Women have long been hoping for a “magic” solution to their weight loss struggles. I’ve seen some women do some crazy things in an effort to drop weight — eating nothing but grapefruit for a week, drinking far more black coffee than is healthy, counting calories obsessively and measuring every morsel of food that goes into their mouth. But none of these things work long term — in fact, they often just make these women gain weight!
The truth is, there is no magic. So why did I use magic in the title of my article? I want you to see that the magic is within you and the choices you make. You are a powerful woman with so much control over how you feel – and when you realize that, it is magic. Discovering supplemental nutrients that can help you drive your own health is part of that magic. When you arm yourself with the right tools and strategies, you can do anything you put your mind to. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!
Also, I wanted to grab your attention. I’m sure you’ve seen the ads for weight loss supplements everywhere, promising that you’ll drop amazing amounts of weight without having to put in any effort. That’s not the kind of magic I am talking about. Because what’s behind your difficulty with long term weight loss is so much more than the old “calories in, calories out” myth. Supplements filled with stimulants won’t help you long term – and some are even quite dangerous.
So what am I talking about? I’m talking about finding gentle support to heal the root causes of your weight loss resistance. Quite often, hormonal imbalance and/or adrenal dysfunction is behind your inability to lose weight, so that’s what I’ll focus on here.
Your journey is about more than simply losing weight – it’s about taking control of your health long term. If you don’t work to heal the underlying issues, you probably won’t be able to maintain the weight you want no matter what you do! Let’s take a look at what these issues might be, how they impact weight loss, and then I’ll give you some natural supplements for weight loss resistance.
Women Are Asking “What Happened to Me?”
One of the most frequent questions I get when it comes to weight women simply can’t lose is “what changed?” These women say they’ve done nothing differently but weight has crept on, particularly around their belly, thighs and buttocks. They sit in my office in tears, trying to figure out where they’ve gone wrong.
I reassure them that they may well be doing everything “right.” As we age, our hormones shift and change. So while we are doing exactly the same things we’ve always done on the outside, our internal systems may be changing drastically. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of how these systems work, and to attend to the importance of balance.
These shifts may have been subtly occurring for years, but women have been too busy to notice. When they reach their 40s or 50s, so many things are changing – both physically and psychologically.
Women are asking themselves “Who am I? What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” Their children are quickly growing, becoming independent, and moving out. Their health is also changing, with hot flashes disrupting their daily activities and night sweats disturbing their sleep. They may be experiencing anxiety about all the changes, and the extra weight they can’t get rid of simply pushes them to the edge. That’s when they end up sobbing in my office.
Although this happens to so many women, it’s important that you know you don’t just have to live with it. There are many natural ways to regain balance and promote weight loss, and supplements can help.
Again, I’m not talking about the “quick fix” pills you see advertised on infomercials or plastered throughout women’s magazines. The supplements I am talking about provide essential nutrients, balance and support to specific systems. We’ll take a closer look at two of the biggest culprits for weight loss resistance – adrenal dysfunction and hormonal dysregulation – and then I’ll offer some suggestion on targeted supplements that can help – as long as you also pay attention to lifestyle changes that will keep these systems balanced and healthy!
Adrenal Fatigue and Cortisol
Perhaps the most important hormone of all is cortisol, and the impact it has on your adrenal glands. Cortisol, often known as the “stress hormone” has been linked to so many health issues, so it’s one we should always look at when things begin to go awry.
Cortisol is produced by your adrenals when your body is on high alert and ready for action. That’s quite useful when there is real danger – the instinct to run can save your life. But so often these days, your body perceives stress when there’s no actual threat to survival. The same physiological response kicks in, and your body sends out that message: “Danger Ahead!”
When this happens too often, your cortisol levels are constantly too high. This puts a huge strain on your adrenal glands. If it goes on too long, high cortisol levels can lead to adrenal fatigue or hypercortisol production and all of its health complications.
Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis
When cortisol levels are imbalanced, there’s typically a problem in your HPA axis. The HPA axis is like the CEO of a company – and all the other hormones are its employees. When your HPA axis is working overtime, cortisol will be high or too low, leaving you wired, but also tired; irritable; and prone to rapid weight gain. If your HPA axis works so hard it begins to underfunction, you might crash, leading to a total lack of energy, frequent illness and immune system problems, and thyroid issues.
Balance in the HPA axis, then, is critical. You need to make sure that the hormones working underneath it are balanced, especially cortisol. If you don’t balance your cortisol levels first, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to maintain balance in the other hormones for long.
Balancing cortisol is the key to managing adrenal fatigue. And the best way to balance your cortisol levels is to take control of the stress in your life, rather than letting it control you. Finding ways to reduce stress, eating healthy foods at the right times, and getting plenty of sleep will all help heal your adrenals and keep cortisol levels where they should be.
Other Hormonal Imbalances That Keep the Scale Stuck
Okay, so once you’ve addressed your cortisol issues – by finding ways to reduce stress and turn that alert system off once in a while – it’s time to think about other hormones that might need your attention.
Some of the most important are: insulin; sex hormones (especially estrogen); thyroid hormones; and leptin. Let’s take a quick look at how each of these function in your body.
Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas produces to regulate the amount of glucose you have in your blood. If you don’t have enough insulin, you may develop diabetes. But even when you have high enough insulin levels, there can be problems. When your body is “insulin resistant” you are unable to absorb extra glucose made from the food you consume, and it’s converted into fat instead. That means weight gain!
Estrogen dominance means your ratio of estrogen to progesterone is way too high. With too much estrogen in your system, you’re likely to be faced with a range of symptoms including PMS, irritability, and – you guessed it – weight loss resistance!
Your thyroid is like a race car – it sets the speed at which you are burning calories. If the pace is too slow due to low levels of thyroid hormones, you may find yourself lacking energy, holding on to fluid, losing your hair, and gaining weight.
Leptin is a hormone that has long been linked to hunger and obesity. Your brain is supposed to get the message from leptin levels in your blood that you’ve had enough to eat. But when this message get garbled, you won’t feel full. You might get stuck in an endless loop of intense cravings and overeating. When this happens, reducing the amount of fructose you consume is a big factor in getting those leptin levels back where they belong.
Supplements for Weight Loss Resistance and Supporting Hormonal Balance
Now that you know how many hormones are at play – and the influence they have on your health – it’s time to find out what you can do about imbalances. All of these hormones are connected, so it’s quite likely that when levels of one are off, imbalance in others will follow.
Lifestyle changes are very important – supplements alone won’t do the trick. Sleep, healthy eating, physical activity, and finding ways to reduce stress are essential to long term health and hormonal balance. But when your systems are already taxed, you might need some support to get you started.
The dietary supplements I recommend will vary depending on what’s going on in your body. So the first step is to ask your practitioner to do a series of tests to see which hormonal imbalances need to be addressed.
I believe all women can benefit from the basics: a high-quality multivitamin/mineral complex including the full B-complex group, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, as well as an omega-3 supplement.
From there, depending on what your testing reveals, you might consider one of my adrenal health products. I have several options to coincide with your unique difficulties – whether you’re wired, tired, or both at the same time, I have a program that’s right for you.
If shifting hormones due to perimenopause or menopause are behind your symptoms and weight gain, try my Menopause Support developed with just the right blend of nutrients, vitamins and herbs to keep those “typical” symptoms at bay.
If thyroid issues are at the root of your weight loss resistance, I can help there too! My Thyroid Support supplements contain the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals and botanicals to help your body balance hormones and support your thyroid.
Often, you’ll discover that you need a combination of support to get yourself back on the path to good health and vitality. I have a range of complete programs in my shop designed to give you everything you need in one easy package. No matter what your needs, I have a program that can help!
When You’re Back on Track, it’s Time to Dive Deeper and Find What Will Work for YOU Long Term
Remember, supplements can go a long way towards keeping you feeling great, but the true magic comes from within yourself. If you’re so depleted you can’t even get out of bed, you have to start somewhere – and supplements can be the boost you need. But it doesn’t end there.
Every woman is so unique that it’s essential she dig deeper into her own life to discover her own best path. Feeling better and losing a few pounds for a short period of time isn’t the goal — I want you to know you can stay feeling great, and keep that weight off long term.
One thing that’s essential is finding the best regular way of eating for your own circumstances. There are many great options, and your unique genetic profile can give you the information you need to decide which one will work for you.
I also recommend that you take some time to examine the sources of stress in your life, including any emotional issues that could be lurking, ready to attack your systems when you least expect it. Talking to a therapist, or exploring alternative therapies like EFT, acupuncture, or the Hoffman Quadrinity Process can help you deal with those traumas once and for all.
Do Your Research to Ensure Quality Supplements
It’s important to note that supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way prescription drugs are – so you must be vigilant when deciding to take anything new. Some supplements could interact with prescriptions you are already taking so it’s essential to discuss the best options for you with your healthcare practitioner or a functional medicine practitioner. It’s also important to be sure you’re selecting a reliable, high-quality brand of supplements. Look for evidence that the products have been tested and verified to contain exactly what they say they do – and no more!
With Hard Work – and the Right Supplemental Support – You Can Create the Magic You Seek — and Lose That Weight!
For me, the magic is helping other women discover how to take control of their own health. There’s no reason for any woman to feel hopeless or like they should simply give up. It’s not easy – it takes more than a wave of a wand to create the changes you want – but it’s all within your own control. When you discover the magic inside yourself – the power you have to make a difference for yourself – you’ll be ready to seize the moment and do the work you need to do. What are you waiting for?