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Time and time again, my team of Dietitians and I see clients who are seemingly doing everything “right” and aren’t seeing the weight loss they want. I know how frustrating it is to work so hard and not see results on the scale or in the mirror!

That’s why we always look deeper — beyond just food, calories, and exercise — into the commonly overlooked factors.

Here are three reasons why your body is likely still holding on to those unwanted pounds:

1. Your gut health is impaired. It’s time to take a look at your gut — not what you see in the mirror, but rather what’s happening on the inside. You can be eating all the right foods at all the right times, but if your gut health isn’t up par, even the most nutritious foods may not be broken down or absorbed properly. This might be why your weight is stuck!

When most people think of gut problems, they think of bloating, gas, constipation, heartburn, loose stools…all the unpleasant digestive issues that go along with having an unhealthy gut. Digestive problems are obvious signs that your gut needs some healing work, but you may be surprised to discover that there are several not-so-obvious (but just as important!) red flags for poor gut health.

With our clients, we’ve found solving weight loss difficulties, sugar addiction, brain fog, migraines, anxiety, acne, rosacea, eczema and many other  health ailments are resolved — or at least improved — when we start with the gut. The old saying holds true: “Health begins in the gut.”

After working with thousands of clients, I’ve observed that most of us have varying levels of impaired gut health. Unless you’ve been eating perfectly PFC-balanced your entire life, odds are you’ve had stretches of not-so-stellar eating and lifestyle habits. Plus artificial sweeteners, trans fats, preservatives, pesticides, antibiotics… all of these can wreak havoc on the digestive system and compromise your gut.

Now, just like your gut health can slowly become impaired over years, the healing process also takes time. With our clients it tends to take anywhere from three to six months to a year. That may sound like a long time, but when you compare those few months of healing to the decades of damage it’s repairing, it’s really not that long at all!

There are two main steps to healing your gut:

First, remove inflammatory triggers to stop causing additional damage to your gut. These are foods that directly cause inflammation. Eating PFC-balanced is a huge step in the right direction! I also recommend taking a solid break from eating foods that damage the lining of your gut. Grains, legumes, and heavily processed, refined foods can be hard to digest. These cause perforations in your intestines and chronic inflammation. This means cookies, crackers, bread, pasta and oats are blameworthy. It’s important to work hard at cutting back these foods — at least until your gut heals.

The second step is healing the gut by using anti-inflammatory foods and a few key supplements.

Start eating foods that reduce inflammation and restore healthy gut bacteria.

Bring in the healthy fats — including saturated ones! Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, olives, olive oil, butter, and avocado are important for calming inflammation that has occurred as a result of having poor gut health. These are nourishing, healing fats. Stay away from inflammatory-causing fats like processed vegetable oils like canola, soybean, corn, cottonseed, rapeseed and sunflower oil.

Good fats support many of the body’s critical functions, including protection against toxic overload, strengthening cell membranes (which make the skin more resistant to inflammation), stabilizing blood sugars, and providing a vehicle for your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins, which improves immune function. All of these properties support your gut health.

Another group of foods that help nourish the gut are fermented foods. Fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir are important for replenishing your good gut bacteria. These are naturally high in helpful bacteria. Fermented foods have gone through the process of fermentation, which occurs when bacteria turns carbohydrates into lactic acid. This is a centuries-old technique that cultures all over the world have practiced to increase the nutritive properties of a particular food, enhance flavors, and preserve their favorite produce and meat with the changing seasons. When we eat fermented foods, they replenish and diversify the bacteria in our gut.

Also, taking gut-healing supplements provides the fastest, most effective results for getting on track with good gut health.

I have put the three critical  supplements that we use with our coaching clients into a bundle called the Gut Health Kit. I recommend starting here, and sticking with this regimen for at least three months, but preferably six to twelve.

You can rebuild, repair, and support your gut. Listen to your body, give it time, and nourish it with good, healing nutrition and quality supplements and it will thank you.

2. You’re stressed. I know this one sounds simple and obvious. You may be super tempted to skip this section and read the next one, but HEAR ME OUT. We’ve seen way too many clients work hard for months and months, only to find out that they aren’t able to get to the bottom of their stubborn weight loss UNTIL they release the stress that’s been (quite literally) weighing on them.

Stress is a big deal. It affects all aspects of your health and can sabotage all of your hard work. Yep! Stress can sabotage even the best eating and exercise regimens. Being stressed out causes your body to store fat, even without you eating more, less or differently. When your body is constantly in a state of distress, you can gain weight as a result, no matter how well you’re eating or exercising. So, if you’re trying to be superwoman, both at the office and at home, then it doesn’t surprise me if your waistline is paying the price for it.

There is a huge connection between stress and your weight. Here’s how it works: Cortisol, (your “stress hormone”), releases in response to stress. It raises blood sugar levels, which causes insulin (your “fat-storing hormone”) to come out to do its job of transporting sugar from your bloodstream to your cells, which will be stored as fat, and pack on pounds for you. This means that anytime you’re stressed out, it’s like you’re eating bags of chips and boxes of cookies all day long! Except you aren’t even eating any of those things…but you’re still suffering from similar effects. And all of this happens EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT stress eating. This is how you gain weight when you’re stressed…independent of the food you eat! Stress needs to be taken into consideration and managed in order for you to shed stubborn pounds.

The good news is that you have the power to manage your stress!

I suggest starting by giving yourself 10-15 minutes of transition time between your workday and your evening to read a book, do some journaling, go for a walk, practice yoga, take a bath or just sit quietly. Making the choice to relax for a few minutes each day is a good first step to managing stress and shedding those pounds.

Also, be sure you’re eating healthy foods and that you’re eating enough. When we’re stressed, it can be easy to put nutrition on the back burner. We think that “treating” ourselves with “stress reducing foods,” like chocolate or processed junk food, will help us get through the stress. But what you’re really doing is compounding the problem.

This is very important: make sure you’re not going hungry. If you undereat due to stress, your brain will panic and release that hormone, cortisol, which will compound your stress, and cause inflammation which packs on pounds… yikes! You’ll feel more balanced, and mentally stable, able to make better decisions in the midst of stressful times when you’re fueling your body with PFC every 3-4 hours.

If you’re ready to take it to the next level, take a vacation — a “real” (non-work-related and maybe kid-less vacation!). Taking a vacation was a big answer to several of our clients’ weight loss, and this very well be could be a turning point for you, too. At the same time, while a vacation can be the perfect way to reset, hopping on a plane to paradise isn’t the only option. This is why it’s important to include daily stress management strategies in your life.

3. You need to detox. Regardless of what you eat, if you have a buildup of toxins, your ability to lose weight will be blocked.

The reality is that our environment is full of pollutants and toxins. They inhabit things we touch, eat, drink and breathe. All day. Every day. Under normal circumstances, our bodies would be well equipped to filter out these harmful chemicals. But over time — and especially if we’ve ever followed nutrient-deficient diets that include heavily processed foods — our bodies’ natural processes can’t handle the high volume of exposure. The result is that some of these substances accumulate in our tissue and can lead to headaches, pain, digestive problems, cravings and — you guessed it — stubborn weight that won’t come off.

That’s why it’s important to put your body through a detox every now and then. This supports your body by taking a load off the organs that are responsible for detoxing your body — your liver, kidneys and bowel.

When your body is constantly focusing on trying to eliminate the buildup of toxins and heal the resulting inflammation, it’s energy is depleted and doesn’t have anything else for metabolism and shedding pounds.

That’s why detoxing is crucial when it comes to shedding stubborn pounds. It helps your body reboot, reset, clear out toxins, clean the slate and get back on track so that you can see results — and fast.

Of course detoxing can be a tricky topic because not all detox programs deliver the same results!

Many detox programs actually do more harm than good, because they’re more of a temporary, band-aid approach and don’t promote true healing.  That’s why they get a bad rap (rightfully so) and that’s why I was against them for so long.

The most effective detox is one that is natural, works WITH your body to heal it, cleans out the bad and replaces with good, jump starts your metabolism and provides you with LASTING changes. By replenishing important nutrients and removing stored toxins, you can support your brain power and energy pathways. This is how you start to feel like the Energizer Bunny rather than weighed down and bloated (like perhaps you’ve been feeling).

That’s why I created a step-by-step detox program that is healthy, PFC-balanced, and effective, while comprehensively taking into account every system of your body. This whole-body approach is essential to heal your body from the inside out in a transformative, life-changing way. It’s doable (it’s only 10 days!) and proven effective (we’re dietitians and we’ve put 1000s of clients through this program over the years to speed up results!) and natural and based on real food and nutrients (like everything here at Cassie.net!).

So, if you’re at a plateau with your weight, I encourage you to check out the 10-Day Reset here!  We only run our program a few times throughout the year, so you don’t want to miss it!

This reset program has helped so many people transition from frustration and fatigue with dieting to exciting weight loss, and now it’s your turn for endless energy and shedding those stubborn pounds!

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