“Weight loss is complex. It’s not just food and exercise,” she wrote in an article for Mindbodygreen. “Other factors, such as hormones, sleep, inflammation, the gut microbiome, medication, unexpressed emotions and genes all influence your ability to lose weight and keep it off.”
Instead, she believes it should read a little more like this:
“Change in body fat = Food + Movement + Hormones + Sleep + Gut Microbiome + Inflammation + Medication + Unexpressed Emotions + Genes.”
Overwhelmed? Us too. But put simply, it’s just a holistic approach to weight loss.
Be it insulin, estrogen, cortisol or the thyroid at play, our hormones have a huge influence over how our body stores fat. How much sleep we get can dictate our diet (from how hungry we get to how much food we consume). An imbalanced gut microbiome can also interfere with these appetite signals and, in turn, slow weight loss. Food sensitivities, mercury intake and medications like depression, can cause chronic inflammation, while unexpressed emotions can result in the body holding on to excess weight.
“The equation should be empowering,” Dana says. “You have the ability to influence all of these factors, except your genes, but genes play the weakest role in the equation because of how your environment acts with them."
So, where to start?
“Identify the most likely reason from this list and get to work on it,” adds Dana. “Sustainable weight loss isn’t always easy, but it’s far better than disliking your body for betraying you or feeling hopeless about your weight.”