When You Can’t Ever Lose Your Weight!

When You Can’t Ever Lose Your Weight!

Can’t Lose Weight No Matter What? Read This Now

Sometimes losing weight can seem impossible.

You may be watching your calories and carbs, eating enough protein, exercising regularly and doing all of the other things known to support weight loss, yet the scale won’t budge.

This problem is actually fairly common and can be extremely frustrating.

Read on to learn why achieving your weight loss goal can be so difficult — and whether it’s a good idea to keep trying.

This article specifically addresses women, but most of the principles here apply to everyone.

Weight Loss Is a Billion-Dollar Industry

Chubby Woman Holding Scale and Sign to Cover Face

Losing weight is big business on a global scale.

It’s estimated that weight loss programs and products generate more than $150 billion in annual profits in the US and Europe alone (1).

Programs that require you to purchase special food, supplements and other products tend to be the costliest.

Though “fat burners” and other diet pills are popular, they often aren’t regulated and may be downright dangerous (2, 3).

Unfortunately, even those who aren’t very overweight appear willing to risk the potentially harmful consequences of taking diet pills.

A study including more than 16,000 adults found that about one-third of those who took weight loss pills weren’t obese before they started taking the pills (3).

Clearly, many people spend a great deal of effort and money trying to lose weight.

And even if you don’t join a weight loss program or buy diet pills or products, you may end up devoting much of your free time and energy to the pursuit of being thin.

SUMMARY:The weight loss industry generates billions of dollars a year by capitalizing on many people’s desire to be thin at any cost.

Why Many Women Can’t Reach Their Goal Weight

Many women spend a significant amount of money, time and effort on trying to lose weight.

Nevertheless, some seem to make little progress.

Several factors influence your ability to lose weight.

Health Conditions

Certain diseases or disorders can make weight loss extremely difficult, including:

  • Lipedema: Believed to affect nearly one in nine women worldwide, this condition causes a woman’s hips and legs to accumulate excess fat that is extremely difficult to lose. It often also causes easy bruising and pain (4).
  • Hypothyroidism: Low levels of thyroid hormone lead to a slowdown in metabolism that can impede weight loss efforts (5).
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This condition is characterized by insulin resistance and hormonally driven fat accumulation in the abdomen. It’s believed to affect up to 21% of reproductive-aged women (6).

Dieting and Weight Loss History

If you’ve lost and regained weight several times in the past, or yo-yo dieted, you’ve likely found it more challenging to lose weight with each subsequent attempt.

In fact, a woman with a long history of yo-yo dieting will tend to have greater difficulty losing weight than one whose weight has remained relatively constant.

Research has shown that this is mainly due to changes in fat storage that occur after periods of calorie deprivation.

Essentially, your body stores more fat when you begin eating more after a period of deprivation, so that it has a reserve available if calorie intake decreases again (7).

In addition, a recent animal study suggests that yo-yo dieting may cause an immune response in fat tissue that makes fat loss more difficult (8).

Gut bacteria may play a role too. Repeated cycles of losing and regaining weight seem to promote changes in gut bacteria that lead to increased weight gain over the long term (9).

Age

Aging presents many challenges for women, including making it harder than ever to lose weight.

Moreover, women who have never been heavy in the past may struggle to maintain their usual weight as they get older, even if they eat a healthy diet.

Most women gain about 5–15 pounds (2.3–6.8 kg) during the aging process due to a reduction in muscle mass and physical activity, which result in a slower metabolism.

Additionally, weight gain during menopause is extremely common due to the many hormonal changes that occur. Trying to lose weight during and after menopause can be incredibly difficult (10).

Gestational Influences

Unfortunately, your tendency to carry excess weight may be partly due to factors you have no control over.

One of these is genetics, but other, lesser-known factors include the conditions you were exposed to in the womb.

These include your mother’s diet and the amount of weight she gained during pregnancy.

Research has shown that women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to large babies who become overweight or obese during childhood or as adults (11, 12).

What’s more, a pregnant woman’s dietary choices may affect whether her child develops a weight problem in the future.

A recent animal study found that rats that were fed a “Western” diet while pregnant gave birth to babies that had slower metabolisms and that became obese at several points during their lifetimes (13).

SUMMARY:Many factors can affect your ability to lose weight, including certain health conditions, your dieting and weight loss history, age-related changes and your mother’s diet and weight changes during pregnancy.

“Ideal” Body Sizes Throughout History

Although your diet and exercise habits play a role in determining your weight, your basic shape and size are largely determined by your genes.

In fact, research suggests that both how much you weigh and where you tend to store fat are strongly influenced by your unique genetic pattern (14).

Taking steps to reduce belly fat is a healthy and worthwhile goal. On the other hand, if you try to force your body to conform to whatever size is currently in vogue, you’re working against nature, and your efforts may ultimately lead to frustration.

Throughout history, different body types and sizes have been considered “ideal.”

As recently as 100 years ago, being somewhat plump was a desirable, feminine trait in women. Thin women even tried to gain weight to become more appealing.

However, it is just as difficult for a naturally thin person to put on weight as it is for a naturally larger person to lose it.

During the Renaissance, Dutch artist Peter Paul Rubens became well known for his nude paintings of full-figured women, whom he believed were the epitome of beauty.

To this day, the term “Rubenesque” is used to describe a beautiful, full-figured person.

In the 1800s, the French Impressionists, including Monet, Renoir and Cézann, painted women of the day who were considered beautiful.

Looking at these paintings, you can easily see that many of the women were much larger than today’s runway models.

There’s no denying that the “ideal” female body has changed considerably over the past 60 years, becoming slim and toned as opposed to rounded and soft.

However, women of the past weren’t bombarded with often unattainable images on the Internet and TV.

Today’s women are also faced with an overwhelming number of ads for programs and products that promise to help them achieve today’s “ideal” body.

SUMMARY:During many periods in history, larger women were considered feminine and attractive. However, the modern “ideal” body is smaller, thin and toned, which may not be attainable for everyone

Different Cultural Views of Weight

Smiling Plus Size Woman With Hands on Waist

Although people across the US and most of Europe consider a slim body to be attractive, people in various parts of the world prefer a larger, more rounded shape.

In many cultures, carrying some extra weight is associated with fertility, kindness, happiness, vitality and social harmony.

Interestingly, the wealthiest countries tend to value thinness, whereas the opposite is true in less wealthy countries (15).

For instance, researchers who studied data from several non-Western societies reported that 81% preferred plump or moderately fat women, while 90% preferred women with large hips and legs (16).

However, even among developed countries, what is considered the “perfect” body seems to vary greatly based on personal and regional preferences.

When 18 graphic designers from around the world were asked to modify a plus-size model’s body into the “ideal” body, the range of results was somewhat surprising.

The modified versions had body mass indexes (BMIs) ranging from only 17 in China to 25.5 in Spain, which is consistent with weights between 102–153 pounds (about 46–69 kg) for a woman who is 5’5″ (165 cm) tall.

With the exception of the BMI of 17, which is considered underweight, this shows that a wide range of body sizes and shapes are viewed as attractive and desirable, regardless of how closely they resemble what is often considered “ideal.”

SUMMARY:The “ideal” body varies greatly from country to country and is often influenced by a society’s wealth and the diversity of its residents.

If You Truly Need to Lose Weight

If your size is affecting your health, continuing to pursue weight loss makes sense.

Obesity, especially morbid obesity, may increase the risk of disease and lower life expectancy. Even further, it can make day-to-day living difficult due to decreased mobility, low energy levels and social stigma.

Research shows some of the best ways to boost weight loss include eating protein at breakfastand avoiding processed carbs, along with other strategies in this article.

Here are a few additional practices that may help you take some weight off:

  • Support groups: Joining one can provide encouragement, accountability and motivation. In addition to general weight loss groups offline, online and on Facebook, you can find online communities for lipedema and PCOS.
  • Recognize progress, even if slow: Realize that you will likely lose weight slowly and experience some weight loss plateaus. Losing even a couple of pounds a month is still an impressive accomplishment.
  • Be realistic when setting a goal weight: Don’t strive to reach your “ideal” weight. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, and further loss can lead to additional benefits (17).
  • Celebrate non-scale victories: Focusing on improvements in mobility, energy, lab values and other beneficial health changes is important, especially when weight loss seems maddeningly slow.

Although incorporating these strategies into your life can’t guarantee that you will lose weight, they can help improve your chances.

SUMMARY:If being obese is affecting your health, mobility and quality of life, taking steps to lose weight is a good idea. Joining a support group, setting realistic goals and celebrating your progress may be helpful.

Shift Focus to Optimal Health — Not Weight Loss

For many women, weight loss goals have less to do with health than wanting to look better.

Perhaps you have already lost some weight, but haven’t been able to lose “those last 10–20 pounds.”

Or maybe you have always been a bit larger than average, but have been trying to slim down to a smaller dress size.

You’re not alone if you feel that you have tried every diet and weight loss recommendation, yet still haven’t been able to achieve results, despite your best efforts.

If that’s the case, it may be best to shift your focus to being as healthy, strong and vibrant as you can be.

  • Focus on fitness: When it comes to health, studies have shown that being fit is more important than being thin. What’s more, working out regularly can provide many other benefits (18).
  • Develop a better relationship with food: Rather than dieting, work on choosing nourishing foods, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues and learning to eat intuitively (19, 20).
  • Consider the results of your previous dieting attempts: Remember that losing and regaining weight often leads to increased fat storage and weight gain over time (1, 7, 21).

Aside from reducing stress and frustration, shifting your focus to make optimal health your primary goal might even potentially lead to natural weight loss over time.

SUMMARY:If you want to lose weight to look better, but haven’t had success despite doing all of the “right” things, it may be best to shift your focus. Instead of trying to achieve a certain weight, aim to be as healthy as possible.

Learn to Love and Accept Your Body

Two Female Runners Stretching

Developing an appreciation for your body can be beneficial for your health, happiness and outlook on life.

Research suggests that repeated weight loss attempts may not only lead to weight gain, but they may also cause mood changes and increase the risk of developing unhealthy behaviors like binge eating (22).

On the other hand, there’s evidence that being happy with your weight may result in healthier behaviors and better overall health, regardless of your size (23).

Here are some tips for learning how to love and accept your body:

  • Stop letting numbers define you: Instead of fixating on your weight, measurements or clothing size, think about how you feel, who you are and your purpose in life.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others: Never compare your own body to someone else’s. You are unique and have many great qualities. Focus on being the best you can be.
  • Exercise to feel and perform better: Rather than working out frantically trying to burn calories, engage in physical activity because of the way it makes you feel. You deserve to feel your best now and in the years to come.

Realize that it may take some time to learn to appreciate your body after years of trying to change it. That’s understandable. Just take it one day at a time and do your best to focus on the positive.

SUMMARY:Rather than continuing to prioritize losing weight, learn to love and accept your body so you can stay healthy and highly functional throughout your lifetime.

The Bottom Line

In a modern-day society that values being thin, the inability to lose weight can be a source of frustration for many women.

And it’s true that losing excess weight is important when it jeopardizes your health and well-being.

But trying to achieve an unrealistic size can do more harm than good.

Learn to love and accept your body, exercise and adopt lifestyle behaviors to keep yourself as healthy as possible and avoid comparing yourself.

Doing so may greatly improve your overall health, self-esteem and quality of life.

Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

 A  workout by Chris Freytag to try in your gym or at home if you own your own equipment. 

3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Fitness: Workouts

By:


Lose weight with these 3 different elliptical workouts.

The elliptical machine is one of the best fitness inventions to come around in recent history. It’s got the sweet combination of allowing you to work as hard as you want while keeping it all completely low-impact. You will see everyone from serious athletes to those recovering from injuries on these machines, and for good reason: there are tons of benefits to elliptical workouts.

Benefits of Using The Elliptical

  • Gives you a low-impact cardio workout that’s easier on your joints
  • Accessible enough that all fitness levels can participate; even if you’re getting back into exercise after an injur
  • Works your total body
  • Helps improve balance and mobility
  • Offers quick workouts for busy days.

It’s clear we love elliptical workouts, but like any form of cardio, variety is the key to keeping it fresh and fun—and keeping your body challenged. You can’t just hop on the machine every day and go at a steady state expecting to lose weight, tone up, or change your body. Plus, we’ve been there/done that, and it gets BORING! Yes, the console probably has several elliptical workout programs for you to try, but if you are looking for something new or different, we’ve got three intense, calorie-burning workouts for you to choose from.

3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Try these intense interval-style elliptical workouts to boost your weight loss.In order to keep challenging you body (and prevent boredom) you simply need to vary your incline and your resistance. Almost all ellipticals offer a ramp or incline which simulates the sensation of going up a hill—this is the incline—and this helps work your glutes and legs. You can also up your resistance to increase your effort and calorie burn. And lastly, you can change what you’re doing on the elliptical by changing the direction you’re pedaling.

We’ve utilized these tactics to give you three interval-based, calorie-burning elliptical workouts to help you lose weight. These workouts are designed to make your elliptical time a little more interesting, and a little more challenging to work different muscle groups and keep you on your toes. Find the elliptical workout that matches your needs and timeframe below. They go from 15 minutes to 20 minutes and lastly, a 30-minute elliptical routine. Plus, we made all of the elliptical workouts printable! Just click on the workout, print and take it with you to the gym or your home machine.

Lunch Time Calorie Crunch Elliptical Workout

When you only have 15-minutes, you need an elliptical workout that gets your heart rate up and torches calories fast. Enter: Our Lunch Time Calorie Crunch. Changing up the resistance and incline often in this quick workout helps you make the most of your time. (By using varying inclines and resistance levels, you move your heart rate through different zones.) Plus, you’ll alternate between pedaling backwards and forwards which helps you work all your leg muscles in one workout. This 15-minute workout will let you get in and get out while burning calories in record time.

Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom

20-Minute Tabata Elliptical Workout

Have 20-minutes to spare? Then you’ll love this Tabata elliptical routine. This workout gives the elliptical a fresh spark using the tabata interval training technique. Tabata is a form of HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. By going as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds several times in a row, you keep your brain busy and your heart pumping. The incline remains 5.0 the entire workout, but the resistance and the pace or speed at which you push changes. So have fun and enjoy the ride!

Go Big Interval Challenge Elliptical Workout

This 30-minute interval challenge will rev your metabolism and make the time fly as you change your resistance and use speed intervals to crank up your metabolism. Pay attention to the column on the right that says “feeling” and adjust the speed you pedal to match that feeling. Try to vary the forward and backward motion between the intervals to keep all your leg muscles working evenly.

And that’s it! Try one of these interval-style elliptical workouts and let us know how you liked them. When you want to increase your calorie burn and decrease workout boredom, these can become your new best friends.

Benefits of Using Ubiquinol

Benfefits of Using Ubiquinol

Naturally produced in our bodies, ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which has been shown to have quite powerful antioxidant potential. First discovered in the 1950s, CoQ10 is known to help many of the diseases associated with aging. CoQ10 can be found in foods such as meat and fish, although in very low amounts.

In our practice, we have found clear benefits from ubiquinol supplements for issues of heart disease, blood pressure, gum and oral health, and even nervous system challenges. This article will discuss how ubiquinol may help our bodies, and what solid medical research has shown regarding the benefit of this supplement.

How Does Ubiquinol Work?

From moment to moment, we are burning energy and aging. As a result, free radicals are produced in our bodies which will damage all cells, including vessel walls, nerve tissue, and the linings of our organs. Additionally, environmental toxins that enter into our bodies can also cause damage and increase oxidant levels, allowing a further breakdown of our bodies’ cells and repair mechanisms.

Despite the aging process, every cell in the body is in the business of producing energy to keep you vital and healthy. The energy each cell produces is in the form of a molecule called ATP, which is made in the energy powerhouse of the cell known as the mitochondria. Ubiquinol has been shown to promote ATP production in the mitochondrial inner membrane.

Ubiquinol not only helps to support your body’s energy production, but it’s also considered one of the strongest antioxidants available. It has the ability to protect your body’s cells from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals. Ubiquinol sopps up the oxidants causing the damage; removing oxidant attack allows your body to repair and restore health.

Help for What Ages You

Ubiquinol is known already known to be helpful in neurological disease, liver dysfunction, renal disease and other diseases/conditions. We are going to focus on a few very common conditions in aging: heart disease, statin medication use, blood pressure problems, gum disease.

Heart Disease

Since the 1970s, clinical studies have shown that the oral administration of CoQ10 improves the health of patients suffering from heart problems.

An analysis of heart muscle tissue collected from patients with heart disease revealed a marked decrease in the tissue CoQ10 concentration.

It has been shown that patients with lower ubiquinol concentrations and decreases in ATP (energy) production in the heart muscle tissue suffered more severe types of heart disease than patients with higher levels of CoQ10.

Clinical trials of patients with a severe form of heart disease called congestive heart failure were given 580 mg per day of ubiquinone. These patients found significant increases in blood levels of CoQ10 levels, along with excellent improvements in the ejection fraction of the heart (the heart’s ability to move blood) and improvement of the left ventricle, the part of the heart that sends blood out to the body.

There is also some preliminary research evidence that suggests coenzyme Q10 may be helpful in cardiac arrhythmias, a type of heart issue where the heartbeat can become too fast or erratic.

Statin Medication Use

Statin medications are the number-one-selling medication in the world. While statin medications are reported to help avert cardiovascular problems like heart attacks by lowering LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, statin medications themselves are known to lower the levels of natural ubiquinol in the body and heart muscle.

One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a 22% decrease in ubiquinol levels in patients using simvastatin (Zocor), while other studies suggest that statins can reduce serum levels of coenzyme Q10 by up to 40%. Long-term use of statin medications can increase risk of nerve damage and rhabdomyolsis (breakdown of muscle tissue). Since nerve and muscle tissue need plenty of ubiquinol and CoQ10 to keep up energy, it makes sense that this depletion could cause problems. Research already is mounting which suggests that ubiquinol supplementation could decrease muscle pain due to statin use. As such, we recommend anyone taking these medications should consider adding supplemental CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol to their daily regimen.

Blood Pressure

Double-blind clinic research studies report that supplementation with forms of CoQ10 can help significantly decrease blood pressure in people who have hypertension. Most of this research supplemented 100 mg of regular ubiquinone form of CoQ10 per day for at least ten weeks. The authors of these studies have indicated that treatment with CoQ10 may lower blood pressure by decreasing oxidative stress and balancing insulin response in patients with known high blood pressure who are receiving conventional antihypertensive (anti-high blood pressure) medication. Insulin is a hormone known to regulate blood sugar and high insulin levels along with high blood pressure can raise the risk of heart attack by 20 times.

Saliva Production

Dry mouth is a condition in which salivary production in the mouth is greatly reduced. Besides making you feel thirsty, dry mouth can cause cavities, food intake and tasting problems, promote gum disease and cause mouth pain. For some, this condition can negatively alter a person’s quality of life in a profound way.

Medical studies suggest that an age-related decrease in energy production and ATP has been suggested to result in impaired salivary secretion. Some cases of dry mouth can be caused by an autoimmune issue called Sjogren’s Syndrome. But in many cases, it is unclear what is causing this problem. We do know that the incidence of dry mouth increases as we age, with a particularly high incidence among peri-menopausal women, which suggests that hormonal changes may play a role.

In one study, 66 patients were given either ubiquinol 100 mg/day or a placebo for 1 month, and found the supplement was able to find its way to the salivary gland and increase its levels in the gland helping to confer improved ability to produce saliva.

Gum Health

Like dry mouth, periodontal (gum) disease is a known cause of loss of quality of life, and has even been linked with higher levels of heart problems.

With regard to the effects of CoQ10 on gum health, one group of researchers reported that after patients took supplemental CoQ10, their levels of subgingival (under the gum) bacteria decreased. It seems that the CoQ10 helped the immune system strengthen so the body could fight off the bacteria more easily.

If CoQ10 Is Cheaper, Why Do I Need to Take Ubiquinol?

 There are a few forms of CoQ10 out there. Regular CoQ10, which has been around the longest, is called “ubiquinone.” The form we have been referring to mostly in this article is called ubiquinol, and is the non-oxidized, active form of CoQ10 in the body. As demonstrated in studies, ubiquinol has superior bioavailability to ordinary ubiquinone, which means it gets absorbed into the body and blood stream much better.

 

Until recently, the only way to increase ubiquinol levels in the blood was for the body to convert it from ubiquinone (CoQ10), which research has shown becomes increasingly difficult as you age. While regular CoQ10 may be cheaper and will have some benefit, studies strongly suggest that ubiquinol is a more effective form to take.  

 

Dosage and Safety

Various studies supplementing with ubiquinol will prescribe an average of anywhere between 50 mg per day up to 600 mg per day. Severe heart disease and severe neurological issues like Parkinson’s Disease may require the higher level dosages. Studies dosing from 300 mg to 1200 mg per day for 16 months of CoQ10 for four weeks have not shown any concerns of toxicity.

A Ubiquitous Conclusion

The word ubiquitous means “existing everywhere.” Ubiquinol is a molecule that plays an important energy and antioxidant role in every cell in our body. As naturopathic physicians, we want to stress that aging, heart disease, blood pressure and oral health challenges still require that you eat healthily, exercise, and work on lowering stress. No one supplement by itself can cure these challenging conditions. But for great support to help your body energize and balance against damage, ubiquinol can be a healing and solid part of your supplemental regimen.

Article written by Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York

Article written by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York