The Hidden Culprit Behind Weight Loss Resistance

“Hormones dictate what your body does with food.”

~ Sara Gottfried

Despite what you’ve been told, that all you need to do is diet and exercise to lose weight, is not entirely true. In fact, the stress brought on by extreme diets and exercise can totally sabotage your efforts and slow down your weight loss. Who knew that the very things we turn to for health and fitness can actually sabotage our weight loss efforts? Talk about irony!

But fear not, for there’s a secret lurking in the shadows of this weight loss maze. It’s not all about counting every single calorie that passes your lips. Turns out, our hormones can play a bigger role in the battle of the bulge than we ever imagined. So, it’s time to focus on these sneaky little hormone critters and show them who’s the boss of this weight loss journey.

What Is Your Thyroid?

Your thyroid, a small endocrine gland nestled in the front of your neck, plays a vital role in how efficiently your body burns food for energy.

But when it’s feeling sluggish, it can’t produce enough hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. This can lead to unwanted weight gain, pesky fluid retention, a cloud of depression, troublesome constipation, and a host of other unwelcome issues.

Culprits To Your Weight Loss Journey

An imbalance in any of these hormones can affect your ability to lose weight:


Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Insulin-resistance means your cells can’t absorb the extra blood glucose that your body makes from the food you eat and when that happens, your liver converts glucose into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction.

Individuals with insulin imbalance usually have the apple-shaped figure.


Your body releases cortisol when you are stressed. But too much over time can wreak havoc, depleting your happy brain chemicals like serotonin to rob your sleep, making you store fat, especially in your belly. When this hormone is out of whack, it disrupts other hormones in your body.

High cortisol is linked to depression, food addiction and sugar cravings.


Estrogen, a crucial female hormone, when dominant, unbalances your body by overpowering its counterpart, progesterone. This hormonal dominance results in a host of symptoms like weight gain, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods. Those with estrogen imbalance usually bear the pear-shaped figure.

Individuals with estrogen imbalance usually have the pear-shaped figure.

How Excess Estrogen Gets Absorbed Into Your Body:

  • Cash receipts
  • Personal hygiene products like cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoo and lotion that contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as parabens, BPA and phthalates.
  • Plastic water bottles containing BPA
  • Fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides can all interfere with your hormones
  • Disposable tampons that contain contaminants that can increase your risk of cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, heart disease and diabetes

Ways To Balance Your Hormones:

  • Avoid all pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
  • Choose organic whenever possible
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and other nasties (or go vegan!)
  • Reduce plastics and definitely don’t use plastic in microwave ovens
  • Use glass or ceramics for food storage
  • Replace plastic bottles with reusable stainless steel water bottles
  • Read your labels and learn what chemicals to avoid such as BPA, parabens, phthalates
  • Manage your stress (meditate, journal, avoid caffeine, take baths, get a massage)

While it may be challenging to avoid these hormone-disrupting substances entirely in today’s world, I believe that education is key. Know how to limit your exposure whenever possible.

Do what you can, when you can.

If you are experiencing weight loss resistance, could hormonal imbalances be the reason?


    Woods, James. “What Does Estrogen Have To Do With Belly Fat?” May 2015 – MenoPAUSE Blog – Gynecology – Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology – University of Rochester Medical Center, 2015,
    Hyman, Mark. “How to Fix Your Hormones and Lose Weight.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 2016,
    Hormone Health Network.”Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals EDCs | Endocrine Society.”, Endocrine Society, 24 June 2020,