Why Can’t I Lose Weight? – Part Two

December 23, 2017
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

(Read Part One here)

There’s more to losing weight than meets the eye.

When you’ve counted every calorie, cut out all of your favorite foods and exercised until every muscle is sore, and the scale still doesn’t budge, it’s time to do the detective work to find the hidden causes holding you back from your progress and success. But there’s more – once you find the problems, you need realistic solutions to fix them. In this second half of the top ten reasons I’ve found why you can’t lose weight, I won’t just help you identify the problems, I’m giving you the action plan I promised to help you reach your weight loss goals.

 6. Your Thyroid is Sluggish

Is your tired thyroid to blame for your weight gain? If so, you are far from alone. According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million people in the US suffer with thyroid disease, and here’s the kicker – 60 percent of these people are unaware they have the condition. Major symptoms of low thyroid function include fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland sitting at the base of your throat, calling the shots on your metabolism. A sluggish thyroid leads to a lowered metabolism and this causes weight gain. Overcoming thyroid disease is more than just taking a prescription pill; it’s about finding the root causes of your overloaded thyroid, and stoking that furnace to wake up your fat-burning metabolism.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Everything in your body is interrelated and interconnected – what causes problems in one part of the body often extends to another. Your thyroid health is connected to your digestion, your sex hormones, your immune system, your adrenals, and so much more. So it should come as no surprise that the causes of thyroid sluggishness can include viruses, stress, adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, poor quality bile, missing minerals, a destructive diet, and a messy microbiome.

 7. A Messy Microbiome

Your microbiome has so many important functions in the body that some experts refer to it as an organ. Your body is home to trillions of microorganisms that live on and within your body. They outnumber your own human cells 10 to 1. This bacterial collective is known as your microbiome, and probiotics are your bacterial BFFs living within this community.

Bacteria have been given a bad rap; there are plenty of the good guys who help you digest and absorb nutrients, and manufacture life-sustaining enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and brain chemicals. Your probiotic BFFs “take out the trash” by removing toxins and waste products from your system, too. Your microbiome also helps to control hormone and blood sugar levels (including thyroid hormones), promote quality sleep, influence hunger hormones, and regulate stress. And last but certainly not least, these bacteria have epigenetic properties, which means they have the ability to turn certain genes on and off – including the genes that affect metabolism and weight gain. Won’t it be great to have more “skinny” bacteria?

Making the Mess

Unfortunately, most people today have a mess of a microbiome, wreaking havoc and causing inflammation, which leads to obesity. Taking antibiotics kills off the good guys along with the bad guys, allowing candida yeast and other unwanteds to overgrow; the way you were born – c-section or vaginal – determines which bacteria you start life colonized with, and how much; and the quality of your diet affects the bacterial diversity in your microbiome.

 8. The Parasite Problem

Parasites can make you fat. In 2006, researchers at Penn State found a correlation between parasites harbored by dragonflies and a metabolic condition they had very similar to obesity in humans. Researchers believe that similar parasitic developments in humans may be a cause of insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity.

Yes, it can happen to you – even if you’ve never traveled, your house is spotless, and you wash your hands before every time you cook and eat. In random stool tests, 1 out of every 3 people in the US has been found to have at least one parasite, and I believe that number should actually be higher because of the inaccuracy of testing that’s commonly done. Unless the test includes DNA identification, then it may only have a 10% accuracy based on a study done of diagnostic labs in the US. Unfortunately, parasites frequently go either undetected, unsuspected and unrecognized.

Common sources of parasites include contaminated drinking water, daycares, restaurant dining, raw and undercooked food, microwaved food, pork, pets, and travel. Your body has natural defenses against parasites in the form of healthy levels of stomach acid and healthy, free-flowing bile.

 9. Congested Bile

Your body’s brilliant bile is one of the best-kept secrets to better health. When the liver cleanses your body, it dumps all the toxic waste products into the bile, which then carries those toxins out of the body to be eliminated. When you are constipated or your liver is congested and fatty, the bile can’t flow the way it needs to, and detoxification is impaired. This means these toxins need a place to go, so your body shuttles them into the fat cells for storage, until you’re able to eliminate them. This is a cause of weight gain.

When bile flows freely, it fights off candida and parasitic infections, and also breaks down fats for digestion. Gallbladder issues, candida, parasites, constipation, poor fat digestion, low energy, and weight gain are all signs of a bile problem. By the time allergies, arthritis, and inflammation in joints and muscles develop, there’s already a 75% bile deficiency. With cancer and chronic illness there is a 90% deficiency in bile.

I could write enough about bile to fill an entire book, but instead I’ll leave you with one more important feature of this liquid gold. Healthy bile breaks down estrogen for removal from the body. When bile is congested, estrogen gets reabsorbed. This leads to estrogen dominance. Too much estrogen causes water retention, hypothyroidism, and an increase in body fat. Estrogen also increases cholesterol levels in the bile, which results in thickened bile fluid – a vicious cycle that ends with you gaining weight.

 10. Missing Magnesium

Magnesium improves almost all the hidden weight gain factors. When magnesium is missing, it can’t regulate the hormones responsible for metabolism, so fat burning slows down and the pounds pile on. Magnesium actually promotes metabolism in more than 300 different ways, including the actual act of burning calories.

Magnesium helps turn food into fuel; for every molecule of sugar you eat, it takes 54 molecules of magnesium to break it down. Stress also uses up magnesium stores at a rate faster than they can restock. Between stress and sugar, it’s no wonder estimates are 90% of Americans are magnesium deficient.

Magnesium is the “master relaxer.” Signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle tension, anxiety, constipation, heart palpitations, depression, fatigue, asthma, fibromyalgia, leg cramps, high blood pressure, migraines, unstable blood sugar, weight gain, insomnia, and more. A dose of 400-1000mg of Mag-Key magnesium per day is one of the first supplements I recommend to my clients because in our toxic, stressful world we burn through it faster than we can store it.

Fat Flush to the Rescue!

All of my top ten hidden causes of weight gain, from unhealthy fat intake to missing magnesium, are addressed in the New Fat Flush Plan, which is the reason it’s been so successful for more than 15 years now. It’s always been my goal to stay on top of current research, and incorporate this into my Fat Flush family of plans. In light of recent cutting-edge research, I’ve created a streamlined QuickStart, to stoke your built-in fat-burning furnace and rev up your metabolism.

I’m excited to announce the launch of my new Fat Flush QuickStart Plan, your guide to a radical metabolism. The QuickStart is a simple, easy-to-follow 2-week program designed to help you:

  • Shed 7-12 unwanted pounds
  • Trim 2-5 inches off
  • Break your plateau and end weight loss resistance
  • Reduce food stress
  • Cleanse your system of toxins and waste
  • Boost your mitochondria – those cell-level energy powerhouses
  • Accelerate fat burning with the right fats
  • Rev up your metabolism by jumpstarting your thyroid

You’ll start each day with a supercharged Energy Blaster with your favorite organic coffee added in; lunch is a filling, creamy frappe, and dinner is a Fat Flush-style delicious meal full of high quality protein, skinny fats, and your favorite vegetables. You’ll feel full, even on the days you are doing Intermittent Fasting to supercharge your metabolism. There are plenty of ways to shake things up and keep your meals fresh, healthy and on plan – even with your busy, on-the-go lifestyle.

Join me for our 2-week challenge, starting January 8th. I want to help you Be Lean in 2018!

Find out more about Fat Flush QuickStart here >>

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Karen Stanton

    Hi Anne,
    Is the Fat Flush Quick Start safe? Will I get enough nutrients so that I don’t get rapid heart rate or feel starved all the time? I did a detox once and it was an awful experience. There is so much info out there, I am trying to find a plan to shed my extra weight and am just getting totally confused in the process. Help!

  2. Linda

    what is the new info on coffee for the new flat flush


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