Are you struggling to lose weight? Are you eating right and exercising, but still not seeing the results you want? Here are a few tips that will help you lose fat, get leaner and get more out of your workouts.

The human body is a complex system, and as you lose weight, you’re altering the way it functions. When you lose weight, your hormones—like insulin, leptin, and thyroid—may be functioning in an abnormal way. This can cause you to feel tired, crave sweets, get cravings for salty foods, and stop losing fat.

What happens when you diet and exercise, have good social support, your psychology is on point ….., but you still can’t lose the fat? So you have to dig deeper physiologically. Next, you need to address the 4 main physiological systems that can hold you back.

Fat loss can be a difficult subject because many factors can limit a person’s ability to lose fat.

  • Physical activity plays an important role.
  • Diet is another important factor.
  • There is a psychology that is a stumbling block for many sports enthusiasts.
  • There is also a social component that many believe plays an important but underestimated role.

But what happens when you diet and exercise, have great social support, your psychology is on point ….., but you still can’t lose the fat?

So you have to dig deeper physiologically.  Next, you need to address the 4 main physiological systems that can hold you back.  These include:

  1. Your oxygen supply system
  2. Your blood glucose management system
  3. Your adrenal system
  4. Your digestive system

Now, I’m going to be completely honest here. 85% of people who follow the exercise, diet, psychological and social components of the fat loss equation get very good results.  In normal physiological situations, the body has no problem releasing fat if the above basic rules are followed.

But there’s always another 15%: People who seem to be doing everything right, but still can’t get rid of their fat.  What about them?

Assuming they are on the right track, they are probably dealing with abnormal physiological situations where fat loss is difficult because the body is not functioning properly.

It’s like planting a garden. Sunlight and water are necessary for the growth of the garden, just as diet and exercise are necessary to lose fat.  But even with all the sunlight and water in the world, your garden will not grow if the soil is not healthy.

In other words: You can diet and exercise as much as you want, build a strong social support system and keep your mind clear.  But if your body – your floor – isn’t working properly, your weight loss program won’t work properly either.

So let’s dig a little deeper and discuss the top 4 physiological situations that can prevent you from losing fat.

Fat Loss Barrier #1 Oxygen supply system

The cells in your body function primarily with two substances: Oxygen and glucose.  If any one of them is deficient, hundreds of trillions of cells in your body will not function properly.


The cells in your body produce something called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate.  ATP is your body’s main source of energy and allows every cell in your body to do what it does.  Without ATP, nothing goes right.  In fact, a decrease in ATP production is one of the characteristics of the aging process.

Although many nutrients contribute to the production of ATP, oxygen is one of the most fundamental components.  If your cells don’t get enough oxygen, nothing in your body can function properly….. including weight loss.

In conventional medicine, a decrease in the ability to deliver oxygen to cells is often called anemia, a condition that refers to a quantitative and/or qualitative deficiency in the ability of red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the tissues and organs of the body.

Although a full discussion of anemia and your body’s inability to oxygenate your cells is too long for this chapter, you can start by asking your doctor for a standard blood test, which should include red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, MCV, MCH, iron, ferritin, and transferrin.

For more information on this topic, including an important video on blood chemistry, click here.

Fat loss barrier #2: Blood glucose monitoring system

Balancing blood sugar levels is at the heart of almost every diet book, from the Pritikin diet to the Atkins diet. And for good reason: Unbalanced blood sugar levels are the cause of many health problems, including obesity.

When it comes to balancing blood sugar, there are two options for simplicity:

  1. Insulin resistance – chronically high blood sugar levels
  2. Hypoglycemia – fluctuating blood glucose levels – sometimes high, sometimes low.

Both imbalances lead to high insulin levels.

Insulin resistance

In the case of insulin resistance, glucose can no longer enter the cell efficiently. Since blood sugar does not enter the cells in sufficient quantity, it remains in the general circulation and does not accumulate. As a result, the body produces greater amounts of insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream, leading to even greater disruptions in metabolism.


In people who are prone to hypoglycemia, periods of hypoglycemia, and thus insulin spikes, are more likely than chronically high levels. In hypoglycemia, epinephrine is often used to raise blood sugar levels, causing a sudden increase in glucose and insulin.  The following table lists some of the symptoms associated with each imbalance.

Hypoglycaemia sensitivity Tendency to develop insulin resistance
Feels better after eating postprandial sensation
Sugar cravings before meals Sugar cravings after meals
May have difficulty falling asleep at night May have difficulty falling asleep at night

Insulin spikes cause many problems. You can read more about them here.  Blood sugar imbalances are usually detected by a routine blood test performed by your doctor.

Fat Loss Barrier #3: Adrenal system

The adrenal glands are the body’s main defense against stress.

When the adrenal glands are activated, they produce a number of hormones that help the body deal with acute and chronic stressors.  One of these hormones is cortisol.

The main function of cortisol is to raise blood sugar levels so that your brain, muscles and organs have enough fuel to cope with a stressful situation.  Problems arise when stress becomes chronic.

Chronically high cortisol levels increase blood sugar, which in turn increases insulin levels.  Among other things, this prevents you from burning fat, no matter what sports or diet program you follow.

In today’s society, there are many chronic stressors, including mental/emotional stress, food hypersensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, infections (parasitic, bacterial), excessive exercise….. In short, anything that is perceived as a stressor for the body.

The most effective method of assessing adrenal function is the salivary adrenal test. This test uses four saliva samples over the course of the day and assesses salivary cortisol and DHEA levels.

Most holistic and integrative doctors perform this test, and you can learn more about it and adrenal physiology here.

Fat loss barrier #4: Gastrointestinal system

Proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system is essential for overall health and well-being.  In fact, we need to start taking care of our gut if we want to lose weight.

How do you know if you have a disorder of your digestive system?  Any of the following symptoms may indicate gastrointestinal problems:

– flatulence
– belching after eating
– poor digestion (feeling like a brick in the stomach after eating)
– undigested food in stool
– stinky stool
– constipation
– diarrhea
– heartburn
– bad breath
– nausea

Hormonal imbalances, migraines, allergies, eczema and autoimmune diseases are also associated with the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastrointestinal disease can virtually ruin your chances of losing weight. Whether it’s a weakened immune system, unbalanced stress hormones, altered sex hormones or blood sugar disorders, many of these problems originate in the gut.

One of the best ways to stop the vicious cycle related to the digestive tract is to control inflammation and identify food sensitivities. A strict elimination diet for 3-6 weeks has helped countless people get rid of their gastrointestinal problems.  Consult your doctor for more information or visit this link to learn more about the many ways our gastrointestinal system affects the rest of our body.


Contrary to what you may hear, fat loss is NOT about dieting and exercise.   Physiology plays a very important role.  And today our physiology is more disturbed than ever before in human history.

If your diet and exercise aren’t working for you, do yourself a favor and take care of your garden.  The better your physiology works, the healthier you will be and the better your program will work for you.

About Dr. Walsh’s book Fat is not your fault

Dr. Walsh’s new program is designed for people who are doing everything right, but whose health and body composition are not optimal.  All because of an underlying physiological problem.   Fat Not Your Fault contains everything you need to review and resolve the most common but under-explained hormonal and basal health issues.   If you think you have an abnormal physiology and want to find out, the book Fat Not Your Fault is for you.

More information

Do you want to be in the best shape of your life and stay that way forever? Discover the following 5-day body transformation courses.

The best part? They are completely free.

To view the free courses, click on one of the links below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What prevents fat loss?

The main reason for fat loss is a caloric deficit. This means that you are burning more calories than you are taking in. What causes fat gain? The main cause of fat gain is a caloric surplus. This means that you are taking in more calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.

Why am I not losing fat when I exercise and diet?

You may be eating too many calories.

Why is it so hard to lose fat?

It is hard to lose fat because it is difficult to burn more calories than you consume.

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