the leading underlying causes of weight issues
There are two categories that people tend to fall into when it comes to a desire to modify their weight, whether that be weight loss or weight gain:
- One, is the more simplistic ‘calories in, calories out’ – our energy taken in, verses energy expended. This type of weight loss is based solely on no other contributing factors or metabolic ‘blocks’ affecting the ability for this simply equation to work.
- The second category is those that modify their calorie load and/or up their exercise without (frustratingly) gaining any results. This category is where underlying causes of weight gain come into great effect and is where weight management with metabolic nutrition plays an integral role.
At The JCN Clinic we consistently see our clients improve their metabolic performance and well-being when concomitantly improving their health. Ironically, it is usually a side effect due to working on their primary health concerns, which were not led by a desire to shift weight. However, as a result of improving their health the weight changes happen.
As clinical nutritionists who work in this space and appreciate the complexity of these issues, we wanted to offer some guidance on what these underlying reasons are that may be affecting your ability to shift or maintain weight. Maintaining a balanced diet with limited processed foods and having a good exercise routine is absolutely the foundations to health. However, if you find that you are still struggling with your energy and weight alongside other symptoms then there may be some imbalances at play.
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imbalances that may be impacting your metabolic performance and wellbeing
- Reproductive hormonal imbalances: High levels of oestrogen are commonly seen in both men and women who have difficulty losing weight. Excess amounts can store in fat tissues making it more challenging for the body to metabolise fat. Low levels of progesterone can also adversely contribute to weight changes due to the reciprocal relationship between progesterone and thyroid hormones.
- Thyroid hormonal imbalances and thyroid autoimmune conditions: Thyroid hormones are responsible for cellular metabolism, regulating thermogenesis and helping our body metabolise fats and sugar. An impaired metabolic function due to thyroid dysfunction can impact and change body weight and composition. Weight gain commonly occurs in an under-active thyroid gland and weight loss commonly occurs in an overactive thyroid gland. This is commonly seen amongst many other signs and symptoms associated with complications to the thyroid gland.
- Insulin resistance – insulin is a pancreatic hormone that helps with fat and protein breakdown, converting food to energy for the body to utilise and stabilise blood sugar levels. Recirculating insulin can lead to insulin resistance, which can then affect insulin’s role of taking glucose from our food to our body cells for energy use. High levels of insulin can also trigger excess androgen (male hormones) production by the ovaries, which can lead to polycystic ovaries syndrome with excess adiposity fat being one of the side effects.
- Digestive issues and gut dysbiosis – Imbalances in the gut microbiome such as reduced bacterial diversity and bacterial overgrowth can impact our metabolic pathways and how we metabolise our food. Specific types of bacteria like to feed on sugar or fats making the body crave those particular foods, leading to a greater inability to breakdown those foods and utilise the nutrients as energy. Signs of poor nutrient absorption a long with other digestive concerns can also impact hormone production, which can further lead to impaired metabolic function.
- Stress – Probably one of the most common contributing factors seen in individuals with difficulty shifting weight, whether they are wanting to lose or gain. High levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) releases stored glucose into the blood for us to utilise. However, prolonged cortisol production leading to a dysregulation in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis can cause metabolic issues contributing to body fat accumulation. Overtime, impaired cortisol production can occur which can adversely lower cortisol levels and lead to excessive weight loss. More over, chronic stress can impact many of our other metabolic pathways becoming a vicious cycle to our overall health.
Weight Loss Nutrition Package
The JCN Clinic Weight Loss Nutrition Package is specifically designed to help you get to the ‘root cause’ of your inability to shift weight. Learn to change your mindset and say no to fad diets as we utilise pro-metabolic nutritional therapy and lifestyle modifications to optimise your health & wellbeing.
Please note, this package is not designed for assistance related to “quick fixes”, rapid weight loss or disordered eating. It is fundamentally about helping you reach your body’s ideal set point in a healthy and holistic way.
Need personalised nutrition advice catered to your needs?
If you are after personalised nutrition advice and dietary planning individualised to your health and dietary needs then contact us at The JCN Clinic with your enquiry. We are always happy to answer any questions you have!
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.