top of page

Struggling to Lose Weight? Why Your Hormones Could Be a Culprit

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Losing stubborn weight goes beyond diet and exercise. Although both are important for helping you to lose weight or maintain a weight you feel good at, your hormones also play a significant role.

women discussing stubborn weight

Hormone imbalances can make weight loss difficult and impact how your body uses and stores fat. So let's take a closer look at some common contributors to stubborn weight gain and how to get rid of that stubborn weight.

Stubborn Weight Gain Causes:

Insulin Resistance:

Insulin is produced in your pancreas and its job is to help us transform sugar from the foods we consume into energy. However, if you are eating a diet that is high in sugar and processed foods your body is forced to continually produce insulin to help regulate your blood sugar. The end result is that over time your body begins to lose its ability to respond effectively and you can develop insulin resistance.

It's also important to note that the extra sugar that is circulating in our bloodstream that doesn't get converted to energy will be stored as fat. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone so keeping it in check is important especially if you are having trouble losing weight.

Thyroid Issues:

Your thyroid can play a key role in your metabolism. It helps to regulate the speed at which you burn calories. If you have a sluggish thyroid, it can be a culprit for stubborn weight gain. Blood tests can pick up thyroid imbalances so it’s super important to get this ruled out if you’re struggling to lose weight despite a healthy lifestyle.

Adrenal Issues:

Being super stressed and busy can mean that stress hormones such as cortisol are constantly being released. High cortisol levels are linked to overeating and weight gain, especially that stubborn weight around the belly.

Estrogen Dominance:

When your estrogen or progesterone levels are out of balance this is referred to as estrogen dominance. Ideally, you want to have a healthy ratio of estrogen and progesterone — if one is higher or lower than it should be, it can quickly affect the other and lead to stubborn weight gain, weight loss resistance and plenty of other unwanted symptoms.

Low levels of estrogen can impact weight, especially as you approach menopause. Low progesterone can also impact weight and can be easily depleted by factors such as stress, birth control pills and menopause.

Leptin & Ghrelin:

Leptin and ghrelin are two more hormones that are heavily linked to appetite.

When your leptin levels are balanced, you feel full after meals. If you're still feeling super hungry even after eating a big meal, leptin may be at least partly to blame.

Leptin levels can be balanced out through diet and exercise. For some people, it may need a bit more than this, especially if you've been eating a ton of unhealthy foods for years and are experiencing Leptin resistance.

Ghrelin is also a super important hormone for keeping appetite in check. Ghrelin stimulates appetite. Under normal circumstances, ghrelin levels fall after eating and rise again when you're hungry. This balance avoids overeating. Not eating enough protein and going overboard on sugary foods and drinks can also affect ghrelin levels.

How To Get Rid Of Stubborn Weight:


The type of food you consume matters - nutrient-dense whole foods will help support healthy hormones so you can hit your happy weight. Focus on fruits and veggies, healthy fats and good quality lean proteins. Not sure where to start? Grab the 3-Day Happy Hormone meal guide with all the recipes.

Of course, it's not realistic to think you are going to give up all the foods you love or completely avoid processed foods but learning how to incorporate them in a balanced way that helps you reach your weight loss goals is essential. We cover all this and so much more inside the Nourish To Thrive Program


Lack of consistently good quality sleep can impact hormones and cause stubborn weight gain as it's perceived by your body as a stressor.

Manage Stress:

If you are eating clean, working out and still not seeing results your body is likely producing too much cortisol and then end result is stubborn weight and most likely other hormone imabalcnes will follow. Add to this that often when we are stressed out, low on sleep and feeling overwhelmed we tend to crave more sugar and carbs.

When you are under chronic stress your body shifts into fight or flight mode and will hang on to the fat as a protective measure, your digestion will be impacted and this may lead to a shortage. of the required enzymes and bacteria needed for the proper absorption of key nutrients.

Here are some tips for where to start with stress management:

  • Prioritize sleep and find time to rest and store

  • Ensuring you are eating enough (low-calorie, restrictive diets can add a lot of stress to oyur body)

  • Eat well-balanced meals that help keep your blood sugar stable. As we discussed dysregulated blood sugar can lead to your body storing fat and can increase cortisol levels.

  • Stop bouncing from diet to diet and start focusing on learning what your body needs to thrive and feel nourished.


Depending on what's going on with your hormones different exercises will and will not be beneficial. For example, if your cortisol is high doing HITT workouts and excessive cardio is actually going to make matters worse. If your thyroid is the issue getting daily movement will be the key to helping get your metabolism going again.

Supplement Strategically:

I see this often with my 1:1 clients inside the Nourish To Thrive -they have cupboards filled with expired supplements, and they have spent a lot of money on green powders and other supplements and are seeing little to no results. That's because what worked for your friend or neighbour might not be best suited to you. For the best results, you need to understand what your body needs, and what nutrients you may be missing if underlying inflammation or hormone imbalances need to be addressed so your body can begin to release the weight and optimize digestion and gut health. Working with a trained practitioner who can pinpoint your needs and strategically add supplements can save you a lot of time and money.

Ready to get some support? We can work together to get to the root cause of your imbalance so that you can spend your energy on the changes that will bring your hormones back into alignment and help you reach your weight loss goals.

Here are some ways we can work together.

Book a complimentary discovery call here. We'll figure out together if a hormone imbalance is getting in the way of reaching oyur weight loss goals.


232 views0 comments


bottom of page