5 Reasons You Are Struggling To Lose Weight

Dr Handicap - measuring stomach

One of the most common health goals people have is to lose weight. While it may seem as straightforward as moving more and eating less, you may notice some people manage to drop the weight quickly and effortlessly, while others struggle to see any difference despite hours at the gym and healthy eating. If you’re struggling to lose weight, read on as we highlight some common possible reasons the weight won’t shift and some tips to help you overcome them.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone which helps your body use glucose as energy. If you have insulin resistance, this not only increases your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, but it also means that your body cannot effectively use insulin – therefore causing a build-up of sugar in the blood. The outcome of this includes weight gain and hunger, which could be an explanation for why you’re struggling to lose weight. The best way to find out if you could possibly have insulin resistance is to get a blood test from your doctor. If you do, the good news is that it can be reversed or prevented by making changes to your diet, such as trying a low-carb or low-calorie diet and also including daily exercise into your schedule.


We all know that one of the many changes to our bodies as we grow older is the slowing down of the metabolism. Our metabolism is the process in which our bodies convert what we eat and drink into energy. Some people claim that their high metabolism is the reason they can eat a lot without gaining weight, so the assumption is normally made that a slow metabolism can hinder weight loss goals. This is not necessarily true and there is more research to be done on this topic; however, a slow metabolism does mean that your body uses energy a lot slower – therefore, it’s a good idea to be conscious of what and how much you are eating, especially if you’re struggling to lose weight. Some ways to boost your metabolism include exercise, drinking green tea, and not skipping meals but instead eating small meals more frequently throughout the day.

Dr Handicap - woman jogging

Thyroid Issues

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the front of the neck. It releases two types of hormones (T4 and T3) that control your metabolism and regulate your body’s vital functions, such as body weight, cholesterol levels, and muscle strength. You may have heard of the terms hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The former is when too much of the hormones are produced and released into the bloodstream, causing problems such as weight loss, anxiety, and heat intolerance to occur. The latter can have opposite effects, such as weight gain and feeling cold. An underactive thyroid is much more common and can be caused by the body’s immune system attacking the thyroid hormones, mistaking them for foreign cells. If you have thyroid issues, then chances are this could be why you’re struggling to lose weight.

Hormone Imbalance

This tends to affect mainly women, with estrogen dominance being a factor in weight gain. This is common in menopause but can also happen before this stage. Hormone imbalance refers to the situation where there is significantly more estrogen in the body compared to progesterone. These two hormones are almost opposites, as too much estrogen can cause weight gain, whereas progesterone helps to use fat as energy. If there is an imbalance, you may notice weight gain (particularly around the stomach area, due to potential sugar cravings), as well as fatigue and low energy. A useful tip is avoiding harmful chemicals in cosmetic products and foods as well as being aware of certain medications and birth control. Furthermore, taking adaptogen herbs such as ashwagandha and maca root can boost energy, overcome adrenal fatigue, and support thyroid health, which can be key to balancing hormones. There are various ways you can check if you have a hormone imbalance, such as quizzes and symptom checkers online. If you prefer to speak to a doctor, there is always the option of telemedicine, where you can be in contact with a medical professional online.

Dr Handicap - peaches

Calorie Surplus

An obvious reason but one that lots of people fail to realize is that no matter how healthily you eat, your weight can still stay the same or even increase – especially if you are in a calorie surplus. Nutrient-dense foods such as healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and certain oils are very calorific, which can mean that you end up consuming more calories than your body actually needs – and struggling to lose weight that you put on. In this scenario, moderation is key and remembering to not exceed the daily recommended allowance is important. Try food-prepping to not only save time and money, but also to motivate you to eat better and controlled portions. This may seem tedious if you feel you don’t have the time to cook food in bulk, but in the long run, you will be able to reach your weight loss goals in a more realistic and healthy manner.

Overall, weight loss is probably the most common health goal you will hear and with the statistics for obesity on the rise in recent years, it comes as no surprise. If you are overweight, it can cause many health problems that can prevent you from living life to the fullest. Even simple things such as walking from place to place can become difficult. Handicap parking spots can be applied for if you are finding it extremely difficult to walk due to your weight, but the best cure is to improve lifestyle habits in order to gain good health.