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Hormonal weight gain symptoms

By the time a woman reaches the age of 45, she will have tried an average of 61 different diets.[1]

That’s great for the multibillion dollar weight loss industry, but not great for you — or your long-term health. In fact, studies show that the average woman wastes nearly 31 years of her life dieting to lose weight. The research is clear: if diets worked, they would work the first time.

Here’s the truth: If weight loss feels impossible for you, there’s likely a metabolic or physiological imbalance that’s causing your body to hold onto excess weight.

In order to truly lose weight – and keep it off – you must first address the underlying physiological imbalance causing your weight loss resistance in the first place. Here’s how to do that.

weight gain symptom

“With age comes wisdom”, Oscar Wilde famously wrote. But for the majority of women, age and hormonal changes also bring unwelcome weight gain and unfamiliar weight loss resistance.

Which means that with each passing year, it becomes easier to pack on unwanted pounds, and even harder to lose the excess weight — despite extreme diets, calorie restriction, and intense exercise. Most of us were taught that weight management is simply a matter of calorie control and self discipline. But every woman who has ever been on a diet knows this is not true and is, in fact, misleading. This well-worn myth causes a tremendous amount of unnecessary guilt and shame.

Here’s the truth: If weight loss feels impossible for you, there is likely a metabolic or physiological imbalance that is causing your body to hold onto excess weight, despite your best efforts to lose it. These biological imbalances can be connected to your hormone levels, adrenal glands, low thyroid function, or even the brain’s neurotransmitter activity.

On top of these biological obstacles, women are also leading increasingly stressful lives, fueled by  high-sugar, low-nutrition diets for quick energy. When a diet of empty-calorie foods is coupled with an internal metabolic imbalance, it’s almost certain that you will develop a resistance to weight loss.

Which profile best describes your experience with weight gain?

  • Weight gain and hormonal imbalance. Is most of your weight gain in the form of belly fat that just won’t budge? As early as your mid-30s, estrogen levels can begin to fluctuate and cause an imbalance with other sex hormones. The body attempts to restore this hormonal imbalance by seeking out more estrogen wherever it can find it. This is why belly fat can suddenly appear out of nowhere at the beginning of perimenopause – the hormonally active “visceral fat” that makes up belly fat actually produces estrogen. If left untreated, the body produces more and more belly fat to compensate for this estrogen imbalance. Learn more about how to lose belly fat in 5 easy steps.
  • Weight gain and low thyroid function. The thyroid gland controls your metabolism, which regulates the body’s ability to burn calories and fat for energy. When your thyroid hormones are low, both your metabolism and energy levels plummet — resulting in more stubborn fat accumulation. Other signs of low thyroid include fatigue, constipation, hair loss, feeling cold all the time, depression, and weight loss resistance. Thyroid dysfunction sabotages weight loss in other ways too. When thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are imbalanced, key chemical messengers like beta endorphins and leptin (the “hunger hormone”) become mixed up and disrupt our eating behavior. These changes can strengthen cravings, block feelings of fullness, and reduce energy – all factors contributing to weight gain. If you suspect your thyroid is connected to your weight gain, read more about losing weight despite thyroid dysfunction.
  • Weight gain and sleep deprivation. If you find yourself getting less than 7 hours of quality sleep per night, or suffering from menopause insomnia or sleep apnea, you may be chronically sleep deprived — which can make weight loss nearly impossible. This is because regular, quality sleep determines your body’s circadian rhythm, which impacts everything from energy to production of leptin, the hunger hormone that signals when you’re full after a meal. Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to reach for sweet or salty junk food when you’re tired? You simply can’t lose weight without adequate amounts of deeply restful sleep. Read more about Dr. Mary James’s top tips for how to improve sleep naturally.
  • Weight gain and adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands were designed to help you survive short-term, stressful situations by releasing cortisol and adrenaline to mobilize quick energy for a “fight or flight” situation. This was helpful back when we lived in caves and were regularly forced to outrun predators in order to survive. Unfortunately, the adrenal glands have not adapted this “fight or flight” response to modern life, which is filled with micro triggers that cause the same release of the stress hormone, cortisol, regardless of the nature of the threat. In fact, your body releases the same amount of cortisol whether you’re running from a bear or sitting in traffic. Over time, these daily stress triggers add up to create a state of chronic stress and “adrenal fatigue” in which your body is constantly releasing cortisol and storing every calorie you consume to help you survive the perceived crises of daily life. A high-sugar diet, too much caffeine, and chronic sleep deprivation also contribute to the cortisol roller coaster, packing on additional unwanted pounds. Other indicators of adrenal fatigue and chronic stress include debilitating fatigue, low libido, anxiety and memory issues. Read more about the connection between chronic stress and weight gain.
  • Weight gain and neurotransmitter imbalance. The brain’s neurotransmitters, including serotonin, GABA and dopamine, are sensitive biochemicals that help to regulate mood, cognitive function and eating behaviors. When these chemicals are deficient or out of balance, the brain triggers cravings for dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter — which usually leads you right to simple carbs and sweet treats. This blood sugar spike stimulates excess insulin production, making your cravings grow even stronger. Depression can also be connected to weight gain; high cortisol and low serotonin levels often lead to overeating, lack of motivation to exercise, and general fatigue. Other neurotransmitter imbalance symptoms include anxiety, brain fog, mood swings, depressed feelings, distractability, and interrupted sleep. It’s important to talk to your doctor or therapist about feelings of depression or anxiety.
  • Weight gain and gut health. Digestive issues are often linked to food sensitivities, gut microorganism imbalance, or bacterial overgrowth. Many women don’t realize that uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating are actually caused by a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. If left untreated, this kind of gut dysfunction can result in sweet cravings, weight gain, and excess cortisol release. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can help heal the gut lining to improve nutrient absorption and boost weight loss efforts.
  • Weight gain and inflammation. Has your weight gain coincided with unfamiliar joint pain or symptoms of an autoimmune disease? There’s a connection. If your diet or lifestyle is triggering systemic inflammation, your natural ability to regulate insulin and cortisol plummets — resulting in stubborn weight gain, especially around the belly.

Restore balance first to lose the weight once and for all

We understand how discouraging it can be to try repeatedly to lose weight without successful results. That’s why our weight loss philosophy is based on decades of research and experience with women of all shapes and sizes:

It’s next to impossible to lose weight until you restore the underlying imbalance causing weight loss resistance in the first place — it simply doesn’t work the other way around.

Of course, there are artificial “quick fixes” and prescription pills that force your body to lose weight at an unnatural rate. But everyone knows that until you address the underlying biological cause of weight loss resistance, this weight will always come back. When you treat and ultimately heal the underlying imbalance that has been blocking your ability to lose weight, you will be able to achieve and maintain your ideal weight — without chronic diets or intense exercise. Our Weight Loss Resistance Program is structured so that you can overcome your own physiological barrier to weight loss naturally.

“The program is easy to follow and the recipes in the book are delicious. I began feeling results by week two of the program and seeing results by week 3.”

JKT, Trust-Pilot verified customer

Our Weight Loss Resistance Program was designed by doctors to help you identify and overcome the metabolic obstacle that’s preventing you from losing weight. You get our exclusive metabolism-boosting formula with targeted phytotherapeutic nutritional supplements, our exclusive protein-packed WheySational shake, plus dietary and lifestyle guidance from doctors who understand the hormonal and metabolic challenges women experience — and how to solve them.

  • Select your imbalance profile and get started with a Program. It’s 100% satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back — even if you’ve used the whole thing!
  • Learn more about the Programs.
  • Find out if you have an imbalance interfering with your weight loss process with our free Weight Loss quiz.

If you have questions and want to talk to a real woman about how you can lose weight, call us toll-free at 1-800-448-4919. We’re here to listen and help you reclaim your health to feel the way you want to feel — inside and out!

[1] Fuller, Nick. Interval Weight Loss for Life: The Practical Guide to Reprogramming Your Body One Month at a Time. Australia: Penguin Random House Australia, 2018.

Last Updated: November 27, 2022
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