5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight with Guest Esther Blum - Inna Topiler

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5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight with Guest Esther Blum

The Most Common Causes Behind the Struggle for Weight Loss

The Case: 

  • Eliana is dealing with stubborn weight issues. 
  • She’s also experiencing bloating and weight gain around her period.
  • She worked with several dieticians and found that a calorie restricted diet did reduce her weight but it wasn’t sustainable and left her feeling tired. 

The Investigation

Eliana’s challenge is a common one. Many women find that despite eating right and being active, they struggle with unexplained weight gain or an inability to lose weight. There are a lot of things that can cause weight gain or make weight loss very difficult. To find out what was the root of Eliana’s weight loss mystery, we needed to explore the most common causes. 

Esther Blum is an Integrative Dietitian and High-Performance Coach who has helped thousands of women permanently treat the root cause of their health struggles and find joy in their lives once again. Esther is the bestselling author of Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat as well as The Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous Project.

Doing Everything With No Weight Loss

Millions of people looking to lose weight often find themselves frustrated. So many of them feel like they’re doing everything they can by eating clear, reducing calories, and exercising regularly but they can’t lose weight. In fact, despite their best efforts, some even gain weight. This is because weight loss is more complex than just calories in and calories out. 

Esther Blum shares the most common 5 culprits when someone can’t lose weight.

1. Estrogen Dominance.

Your hormones may be the reason you can’t lose weight, specifically estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can take place in your body during different times in your life. It happens when your progesterone bottoms out and the estrogen is chronically elevated. Aside from age-related hormone shifts, there are several other potential causes of estrogen dominance: 

  • Stress
  • Gut Inflammation
  • Poor Detoxification Pathways
  • Extra Weight
  • Constipation
  • Estrogen-based Birth Control (NuvaRing or the pill)
  • Xenoestrogen Exposure (through some beauty products, cleaning products, perfumes, and plastics)

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance. Aside from the difficulty to lose weight, there are many symptoms to look for. In men, it might be ‘man boobs’. In women, it could be heavy, painful periods, ,longer cycles, water retention and headaches around the menstrual cycle. 

Testing for Estrogen Dominance. The most common test for determining estrogen dominance is the DUTCH test. This is a urine test that shows hormone levels and can be used to track progress as you work toward getting out of estrogen dominance. 

Supporting Estrogen Dominance. The key is to determine the root cause of the dominance and work on that. It might mean hormone replacement therapy, shifting diet and lifestyle, opening up detoxification pathways, and/or taking supplements like DIM (Diindolylmethane). 

2. Adrenal Dysfunction.

Adrenal dysfunction is often caused by chronically elevated cortisol levels. This can be brought on by chronic stress, poor sleep, low or high blood sugar, and/or environmental toxins.
Symptoms of Adrenal Dysfunction:

  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia or Poor Sleep
  • Feeling Frazzled or Burnt Out
  • Skipping or Doing Ineffective Workouts

Supporting Adrenal Dysfunction. The main way to treat adrenal dysfunction and get the adrenals balanced again is through lifestyle changes and getting stress levels down with self-care and stress releasing practices. There are some supplements and adaptogenic herbs that may help, including: 

  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil
  • Tulsi Tea
  • Phos Serine

It’s also important to get to the root cause of the stress and address that. 

3. Toxins / Low Thyroid. 

Exposure to certain toxins can cause the thyroid to underperform. When this happens, the metabolism slows down and it can be very difficult to lose weight. Common toxins that can contribute to this include:

  • Molds
  • Heavy Metals
  • Goitrogenic Chemicals 

Diagnosing and Treating Toxin Triggered Low Thyroid

The best way to detect toxins in the system is through a urine metabolite test. Blood tests will provide a picture of the thyroid. Treating the thyroid may require medication however, bringing down toxins like mercury could shift the need for thyroid medication. Detoxing mercury can be done through chelation, glutathione-vitamin C IV therapy, and also through specific detoxification protocols. Infrared saunas and epsom salt baths are also good for the detoxification process. 

4. High Stress & Insomnia

An inability to sleep and having high stress can be a bit of a vicious circle when it comes to weight loss. A lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain (and make weight loss difficult) because it affects blood sugar, cortisol levels, and causes the body to store fat while breaking down muscle. The key is to determine the root cause of the insomnia. Common causes include:

  • Stress
  • Arguments Before Bed
  • Poor Sleep Hygiene
  • Doing Cardio Too Close to Bedtime
  • Eating or Drinking Too Close to Bedtime
  • Eating Insufficient Amounts of Dietary Protein

5. Gut Dysfunction and Parasites

You need a healthy gut to lose weight. Your gut health can be affected by inflammation and leaky gut syndrome (which can lead to nutritional deficiencies even if you eat healthy). Another way the body gets robbed of nutrition is when you are harboring a parasite. Many think that parasites only come from third-world countries but they can be found on food in North America and can also come from restaurant employees not washing their hands. H. Pylori is also a consideration because it can cause real issues with digestion including gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, and low digestive enzymes and stomach acid. 

Some easy ways to increase digestive enzymes are to chew food more thoroughly, drink a celery and aloe smoothie before breakfast, and avoid eating in a hurry or while distracted. 


If you are struggling to lose weight and you know you’re eating well and moving enough, one of these 5 causes might be at play. Be sure to check with a functional medicine doctor or practitioner to find out. 

As for Eliana, I looked at her thyroid, hormones, toxins, GI, and lifestyle to see which areas needed support. Her thyroid was all good but when we ran a DUTCH test to look at her hormones, we found our answer. 

Her less favorable estrogen (4-hydroxy) was high. 

We also did a heavy metal test and found mercury. 

Next Steps

We used DIM along with Calcium-D Glucarate. We also used BroccoProtect by Designs for Health. 

To help reduce the mercury in her system we did a Push Catch Detox and she took Glutathione for 6 months. 

While she was taking these supplements, we also worked on improving some of her lifestyle routines.  

After 3 months, she was feeling better but the weight has not moved a ton. We had one more area to address still and that was her gut. We did a stool test and discovered dysbiosis (there weren’t enough good bugs and too many bad bugs in her microbiome. She also had low digestive enzymes.)

Eliana worked on chewing better, and we made sure she was getting enough pre-biotics and probiotics to support her gut health.

Happy Ending

Eliana lost 5 pounds after we started supporting her gut, and lost another 10 the next month! 

Eliminating Health Mysteries

For Eliana we were able to find that missing piece of the health puzzle and help her lose that stubborn weight. Could one of these 5 causes be the missing clue for you or someone in your life? 


Resources mentioned

Thanks to my guest Esther Blum.  You can connect with on Instagram, book a call with her or access her free training through her website. 

You may also be interested in her books

Suggested Products


Calcium-D BroccoProtect 

Push Catch Detox

Related Podcast Episodes:

The Case of Hidden Mold w/ Dr. Tim Jackson The Case of Mercury Fillings w/ Dr. Kourosh Maddahi The Case of Bloating, Gas, and Irregular Bowel Movements

Thanks for Listening

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