Beautiful view of a scenic road in the Canadian Rockies during Fall Season. Taken in Icefields Pkwy, Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

There are some obstacles that are to be considered when maintaining a healthy weight and fit body. We spoke about the tricksters in our last article. These fraudsters make their money through preying on people who have not been properly educated in the field of fitness and nutrition. Another hurdle may be uninformed gym instructors. Many trainers are often under educated. The sad thing is that, folks seeking their counsel to lose fat, gain strength and find useful nutritional advice, are often misguided.

The result is pain and a loss of interest in exercise. They once again face the charlatans, with their one pill wonders. The secret to a slim, strong, healthy body is the knowledge and practise of proper exercise and nutritional habits. Being obese and overweight have other possible causes that may also be a hinderance to your progress. Genetics and heredity may play a part as well as thyroid issues. Hormonal and hypothalamus problems may also contribute. Depression and other psychological issues may also lead to compulsive eating.

Life distresses can also cause a heightened level of cortisol leading to weight gain. If you feel that you fall into these categories, seek medical assessment. The majority of the overweight population will fall into the ”Couch potato” syndrome though. Being 35 and over and unaccustomed to physical exercise will require medical clearance.

Some conditions are medical in nature and can make it extremely difficult to lose the flab.

These are a few:


The thyroid gland produces several hormones that regulate metabolic processes throughout the body. In many people, the thyroid is either overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). If your thyroid is underactive, it may not be producing enough thyroid hormone, which is needed to keep cells functioning throughout the body. If your thyroid slows down, then everything else slows down — including your metabolism. It can be very difficult for people with hypothyroidism to lose weight. They may also experience fatigue, sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, depression, muscle pain, and severe PMS.

Inflammation and cellular damage

Inflammation is an essential function of the body for fighting infections and healing injuries. Chronic inflammation, however, is a dangerous health condition that can be caused by environmental or dietary factors such as prescription medications, smoking, air pollution, and certain foods, including sugar, wheat, and dairy. Chronic inflammation can lead to cellular damage, which in turn impairs normal functioning throughout the body. Both the inflammation and cellular damage need to be addressed in order for weight loss to take place.

Cushing’s syndrome

Elevated levels of cortisol in the body for an extended period of time can also lead to Cushing’s Syndrome, which is characterized by weight gain, especially in the face and upper body, as well as acne, lethargy, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and irregular periods. Cushing’s Syndrome occurs more often in women than in men, particularly in women between the ages of 25 and 40.

Chronic distress and depression

Stress, or a better word may be distress, burns you out and triggers the release of a hormone known as cortisol, which influences many processes throughout the body. If you are living with chronic distress, anxiety, or grief, the result is often high, prolonged levels of cortisol, which can lead to health issues such as a depressed immune system, elevated blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. Chronic distress and depression also often lead to emotional binge eating, which in turn causes weight gain.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms may include acne, excessive facial hair, irregular menstrual periods, thinning hair, difficulty getting pregnant, and unexplained weight gain. Although there is no cure for PCOS, it can often be managed through lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, exercise, and weight management. Keeping PCOS under control helps lower the risk of infertility, heart disease, and uterine cancer

Syndrome X

Weight gain is often inevitable for those suffering from Syndrome X, otherwise known as metabolic syndrome. This refers to a group of health conditions that seem to be related to insulin resistance and diabetes. Doctors mark the syndrome when the individuals have three or more of these :

  • Abdominal obesity. This means having a waist size of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men. A larger waist size is most strongly tied to metabolic syndrome.
  • High blood pressure. This means blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is strongly tied to obesity. It is often found in people with insulin resistance.
  • High fasting blood glucose. This means a level of 100 mg/dL or higher before treatment.
  • High triglyceride level. This means a level of more than 150 mg/dL before treatment. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood.
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol. This means less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women.

Experts agree that several factors are connected to the cause. Obesity plus an inactive lifestyle will add to the risk of developing syndrome x. Other factors are high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. These risk factors often lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. When your body doesn’t respond well to insulin, it affects the function of other hormones throughout the body, including those that help control your metabolism.

Hormonal changes

Some women may find it especially challenging to lose the extra fat because of hormonal changes. Three infamous periods of hormonal change are puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. During menopause, natural hormonal changes may make it more difficult for women to shed excess weight.

Those experiencing any of these issues, must understand that a proper wellness and weight-management program should have the proper medical oversight as well.

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