4 Weight Loss Tips That Work When All Else Fails

woman frustrated looking in fridgeYou know how you see headlines everywhere promising to make weight loss SUPER easy, fast, and painless? Well, hate to break it to you but science says that is just not possible. In fact, these days, maintaining a healthy weight is harder than it's EVER been.

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Our moms' generation had it easier than us when it comes to getting and staying in shape. The reason? Our body weight is impacted by not just calories, but a plethora of things in our daily lives: When we eat. How dark our bedroom is and the quality of sleep we get. Stress. If we're eating dinner at 10 p.m. at night or 7 p.m. Pollution. Exposure to chemicals. Need we go on?

Nah. You get the (complicated) picture. So, what are we supposed to do with this revelation? Besides, you know, wonder if it really matters anymore if we order fries instead of a salad for lunch.

More from The Stir: 6 Surprising New Diet Rules to Start Following STAT

"Calories matter, but hormones, nutrients, and exposures matter more," Sara Gottfried, MD, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Reset Diet and The Hormone Cure, told The Stir.

Here's what Dr. Gottfried says we ALL can do to get -- or stay -- fit and make a difference with our weight:

Detox periodically. "It's no longer a luxury," Dr. Gottfried says. "We are all toxic and need to clean out [our systems], not with juices but with clean foods and abstaining from sugar and eating past 7 p.m." Intermittent fasting for 18 hours isn't a bad idea either.

Reset your hormones. Toxins from hair products and cosmetics "can gunk up your hormones and receptors," Dr. Gottfried says. Clear them out by aiming for a meatless diet, and giving up artificial sweeteners and (gulp) alcohol.

Reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. Endocrine disruptors are kind of everywhere, from the phthalates in your perfume to the BPA (bisphenol A) in your grocery store receipt. "Choose organic skin care and essential oils," advises Dr. Gottfried. Probiotics can help protect your body, too.

Mind your body clock. "Make sure you're in bed by 10 p.m.," Dr. Gottriend advises, "and get sunlight every morning for at least 10 minutes." Limiting carbs during the day, then eating them (ideally of the complex variety, like sweet potatoes or black beans) at dinner -- before 7 p.m. -- will help reset your body's stress hormone cortisol and blood sugar.

Sure, weight loss may be harder for those of us in our 20s and 30s. But we've got one thing our parents didn't have -- a wealth of information!

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