People who “accidentally” drop five kgs after smashing donuts all week don’t bother me at all. I mean, why would I get upset that I’ve been smashing my savings and sanity on tasteless kale while they’ve been living the good life?

Unfortunately, even if you have the same strict approach to dieting that Mrs Trunchbull has to punishing nincompoops, there might be something getting in the way of weight loss goals. The sooner you find out whether or not something, like a medical condition or antibiotics, are hindering you, the sooner you can come up with a solution. Keep reading for what to ask your doc next time you drop on in.


Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition which affects one in 10 women of childbearing age, so, really, it’s pretty common. As the name suggests, PCOS is the growth of multiple cysts on your ovaries, which aren’t harmful but can cause hormone imbalances. Symptoms include acne, hair growth, irregular periods and weight gain.

Why the latter? PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which assists in converting sugars into energy. You see the predicament we have. If you think PCOS could be affecting you, go see your doctor and take the appropriate tests. This usually involves a blood test and ultrasound (that’s what they did for me, anyway).

Upon diagnosis, speak to your doctor about ways to help you manage your weight. There are a bunch of medications used specifically to aid with weight loss in women with PCOS, but, while you’re there, see if there’s any medications that can help with the other pesky symptoms. Chin hair isn’t always a welcome addition to one’s face.


It feels as though every medication has a potential side effect of weight gain, so much so that we almost disregard it as something that’ll actually happen. “They have to say that,” we think to ourselves before popping ’em back, because, more often than not, the positive outcomes outweigh the potential negative ones.

This one’s a tricky one, namely because everyone reacts differently to medications. Common medications that are linked to weight gain are antidepressants, the pill and beta blockers. However, it might be something you wouldn’t think because you didn’t get it via a prescription from your doc. Yep, even antihistamines can stall weight loss because apparently having hayfever wasn’t bloody dreadful enough.

Keep a diary when you start a new medication, weigh yourself regularly and note any changes. If you’ve already missed the boat there and are weeks, months or years into your medication, ask your doctor if it’s safe to come off it for a while to see if there’s a difference.


You’ve probably heard of this one (also known as an underactive thyroid), but how do you know if you have it? Fatigue, sensitivity to cold, constipation and hair loss are a few of the common symptoms, as well as unexplained weight gain. The reason for the where’d-you-come-from weight gain is that your body is not producing enough of the thryoid hormone which aids in burning stored fat.

Because of that your metabolism can slow down and your body might end up storing more fat than it burns. It’s sucky. And those people who smash the donuts and don’t put on weight? There’s a chance they have an overactive thyroid, which is essentially the opposite of an underactive thyroid, but has symptoms that can be just as shit. So remember that.

If you reckon you might have a thyroid ish, get a blood test. A low level of thyroxine and high level of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid, and from there you can get weight loss assistance. It can be treated with thyroid supplements that can help regulate the metabolism. Things like eliminating gluten can also help, but everyone’s different. Ask your doc. Unfortunately for some it’s not about finding a quick solution, but more or less a strategic plan to get you your results over a longer period of time.

We know it can be a pain in the grass to get life admin looked after, but short-term pain for long-term gain is a life mantra we should all live by (alongside cruel to be kind, but that’s a story for another day). Like a bandaid on a shaven area, it really doesn’t cause that much grief, and you’ll feel much better once it’s looked after.

Image: Scrubs