Weight Gain

Despite diets, exhausting exercise routines, and the fact that we probably have the most number of gyms in the world, our country is still fighting with weight gain. When it comes to weight loss, we’ve got it all wrong, and fad diets and DVD workouts are not precisely what we need.

Functional medicine actually looks at weight gain as a symptom, not the root cause of health issues.

When we look at the difficulty to lose weight, we look at the underlying cause of the weight gain instead. Instead of following diets and jumping on an exercise routine, functional medicine looks at how to get healthy first so we can lose weight, instead of losing weight to get healthy.

Surprising Reasons Linked to Weight Gain

Weight gain is a symptom linked to so many underlying causes that might not be apparent on the surface. For example, lack of sleep can produce a change in hormone levels that may increase hunger and appetite, which may then translate into weight gain.

Our body is connected in every possible way, so even the most minimal imbalance can cause a chain of reactions that eventually could wind up in weight gain. These are some surprising reasons for weight gain:

Stress: Living on the edge increases levels of cortisol, which increases high-calorie foods cravings and appetite.

Medications: Unfortunately, certain medications can cause fluid retention, increase appetite, and might change the way your body stores fat.

Gut Problems: When someone has poor gut health, microbiome could be damaged leading to an unexpected weight gain.

How Hormonal Imbalances & Weight Gain Are Related

One aspect most people don’t think about when it comes to weight gain is hormones. Hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and chronic conditions. Besides insulin, other hormones can have a significant impact on your health and contribute to weight gain.

The most common hormonal imbalances related to weight gain include:


Healthy thyroid function plays a vital role in keeping a healthy weight. Hypothyroid, which is a disrupt of thyroid levels, becomes a major player in weight loss resistance. Stress, diet, other nutrient deficiencies, and environmental toxins can all contribute to thyroid imbalances.

To maintain a healthy thyroid, functional practitioners also look at nutrient deficiencies such as zinc, selenium, omega 3 fats, and iodine, when it comes to addressing thyroid issues.


High levels of cortisol are another source of weight loss resistance. Stress activates metabolic pathways that can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain. Although cortisol is the hormone responsible for helping you run faster, hear better, and pump fuel into your bloodstream, it’s also the hormone linked to shutting down your digestion and slowing down your metabolism.

Managing stress is a fundamental practice when it comes to overcoming weight loss resistance.

Sex Hormones

When there’s an imbalance in sex hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone, it can cause weight issues. High levels of estrogen can lead to weight gain in men and women, eating much-refined carbs, alcohol, and sugar can spike estrogen levels.

Maintaining a healthy gut helps cultivate healthy sex hormones. Damage to the gut can lead to estrogen spikes that eventually disrupt the natural hormonal balance. Even though imbalanced estrogen levels cause different symptoms in men and women, it can lead to weight gain in both sexes.

Another sexual hormone linked to weight gain in men is testosterone. Having low testosterone levels are related to accelerated aging, in conjunction with lack of exercise, stress, and other conditions, it can lead to weight loss resistance.

Luckily, there are plenty of hormone imbalance treatments that can help stabilize these levels and promote a healthier body.

What Leads to Long-Term Weight Loss

When it comes to searching for long-term weight loss, it’s more about what’s happening within the body than what’s happening in our environment. While a healthy diet and regular exercise are imperative for weight loss, having a functional body and controlled hormones is the key to long-term weight loss.

Healthy Gut

The gut is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria, and any discrepancy can lead to an imbalance resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Gut health issues have been linked to asthma, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, skin disorders, and, of course, weight-loss resistance.

To heal your gut, a combination of supplements, hormone therapy, and nutritional diet may be needed to restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Healthy Hormones

Food cravings are not a product of lack of willpower, they’re however a result of an underlying hormonal imbalance. Stress, poor diets, and hormonal dysfunctions are all linked to weight gain. Many people struggling with weight loss often have an underlying hormonal imbalance issue.

Healing your hormones through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the first step to get your body healthy, to promote long-term wellness, and initiate long-term weight loss.