Struggling to lose weight?

Are you struggling to lose weight despite doing all the right things? Here are some of the reasons why the weight may be staying on.

Is 2021 the year in which you plan to lose weight? Many of us have been aware of the need to lose weight to achieve our health goals and prevent illness.

However, one of the most frustrating things that many of my patients complain of is difficulty losing weight when they are already doing all the right things. Almost every day, I talk to women who have tried everything from severe calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, keto diets, paleo eating plans, all to no avail.

The inability to lose and keep weight off is known as weight loss resistance. If it were as simple as consuming less food or exercising more, so many women would not be struggling with this.

​The top five roadblocks I have seen in weight loss resistance are:

1.     Inflammation

2.     Gut issues

3.     Toxin overload

4.     Hormone imbalance

5.  Emotional stress

1. Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s way of trying to protect itself from anything that harms our cells. If inflammatory pathways are only rarely activated, inflammation plays a protective and beneficial role within the body.

Chronic inflammation, however, can lead to widespread damage to the metabolic system including triggering a hormonal response in the adrenal glands. This triggers a release of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn increases belly fat, triggering miscommunication with other hormonal systems in the body (sex and thyroid hormones). ​

What causes chronic inflammation?  

 The main factor that we are able to control in terms of inflammation is nutrition.  Certain foods can either trigger or inhibit inflammation.

Some of the foods that are pro-inflammatory include sugar, soy, gluten, alcohol, and even conventionally-raised dairy products for most people.  Certain cooking methods have also been shown to have an impact on the ability of foods to trigger inflammation.

​Just like we have foods that create inflammation, there are foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature. A great example is fat, the right kind of fatty acids. Picture inflammation as fire within yourbody, the right kinds of fats can help to put out the fire. Fats are important because you need them for healthy hormone production too!

2.   Gut Issues

When it comes to difficulty with shifting weight, there may well be an issue with gut permeability. Several studies have found a link with an increase in gut permeability and weight loss resistance. Our intestines serve as a barrier to the outside world. Picture the Great Wall of China. It was built to be an impenetrable barrier that would prevent invasion of foreign elements into China. However, as China wanted to continue trade with its neighbours, trade posts were set up which would function like customs and immigration, carefully monitoring what and who came into the country.

Think of the gut as of the Great Wall of China

The gut is pretty much the same. It provides a barrier to the outside world, but at specific junctions, allows for the transport of selected nutrients and compounds into the body. The immune system carefully monitors what passes through to prevent dangerous infection and toxins from entering the blood stream.  However, if this barrier breaks down, a substance called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which is produced by our gut bacteria, freely crosses this barrier, allowing for a type of toxicity within the system.

What causes a loss of gut permeability?

Increased permeability can be caused by infection, toxins or even the wrong type of bacteria growing within the gut. Repairing this barrier is critical to the entire metabolic system, and weight loss resistance may be a warning sign that this could potentially be an issue.


3.   Toxin Overload

Another factor in weight loss resistance is toxins in our daily environment. Over the decades, more toxins have been introduced into the food chain and we are literally swimming in a sea of toxins. There is very good evidence that certain toxins found in the environment are linked to obesity, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pesticides, herbicides, plastic associated toxins, bisphenol A and phthalates.

These toxins, commonly found in our foods, personal hygiene products, beauty products, and even cleaning products have been shown to promote weight loss resistance. The body often stores these toxins in fats to prevent them from circulating in the bloodstream and cause damage to organs. It then prevents the loss of fat as a way of protecting the body against a release of toxins.

Continuous exposure to toxins makes it difficult for the body to release fat.  The more toxins we are exposed to the harder it is for our body to shed those extra pounds. It makes sense to firstly eliminate the source of these products, in the food we eat, our personal hygiene products, and household cleaning products. Once that is done, it is necessary to support the body’s detoxification pathways to support safe elimination of toxins.


4.   Hormone Imbalance

Hormone imbalances, such as thyroid, adrenal or sex hormone imbalance can wreak havoc on the metabolic system, leading to many changes within the body. The most common being weight loss resistance. Optimising hormones can be one of the most effective ways of naturally managing weight.

Ageing, menopause and stress can be some of the factors that throw off hormone balance and dealing with the root cause of hormonal disruption is always beneficial.

We have created a personalised metabolic programme for individuals who are serious about taking control of their weight. This 12-week programme uses extensive laboratory testing to determine your individual contributors to weight gain. Ongoing support and consultations help you to develop long-term strategies to maintain a healthy weight.

5. Emotional Stress

Research has shown that early childhood stress or trauma can lead to life-long weight issues. If this is the case, often dealing with emotional issues is really important in order to make significant breakthroughs.

12 Week Metabolic Reset Programme

My colleague, Joanna Bednarek, and I have together come up with a very personalised programme to help individuals break through the barriers that are preventing weight loss.

I am a great believer in testing, rather than guessing. Our metabolic weight panel measures over 40 markers including toxicity levels, gut permeability, hormones, vitamin status, glucose regulation and inflammation. A very personalised programme is then worked out for you to help you target key areas in your metabolic health.

There will be a great deal of lifestyle changes involved, but all backed by solid scientific research. So, please only consider this programme if you are prepared to make significant changes to your daily routines and diet.

12 Week Metabolic Reset Programme


Extensive laboratory testing as mentioned above

A 90-minute initial Functional Medicine consultation

Personalised metabolic programme

Three one-hour Functional Medicine consultations

Weekly ongoing support calls withour health coach to help you implement changes


We may recommend retesting certain laboratory markers after 12 week

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