By Dietitian Cassie, RD, LD from DietitianCassie.com
“I’m a mystery case. Good luck figuring me out.”
Every client who has walked through our doors has felt like they were the ones to stump us. I get it. It makes sense. There are articles in magazines and online every day that bombard us with how EASY losing weight can be. All you need to do is follow “these simple steps” and everything will be fine. Well, we all know that those don’t work. If they did, everyone would be at their ideal weight!
With all of the myths being pumped into our minds, it’s no wonder that someone (or everyone) might feel like they are the anomaly. And that feeling is often accompanied by frustration, hopelessness, and depression.
And I HATE THAT!
You aren’t the problem. The real problem is that those quick-fixes and simple-solutions are only showing you a fraction of the metabolism equation.
One of the main reasons why the programs I’ve developed have such a high rate of success is because my team of dietitians and I look at the FULL picture of health, which includes over a dozen puzzle pieces that could be missing from your personal energy, weight and health puzzle.
If any of these pieces of your personal puzzle aren’t in place, or worse — are completely missing — then, you can seemingly do “all the right things” yet see no results. So it’s no wonder why so many women are beyond frustrated and feeling defeated. Of course women are throwing their hands up in the air and saying, “Well, I guess I’m a mystery case!” because they work SO hard at eating right and exercising, yet they still aren’t able to shed the weight.
If you feel like there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re a “mystery case” whose issues cannot be solved, the exciting news is: There is hope for you--you just haven’t found all of the pieces to your personal puzzle!
When it comes to the mystery of low energy levels and stubborn pounds, the answers often lie in areas that are commonly overlooked or never talked about — many of which, have nothing to do with food!
So what do these puzzle pieces look like? To name a few:
Hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone… oh my! Underneath it all, if your hormones are imbalanced, it’s tough for any of the pieces of your puzzle to come together. When your hormones are in harmony you feel amazing, energized, in control of your moods and cravings and ready to conquer the world! When they’re out of balance you feel exhausted, out of control, and that’s when you gain weight. In women especially, hormones fluctuate all the time, and it’s important that they are balanced in order for weight loss to happen and energy levels and moods to remain stable.
Common hormonal-related symptoms like hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, cravings, cramps and bloating may be common but they are not normal. These are side effects of imbalanced hormones, and the exciting news is that you can balance your hormones naturally, and it’s not that hard to do! Understanding how these work and how to get them in balance is imperative.
Gut Health. A really big missing piece of the puzzle for many women is their gut health, although people often think this is only a concern for those with digestive issues. Gut Health isn’t just about gas, bloating, or emergency bathroom trips—there’s much more to it than that! Making gut health a priority is REALLY important when it comes to your weight loss, sugar cravings, energy levels, and moods.
Practically everything that happens in your body is connected to your gut, including your weight and energy levels, because your gut is where your metabolism starts. If you are prone to sugar cravings, you’ll also want to make sure you are targeting your gut, because the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that determine whether or not you get cravings at all are actually made in your gut! You can be eating “all the right foods,” but if you aren’t digesting them properly, you aren’t making the most of these foods. If your gut isn’t in tip-top shape, the pounds won’t come off, the cravings will still be persistent, and your energy levels will remain low.
Thyroid. This little gland is the master of your metabolism, and low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is incredibly common in women. We see hundreds of clients struggling with their thyroid. So many clients who can’t figure out why they’re gaining weight have never examined how efficiently their thyroid is working, or they’ve been told by their doctor that it’s “normal.” “Normal” ranges in lab results are just based on a statistical average, which is created using people who go to the doctor—not healthy people.
The causes of hypothyroidism vary and are layered. A lot is likely due to an increase of soy in our foods, decreased sodium recommendations - where many people get their iodine which is needed for optimal thyroid function, and low-fat diets. Regardless of the cause, your thyroid regulates metabolism and so getting your thyroid function back in working order will do you a world of good, both for energy and weight loss. This could absolutely be a missing piece to your puzzle!
Inflammation. At the root cause of almost all weight gain and chronic disease is inflammation. Almost all of us have it for one reason or another thanks to stress (I’m still working on mine), sugar (I used to be a sugar addict), artificial sweeteners (I used to use these thinking they were healthy), overexercising (I’m guilty again—I used to be obsessive about getting in workouts) and lack of sleep (still working on prioritizing this, too).
Chronic inflammation is low grade and systemic. It is silently damaging your metabolism and is a huge culprit behind low energy levels and stubborn weight loss. That’s because your body sees inflammation as a fire that it needs to prioritize fixing. This means if you’re struggling with low energy, difficulty losing weight, or even digestive issues, it’s going to be nearly impossible for your body to fix these without reducing inflammation first. Whether you want to lose weight, lower your risk for disease or simply be healthier, you need to take care of this debilitating chronic inflammation.
Food sensitivities. You’d be surprised how many of our clients suffer from food sensitivities they weren’t even aware of! Regularly consuming a food you’re sensitive to could be the culprit behind stubborn weight that won’t budge. Gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and nuts are the most common.
A lot of people don’t realize that you can have a food sensitivity without having a full blown food allergy. And if you are eating foods you are sensitive to, an inflammatory reaction takes place in your body and you are NOT going to lose weight, because remember, when inflammation is present, your body uses all of its energy and resources focusing on healing areas that are affected (damaged and inflamed) by the food you are eating.
It’s important to identify food sensitivities and, if they are present, to address them so you aren’t causing further damage and can heal the damage that’s been done. That’s when your body will thank you with boosted energy levels and shedding pounds.
Stress. We live in a society where being stressed out is viewed as the equivalent to being a productive, valuable, contributing citizen. Yet, if you’re superwoman, both at the office and at home, then it doesn’t surprise me if your health (and waistline!) is paying the price for it.
Stress can cause weight gain without you eating any differently because it triggers cortisol (more commonly known as your “stress-hormone”) which causes your blood sugar to rise, leading to your body packing on pounds. This means that anytime you're stressed out, it's like you're eating bags of chips and boxes of cookies all day long! Except, you aren’t even eating any of those things…but you're still suffering from similar effects. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that most of us reach for not-so-healthy foods when we are stressed out!
Another downer is that stress causes insulin—your fat-storing hormone—to be released and do its job of transporting sugar from your bloodstream to your cells to be stored as fat. This is how you gain weight when you’re stressed…independent of your nutrition...without even eating any more, less or differently!
Long story short: Stress needs to be addressed in order to get your body back into tip top shape.
Sleep. Just like with stress, if you’re short on sleep, your body will fight against you in your weight loss efforts. Sleep can seem like a luxury thanks to busy schedules, obligations, work, family, and overcommitting, but it needs to be a priority. We see a lot of clients who seem to be eating all the right foods at the right times, but they’re hardly sleeping — or not sleeping soundly. Or, a huge no-no that I used to be guilty of, they are sacrificing sleep for exercise. This messes up your hormonal balance which, as we discussed earlier, is critical for weight loss. Sleep controls hormones that are in charge of your appetite and your metabolism. Sleep also plays a key role in keeping your immune system strong, which you need not only for staying healthy, but to lose weight, too. All systems need to be working properly for your body to lose weight, and since sleep affects the entire body, discovering how to make this a priority can be a huge piece of your weight loss puzzle.
Sugar. I’m sure you know that cutting down on sugar is one of the best things you can do for your waistline. So why is it so hard to do? As a sugar addict, I can share with you my strategies for getting cravings under control and keeping sugar out of your life so you won’t even miss it. (Yes, sugar addiction is a real thing. Most people don't know it, but sugar has the same effect on the brain as cocaine.) Kicking sugar addiction has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with balancing your brain chemistry. It’s important for you to address this piece of the puzzle and learn the steps you can take to get your biochemistry in balance so that you don’t keep reaching for the white stuff.
These are just ten of the overlooked puzzle pieces to address when it comes to your weight loss. There is SO much I could go into on each of these topics.
That’s why in Why Am I Still Fat? The Hidden Keys To Unlocking That Stubborn Weight Loss, I cover, in depth, the ten topics listed above, and several more, in detail, plus action steps you can take to make lasting changes. This book has been life changing for those who have struggled with weight loss and that’s probably why it’s a #1 international bestseller. It’s time for you to grab your own copy and find your missing keys!
Today I’m excited to offer a super special deal to Moms on the Run: 20% off! Just use the code MOTRSTRONG at dietitiancassie.com/book.
May this book be a fresh perspective and serve as a catalyst for you to unlock the hidden keys to that stubborn weight loss once and for all! Grab your copy of the book here, and be sure to join me for the MOTRwell Program to learn even more!
P.S. Here’s what one reader posted on Amazon:
"Cassie isn’t here for some quick fix, fad diet. This is not another hopeless remedy. She really cares to help people and shows us that though our food system may be screwed up, it isn’t impossible. I have never felt so much freedom in my life than I have now! Cassie shows you HOW without deprivation or feeling overwhelmed, but also going deep and getting to the bottom of the cause — so much deeper than just food. This life-transforming message and truth needs to be in everyone’s hands!"