Unlocking the Mystery of Weight Loss


Tireless hours have been spent by men trying to lose weight in the gym, but it seems like almost everyone is fighting an uphill climb to reach success. There is a widespread desire to lose weight, but there is also a lot of frustration that weight loss efforts can have little or no effect. Clearly something is wrong in the way we try to manage our weight. A study found that of those who try to lose weight by dieting every year, only around 5 percent successfully achieve and maintain weight loss. So what’s going wrong?

Frequently overlooked weight loss factors:

  1. Your genes don’t fit. The gene FTO is often referred to as the ‘fat gene.’ Several studies have shown a variation of the FTO gene to be associated with higher body mass index (BMI), including one led by scientists at University College London, who found that those with the variant were up to 70 percent more likely to become obese. FTO affects the circulation of ghrelin, known as ‘the hunger hormone,’ which regulates appetite – meaning they feel hungry again soon after meals.

It’s important to stress that you are not destined to be overweight simply because you have a certain gene variant. Being aware of the condition will help enable you to adjust your diet accordingly.

  1. Exercise alone is not enough. While exercise is great for our health and can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and even some cancers, its efficacy in helping to lose weight is only as good as the food that fuels your exercise. As Dr. Aseem Malhotra, author of a 2015 study of physical inactivity and obesity, puts it, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.” What’s the one thing we all know about exercise? It makes you hungry and thirsty, right? So if you consume a lot of unhealthy food and drink, then the more you exercise the more junk you’re going to consume. Consequently, a program of vigorous exercise can actually result in weight gain.
  2. Diets don’t work. This is pertaining to the fad diets that require you to focus on just one thing for a period of time. Whether it’s counting the calories, starving yourself, avoiding one specific ingredient or anything along those lines, these types of diet are not a recipe for long-term weight control.

These diets make you feel deprived and increase your sense of deserving a reward. As soon as the diet ends, you give yourself that reward by gorging on all the things the diet told you to avoid. The weight piles back on and often bounces back up to a higher level than where you began.

  1. Toxins take their toll. There are several ways toxins can impede our ability to lose weight. Firstly, there are the toxins we ingest voluntarily such as alcohol, which has long been linked with weight gain. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and increases appetite, meaning you’re far more likely to reach for that extra snack or second helping. Excess alcohol consumption also has an irritating effect on the lining of the stomach, which can lessen the rate and efficiency of food digestion. And, alcohol damages the liver, which plays a vital part in breaking down fats for fuel. A detox program can help you get rid of these kinds of toxins.
  2. You’re not sleeping enough. It may sound counterintuitive that sleep can help you lose weight, but there’s plenty of research behind it. A 2013 study from the University of California, Berkeley found that when you’re deprived of sleep, the reward centers of your brain respond much more favorably to high-calorie junk food. At the same time, you experience a reduction of activity in the frontal cortex, which is involved in decision making. Essentially, a tired brain not only craves unhealthy food, but it’s also less likely to fight that impulse.
  3. Think thyroid.
 In terms of weight loss, it is an underactive thyroid that causes problems. The thyroid is responsible for the release of several hormones involved in the regulation of your metabolism. When you have an alteration in the production of these hormones (e.g. insulin resistance) your metabolism slows right down, making weight loss more di cult. Hormone testing can help with this.

Knowledge is power in the war on excess weight.

Losing weight can be hard at the best of times but it’s a whole lot harder when you don’t know what you’re up against. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re doing all the right things – exercising, eating well – yet seeing little evidence of it each time you step on the scale.

If you have any concerns about your weight loss progress, consult our office, where we can ascertain exactly what’s holding you back and build a weight loss program especially for you. For more information, call Dr. Ibarra at Bio Integrative Health Center International at 775-827-6696 or visit www.BIHCIReno.com.


  1. How “obesity gene” triggers weight gain. (2013, July 15). Retrieved April 27, 2017, from https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0713/15072013-How-obesity-gene-triggers-weight-gain-Batterham
  2. DeClerk, H. (2010, May 17). Fad Diets: Weighing Short-term Gains Against Long-term Harms? Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.aafp.org/news/obesity/20100517fad-diets.html
  3. Wannamethee, S. G., & Shaper, A. G. (2003). Alcohol, body weight, and weight gain in middle-aged men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition77(5), 1312–1317.
  4. Greer, S. M., Goldstein, A. N., & Walker, M. P. (2013). The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications4, 2259. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3259
  5. Shin, J. A., Mo, E. young, Kim, E. S., Moon, S. D., & Han, J. H. (2014). Association between Lower Normal Free Thyroxine Concentrations and Obesity Phenotype in Healthy Euthyroid Subjects. International Journal of Endocrinology2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/104318