Concerns, Diet, Health, HYPOthyroidism, Prevention, Thyroid, Treatment, Wellness

Thyroid And Hormone Imbalances Make It Hard To Lose Weight

Vanessa Bennington, Guest
Thyroid Nation

Vanessa shares how hormone imbalances and problems with your thyroid, can keep you from losing weight.

There are many people who start working out. There are many that also start new diets. There are many that get fantastic results. Months or maybe even weeks after starting a new fitness plan they are losing fat, gaining muscle, and setting PRs all over the place. There are also many others who start the same fitness plan. They’re doing the same workout, eating the same foods, and are getting nowhere. They might lose a few pounds and get a little stronger but their results are negligible compared to Mr. and/or Ms. Fitness over there.

It’s not fair, right?! WTF!  It makes one want to ask “WHY DO I SUCK?” “What am I doing wrong?” Guess what, you may not be doing anything wrong!

Often times, if you ask your doctor or your trainer, they might tell you exactly the opposite thing. You must be doing something wrong. You’re eating too much or maybe it’s just your genetics. And yes, sometimes people do eat more than they think or maybe they are genetically predisposed to be a little softer. However, no one is genetically destined to be unhealthy. That’s just not the way things work. You may not be “meant” to have a rippling six-pack but a healthy level of body fat and strength are within everyone’s genetic code. And yes, sometimes we might be eating more than we think. But, if after closely evaluating your diet you’re still at a loss for your less than awesome results… it’s time to get some lab work. You probably have some hormone issues!

Having suffered from this problem and after seeing clients with the same issue, I can almost pick out a person with “messed up” hormones without even drawing blood. And what kind of hormones am I talking about? Estrogen, Testosterone, and Thyroid to start. There are others that come into play but these are players that are most commonly out of whack.

Common symptoms of low testosterone, high estrogen, (hormone imbalances) and underactive thyroid include:

  • Fatigue (no matter how rested you are)
  • Mood problems like irritability, mood swings, frequent crying spells, depression, and anxiety.
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido/sexual drive
  • Decreased strength and stamina
  • Low motivation and interest
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor memory and a “foggy brain” feeling
  • Inability to lose weight or change body composition
  • Trouble putting on muscle
  • Cravings for sweets and carbohydrates
  • Heavy or painful cycles
  • Irregular cycles
  • Bloating and edema
  • Constipation

And that’s just to name a few! Often times, these problems occur as we get old but I’ve had patients (and myself) who have had hormone panels that looked like that of a person 30 years older. Stress, lack of sleep, too much exercise, genetics, pregnancy, the foods we are eating, and so many other things can impact our hormones! If you feel like this article is speaking to you I HIGHLY recommend finding a great doctor to test levels for you!

Here are Important Blood tests to ask for:


  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • TPO antibodies
  • Reverse T3

Sex Hormone:

  • FSH
  • Estradiol
  • Estrone
  • Free and Total Testosterone
  • SHBG

About the Author

Vanessa Benningvanessa-benningtonton, NP found her way in the health and fitness worlds through a unique combination of education, personal experience, and self-experimentation. During high school, she dropped from a weight of around 140lbs on her 5’4″frame, to barely 90lbs. As you may have correctly guessed, there was no small amount of anorexia and bulimia involved. Battling an endless fight with eating disorders, Vanessa eventually stumbled from fat-free diets and endless cardio to a more traditional “bodybuilding” diet and training plan. Things started to improve. She fell in love with working out and exercising, but was weak, fatigued, depressed, anxious, and still unhappy with her body composition, despite trying everything she thought was correct. This pushed her to seek more knowledge and her first piece of traditional education was a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. As much as she enjoyed the idea of spending her days in the gym and training people as a career, she was concerned her small town in Louisiana would never provide enough clientele to support full-time training. Back to school, she went and back the eating disorders came. Still struggling with feeling physically awful and hating her body, Vanessa completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and continued through to earn a Masters in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Vanessa does individualized nutrition and training programs and may be contacted at You can also follow her and her husband on their blog, Perfect Couplet and on Facebook.

 Questions or anything to ask Vanessa about your hormone imbalances? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please! 

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