struggling to lose weight

You’ve eliminated “bad” foods, you watch your portions (or carbs, fats, proteins, sugar), you slashed your calories down to 1200 a day and you even managed to squeeze in some regular workouts…yet you’re still struggling to lose weight.

Sound familiar?

If you’re nodding in agreement, then the first thing you should know is: it’s not your fault.

Truth is a lot of our education about health and weight loss has been led by gimmicks.

Gimmicks like low calorie, low carb, low fat, sugar-free and so on.

At best, these gimmicks provide temporary results that are pretty much impossible for anyone with a pulse to sustain long-term.

So, given all this, is it still possible to lose weight?

Absolutely! And it starts with being aware of some common mistakes that can slow down or prevent weight loss.

Once you know what these potential weight loss roadblocks are, you can take steps to get out of your way.

So, let’s get right to it!

1. Forgetting to Detox

detox smoothies

When you hear the term “detox” do you think fasting, juicing or coffee enemas?

Well, have no worries because that’s not where this is going!

Doing a detox for weight loss isn’t about starving yourself.

Rather, it’s about enjoying a wide variety of foods, drinks and supplements that support your body’s detoxification pathways.

Ideally your detox should last anywhere from 21 to 28 days.

Aside from cleansing the body, a detox offers two major benefits:

  • Lowers inflammation.
  • Improves gut health.

Inflammation is a major cause of weight gain (and obesity), while the gut influences our cravings and impacts hormone regulation (which ties strongly into weight issues).


  • Eat more whole foods. Whether it’s fruits, veggies, beans, grains…enjoy them in their unprocessed form.
  • Use a nutrient-dense, superfood supplement that nourishes and supports important detox organs like the liver, gut and colon. This post on supplements for women gives you a full review of my favorite superfood supplement.
  • Start your day with a glass of water (or lemon water) and make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

2. Neglecting Your Gut

struggling to lose weight gut health

We already talked about how detoxification supports the gut.

But how exactly does the gut affect you if you’re struggling to lose weight?

Well, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Cravings: if you have cravings that you can’t overcome, you should know that it’s actually your gut bacteria that drives cravings. Change the balance of your bacteria and you automatically shift those cravings.
  • Hormone Regulation: whether it’s making hormones or detoxing excess hormones, your gut is involved in both. And since hormones affect weight loss, it’s important to feed your gut the right types of foods.
  • Metabolism: studies show that obese people have more Firmicutes bacteria in their gut. These bacteria are linked to weight gain. On the other hand, people are able to maintain a healthy weight have been found a more diverse mix of gut bacteria.


  • Get more fiber from fruits, veggies, root veggies, beans and grains. They contain prebiotics, which is insoluble fiber that acts as food for your gut bacteria.
  • Add fermented foods and drinks like plain yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha to your diet.
  • Eat healthy fats like coconut oil, which is easy to digest and also great for healing leaky gut.

3. Cutting Out The Wrong Sugars

fruits struggling to lose weight

Once upon a time we had two groups of sugars:

  • natural sugar (from fruits, veggies and natural sweeteners)
  • refined sugar (high fructose corn syrup, refined cane sugar and so on).

Then we were told that sugar is sugar, which then led to natural sugars (particularly from fruits) being demonized.

But here’s the thing: fruit isn’t just sugar. It’s also:

  • High in fiber.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Overflowing with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, selenium, boron, calcium and several dozens of nutrients.
  • Full of enzymes that detoxify the body.

And as for processed sugar, it leads to inflammation, chronic illness, hormones disruption, weight gain…well, you get the idea.

So, if you’re avoiding naturally sweet whole foods, you’re probably making things unnecessarily harder on yourself.


  • Eat at least one whole piece of fruit with each meal. This means a whole pear, apple, peach and so on. Don’t worry about cutting it up to see if it’s worth ½ a cup or some other measure. It’s living food and it’s priceless 🙂
  • Be careful with zero calorie sweeteners because they’re mostly artificial and made with franken-ingredients that you can’t be too sure of.
  • If you’re using any kind of white stevia, ditch it. That’s not real stevia. Stevia leaf is green. You can get the dried leaves or powder from herbalists or through online outlets like Amazon.

4. Not Correcting Nutritional Deficiencies

nutrient deficiencies struggling to lose weight

As weight problems continue to rise in the U.S, nutritional deficiencies are also going up.

For example, studies show that more than 30% of the population is low in magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A (source).

In addition, 9 out of 10 people are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, which is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory nutrients nature has to offer.

As for nutrients like the B vitamins (and vitamin C) they get used up much faster when we face stress (which is very common these days).

Furthermore, with so many of us eating convenient, packaged food, we’re likely not getting enough of nutrients like zinc and glutamine (both of which support a healthy gut).

Now as we’ve already seen in this post, inflammation and gut health affect our weight.

So, it’s important to have a nutrient-dense diet to cover nutritional gaps and speed up the weight loss process.


  • I know you’ve already heard it before, but eat more whole foods. That’s where you good nutrition starts.
  • Take a full spectrum daily multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement to complement your diet. It’s much easier and cheaper than trying to buy a magnesium supplement, then a calcium supplement, then a B vitamin supplement and so on. This post on supplements for women gives you my top recommendations.

5. Avoiding The Wrong Carbs

sweet potatoes struggling to lose weight

Oh carbs!

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s hard to live without them.

Given that carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, it’s ironic (in an Alanis Morissette way) that they’ve received such a bad rep.

What makes carbs ‘good’ or “bad” really boils down to the level of processing.

You see, those “high carb” fruits, veggies and grains are more than just sources of carbs.

They’re also anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, chronic-illness-fighting foods!

As for the white bread, cookies and other convenient carbs, well those are the ones to consume in lower quantities.


  • Embrace root veggies like sweet potatoes because it’s packed with fiber and antioxidants that boost gut health.
  • Add grains like quinoa, brown rice, black rice, red rice, amaranth to your main dishes.
  • Have oatmeal for breakfast or make a delicious rice pudding (and sweeten it with raw honey, shredded coconut and chopped nuts).

6. Overestimating The Importance of Calories


If you’ve been struggling for years or decades to lose weight, then you probably already know that weight loss isn’t as simple as “eat less.”

The truth is, if you look closely at the low calorie or lite foods that are sold in stores, the tend to contain:

  • preservatives
  • thickeners
  • additives
  • artificial sweeteners

These things are all in there in an attempt to make the lite food taste good.

But many of these ingredients are just chemicals that mess with your hormones.

So, it’s no wonder that you can eat lots of so-called “healthy” foods and still end up gaining weight.


  • Do more of your own cooking. That’s the best way to control the ingredients.
  • Read labels. This means look beyond the big “gluten-free, all-natural, organic, sugar-free” labels. Actually go through the ingredients list to make sure other weird stuff hasn’t been injected into the food.
  • Realize that food isn’t just calories. It’s a source of life-generating, disease fighting, live-to-be-100-and-fit nutrients. It takes waaaay more than calories to do all that 🙂

7. Skimping On Fats

struggling to lose weight healthy fats

When you’re trying to burn fat, it’s natural to think that you should avoid eating fat.

And in some ways that’s true…when it comes to processed fats.

However, when it comes to natural fats, you actually want to eat them regularly.

And here’s why…

Healthy fats:

  • Support the liver.
  • Heal conditions like leaky gut.
  • Encourage a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
  • Keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
  • Add flavor to meals and makes your taste buds happy (so you’re less likely to eat other junk food).
  • Are necessary for hormone production.
  • Boost leptin levels (this is the hormone that tells your brain you’re full, so that you don’t end up overeating).


  • Include healthy fats like avocados, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, eggs, olives, ghee, coconut oil in your diet.
  • Cook with coconut oil or avocado oil (save the olive oil for salads since it burns much faster than the other two oils).
  • Use nut butters in smoothies, sauces, desserts and salad dressings.
  • When it comes to animal protein, favor fatty fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon. They’re lean sources of animal protein and contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
struggling to lose weight and how to fix it


By taking a holistic approach that fights inflammation, supports the gut and supports your hormones, you can overcome plateaus and start shedding weight fast.

Now that we’ve covered the 7 things that might be making it hard for you to lose weight, which one(s) apply to you?

Drop a comment below and let’s keep the conversation going 🙂

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Weight Gain Caused By Hormones: How To Reverse It and Lose Weight Easily

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11 Adaptogens For Hormone Balance and Weight Loss