The 12 Physical & Biological Factors Preventing Your Body Losing Weight & Keeping It Off

Weight loss is never just about the calories

If you want to change anything or improve any aspect of your life (including your weight), you'll only be able to do it if you have access to the most effective and scientifically validated strategies.

Now it's true that diet and exercise approaches are heavily promoted in the media, on TV, in magazines and books, on the web, and by the fitness and weight loss industries, and health professionals alike.

The powerful attraction of the eat less, move more concept is its relative simplicity; it logically makes sense; and it sells because of persuasive marketing that promises rapid weight loss, a sexy body, abundant health and never ending happiness. No wonder you've be stuck relying on these types of strategies.

But the truth is these methods are not the solution for permanent weight loss.

One of the biggest reasons the traditional eat less, move more approach doesn't work is because it causes you to just focus on the calories. But excess calories is only one factor that'll cause that unhealthy bulge around your middle (or anywhere else for that matter).

So it's time to take a closer look at what other physical or biological factors may be getting in the way of you achieving your confident, healthy weight.

The 12 Factors (Other than Calories) Preventing Your Body Losing Weight

1. Your hormones are unbalanced

Quite simply, for lasting weight loss, fat needs to move freely out of your fat cells so that it can be burnt for energy. This process, however, is rather complex and depends on many metabolic hormones being in balance (e.g. insulin, thyroid hormones, cortisone). And if other hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, or leptin (your hunger hormone) get out of whack, then these too will pose a real barrier to successful weight loss. You will only have an efficient metabolism if the hormones that control it are in balance. Only then, will your body be able to create the right environment to burn fat. This can't be overstated, because if your metabolism isn't functioning well, you could actually be doing everything right and still not be rewarded with the weight loss results you're desperately looking for.

2. You're eating too many processed foods

It's not just the number of calories you're eating that matters, its where they're coming from. You see, not all calories are created equal. The quality of your calories counts big time when it comes to creating the right metabolic environment conducive to weight loss. So although a small portion of almonds and a single chop-chip cookie might both contain 100 calories, it's the cookie that'll 'stress' your metabolism to the point of making it harder to drop the kilos. Of course, no one single eating event on its own will have any real effect; but rather it's your pattern of choices over time that'll have the biggest impact on your metabolism and your weight.

3. You're way too stressed

Emotional stress, relationship stress, parenting stress, financial stress, physical stress, mental stress, work stress, every day stress etc....all cause your body to produce cortisone (our stress hormone). You need this hormone to survive, because it helps you cope with stuff. But if your stress is particularly high, you'll be producing way too much. And this has the effect of keeping fat locked up inside your fat cells, so that your body won't be able to burn it for fuel. And you won't be able to lose weight. So if this sounds like you, make it a priority to learn the skills and find the strategies to relax, chill-out, manage your time, and create more balance. Your waistline will thank you for it.

4. You're not getting enough sleep

Quite simply, if you're not getting between 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night various hormonal, metabolic and biological changes within the body will make it difficult to lose weight. For starters, it'll increase your cortisone levels - our old fat-storing friend. It'll muck around with your hunger hormones, driving you to eat more food. In fact, studies show that sleep deprived people eat on average 300 calories more per day. And, of course, if you're tired and grumpy you're much more likely to be impulsive and give in to temptation, have less energy for activity, and feel less motivated to exercise.

5. You've got disordered eating habits

As we've's never just about the calories.
Are you a you continually put something in your mouth every couple of hours?
Or do you skip there sometimes a big gap between feeds?
Do you eat while multitasking or when distracted?
Do you eat in a hurry or while 'on-the-run'?
Do you tend to eat the same foods over and over again?
Your answers to these questions may well provide the clues for why you are continuing to struggle.

6. Your food groups need re-balancing

There is no single diet that will work for everybody. We are all unique when it comes to creating a realistic and sustainable eating plan that matches both our preferences and our metabolism. Some of us tolerate carbs better than others. For others, dairy is a problem. And yet, for others it's grains, fruit, or vegetable oils that can sabotage weight loss. It's a matter of working out what dietary adjustments work for you.

7. Your body fat set-point is raised

Your genes largely determine what weight you 'should' be. And given the right environment (balanced hormones, healthy lifestyle etc.) this is the weight you will settle at. But your set-point isn't fixed for life. It can actually creep up in response to various factors. And research now tells us that if you've been struggling with your weight for many years, your body might have reset itself at a new higher set-point, well above your original healthy body fat set-point. And now losing weight becomes even harder, because your body will actively fight to keep your weight at this higher set-point. It's not impossible to re-lower it (and lose fat)....but it does require the right combination of strategies.

8. You're not eating enough

There's no doubt that cutting calories by slashing your diet can bring about significant (short term) weight loss. But it's just not sustainable. And worse still, it can actually backfire and cause you to regain it all with interest. It just stuffs around with your metabolism as your body responds by reducing your metabolic rate...making it even harder to lose the weight next time around.

9. You're exercising way too hard...or not hard enough

Yes, it's entirely possible to over-exercise. If you push yourself too far for too long (by engaging in prolonged, intense and frequent cardio workouts) you end up depleting your body's stores of glucose (because your body will burn sugar and not fat when your heart rate is above 75% of max). Your body responds by pumping out more cortisone (promoting more fat storage) and craving more sugar to replenish what you've just burnt...and so you end up eating way too many carbs. Not a great combination if fat loss is your goal. Don't get me wrong...cardiovascular exercise in the right dose is essential for both your health and for long term weight maintenance. But too much isn't.

In fact, learning how to exercise at the right intensity (for you) is absolutely critical for lasting fat loss. The 'go hard or go home' philosophy (promoted by many PT's and popular TV weight loss shows) will do more long term harm (injury, burnout, inflammation) than good. When you spend way too much time exercising at high intensities, your body gets locked into burning sugar, and not fat, for fuel. And at the other extreme, if you spend your time doing too much low intensity stuff, you simply won't challenge your body enough to get the changes you want.

10. You're not active enough

Unfortunately, exercise is fairly inefficient when it comes to burning calories for weight loss. It's way easy to consume 150 cal in the blink of an eye. But when it comes to burning these calories off again, it's going to require a whole lot more effort - at least a brisk 30-40 minute walk. But the simple fact remains that active people have healthier metabolisms, and are able to more successfully manage their weight over the long term compared with relatively inactive people. Again, it's not really about the calories. Regular exercise has many other healthy metabolic consequences that will positively impact your weight in the long run. So get moving.

11. You're not drinking enough water

If your water intake is really low, chances are you're compromising your body's ability to flush out all the toxic crap that naturally accumulates through everyday living. Over time, this will have metabolic consequences. Also, not keeping well hydrated can be a trigger for consuming other calorie-dense drinks like juices, soft drinks, flavoured milks, alcohol etc. It may even be a trigger for eating.

12. You just haven't waited long enough

If you're after dramatic weight loss, simply slash calories. You'll get results fairly quickly...they just won't last. The alternative approach that delivers sustainable long lasting fat loss requires far more time and patience. Lifestyle changes that address all of the above factors is an ongoing process, and one that really never ends. So before you even begin, you have to be willing to be in it for the long haul.


So there you have it.
Take a good look at the above list again. Anything look familiar? Does anything jump out at you?
You can't do everything at once. So don't even try. But you can always do something.
So which one will you get started with?

If you'd like some help overcoming any of these barriers to successful and lasting weight loss, let's have a chat.

Call us on 1300 39 40 50 or book a Free Strategy Session with one of our Health Coaches.

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