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Tried everything, no weight loss. Frustrated – help!!


Q. Hello – I am looking for answers to my now 19-year-old daughter’s weight issue and maybe you are the person to finally give us answers.

My daughter has been a dancer from the age of 6 and started competing around age 12 which kept her very active fit and healthy. Around age 16 or 17 she decided she wanted a careen in the dance industry. She continued high school studies, while attending a private dance school six days a week after school and performing in competitions.

At age 17 she started to gain weight and feel unwell so after heading to naturopath she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was put on many different herbs but ended up needing compounded thyroid medication. This did bring her weight down for a short time but now it has ballooned over the last two years.

She stopped all dance at 18 and we have been to naturopaths ,specialists, doctors, sports scientists, personal trainers, dietitians, you name it. We have spent $$$$$$$$$ on diet plans pills and potions NOTHING!!!!!!

She’s tried ketogenic, paleo, calorie counting, intermittent fasting, metabolic precision diets NOTHING!!!! She’s tried HIIT, yoga, Pilates, cardio training ,weights NOTHING!!!!!!

She’s had every blood test known to mankind. Saliva testing, ultrasounds and they say – “Oh she has low iron so let’s treat that and the weight will come off.” What? Nope.

“Oh her cortisol is high that’s why she can’t lose weight.” What?

Insulin is fine, leptin is fine. Thyroid is at a perfect level and she hit the 100kg (~221 pounds) mark OMG!!!! Why????

I heard about the HCG diet and thought, “Ok last resort what does she have to lose and eats very minimal calories anyway so won’t be hard for her.”

After 60 days she lost 11 kg (~22 pounds) and was feeling the best she has felt in two years. She kept up with her weight training, which she loves, but obviously dropped her weight to what she could cope with on minimal calories.

Now six weeks later has not lost a gram. She has been consistent with strength training (using a personal trainer 2x per week), has increased calories from 500 to about 1200. She consumes no sugars at all and very minimal carbs.

What Gives????? Why won’t her body burn fat without the HCG drops???? No one can give me an answer!

Can you shed any light on this???? I’m sick of spending $$ and stressing about this beautiful girl.

Someone must know what’s going on.

C. S.


Hi C. S.,

Wow, what a frustrating story. Your daughter, and you as a mom, must often feel at your wits end. You both have my empathy. I’ll give you my opinion. Know that I am not a medical doctor, so it is worth checking with her doc to verify what I suggest.

1) First, 500 calories is way too low. Even 1200 is likely low. I personally experienced weight stall and all kinds of menstrual cycle (and other issues like sleep) problems when I was eating a low-fat and low-calorie diet. You can read about that here. The contestants on the television show The Biggest Loser also experienced metabolism slow down after the show ended and ended up gaining the weight back. You can read about that here. I know it is scary to eat more calories, but depending on her height and goal weight, she may need somewhere between 1500 and 2500 calories per day. Now, I know she’s not eating many carbs, but 500 calories a day is still really low.

2) Calories matter, but food composition matters more. Your daughter wants to consume foods that build a strong, healthy body for life – so she can indeed dance through life. These foods need to be satisfying. These foods need to NOT make her feel out of control or “crazy” after she eats them. Foods have an effect on hormones, feelings, hunger and mood. The foods she eats need to be foods that make her feel good – good about the food itself and good about herself. She’s probably kept a food log to track calories and macronutrients – what I’m most interested in with my local class participants is why people eat and how the food makes them feel after consumption. My food log is part of my class process and requires more explanation than I can fit in a single email, but can give you a few pointers.

3) I’m not a fan of HCG, or any other diet program that forces reliance on subscription of pills, potions, bars or shakes. My personal opinion is to get off of anything like this and eat real food. There is some indication that HCG is dangerous. 

4) The Fat-Burning Machine Diet Plan begins with an outline that works for a good many people. That written, I’ve found in my local class that people are most successful if they modify the guidelines to suit personal preferences and what they discover from the food log and class information. For example, one person found that he could not eat cherries – they made him ravenous within an hour after consumption. Another participant needed to avoid rice, because after eating rice she felt hungry within an hour after consumption. By noting how foods make your daughter feel, she can begin to identify foods that don’t help her with her goals – and foods that make her feel great.

5) Weight loss comes in fits and spurts. Fat-Burners note that sometimes inches change (clothes get baggy) but the scale doesn’t budge – for a couple of weeks. Then boom, two or three pounds lost on the scale. It is sometimes difficult to keep the faith when the scale numbers don’t change, but I encourage people to hang on and be patient.

6) If she is consuming a lot of artificial sweetener (AS) products, aim to reduce or eliminate those. People on reduced calorie diets often consume loads of AS and there is some indication that these products actually aid in weight GAIN. I wrote about it here.

7) For many people I deal with, keto and paleo diets were not sustainable – or enjoyable. In my opinion, your daughter needs an eating plan that she can use for her lifetime. She doesn’t need another “diet” – she needs an eating program/plan/style that she feels she can do “forever.”

8) Tracking stress and emotions. For some, the food log helps identify stress, emotions, situations and people that trigger eating behaviors. Sometimes it is managing these situations that helps weight loss as much as food.

Your beautiful daughter deserves to feel great about herself and look great too. I don’t know if my note helps or not. Keep me posted on how she’s doing.



I will keep followers posted on any news I receive from C. S.