Why won’t my weight shift?!

Working out, eating well, doing the best you can and the weight still won’t shift – sound familiar?

More often than not losing weight is not just about pumping iron and working out as hard as you can, there can be deeper root causes as to why you’re not shifting last year’s Christmas pudding. You are not alone, the secret is to get to the root of why the weights not leaving despite your best efforts.

Excess weight is a symbol of an unbalanced body, by rebalancing the body and getting healthier you will find weight will melt away far easier.

As Nutritionists we recognise that weight gain/retention may represent an imbalance within the body, we therefore look at the potential underlying causes. Doing this will support the weight loss process and help you stay the size you want!

While there are a number of reasons you may be over weight including hormonal imbalances, inflammatory imbalances, mitochondrial dysfunction, digestion/absorption issues, microbial imbalances and more, there are two MAIN reasons why we gain excess weight in the first place.

1. CORTISOL DYSFUNTION (Gastointestional (GI) stress, infection, environmental stress). i.e. the stress hormone! When we do a poor job of managing our external stress, drink lots of caffeine, get little sleep or even go on low carb ketogenic diets long term, our body is shifted into ‘fight or flight’ response. When we are in this state our body is inefficient at burning fat and, (I hate to say this) will crave MORE carbohydrates! (Rosmond & Dallman).

If there is a hormone that is king, if would be CORTISOL = survival hormone.

2. BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION. When we eat carbohydrates, they are converted into glucose (sugar) to feed our cells. Following this your body will produce insulin to shuttle glucose into your cells, without insulin you would not be able to uptake glucose (type 1 diabetes) and what happens if your cells don’t get glucose? We would end up in a coma (Cefalu).

How does this relate to weight loss?

When the ability of transporting glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells is compromised (due to poor dietary choices), we have type 2 diabetes. The longer your blood glucose levels are elevated, the more insulin being pumped into the bloodstream. And if there is insulin in your bloodstream, you WILL NOT be able to tap into body fat for energy.

What can you do to help with this?

– Ensure you are eating balanced meals (having a good source of protein, complex carbs and healthy fat in each of your meals) to stabilise blood sugar levels and give you long lasting energy.

– Stress management- Meditate every evening for at least 10-15 mins for therapeutic benefits, low intensity exercise (like yoga and light walking), come up with a stress management plan, diaphramatic breathing, support the adrenals with some calming herbs, drink calming teas in the evening.

– Make sleep a priority and aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Supplement with a good quality Magnesium supplement (trusted brands are Metagenics, Ethical Nutrients, Thorne, etc) and get into a good bedtime routine (e.g reduce blue light exposure, do calming exercise before bed, dim lights and wind down).

– Do some sort of movement daily (doesn’t have to be anything intense, just get the body moving!)

– Ensure you are getting a diet rich in wholefoods! Get regular blood tests to make sure your micronutrient levels are sufficient.

– Keep hydrated- aim to be drinking at least 2-3 litres of water everyday!

Post Written by Jess Wharton, Nutritionist


Cefalu, W. T. (1970, January 1). Diabetes and Herbal (Botanical) Medicine. Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92755/.

Rosmond, Roland, Dallman, & F., M. (1998, June 1). Stress-Related Cortisol Secretion in Men: Relationships with Abdominal Obesity and Endocrine, Metabolic and Hemodynamic Abnormalities 1. Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/83/6/1853/2865149.

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