I've been doing a lot of research into my own health issues and i keep coming across things which 'can' cause weight gain, even if you try to exercise and eat the right foods and controlled portions.
Some interesting ones were hormone imbalance ranging from high estrogen and/or low testosterone, thyroid issues, low Vitamin D and low iodine, insulin resistance which i believe can occur when testosterone is too high? Birth control pills can raise weight due to it messing with your hormonal imbalance. Even when stopping birth control it can take months/years to correct the issues. You also need to check your cortisol levels and DHEA-s as they can cause weight gain (particularly around the waist) as well as a lot of other symptoms.
There are so many areas which can contribute to weight gain and difficulty in removing the weight. So if you are dedicated and doing all the right things, yet no results, i'd be looking into all other possible avenues.
Dealing with excess weight and hormone imbalance: Of all things, dietary fiber is very important in helping to dispose of excess estrogen. Also, it helps to regulate blood sugar, improves regularity and gives one a feeling of fullness after a meal. It does all those things and more yet it usually doesn't get enough credit.
A big mistake, in my opinion, is to think in terms of a fiber supplement or a high fiber cereal. These are highly processed products and not at all natural. People need to get their fiber from NATURAL WHOLE FOODS and stay away from anything that is processed. There may be one or two exceptions like unsweetened soymilk and flourless bread. Those are examples of processed foods that may be beneficial.
Last edited by JohnR41; 05-01-2009 at 09:39 AM.
Reason: Punctuation and word change
I know a few people with a slow thyroid who have difficulty losing weight. The good thing is that you can regulate this when you get it checked at the doctor with thyroid pills. You just have to be careful to get that right balance. I'd recommend that anyone really struggling to lose weight (that truly is eating right and exercising enough) to get everything checked out at the doctor to make sure there isn't an underlying health issue.
The common problem with thyroid issues is that a lot of doctors only test your TSH and nothing else. This type of testing wont give true answers if your TSH comes back within range. Mine did this, always within range, my gp and Endo told me i was fine. 9 years later i find out i'd had a thyroid problem all along.
For thyroid they need to test your TSH, FT4, FT3, Thyroid Antibodies.
Sometimes the doctor will request these tests and the lab wont do all of them as they feel it's unnecessary. That is a real pain and can lose valuable time for someone who is truly ill with a thyroid problem.
I used to struggle losing weight, especially when I was taking anti-depressants. Those really messed with me! I got to the point where I would drink three protein shakes per day in perfect portions so I knew EXACTLY what I was eating, yet I still could not lose the weight. I also worked out plenty. I went off those pills and it became so much easier. There are so many factors that can affect weight loss, so it's good to talk to your doctor and get any necessary tests done.
I also find that for me it's tricky to lose weight ANYWAY. I see people doing Weight Watchers and going walking and losing weight and I wish I could do it that easily. Just cutting my calories isn't enough. I had to cut out all white breads, pasta, sugar other than fruit, cereal, etc. Carbs go straight to my belly! I also gave up any prepared diet meals, such as Lean Cuisine. I am not so strict now, but I still try to eat lots of fresh foods and lean meat with a small amount of healthy whole wheat carbs. I run 5 days a week and lift weights. I can't do the elliptical.. I gain weight if I don't run. I guess for me I had to find that "perfect workout" and a good way to eat for myself. My workouts challenge me a lot and I sweat a ton. If I go easier, I don't get results. Maybe I'm too picky about how I want my body to look, but I feel good and I'm happier. I have a hard time eating very clean because hardly anywhere serves food like that if you go out! I'm just maintaining my weight now, so it's much, much easier and I don't have to be so strict.
Okay, sorry for writing a book up there! Just wanted to share what worked for me. I envy all the people who can eat 100 calorie snacks and pasta and be losing weight! Even if I'm in my calorie range, I'll get a belly pooch from eating foods like that.
Video2000 - yes, drinking a glass of warm water first thing, especially with a squeeze of lemon juice in it is good for the bowels and it supposedly helps the metabolism. The lemon/water drink before a meal was also mentioned once on television, saying the lemon helped metabolise the fats better. Eating a high protein meal at breakfast is extremely important as that speeds up the metabolism too.
turrra - i agree with you, it's important to find out what works for you personally. Just because a certain weight loss or diet program is available, it doesn't mean it will work for every single person who tries it. Everybody has differing issues, be it health or other, and genetic makeup.
Long term antidepressants will also lead to weight issues. I've seen it occur to a couple of people i know.
I still think if you are dedicated and doing some form of exercise and eating right and not losing one bit of weight then something is medically wrong. A lot of doctors don't look into hormones and the affect they have on a persons weight. They don't look at the entire thyroid panel, only TSH or if they look at the rest they don't care so long as you are "within range". With some people there is something in their genetic makeup which makes them put on weight far easier. Sometimes you need to look at meds you might be on, even birth control pills.
Someone was telling me that the Amino Acid, Cromium, is often insufficient in some people who are doing all the right things yet can't lose weight. Another which is often low is B6. If you are on birth control it will severly deplete your B group vitamins so it's essential to be on a daily supplement. I know it depletes you of some other essential things too, but can't recall of the top of my head right now. The depletion of vitamins can also lead to weight gain.
There are so many different things/areas to cause weight loss difficulties and it's often not a matter of simply dieting and doing a bit of exercise. help might be needed in other areas.
I don't really believe some people can't lose weight and some are naturally thin. I believe it is all down to the food you eat and how much exercise you do. I went to gym for a year and didn't lose a pound. And then I tried Green Tea and Oolong Tea to reduce my appetite and had a small dinner every night. I lost 3.5kg within 3 weeks. So really we are what we eat!
I also notice a big difference in activity level when NOT working out. I know many people who will change their diet and will go exercise, but when at home, they just plop on the couch. It makes a difference! After I got a pedometer, I realized that I very easily get 10,000 steps a day without even working out because I'm always on the move and don't like to sit still for long. My pedometer isn't very sensitive and does not pick up steps when walking on carpet very well, so I know it isn't OVER-calculating. I am not naturally thin and have to work at it. I think it really adds up throughout the day. I have a desk job, but I frequently get up to meet with other people or pick up copies, etc. so I'm not just sitting there. It helps!
By the way, I am just sharing this information just to try to be helpful! I understand that many people do all the right things and still struggle with their weight, and that's when I think it's good to talk to your doctor about it. I just know a few people who say they are working hard, yet they watch several tv shows every night, so I know they are sitting around at home at least for a couple hours.
I also notice a big difference in activity level when NOT working out.
This is true. Plenty of people will crowd around the escalator or wait for the elevator when they could go up more quickly by using the uncrowded stairs. Or are unwilling to walk a mile or less to work. Or waste lots of time driving around a parking lot looking for a close in space when they could have saved time by just parking at the first available space and walking in.