It has been over six months since I have been writing to you. I have been motivating myself to lose weight for quite some time now, and finally, mustered the courage to follow a weight loss plan in June 2016. I weighed 70 kgs when I began chronicling my weight loss journey, but the progress is not what I had expected. I have lost only 2 kgs until now, which is abysmal as I followed every tip given in weight loss books, even did the Paleo diet! They helped me in the initial stages, but all that lost weight returned in no time. Despite following a health plan diligently, it has not given me the results I want. I am continually depressed and losing my self-confidence which was already on the edge of collapsing. As an employee working in a media relations firm, my job profile requires me to face clients on the job and my body type is hampering my future progress in the company. In fact, another employee who had recently joined was favored for a promotion over me despite investing so much time and that has left me depressed and uninterested. I keep looking for reasons why I cannot shed those stubborn inches, but I am yet to find an answer."
This is the story of numerous girls who have been left depressed for missing their weight loss goals despite following a regime. It is frustrating to go over the same cycle repeatedly. Here I have listed the top few conditions are possible reasons for not losing weight despite exercise and diet-
In today’s times, no one can escape stress. A stressor could be anything from anxiety to grief that could arise from family issues or at the workplace. Stress leads to alterations in chemical substances. One hormone in particular – cortisol, that is released in response to any stressful event leads to rise in blood sugar and heart rate. When one is suffering from chronic stress, the hormones lead in increase of body fat especially around the waist, thighs and hips. This type of weight gain leads to other health risks as well.
Cushing’s syndrome is a disease of the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. The tiny glands secrete high levels of hormone cortisol which leads to accumulation of fat in the back, abdomen and face. Such obesity is called as ‘truncal obesity’. Accompanying symptoms include stretch marks on the abdomen, arms, breasts and thighs. A person suspected of Cushing’s syndrome will be asked to undergo a series of diagnostic tests like late night cortisol, 24 hour urine free cortisol and overnight dexamethasone levels to confirm the diagnosis. Early diagnosis can help in treating the condition. With treatment, one can easily lose the accumulated fat.
One of the commonest reasons today for not losing weight today is hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly shaped gland situated in the throat region. It acts under the influence of hormone TSH. The thyroid secretes hormones T3, T4 and calcitonin which are responsible for major metabolic functions in the body, including cholesterol, protein and fat metabolism. An underactive thyroid gland will be inadequate in burning fat and will lead to excess weight gain. Symptoms of hypothyroid also include changes in menstrual cycles, constipation, hair thinning, feeling tired very easily, feeling cold easily, lethargy, difficult in losing weight. Once the treatment is started, you will immediately see reduction in the gained weight. Your exercises will finally be able to give you the calorie burn that you should be experiencing. Regular checkup of thyroid function tests like T3, T4 and TSH will help monitor your thyroid function.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease
An extremely common disease affecting women today is the PolyCystic Ovarian Disease. This occurs when the levels of hormone testosterone (women have a small amount of testosterone normally) are abnormally high. This lead to symptoms like acne, abnormal menstrual bleeding, excessive facial hair, thinning of hair, weight gain and may also lead to difficulty in conceiving. Regular screening of hormone levels of LH, FSH, Prolactin and a strict weight loss regime can keep PCOD in check and even reverse it. The doctor might start you on the drug metformin to relieve the symptoms.
It is also called Syndrome X or hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin). This condition goes hand in hand with weight gain. In this condition, the body is not responding to the insulin hormone that the pancreas are secreting. Over time, this can lead to an increased risk in the development of Type 2 diabetes and heart conditions. Regular exercise and a well-planned diet can help keep it under control. A blood insulin test will help determine your insulin level status and other tests like lipid profile will keep your triglycerides in check. Your doctor might advice you to check fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, lipid profile etc. too Those diagnosed with insulin resistance may need to take oral hypoglycemic agents like metformin to bring the levels under control.
People with depression lack interest in life. They lose interest in the activities that they once loved. Often they are full of guilt, apathy, helplessness, feeling of worthlessness, lack of hope and thoughts of suicide and death. They often present with symptoms like lack of energy, fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleep, long term headaches and pains with changes in appetite. Some people turn to food to curb their symptoms and improve their mood that lead to severe weight gain from binge eating. Thorough counseling with a diet plan will help relive their mood swings and will motivate them to adopt healthier eating habits. In severe cases, the psychiatrist might prescribe anti-depressants too.