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Reflections Video Series: Most Surprising Reasons You Don't Lose Weight

Jan 9 2023
4 min read

From the impact of gut and mental health to defining your behaviors, our experts share the surprising real reasons it's difficult to lose weight.

We continue with our new video series called Reflections, where we turn the question we ask guests coming to Canyon Ranch—What leads you here?—on our experts. In this series, you'll hear their personal wellness journeys and insights to help you navigate some of today's most pressing wellness concerns.

In the sixth of our Reflections Video Series, we sat down with three Canyon Ranch experts: Kevin Murray, Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist at Lenox, Dustin Nabhan, VP of Health & Performance, and Mike Siemens, Director of Performance Science at Canyon Ranch Tucson, to discuss the various components necessary for weight loss.

Watch the video above to hear their candid responses. For Kevin, it's understanding how proper gut health informs weight gain and loss. For Mike, having the right state of mind is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. For Dustin, creating the right types of habits that lead to creating better decisions around eating leans into losing weight.

Or, read the transcript below.

Kevin Murray, Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist:
Gut health can play a large role in people's ability to lose excess weight. Different bacteria in the gut, in what's called the microflora of the gut, are associated with obesity, versus, lean body type. And these gut bacteria, may just be an indicator..., I've never seen somebody take a probiotic supplement to lose weight. But they are correlated with someone's ability to lose weight or not. So there are types of bacteria that thrive on certain types of fiber that are associated with more lean body type, and certain bacteria that thrive in the absence of a high fiber diet, they're associated with a heavier body type.

Mike Siemens, Director of Performance Science:
Without your brain being in a good place, achieving and maintaining your healthy weight, I've come to learn, is almost impossible. Why? Because so many of us are suffering from emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, those kind of things. And until we come to peace and love ourselves out of that type of mindset, and find some other way to deal with those emotions in a healthy and healthy loving way, the task of eating well, having the energy to exercise, managing food addictions, is overwhelming. So, to me, that is task number one: Fall in love with taking care of your emotional self, and love your way through any anxiety, any trauma, any depression you might have. And once you overcome that, and manage that well, everything else tends to fall into place.

Dustin Nabhan, VP of Health & Performance:
Exercise and nutrition are important, but they're not the things that really make people lose weight. Behavioral economics are what make people lose weight. Behavioral economics are the economics of decision-making in daily life, as far as habits—whether those are good habits or bad habits. Some people have maladaptive behaviors that make them make bad decisions, so binge eating, for example. Then there are other things that can positively give people a little nudge to make the right decision. And that could be as simple as how you set up a buffet line. If you put the vegetables first, people are going to eat those. You can create an environment for a person that helps them make better decisions. If you put them in a social network, people around them can help them make better decisions. So sticking to a plan, understanding healthy habits, working with your social network on your weight loss journey—those are the things that really help people lose weight.