Dieting and Exercising But Not Losing Weight? 6 Possible Medical Reasons Why

by | Aug 22, 2019 | Healthy Weight, Nutrition | 0 comments

Inside Scoop: If you’ve found yourself dieting and exercising but not losing weight read on to find 6 possible conditions that may be impeding your ability to lose weight.

This post was submitted by Jessica Lin, a dermatologist and healthcare expert.

The internet is full of publications on how to lose weight.

Dieting and exercising, eat less and move more, and calories-in calories-out are some of the most common notions advocated by weight-loss pros to lose weight. But, the reality is that in most cases these methods are:

  1. oversimplified,
  2. don’t consider lifestyle factors,
  3. and are not based on your own individual genetic blueprint.

Many of us have fallen for the latest “science-backed diet plan”, but after months of following it, you may find that it’s either not sustainable, or has not yielded the results that you were looking for. And, while most of the time it could be due to one of the above reasons because restrictive diets don’t work in the long-run, sometimes the problem could be some ‘hidden’ medical conditions that are making it difficult for you to lose weight.

If you have tried diet and exercise plans tailored your own body, but you’re still unable to lose or manage your weight, then here are some of the most common medical reasons that may be impeding your efforts. It’s always recommended to speak with your Medical Doctor if you have any symptoms or suspect an underlying condition.

Dieting and Exercising But Not Losing Weight? 6 Possible Reasons


Stress & Anxiety

Chronic stress and anxiety trigger the production of “the stress hormone”, cortisol which influences many bodily processes. If you are suffering chronic stress, the levels of cortisol in your body will be continuously elevated, and this can have a negative impact not only on your immune system and blood pressure but on your appetite and ability to lose weight.

High levels of cortisol have also been linked to increased abdominal fat. Ongoing stress and anxiety also leads to an imbalance in blood sugar, cravings and emotional eating which in turn, is responsible for weight gain.


Chronic inflammation

Inflammation is a vital process that helps the body fight infections and to heal from injuries. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can be very dangerous and it is usually caused by an overreaction to certain prescription medications, dietary factors like the overconsumption of refined grains and sugar, trans fats, alcohol and processed meats as well as environmental factors like air pollution and smoking.

Chronic inflammation leads to cellular damage and this makes it difficult for the cells to function and metabolize nutrients properly. For you to lose weight, cells metabolism needs to be at its optimum best and this is why chronic inflammation makes it more difficult to lose weight.



The thyroid gland generates hormones that help to control all the metabolic processes in our body including metabolic rate, digestion, heart function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance to name a few.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive and when this happens, it means that it’s not producing enough thyroid hormones needed for the body to function properly. Your metabolism, therefore, slows down in this underactive state and this makes it difficult to lose weight.

People suffering from hypothyroidism may feel fatigued most of the time as well as experience muscle pain after working out and may find it difficult to concentrate. In addition, if thyroid function is reduced, dryness, yellowness, marbling of the skin appears, hair falls out and nails break.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects women of child-bearing age. 1 in 10 women suffer from this condition and it is characterized by the overproduction of male hormones.

Other than causing ovulation problems, PCOS causes insulin resistance, a condition that makes it difficult for the body to process sugar. Too much sugar in the body results in the accumulation of fat in the midsection, and other parts of the body.

Some of the signs and symptoms of this condition include irregular periods, acne, excess body and facial hair, and unexplained weight gain.


Food intolerances

Food allergies are different from food intolerances. Whereas food allergies result when your immune system treats certain foods as harmful and there’s typically an immediate immune reaction, food intolerances may occur when the body lacks certain enzymes to breakdown certain foods, such as lactose intolerance or when it’s sensitive to certain compounds like gluten or caffeine.

The body then releases antibodies to eliminate these foreign substances and these results in the creation of complexes that settle in within tissues. This causes inflammation and cell damage which affects cell metabolism.

Cushing’s syndrome

This is another hidden medical condition that is making it difficult for people to lose weight. Also known as hypercortisolism, Cushing’s syndrome is caused by the accumulation of cortisol hormone in the body. The symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include weight accumulation in the midsection and upper back as well as purple or pink stretch marks on the breasts, thighs, and arms.

This syndrome is common in women than men within the ages of 25 to 40.



While this article is focused on medical conditions that make it difficult to lose weight, it’s important to understand that one’s health is not solely determined by the number on the scale.

Each body is different, and there’s no perfect standard when it comes to your health. The primary objective should, therefore, be to love yourself as you are and nourish your body by creating a good relationship with the food on your plate, enjoying moving naturally, and managing stress by surrounding yourself with a positive and uplifting community.

If you feel that you may have an underlying condition that is affecting your wellbeing, it’s always best to speak to a qualified medical professional and get assessed.

Jessica Lin

Jessica Lin is a dermatologist and a healthcare expert who has have over 8 years of experience in the health and beauty industry. She regularly writes for Apart from my love for health, I love diving and cycling. 


Naughty Nutrition

Naughty Nutrition


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hey there health seeker!

We’ve found the best Dieticians, Nutritionists and Trainers to share their best practices to help you.

Together, as Naughty Nutrition, we’re 90% nutrition, 10% chocolate and 0% BS. We are here to break all the diet rules! Read more.


Learn To Cook


Kettle & Fire

Beef Chili with Bone Broth

Daily Harvest


And the ones you should avoid buying!

You're all set! Check your email for the deets.