Little-Known Reasons You May Be Gaining Weight

Posted by Amina AlTai on

There's been a trend in my coaching practice lately and it's something I want to address more broadly.  For the last two months I've been working purely with clients who can't seem to lose the last 5-10 stubborn pounds.  They're working out hard, they're eating clean, but the pounds don't budge and in some cases, the scale goes in the opposite direction. What on earth is going on?  Well, it could be quite a few factors, but here are the top few reasons why you might not be hitting your weight loss goals.  


We all have a ton of stress in our lives.  But if we don't manage it properly, it can lead to an over-production of cortisol, the stress hormone.  Cortisol also causes higher insulin levels, which can impact your food choices.  It often leads to craving fatty and sugary foods which contribute to weight gain specifically in the stomach area.  Managing stress through breathing exercises, meditation and relaxing activities is a great way to reduce cortisol.  


Many of us type A's are busting our a$$es at the gym thinking it will lead to increased muscle mass and lower percentage body fat, but the numbers often go the other way.  The reason being is that when we exercise with great intensity, we often overestimate calories burned and then overeat calories needed for recovery.  Additionally, intense exercise also produces cortisol which can cause weight gain and encourage overeating.  So pull back on the 7 days of intense workouts and vary your exercises incorporating gentle yoga practice, long walks and leisurely bike rides.  

Bad Bacteria

Our microbiome is a delicate balance of bacteria and occasionally, some bad bacteria can work its way in there.  Recent studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the makeup and variety of our flora can have a big impact on our weight. The most current literature suggests that obesogenic bacteria exacerbate weight gain and metabolic dysfunction.  If you suspect this may be the cause, speak to your health care provider about a stool analysis test to better understand the bacteria at play in your gut. 


Overgrowth of Candida Albicans or yeast as a result of overuse of antibiotics of just the standard American Diet can lead to weight gain and stubborn pounds that just wont budge.  Candida is fed by sugar and carbohydrates so a diet rich in both can perpetuate weight gain.  Some health care practitioners even believe that yeast overgrowth can even cause thyroid imbalances which only further perpetuate metabolic challenges.  

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities, overgrowth of bad bacteria and candida can all greatly effect the gut and lead to widespread inflammation.  Digested food particles can leak into the bloodstream causing your immune system reacts to the perceived toxins and it causes inflammation, weight gain, joint pain and more.  So if you're eating foods the leave you bloated and achey, it might be time for an elimination diet to lean which foods might be taking you down.  

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