Weight, What’s Going On?

I recently had a really interesting conversation with one of my clients. This incredibly bright and determined woman,  who also happens to be highly dedicated and ‘compliant’ in her weight loss mission, has undergone a complete stall in her weight loss since January.  She is beyond frustrated. We discussed some possible reasons and approaches, as she is still intent on moving forward.

Losing weight successfully and ‘properly’ is not always so easy.


If it was, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to helping people find solutions.


There would just be…a solution.

Sometimes, clients will visit a nutritionist under the guise of seeking advice, but really, when the objective is weight loss, it sometimes feels like the person thinks that the mere act of walking through your door will elicit a reduction in their weight. This is simply because sometimes people seek out help before they are actually ready to undertake any change. And, as you know I am fond of saying… ‘in order for things to change…something must change’.  Truer words, right?

I say this without judgement.

Everyone is on their own journey, and that is completely OK with me. I will still provide my professional advice and recommendations and the person will usually leave my office gung ho, and needing to contemplate their commitment to themselves. I will usually not see these people in my office again. They came for the meal plan and recipes. They will go back to doing what they have probably done their entire lives…D-I-E-T. They will lose weight, they will gain weight, and so it goes…

Just by the way, the client I refer to above most definitely does NOT fall into that category. She falls into the category that many of us do. At a certain age/stage, a few things may happen. Our hormones may fluctuate and change with menopause. Or we may become more sedentary than we were when we were younger. Or, our stress levels may be nearly unmanageable, and yet, have just become our status quo.  All of these factors can become an impediment to reliable weight loss.



However, with clients like this one, who decide that they are tired of the status quo… Their health status may be dictating their decision, or they are just arriving at a point in their lives when they have spent the last 20 years looking after everyone else in their family, and are finally able to commit to some self care…these clients really invest in themselves. They are all in. They listen and learn. They slowly let go of their old ways, the ways that were no longer serving them. These are the moments I cherish in my work. The genuine transformations. I get to see people change their diet and lifestyles, and even sometimes their lives…

Occasionally, you work with these incredibly committed clients and they address the changes, and things go really well…until…well, until they don’t. You will rarely hear a nutritionist talking about this, but it needs to be said. Sometimes – especially with weight loss, but not only – things do not seem to go as planned. Even though your client is preparing more meals at home, making better choices, and moving their body more.

This is incredibly frustrating – for them – and sometimes for me. When I work with weight loss clients, I am always upfront about 2 things:

  1. There is no ONE answer for everyone. Customization, and adaptation are key. Our bodies are little universes on their own. Each of us is biochemically distinct, and therefore, finding a balance anda solution that is right for us is important.
  2. Somewhere down the road, we will need to reconfigure and adapt. I will be there to help them decipher and distinguish which avenues to head down when the going gets…well, unexpected.

Any approach with food that takes into account your current estimated basal metabolic rate (BMR), and employs a calorie deficit (reduction in calories) will initiate a weight loss over time. That’s it guys, no magic there.

If you eat less, you will lose weight. Usually not debatable.

Usually people become overweight because they are taking in more calories than the energy that they are using. Calories, after all, are just an expression of energy. Of course, we understand that this is partially dependent upon what these calories are made up of and that not all calories are equal in terms of how our bodies use this energy.  What else does it depend on though? There are many ‘more than food’ reasons why this might be the case.

This is when, working with a holistic practitioner like a Registered Holistic Nutritionist becomes very useful. We will delve beyond what the standard protocols are, beyond what the research supports, and incorporate everything  we know about you, your health, and your lifestyle habits to try and examine how to best proceed for optimum success – for weight loss and for wellness.

Believe it or not, sometimes weight loss can be stubborn precisely because you are NOT consuming enough calories too.

I know, it’s beyond confusing.  That’s when it is helpful to have someone in your corner navigating all of the possibilities with you in a healthful manner. Sometimes we run into snags, and we investigate, redirect and move forward again.

I know, it’s not for the faint of heart, this weight loss thing.

Have you ever gone through a period where  you ask yourself, ‘how is it possible that I’m not eating more food or “junkier” food but I’m still gaining weight’?

Is this even possible?

Yes!  You are NOT crazy!

And here’s why.

The whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.

There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating.

But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same. Let’s examine –






Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

The good thing is that, this is very common. The other good thing is that ‘how you feel’  can be impacted by changes in diet and lifestyle, at any age or stage.


Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Suggestion: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested.  Speak to a qualified nutritionist about how to nourish yourself to support optimal thyroid function – Try the thyroid supporting recipe at the end of this post.




There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.

It’s true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight?

Suggestion: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine. Check out this post for specific tips on improving your bedtime routine and your sleep.  https://bonniewisener.com/importance-getting-enough-zzzzzs/


It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.

And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?

While you can’t necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Suggestion:  Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now? Click here for some more tips on how to manage your daily stress.    https://bonniewisener.com/stress-less/

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  It can be very complicated.

My approach with clients, whether for weight loss or other therapeutic requirements, has always been EDUCATE. MOTIVATE. MODIFY. It is frustrating to blindly follow a weight loss plan and not see results. Having a partner there to help analyze and redirect can sometimes be the difference between a short term and long term solution.   Nobody sets out to lose weight, only to gain it back again.

Having the proper information and tools is really important to a successful process and outcome.


Don’t despair, since December (it’s April), I have seen 238 lbs disappear in my office! That’s encouraging, right?


I am excited to present a new, affordably priced,  online program that features…6 weeks of support…delivered to you in the convenience of your own home.


If you would like information about my new online program “ShiftShape LOSE WEIGHT FOR LIFE” Click below:




Seaweed Sushi Bowl

(Serves 2)

What you need:

1 cup cooked rice

1 avocado (thinly sliced)

½ cucumber (diced)

½ red pepper (thinly sliced)

1 green onion (chopped)

2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ garlic clove

dash salt and pepper

What you do:

Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  This is a great lunch to take on the go.  Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl.





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