Tried and failed to lose weight? Your body may be working against you.

Tried and failed to lose weight? Your body may be working against you.

In a perfect world, shedding extra pounds would come down to the simple balance of calories in and calories out. The reality is that there are a host of contributing factors we have to take into account and address to generate lasting weight loss.

Years of yo-yo dieting may impact your body’s ability to burn calories and your ability to shed those extra pounds for good. While crash diets might produce short term results, in the long-term, they can have a negative impact on your body’s ability to burn calories—your metabolism. It’s one of the reasons that it’s so hard to lose weight.

When you dramatically reduce or restrict the calories your body has to use, it responds by lowering your metabolic rate, slowing your metabolism and reducing the number of calories you burn during your day-to-day activities. Often, people who are overweight or obese have a very low metabolic rate, which makes it harder for them to shed the extra pounds, even if they are working out regularly.

Take one of my patients, Ray Houle, for example. Ray is an avid recreational athlete who, despite a rigorous routine of weight lifting, spinning and 20-30-mile bike rides, continued to pack on the pounds as he aged. In his mid-fifties when the scale hit more than 270 pounds, he asked for help.

Together, we discovered that Ray’s biggest challenge, apart from portion control, was finding the right balance of macronutrients –  carbs, proteins and fats – he was eating. Using an app, connected devices and regular check-ins, we were able to help Ray understand how to fuel his body for his weight loss and athletic goals, and keep him accountable.

Six months and more than 60 pounds later, Ray’s back to his college weight and feeling better than ever. He’s sleeping better. His blood pressure is down. His joints don’t hurt and he’s more flexible. He’s moving faster during his workouts. Importantly, his weight loss has eliminated the need for three of the prescription medications he was taking.

Ray worked hard. He followed the plan we created for him, and he saw incredible results. But, Ray and I know that his weight loss journey isn’t over. To maintain his weight loss, he’ll need to continue to work hard.

The reality is that our bodies are always seeking to get back to what they see as normal, even if our normal is overweight. That’s why as we lose weight, our metabolic rate goes down too. This can be complicated by a history of chronic, unsustainable and restrictive dieting which may have impacted your metabolism.

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital’s Weight Management and Bariatrics Program can help equip you with the tools to manage any impact on your metabolic rate and continue to achieve your weight loss goals. Every single plan is unique and tailored to each individual patient, whether they are seeking nutrition counselling or bariatric surgery and support. We start with a complete health history, and we go from there, judgement-free.

For anyone trying to lose weight, my advice is to never give up and don’t beat yourself up. Obesity and excess weight are a chronic disease that you have to continue to work on and to treat with improved habits for long-term success. It takes time, and it’s not a short term fix, but it is so worth it. Just ask Ray.

Amy Paulus is an advanced practice nurse at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

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  1. How can I obtain information on your weight management program?

  2. tried to lose weight (about 30 # overweight) since going through mesopause. as above think my metabolism slowed how to help???

  3. Where is this weight management program you speak of? I’ve been complaining about weight and struggling hard. I’m affiliated with Lutheran general hospital -where is this program for us?

  4. How do we sign up for this weight program?

  5. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for this article. How can I contact this weight management program?

    Thank you!

  6. Can you share what the app was that Ray used?

  7. KAREN M SIGLASKY February 24, 2022 at 4:47 pm · Reply

    I’m also looking for that AP. I currently using “My Fitness Pal” Is there another?
    My metabolism is at a halt!

  8. How do I sign up for weight lost classes

  9. Looking for this weight loss program.

  10. Looking for this weight loss program.

  11. How to get info on weight lost program?

  12. Thank you for your interest! Amy Paulus is affiliated with the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Comprehensive Weight Management Program in Barrington, IL. You can contact us at to schedule a consult with Amy.

  13. Amy Paulus
    Amy Paulus FNP-BC February 25, 2022 at 1:03 pm · Reply

    Thanks for reading my article, and I’m so pleased you’re interested in the Advocate Good Shepherd Weight Management program. We have a lot of options to help, depending on your needs. If you want to learn more, I’d be happy to connect you with our team who can talk you through them. Our website is or you can call 847-620-3893.

    Thank you again for reading my article.

    Amy Paulus FNP-BC
    Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner certified in Obesity Medicine
    AAH Good Shepherd Hospital

    Please let me know if you’re interested in setting up an appointment with me, and thank you again for reading.

  14. Do. I need to go to Barrington IL for this program.

  15. I lost a lot of weight 10 years ago and it seems each year I’ve gained 10 pounds that I just can’t shed off no matter what. Is this weight loss program available for Wisconsin? Can you provide me the information of where I can seek this information?

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