmful chemicals.
Detoxification involves the metabolic processes of converting toxic substances into less toxic substances and ultimately, removing them from the body.
Our liver function – and ultimately fat burning potential – is strongly affected by environmental toxins and the health of other systems in our body.
If our liver isn't healthy, then the rest of our body isn't healthy, and it impacts our ability to burn fat.
7. The Immune System-Fat Loss Connection
The immune system is closely connected to every other system in the body.
This system protects us from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
The immune system is made up of a complex network of cells that respond to and signal, the rest of the body about potential dangers and threats.
If this tightly orchestrated system becomes imbalanced, the immune system either suppresses or attacks the body's own tissue.
This can result in high levels of inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which impact the ability to burn fat.
8. The Brain-Neurotransmitter Connection
The healthier your brain is, the healthier your digestion, response to stress, hormone regulation and response to diet and exercise.
Better brains result in better working bodies, including fat metabolism.
The brain has its own chemical communication system (neurotransmitters), its own immune system, hormones and protective barrier.
Damage or imbalances to any of these will negatively impact the function of your body, health and fat loss.
9. The Cellular-Fat Loss Connection
Mitochondria are the energy producing powerhouses of our cells.
They take glucose from the food we eat and convert it to ATP or cellular energy.
- fatty acids
- amino acids
If we have nutrient deficiencies, or if these nutrients cannot get into our cells, then mitochondrial function suffers.
If mitochondria are not working properly, they don't produce enough ATP for our body's needs and you'll absolutely struggle with burning fat.
10. The Mind-Body Fat Loss Connection
Physiology absolutely follows Psychology.
Our bodies have a tendency to respond to what we think about and how we view ourselves.
Scientists have confirmed that we become what we think about all day long.
There is an old adage that says:
If you want to know where your mind has been, look at your body today.
The more you feel, experience and act as if you have already achieved your goals, the more likely those goals become your reality.
Therefore, if you want a different body than the one you currently have, you must change your perceptions and what you think.
There is a major misconception in the fitness and nutrition industry that all you need to lose weight is diet and exercise.
While this works for some, it absolutely doesn't work for everyone.
And if it's not working for you, there's a good chance that the reason why is listed in this article.
Remember, your physiology dictates your response to diet and exercise.
If your body is not working properly, your ability to lose weight will absolutely suffer and there's a definite cause.
I just shared the 10 systems of your body that need to be healthy for you to lose fat.
The lack of proper function in any one or more of these systems will hinder your results of healthy eating and exercising.
If you want something different, consider working with a qualified Functional Medicine practitioner.
Want to speak to a functional medicine professional about increasing wellness?
Book a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Daniel.