Clean Eating

5 SNEAKY REASONS You Can’t Shake the Weight

When your priorities shift to seeing changes on the scale, it’s tempting to resort to what we’ve been told for decades: Slash the amount of food you eat and a slimmer waistline will be yours. But with so many people following this advice and still failing at the weight-loss game, how can this be true?

“[Weight gain] is usually not as simple as eating too many calories,” says Frank Lipman, MD, founder of and author of How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018). “It’s a symptom of a hormonal imbalance or an imbalance in another system in the body that affects the hormones.” A shift in mindset – away from the 20th century obsession with counting, measuring and logging one’s diet down to the last crumb – is necessary, he believes, to get the West’s weight problem under control.

Jason Fung, MD, author of The Obesity Code (Greystone Books, 2016) and The Complete Guide to Fasting (Victory Belt Publishing, 2016), agrees that our general understanding of the mechanisms behind weight gain and, subsequently, how to lose body fat is entirely too simplistic. “It’s an energy partitioning problem, not a total energy problem,” he says. “And that is determined entirely by hormones.”

Confused? We’re here to break down how hormones, your personal team of bodily micromanagers, are steering your weight loss results away from where you want to be – and what you might unknowingly be doing to contribute to the problem. Here are five health conditions and habits that might be impeding your progress, and how to fix them.

1. Your insulin is out of whack

The hormone with one of the biggest hands in this physiological phenomenon is also likely the most well-known: insulin, the hormone produced by the

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