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3 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight When Eating Less and Exercising More

You might suffer from a health condition preventing you from losing weight, says an MD. 

It might seem like a good idea to eat less and exercise more if you want to lose weight. However, one expert warns that it might not be such a great tactic for long-term fat loss – especially if you have a certain health condition. Emi Hosoda, MD (@doctor.emi) is a hormone expert, social media influencer, and weight loss warrior who lost 100 pounds herself.

She specializes in using science "to help you lose weight and age in reverse." In a new TikTok she explains why eating less and exercising more isn't always a good idea. Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies, also weighs in.

She Struggled to Lose Weight for Years by Eating Less and Exercising More


"As a doctor who lost a hundred pounds after years of struggling with eating hardly anything and pushing myself to exercise beyond my capacity, these are three reasons why eating less and exercising more will not work for you," she says in the clip.

RELATED: 15 Quick Ways to Lose Body Fat Percentage in a Week

You Might Have Thyroid Disease

Endocrinologist examining throat of young woman in clinic. Women with thyroid gland test . Endocrinology, hormones and treatment. Inflammation of the sore throat

"Number one, if you have undiagnosed thyroid disease like I did, I had autoimmune thyroid disease that was changing the way my thyroid worked," she says. "But every time my labs were checked, it was never caught because why? It's never checked for."

RDN Explains

At doctors appointment physician shows to patient shape of thyroid gland with focus on hand with organ. Scene explaining patient causes and localization of diseases of thyroid and endocrine system

"Your thyroid significantly impacts your metabolism which impacts calories burned and weight," says Collingwood. "You need to ask your doctor to check the TSH level (thyroid stimulating hormone) with a blood test ideally every year or if you start to have symptoms (unintentional weight gain or loss, unusual fatigue, hair falling out, and more)."

You Might Have Leaky Gut

An elderly woman is sitting on the sofa at home, holding her stomach with her hands. Feels the pain of internal organs, indigestion, poisoning, menstrual pain.

"Number two, if you have intestinal permeability issues that are increasing your inflammation," she says, noting that "leaky gut" is "real." She adds that "there are studies about it, including those of the microbiome."

RELATED: 7 Ways to Reduce Inflammation in Your Body

RDN Explains


"Yes, leaky gut can be common and can impact weight and intestinal functioning," says Collingwood. "Symptoms can be loose stool, bloating, nausea, indigestion, abdominal pain, and more." You can get gut tests like this one from Tiny Health and put in the code TARA for $20 off.

You Might Have Insulin Resistance

Young hungry woman in front of refrigerator craving chocolate pastries.

"Number three, if you have untreated insulin resistance that is increasing your cravings and dropping your blood sugar every time you try to restrict your calories," Dr. Emi says.

RDN Explains

Woman diabetics control and checking glucose level with a remote sensor and mobile phone. Continuous online monitoring glucose levels without blood. Digital medical technology in diabetes treatment

"You can purchase a continuous glucose monitor to watch your glucose levels for a few weeks with a company like Nutrisense," says Collingwood. You can also have your doctor test you.

RELATED: I Lost 30 Pounds in 2 Months With This Simple Trick

What to Do


"If you have these things going on, you need these looked into and you need them treated, and not all the treatments need to be medication. There's many, many natural and lifestyle ways to approach these things," says Dr. Emi.

Collingwood agrees. "Of course check with your doctor for any blood testing for any of these tests, but a lot of testing you can purchase out of pocket now, but it is best to get a physician or registered dietitian to assist in interpreting the results and discussing lifestyle modification," she says. "If thyroid is off the only solution is to get on prescription medication with a physician. For gut tests and glucose/insulin levels a registered dietitian can assist greatly in the right diet for those conditions."

💪🔥Body Booster: If you have been doing everything right and still can't lose weight, talk to your doctor. You might have an underlying health condition.

@doctor.emi 3 reasons eating less and exercising more wont work #doctoremi #weightloss #caloriesinvscaloriesout ♬ original sound – doctor.emi


Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more