This is why you find it so hard to lose weight

Are you someone who does “all the right things” yet still can’t lose weight? It can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting

Are you someone who does “all the right things” yet still can’t lose weight? It can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting when you’re told to eat a healthy diet, but it does nothing to shift the pounds.

If this sounds familiar, we have some great news for you: it’s not your fault.

A growing body of research says that the idea of a one-size-fits-all healthy diet is a myth; that every single body is different and unique, and requires a unique diet to maintain an optimal weight.

An Israeli study published in the journal Cell tracked the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week and the results suggests that even when we all eat the same meal, the way it is metabolised differs from one person to another.

Blood sugar has a close association with health problems such as diabetes and obesity, and it’s easy to measure using a continuous glucose monitor. A standard developed decades ago, called the glycemic index (GI), is used to rank foods based on how they affect blood sugar level and is a factor used by doctors and nutritionists to develop healthy diets.

However, this system was based on the way small groups of people responded to various foods.

The new study found that the GI of any given food is not a set value, but depends on the individual, and that the “healthiest” of foods can trigger a problematic response in an individual.

In one case, a middle-aged woman with obesity and pre-diabetes, who had tried and failed to see results with a range of diets over her life, learned that her “healthy” eating habits may have actually been contributing to the problem. Her blood sugar levels spiked after eating tomatoes, which she ate multiple times over the course of the week of the study.

The study authors say the solution is a personalised diet matched to an individual’s responses to various foods.

“For this person, an individualised tailored diet would not have included tomatoes but may have included other ingredients that many of us would not consider healthy, but are in fact healthy for her,”Eran Elinav from the department of Immunology says. “Before this study was conducted, there is no way that anyone could have provided her with such personalised recommendations, which may substantially impact the progression of her pre-diabetes.”

By creating personalised diets for 26 study participants, the researchers were able to reduce post-meal blood sugar levels and alter gut microbiota, which is believed to be linked to obesity and diabetes.

The researchers believe that the common advice may be “conceptually wrong in our thinking about the obesity and diabetes epidemic” and that while the assumption is that people with these conditions are eating the wrong foods, they may in fact be eating the “right foods” that are wrong for them.

Speak to your doctor about how to determine the right foods for your body, which may require testing.

Do you struggle to keep your weight down even though you do all the right things?


  1. I have been on many diet over the years and the one thing that was constant, when I took the weight off, it slowly crept back on with an extra few pounds added. Whatever diet you go on, you have to be prepared to stick to it for the rest of your life

    • According to the CSIRO, it can take up to 5 years to “Reprogram” your body to be lean again. This is why so many diets fail. As you suggest, you (we!) have to make long term changes..

    • me Rex and I always slip back, some of the diets I was on were terrible, may as well be dead than eat cabbage soup for the rest of your life

  2. Gosh! I am going to accept my body exactly as it is thank you. Its been good to me through all of the years of my life, if it prefers to be a little more rounded now, well…
    So be it.

  3. DIETS? I have been on so many over the years I have finally decided to accept myself for who I am, if people judge me on my weight then they are not TRUE friends. I’m the same person inside take me or leave me, I refuse to worry about it anymore, shallow people will always be shallow people you can’t change that either.

  4. I agree with the above comments! I went to WW and lost 70lbs (around 35kg). But over the years I’ve put on some, taken off a bit, put it on again. I had planned to knuckle down and work on losing some weight, then my sister, who wasn’t really all that overweight, just a little rounded, lost heaps. She went from being a reasonably active, well person, to a skinny frail old lady right before my eyes. She now has numerous health issues and very little strength! In less than 12 months she was in a nursing home. I need my strength to do what I have to do at home. Now, I’m too scared to lose weight! Looking after two frail people, I can’t afford to add me to the list!

  5. Went to the Dr pleased that I have lost5kg smiling she said that I have to loose another 6 to get my bmi right

  6. The absolute truth for me is that yes, I know how to lose weight and yes I can. BUT, I have to be constantly hungry to lose and to stay slim. It’s a horrible state to live in.

  7. Julie  

    something i have be saying for years , of course the experts said i was wrong. and that i must be eating the wrong foods eg sweets etc.

  8. I think it unlikely that a GP would have enough knowledge of individual nutritional needs to be helpful in advising a personalised eating plan! Perhaps a referral to a dietician would be more appropriate. Best thing that my doctor did for me!

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