Can’t Lose Weight? It May Be Your Metabolism

I see so many people in my practice who are hyper-focused on those pesky numbers on the scale. The bane of their existence is the struggle to hit a certain number that got embedded in their heads as the “perfect size.” Your journey to overall health is just so much more than that. I promise!

Fellow women, the scale should never be your singular focus when you strive to lose weight. What I want you to focus on is the way you feel—inside and out. Actually, I REALLY don’t want you to worry about losing weight AT ALL. Instead, you should focus on loving your body and nurturing it towards optimal health.

So, let’s take a moment to consider (and honor) one of your body’s most amazing processes—a little thing called metabolism.

What is metabolism?

Quite simply, metabolism is the biochemical process by which your body converts what you consume into energy. The calories in food and drinks combine with oxygen to release energy that your body needs to function. Even when at rest our body’s metabolism is at work pumping blood, helping us breathe, growing new cells, and more. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your own unique, powerful, and wondrous body needs to carry out these basic functions. There are several factors that determine your basal metabolic rate which is responsible for 70% of your calorie consumption, including:

  • If you’re male or female: Men typically have more muscle and less body fat than women, so they burn more calories.

  • How old you are: As you age, you lose muscle mass and burn fewer calories.

  • Your body composition and size: Larger bodies with more muscle burn more calories.

Your body also consumes calories when it processes the food you eat through the digestive system, although generally this only accounts for 100 to 800 of your daily calorie burn. And, your physical activity also influences how many calories you burn each day.

What causes metabolism to slow down?

When your body senses a lack of fuel, it puts your metabolism into an energy-saving mode.

Our fat-burning capacity feels sluggish and yucky just as we do when faced with excessive emotions such as stress (stress elevates cortisol in our bodies and competes with testosterone), depression, and anxiety.

Chemical and toxin exposure reduces our thyroid hormone, leading to a slower metabolism. When hormones such as testosterone and thyroid, both integral in recovering and rebuilding muscle after a workout, are low, our bodies don’t have the fuel for weight loss. Your thyroid hormone is also responsible for helping naturally metabolize fat and turn it to energy. If it’s out of whack, your metabolism may be affected, too.

So, what can you do?

Love your body!

Remember to love your body for its power, its grace, its miraculous ability to keep everything on track without you even thinking about it. Focus on being grateful to your body for all that it does for you. You woke up this morning. That’s a gift. It’s truly extraordinary.

Don’t worry about losing weight.

Focus on creating a healthy internal environment to foster your health and your vibrance. If your body is healthy then weight won’t matter because you’ll feel good in your own skin. You’ll be able to savor the moments of your day. Life will be brighter, more delicious, and how it’s meant to be lived.

Don’t let yourself be chained to the scale. Look within!

Now it’s your turn! Tell me in the comments below what you LOVE about your body.

Melissa Esguerra