Exercising and dieting don’t burn fat on their own. They trigger organs and glands to release hormones that burn fat. If exercising and dieting isn’t leading to weight loss for you, there may be an underlying issue.

Here are four common sources of weight gain, and how to identify them:

1. Adrenal Body Type

At the top of your kidneys, your adrenal glands are doing their job, responsible for the “fight or flight” response the body has when stress arises. When your adrenal glands are over-stimulated, they can become unbalanced and affect different functions in the body, including the sleep-wake cycle, which can create difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The adrenal glands release a stress hormone known as cortisol. Research has shown that elevated cortisol levels can cause weight gain in the mid-section, often referred to as belly fat.

If you think you may have an adrenal disorder, check in with a health care professional. There are many natural ways to reduce stress levels and lower cortisol. Yoga can help and so can some food and lifestyle choices.

Symptoms of adrenal gland disorders include:

  1. Upper body obesity
  2. Round face and neck
  3. Thinning arms and legs
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Muscle and bone weakness
  6. High blood sugar
  7. Moodiness, irritability or depression

2. Liver Body Type

A properly-functioning liver is important for overall health and well-being. When it malfunctions, it can lead to weight gain in the stomach area. Some may refer to this weight gain as a “pot belly.” This body type may suffer from blood sugar issues such as diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. An accumulation of toxins in the liver can also cause joint pain or arthritis, allergies, skin problems and even body odor.

Liver disease can be genetic, or it can be caused by a variety of factors such as viruses or alcohol use. Damage to the liver can result in scarring over time, which may lead to liver failure — a life-threatening condition. If you notice unexplained weight gain in your stomach area, make an appointment with a doctor to get your liver checked out. You might also want to consider a liver detox!

3. Thyroid Body Type

The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy. It produces hormones that regulate the metabolism. If your thyroid is out-of-whack, you may notice all-over weight gain when you haven’t changed your diet in any way. Thyroid problems can cause sagging skin, hair loss and unusual body temperature. An underactive thyroid causes your energy level to drop, so you may also feel constantly fatigued.

Symptoms of a thyroid problem develop slowly, but a thyroid issue can cause many health problems, especially for women. Problems with menstrual cycle, problems getting pregnant and problems during pregnancy may result from a thyroid problem that goes untreated. If you have a thyroid problem, consider trying these natural herbs to help!

Signs of an underactive thyroid include:

  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Pale, dry skin
  • Slow heart rate
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • A puffy face
  • A hoarse voice

4. Ovary Body Type

Problems with the ovaries may be an indicator that you have a hormonal imbalance. PMS, early menstrual cycles or menopause, missed menstrual cycles or recurring constipation can all be warning signs. This body type may crave chocolate or dairy products. Ovary malfunction can lead to hot flashes, night sweats and weight gain in the lower half of the body.

Problems with the ovaries may include ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure, or ovarian torsion, a twisting of the ovary. If you experience ovarian pain, notice a change in your menstrual cycles, or experience unexplained weight gain in the lower half of your body, check in with a health care professional. Adjusting your diet can also help balance your estrogen levels.

Eating right is the best thing you can do to help your body balance and lose weight. Check out the video below to learn more!