Why am I struggling to lose weight!?
As a Nutritionist, I often hear this question. Unfortunately, the number on the scale isn't always a simple reflection of the number of calories we consume vs. the number we burn. In fact, the stress brought on by extreme diets and exercise can undermine them entirely—and actually cause weight gain. Often the real key to losing what may be unwanted belly fat, and gaining energy, clarity, and a better mood lies with your hormones.
Weight loss resistance is nearly always hormonally based in women. Hormone imbalances have the great effect on our weight—not to mention our mood and happiness!
Often women are being told that weight loss is just a case of simple math—that all it takes is to "eat less and exercise more." And millions of women are made to feel bad by this common misperception, i.e., that they just need more self-control when it comes to weight loss. Which is totally wrong. The calorie-in/calorie-out hypothesis remains the greatest misconception people have about diet and weight loss. Calories matter, more to some people than others, but hormones matter more. Almost anyone who struggles with weight also battles a hormone imbalance. Hormones control how efficiently a calorie makes you fat.
Short term diets do not work for women
Because they fail to address the hormonal root causes that are the most common reasons for weight loss resistance, like excess cortisol, insulin and/or leptin blockage, oestrogen dominance, a sluggish thyroid, low testosterone, and problems with the HPA (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal) control system.

99% of the time, the main hormone that's out of whack is cortisol (which ends up disrupting other hormones, too). Your body makes cortisol in response to stress, but most of us run around stressed too much of the time, and our cortisol is off as a result. High or dysregulated cortisol levels wreak havoc over time, depleting your happy brain chemicals like serotonin, robbing your sleep, and making you store fat—especially in your belly. High cortisol is likewise linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings.

The root cause of cortisol imbalance is usually a dysregulated HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which is the boss of all of your hormones. When the HPA is up-regulated, your body produces too much cortisol and the results are: muffin top, feeling like you're constantly racing from task to task, feeling wired but tired, quickness to anger and irritability, rapid weight gain.

Over time, the HPA can get burned out and become down-regulated. Then you feel a lack of stamina, have a tendency to hold a negative point of view, catch colds frequently, and you may experience thyroid problems that improve briefly before you crash again.

Since the root cause is usually the HPA, the key is to reset it, starting with cortisol. Any other attempts at fixing the hormones will likely fail in the long-term if the wayward HPA is not addressed.
    Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Insulin resistance or block means your cells can't absorb the extra blood glucose your body generates from the food you eat—when that happens, your liver converts the glucose into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction.
      High leptin causes weight gain and excessive hunger. Leptin is nature's appetite suppressant. When you've had enough to eat, leptin signals your brain to stop eating. When you are overweight, your fat cells produce excess leptin. When your brain gets bombarded with leptin signals from too many fat cells, it shuts down; leptin levels keep rising, receptors stop functioning, your body doesn't get the leptin signal, and you don't feel full. You keep eating the wrong foods in an addictive pattern, and you keep gaining weight.
        Oestrogen dominance is when you have too much oestrogen compared with its counter-hormone, progesterone. Having too much oestrogen in the body causes a number of symptoms, including weight loss resistance, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods.
          Your thyroid acts as the gas pedal of your metabolism, managing how fast or slow you burn calories. When the thyroid is sluggish, it can cause weight gain, fluid retention, hair loss or thinning, depression, and constipation, among other problems.
            How do we "reset" our hormones, or jump-start our metabolism?
            The best way to get your hormones back on track and reinstate a healthy weight is to correct hormonal imbalances with changes to the way you eat, move, think, and supplement.

            Start with diet: 80% of weight loss is determined by the hormone/food interaction, so you want to eat in a way that optimises your hormones.

            Here is the list.
              Change the way you
              eat and drink
              Remove processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugars and sugar substitutes from your diet for good!
              Targeted exercise
              Make sure to keep moving, and choose forms of movement that you love, but exercise smart. Avoid chronic cardio. Weight Training, Yoga and Pilates are more likely to stabilise cortisol than running a half marathon.

              Utilise small weights and body resistance, which are great for the HPA and preventing injuries. Lift light weights twice a week at a minimum to prevent osteoporosis.

              Try walking and swimming as well.
              Right supplements
              Take right supplements to improve your hormone levels
              The main culprits of hormonal imbalances are:
              1. Nutrient deficiencies. For instance, even not enough vitamin C can lower your progesterone.
              2. Excess toxins. Bisphenol A is a good example: It can interfere with the oestrogen, insulin, thyroid, and testosterone in your body.
              3. Poor stress coping. Again, the root cause is that the alarm system in the body doesn't turn off, so you make too much cortisol at the expense of other hormones.
              4. Age. Women's hormone levels change throughout their reproductive years and through perimenopause, menopause, and beyond. Common life events, such as menstruation and pregnancy, can throw your hormones off balance, as can medications like birth control pills.
              5. Poor sleep. Only 3% of the population does well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Sleeping 7 to 8.5 hours every night keeps cortisol in check.
              6. Alcohol raises oestrogen and cortisol levels, robs you of deep sleep, and lowers metabolism by more than 70%. Try to get off alcohol completely for a minimum of two weeks, twice per year, to give the liver a break.
                So, our hormones dictate what our body does with food. Address your hormones first, particularly cortisol, through changes in your lifestyle, diet and the way you exercise.
                  For those of you who need support in losing weight and balancing your hormones, I and the personal trainer Tony Olin, who is originally from Ireland but now living and working in Thailand, will be running the "Full Body Reset" programme, which will help your hormones to get back into balance, your body to get back into a good shape and your mind – to get back in the state of calm and tranquillity.

                  The programme is starting on the 6th of November and runs for 4 weeks – it is an optimal time to change your eating habits and retrain your body and mind.
                  21 OCTOBER / 2020