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Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

After starting a new diet or exercise program, the first thing that people do is head for the scale with high hopes of a decrease in bodyweight. Some people’s efforts yield successful weight loss results, but many others don’t seem to budge the scale. They are left frustrated, wondering why their hard work and newly adopted healthy habits have not paid off. So what’s up?


Depending on the diet, it’s possible that portions are too large, exceeding the number of calories that you should be eating. It might be time to stop eyeballing and start measuring correct portion sizes. If you are regularly exercising and not losing weight, you may not be working out as hard as you think you are, i.e. not maintaining a consistent heart rate to assist with weight loss. What if you followed your dietary and workout programs exactly as they were detailed? Your program may not be inhibiting your weight loss; rather, the culprit may be an underlying health condition or medication.


Medical Explanations For Weight Gain:

A number of health conditions can make it difficult to lose weight. On top of that, the medications that patients are prescribed for their health conditions can also contribute to weight gain. This can put a patient in a no-win situation. A doctor may suggest that a patient lose weight to improve his or her condition, but that same doctor will prescribe medication, which can inhibit weight loss, to the patient. According to various studies, the following conditions are most likely hindering weight loss.



When the thyroid is underactive, the body cannot produce enough thyroid hormones to burn fat that is stored in the body. A person with hypothyroidism typically has a slower metabolism, and that means that he/she is storing more fat than he/she is burning. This is especially true for people who don’t exercise and people who eat unhealthily.


Cushing’s Syndrome:

Cushing’s syndrome is the result of prolonged exposure to cortisol, which is made in excess by the adrenal glands. The condition is typically characterized by a fatty hump between the shoulder blades, purple stretch marks on the skin, and a rounded face. This condition commonly results in weight gain, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, and high blood pressure.



Depression affects each person differently. Some people decide not to eat and become wildly malnourished, while others resort to food to ease emotional distress. It is also common for people with depression to avoid exercise, due to the lethargy associated with the condition.


Hormonal Changes In Women:

As hormonal shifts begin to happen in women, they can find it difficult to lose weight, or they may find that they gain weight with ease. These hormonal shifts can occur at puberty, during pregnancy, and before, during, or after menopause.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

Affecting roughly five million adult women in the United States, PCOS is a disease that stems from hormonal imbalance. Most women with PCOS experience irregular menstrual bleeding, weight gain not caused by excessive eating, thinning hair, or difficulty getting pregnant.


A Prescription For Weight Gain?

As we mentioned earlier, medications can contribute to weight gain or prevent you from losing weight. According to a medical doctor at the Scripps Clinic of Nutrition and Metabolism Research Center in San Diego, California, 25% of his patients take medications or have conditions that lead to weight gain. The reason for weight gain may be attributed to the fact that certain medications lower metabolic rate and increase appetite. Other medications can increase hormones that store fat. Common medications that lead to weight gain can include:

  • Beta-blockers (for high blood pressure or other heart conditions)
  • Antidepressants
  • Birth control pills
  • Medications like sulfonylureas (for type 2 diabetes)
  • Corticosteroids (for conditions like lupus or asthma)
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Antiepileptics (taken to control seizures)


It may be beneficial to switch to a plant-based diet and focus your dietary efforts on real food to obtain essential nutrients. Processed foods, meats, dairy products, and other junk foods can often worsen your health condition and lead to weight gain. A vegan or raw vegan diet may improve your overall health, condition, and you may even start to see your efforts reflected on the scale. Remember, everyone is different and some people may experience more visual transformations without shedding a lot of pounds. The number on the scale doesn’t mean that you are not making progress! Check your waist size. Is it smaller? Appreciate the forward strides and maintain your willpower!


If you think that your condition or medication may be preventing you from losing weight or causing you to gain weight, consult with your medical professional to see what other options are available. Above all else, don’t give up on getting in shape. It may be difficult, but this shouldn’t deter you from leading a healthier lifestyle.





Related Questions

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    Q: Thank you for your responds to my letter. The reason why I want to gain weight is for a health reason not for looks. Society has nothing to do with me gaining weight. I'm 5'11 1/2" almost 6' and my weight is 137 lbs. Now to me I'm underweight for what I used to weight in my 20s. I was 150-160 lbs then but as I'd reached my 30s and having a lot of stress weigh down on me my eating habit as well my weight decrease to 120 - 130 lbs. So as you can see I had lost about 30-40 lbs. So yes I want to gain my weight so I can be happy and healthy. I understand that "gaining weight is gaining waste" if you are doing for the society or physical appearance. But that's not what I'm looking for, I'm doing it for my health. So if there a way for me to put the weight on; do you have a suggestion. I will appreciate it if not then thank you for taking the time to read my letters.



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    Q: I want to start the raw food diet, but do not want to lose weight has i am under weight already. I need tips to gain or at least maintain my weight. I do lift weights as part of my exercise routine.


    Thanks for the question,

    Losing "weight" on a raw foods diet is a definite probability. But the weight might be excess fat and water retention due to detoxing. By weight I am assuming you are talking about muscle. It is not that complicated to keep muscle while on a raw food diet. The Vegan Effect diet program I created is 60-90 percent raw. Raw before dinner if that helps. I allow myself one cooked meal a day. For the most part the diet is a Low fat/high carb/high fruit/high alkaline diet. 

    The most important thing to remember is getting enough calories. My athletes (including raw body builders) typically eat 1000 calories of fruit for breakfast in the form of a green smoothie. Usually post workout. You need to eat roughly 3000 calories to maintain or grow muscle mass. Some of my mass building athletes eat as much as 5000 calories. Albeit at a higher fat ratio than our standard 70/10/20 carb/fat/protein ratios. 

    Please refer to my blog on building muscle ona vegan diet found here: http://the-vegan-effect.healthcoach1.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2012/05/building-muscle-on-vegan-diet

    There is a raw organic food bar with 22 grams of protien that can be found here http://www.organicfoodbar.com/products/. *Note: I am not affiliated with them nor do I sell any supplements*. It is however a great bridge to meals. 

    Besides getting enough calories make sure you are getting around 20 grams of protein 5 times a day to maintain muscle mass. Sprouting beans, nut butters, seeds, and nuts help.

    I run a 6 month online health coahcing program that includes lessons on sports nutrition and include a individualized fitness plan. I am currently running a ridiculous half off special to fill spots. If you are interested visit www.theveganeffect.com and contact me there.


    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT VLC BMI

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    Q: I have recently had my whole thyroid gland removed due to cancer. My doctor has put me on Synthroid (150mcg) due to hypothyroid. I've gained about 20-25 lbs and I'm considering in purchasing your weight loss package ($165). However, I would like to know if you would recommend this product for someone like me with this kind of condition? Also, I've had several individuals and doctors tell me that my weight will not come off until my medication is at the right level and my body gets adjusted to the medication. Therefore, any diet and/or medication for weight loss will be ineffective. Please advise.


    You have a choice to make if you are still planning on taking medication (drugs) while taking herbs. If you are going to take herbs and drugs at the same time you are defeating the purpose. Herbs nourish and cleanse while drugs pollute and toxify. You have a choice to make.

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    Q: Hello, I've always heard that people can't "Spot loose" when it comes to weight, however, I've done it but don't really know what it was that cause the "spot weight" lose. My question and dilemma is: I tend to gain weight in my breast area and mid section but no where else. I am apple shaped. I know it isn't good for the heart and I want to loose mostly my breast. What would you recommend eating or not and what type of exercise would you recommend. Thank you!


    Spot losing is a myth or sorts. I'm not saying it can't happen but it's highly unlikely and completely uncontrollable. Your body picks and chooses where it gains/loses weight and they are not always in the same spots. Some people gain weight proportionately and some gain it in certain spots (hips, thighs, breasts, belly). I do get asked this question a lot from women "How do I lose weight in my gut or hip area but not in my breast?". The truth is that there is no real answer for that.  Your own spot loss was probably just luckiness and apararently exactly where you needed it to.

    As far as eating is concerned nothing causes the body to fat more than these two things. One is a high nutrient density, high alkaline, high raw, low fat, vegan diet. The other is juice fasting. Both are extremely helpful.

    Foods know and studied to cause weight loss are beans, greens, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, raw apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, and fruits and veggies. Noe of which have been conclusive in causing the body to lose fat in certain spots of the body.

    I run a highly successful health, nutrition, and fitness coaching company. I have coached many people to a vast number of health goals. Weight loss is one of my specialties. My 6 month program is designed to give people all the tools they need to reach their goals. My six month program includes lessons on weight loss, juice fasting, alkalinity, meal planning and meal timing, and also comes with a 90 day fitness plan. To see if my program is right for you fill out this health form found here (http://the-vegan-effect.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/forms) and claim your free first consultation.

    The best and most efficient exercises for weight loss are cardio exercises. That is however only part of the equation. Learning how to interval train is your most efficient way to burn fat. You may burn more fat at 60 percent of your maximum heart rate but if you interval train where you change your intensity and heart rate you burn more calories in less time and more fat. Also with low intensity cardio the burn effect ends when you end your training as where interval training keeps your metabolism stoked for hours after training maximizing your burn.

    Here is an example of interval training

    4:30 seconds warm up (moderate speed)

    30 seconds sprint

    4:30 seconds recovery (moderate speed)

    30 seconds sprint

    4:30 seconds recovery (moderate speed)

    Continue intervals for anywhere from 20-30 minutes

    The second best way is to do high rep, low - moderate weight exercises. Circuit training where you go from one exercise to another with as little as 30 seconds rest in between sets.

    Here is an example:

    Jumping jacks 1 minute

    Crunches 1 minute

    Pushups 1 minute

    Squats 1 minute

    3 sets of 12 alternating lunge to shoulder press

    3 sets chest press x 12

    3 sets of bent over rows x 12

    3 sets of bicep curls

    3 sets of triceps extensions

    1 minute of jump squats

    1 minute of Lunge and press

    You want to focus more on exercises that move more than one muscle. Focus on compound exercises (squats, pushups/chest press, pull-up/lat pull downs). Also focus on exercises that make you move like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees.

    Hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT

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    Q: I would like know do your WEIGHT RELEASE FORMULA really help to lose weight. Also, will I be able to use this product with my medication (such as high platelets medicine)?


    Yes the Weight Release helps you to maintain reduced weight! We don't recommend the use of herbs with drugs/medication (poisons). Herbs cancel out poisons!

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    Q: Hello I would like to have information about weight loss. I would like to know if there is a pill that makes an individual loss weight like only 10-15 pounds.... will the weight release (loss) work or should I purchase another type. I have a little bit of fat above and below my abdominal area. I am 41 years old. I will purchase the green tea too...what can you recommend I do not want to spend a lot of money.


    We would recommend you purchase the Weight Release Formula, Bowel Motion, which are under $50 total. To achieve the best results, we suggest you improve your diet while on the formulas.

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    Q: I recently completed the Full Body Detox, which I loved. Now, 2 months later, I am very interested in the weight release program. Last year, I lost 40 lbs in 8 months, in the most healthy way (good nutrition and exercise). This year, I slowly started gaining weight back, and 1 year later, I continue to gain weight much more quickly. I am still working out regularly, and eating well. Would you recommend the Weight Release Kit? I am looking to take off 20 lbs at the most. Is that realistic for this formula? However, I want to build muscle and strength as well. Can I maintain the results of the program with the directed nutrition plan, and add white meat for protein (chicken, turkey, tuna). I am also wondering if the formulas simply release excess weight, or can I expect to lose inches and lower my body fat percentage? Thanks for your time and dedication to natural health!


    Glad to hear about your success with the Full Body Detox!

    I would highly recommend the Weight Release Kit and Regimen. NO MEAT though! Try vegan alternatives if you must have something - but no meats!

    You will release weight (waste)! Your weight is nothing but waste!

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    Q: What herbal product should I use in place of the prescribed medication for an STD. Also I have a hard time gaining weight. My metabolism is really fast and prevents me from gaining any weight. Is there anything to help me gain weight?


    Recommendation: FULL BODY DETOX followed by ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMEN. Read MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL e-book during healing period. Highly recommended! We'll deal with weight issue in next step of your healing process.

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    Q: Does using 3/4 tsp of senna powder with 1tsp of metamucil cause weight gain? I have been doing this regime for over 5 years every morning. My intestinal health is wonderful----and although I have rediculous eating habbits and have now started excercing properly at the age of 42, I was wondering could this have contributed. I weighed 195lbs 7 years ago and now I weigh 248lbs. I have a goal to drop 60 pounds by August of 2008. My height is 5'10"


    Senna helps one to release weight, not gain it! You should give our FULL BODY DETOX followed by our 10-DAY SUPREME COLON CLEANSE a try!

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    Q: I would like to know if the WEIGHT RELEASE FORMULA helps you lose weight and also does this supplement comes with a diet plan.



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    Q: I am a 50 year old male, 5'10" 190lbs, and in excellent physical condition. I want to detox but I am concerned about the weight loss...I don't want to lose any weight. Is it possible to do the Full Body Cleanse and lose only a minimal amount of weight? Also, I am a physical training and self-defense instructor at a police academy. How will the Full Body Cleanse affect my energy level?


    Go to our site and read the article "I'm Thin -- Will I Lose Weight Performing the FBD?"  In fact, cleansing can greatly improve energy levels! We can't harm ourselves by doing what the body requires. Your body will only lose weight if it needs to. 

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    Q: I am struggling with a weight problem. I have tried everything that I could afford. Looks like everything come in capsules which I have problems swallowing. Do you have something I could try for weight? I'm a very stressed depressed over weight woman that tries very hard. Doctors want to send me to weight loss places and programs which I can't afford. I heard about the product advertised on the radio. I thought I would read up on it.



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    Q: I am getting ready to purchase the FULL BODY DETOX my concern is the weight gain. Do you have a product to help gain weight? Also what product to you recommend for the skin? I continue to get black circles around the eye area.



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    Q: I have completed the FULL BODY DETOX and I have to say IT IS FABULOUS! My Doctor and I decided that it would be a good idea to do as I was diagnosed with Asthma in March, was prescribed prednisone to control my lung spasms which caused kidney stones and numerous cysts on my ovaries and in my breasts not to mention the 30 lb unhealthy weight gain. We are both VERY pleased with the results, lower blood pressure, healthy weight loss of 26 lbs, the shrinkage of the cysts by more than 2 mm each, easier breathing, and so on and so on :+} She was so impressed She asked for the website so she could order it too along with several of my co-workers and friends. I would like to remain healthy and keep my asthma at bay. I would like to know what would be good for long term health - I am 51 and menopausal so hot flashes and night sweats are here at least for the moment! I also would like to know if you have Lobelia in a capsule form for my asthma, I hear it works wonders. THANK YOU FOR THE RESCUE!


    Thanks for sharing your success with our product! I would suggest a daily regimen (3 capsules each) of MUCUS BUSTER FORMULA, RESPIRATORY CLEANSE AND REGIMEN , and LUNGS-RESPIRATORY TEA . I'd also perform the RESPIRATORY CLEANSE AND REGIMENat least once a year.

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    Q: I have been bleeding since 4/13/08. I desperately need help. Is there an herb you could recommend that I take? I had to stop working because of my dizziness and lack of energy. At this time I can't afford a whole lot due to my financial situation. I am 26 and have been a vegan for 6yrs. And I am 40lbs over weight. Two years ago I had problems with my right foot (my arch). This is really when my menstrual problems started. The weight gain, irregular bleeding, and digestive problems. It has being on going ever since. I am from Liberia. Came to the U.S in 2000. Please help me.



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    Q: I would like to know the safest and the FASTEST way to loss weight. I have tried almost everything, like exercise, but I always overdue myself, or it just doesn't work. My height is 5'6", weight is 180.6, and my age is 15. Im a 10th grader at my school, and I'm tried of being put down by everyone I meet. And my family is moving soon, and I'm afraid of what my new classmates will say. So I was wondering what you would advise.


    I am sorry to hear of your plight. There are many ways to lose weight fast. Not all of them healthy. In fact most are not. 

    The three best ways to lose weight are

    1: High raw/high carb/low fat/nutrient dense diet plan

    2: Juice fasting/detoxing/cleansing (average 1 pound per day loss)

    3: Staying active


    Three books that may help you out get onto the right path (until I get mine published) are

    1: "The beauty detox solution" by Snyder

    2: "Crazy sexy diet" by Karr

    3: "The paradigm diet" by Dave


    I run my own online health/nutrition/fitness coaching company called "The Vegan Effect" I have helped many lose tons of weight. My one client lost 50 lbs in 60 days!! I would love the chance to work with you. My program is essentially a course in health that empowers people to reach all their lifes goals. If my program is something that you would like to participate in let me know. I do a free initial consultation over skype. 

    As far as juice fasting is concerned, although it is incredibly effective please do your research, watch "Fat, sick, and nearly dead", consult a nutritonal professional, and make sure you can juice your own juice. Do not attempt juice fasting on store bought juice.

    Let me know if there is anything else you need to know. I hope my answers were sufficient enough. 


    -Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Good morning. I tried the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN and followed the diet. I must say that I am amazed at how good I feel. Energetic and focused but alas, I only lost 3 pounds in the 3 weeks. I am 5'5 and currently at 181 pounds. My body is extremely resistant to weight loss. I have done several different types of detox including the IZO juice cleanse in the last year and had not lost weight. I don't even seem to respond to a very low calorie diet. I do have elevated liver Enzyme levels and a recent blood test showed low B6 vitamin and not proper protein digestion. I exercise 3 times a week and I eat rather health and mostly organic. Please HELP. Thanks


    This means that your body focused on another area that was of more importance than weight release. your mind wanted weight reduction but your body intelligence focused on something else. Go with the flow of the body intelligence and trust it. You apparently have an energetic block that prevents you from physically releasing weight (since you've tried other programs). Consider scheduling a consultation so we can get at the energetic/emotional root of your problem. Simply stop worrying about "losing" weight. Focus on what you desire (to see yourself in the size you desire). Don't focus on what you don't want (i.e. to lose weight).

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    Q: I have a fried who was told he has a heart murmur, and a small hole in his heart that is leaking. He needs to get surgery to get the whole closed up, or else it can get worst. He has severe chest pains, and his right shoulder hurts him constantly. They say it is because no blood is pumping to his arm at a steady rate because of his heart. He does not have health insurance and wants to avoid the medications and surgery. He has lost weight so what do you recommend? Full Body Detox? The only thing with that is it says you will lose 10-50 pounds he cant afford to losse to much weight. Could you explain? And would this help him a great deal? Also me personally would like to do the Full Body Detox just for overall health reasons and it seems to be a great cleanse. Im only 120 pounds will this make me loose a lot of weight? I cant afford it either. Please advise.


    Please read the article "I'm Thin, Will I Lose Excess Weight During the Detox." Visit our articles section. You guys have nothing to worry about. You will only release weight if you NEED to do so. Just read the article for more insight and understanding. The Full Body Detox and drinking the Hearty Heart tea will tremendously help your friend. He needs to do something and fast though.

    I'm Thin! Will I Lose Excess Weight During the Detox?

    Product Links:
    Full Body Detox
    Hearty Heart Tea

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    Q: I received the herbs I ordered from you - thanks so much! I have a couple of questions about them. My husband will be taking the Adrenal Glands Complex - it says to take three capsules/day - should they be taken all at once or one at three different times? Also, for the full body cleanse: Having done detox programs before where I eat mainly fruits, juices, and salads, I am a bit concerned about losing weight. I have been a vegan for 3 three years (50-75% raw), am already at the low end of normal weight for my height (using BMI), and do not particularly want or need to lose weight. Do you have any suggestions?


    1. The Adrenal Glands Complex should be taken all at once (3 capsules at once is better) though he is free to spread the capsules out throughout the day.

    2. Your body will only lose the amount of weight that it needs do. If your body does not need to, it will not. The Cleanse only performs to restore your body to its optimal weight and state. Also, on our Full Body Cleanse, you are able to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts and seeds as you wish. Have plenty of healthy fats like avocado and coconut products  for more sustenance.

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    Q: Hi, I'm a 36 year old African/American woman with 4 children whose been trying to lose weight off and on for the past 16 years. I lose the weight but then I gain it right back after I go off of my diet. I know that I need a good body/colon cleanse, but what I need to learn how to do is to eat the right food's to keep my body healthy. I've been conditioned to eat the foods that I do eat, I need to know how do I go about "de-programming" myself from the bad food's and program myself to want and crave the healthy one's? I'm open to any suggestion's you have, even using crystals and meditation. Thank you.


    Time is limited here in "Ask the Herbalist" so I humbly request you consider a full length health consultation. However, I can tell you that you'd greatly benefit from a FULL BODY DETOX Cleanse.