4 things to check if you are not losing weight


Mary spent 90 days dieting with the help of her personal trainer and only lost 2.7 lbs.  Her trainer has had great success helping other clients, but was not satisfied with Mary’s results.

What was her problem???

The trainer posted this question on Facebook, and there were lots of suggestions, but most people told her to get checked out by her doctor.

Since I am a doctor who has seen over 5000 weight loss clients, I will share with you the four things I check and how to fix it.



 #1: Check your Metabolic Rate



This is a measurement to see how many calories your body is burning at rest.  Many doctors and gyms have a metabolic machine and usually charge between $50 – $120.  This machine provides a readout of your resting metabolic rate, which is the calories you burn on a daily basis without exercise.

Let’s say Mary’s resting metabolic rate is 1360 calories per day.  Mary may also burn another 500 calories per day on other activities such as exercise.

However, I am not going to count these 500 extra calories from other activities.  Here is why: it is known that people overestimate the amount of calories they think they burn from activities and underestimate the amount of calories they eat.  This is not a perfect science, but it works surprisingly well.



 #2: Track your Calories



Now that you know how many calories your body is burning at rest, you can compare that number to how many calories you are eating.

In our example, Mary was burning 1360 calories per day without exercise.  If Mary averages less than 1360 calories per day for the week, she will lose stored body fat.  For further explanation, I strongly suggest you watch this video.


I like the free phone apps that allow you to track how many calories you are consuming in a day.  Here are some free and popular apps: MyFitnessPal, MyPlate, Lose it, Calorie Counter etc.



 #3: Test your Adrenal Glands

If the metabolic rate is slow for the size and age of the person – do some tests for the adrenal glands and thyroid gland.

Blood Test for Adrenal Glands

One blood test for adrenal function is to look at potassium levels.  The adrenal glands are related to pushing potassium out of the blood.  The optimal range in the blood is 4.0 – 4.5.  If the number is reading 3.9 or lower, I would take an educated guess that the adrenal glands are in the first stage of the stress response and are overactive because they are pushing too much potassium out of the blood.

On the other hand, if the blood level of potassium is 4.6 or higher, I would suspect that the adrenal glands are in a later stage of the stress response and are underperforming.

Would you like your blood work analyzed? (click here)



Other Test for Adrenal Glands

I also check the adrenal glands by doing a pupillary reflex test.  By shining a pen light into the pupils, I can see the reaction of the adrenal glands.  When you shine light in the pupils, the pupil should constrict (get smaller) and hold for 10 seconds.  If they don’t, that is an indicator for weak adrenal glands.  There are also other tests like this that I use.  I have fully explained them here: Read details about checking for Adrenal Gland Problems in Nutrition Hacks The Truth


Without getting too complicated, you should know this: blood tests are not the end all for the thyroid or adrenal glands.  I do use blood tests, but I also use other tests.


#4: Test your Thyroid Gland


If the metabolic rate is slow for the size and age of the person – do some tests for the adrenal glands and thyroid gland.

What about the Thyroid Gland?

Yes, I look at blood tests, but I also look at body temperature.  If the blood tests such as TSH, T3, T4 come back normal, yet the person has a body temperature that averages 1 degree below normal, their thyroid is underperforming.

Visual checks that are indicative of a slow thyroid are hair loss and losing the lateral 1/3 of the eyebrows.



If both your Thyroid and your Adrenal Glands are underperforming, your metabolic rate will be likely be slow.

Let’s say Mary has a slow thyroid and her adrenal glands are also underperforming.  What does this mean as far as her metabolic rate?  Usually it means her resting metabolic rate will be 100 to 300 calories slower per day.


If Mary’s thyroid or adrenal glands were performing correctly, she might have a resting metabolic rate of 1560 calories per day, rather than 1360.  So, this means that for the time being, Mary needs to average less than 1360 calories per day.


If only 1 of these were underperformaning (either your Thyroid or your Adrenal Glands), then it is likely the other one will overperform to pickup the slack.  This will eventually lead to burning out the overperforming gland and then both your Thyroid and Adrenal Glands will then both be burnt and underperform.


Here is a 20-minute clip from a live seminar that I gave on Fat Loss for Catherine Hickland’s “Get Your Fire Back” retreat.




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