When Exercise & Diet Aren’t Working: Which Lab Tests Should I Get?

Which lab tests should I get? Should I test my hormones? These are common questions. It’s also a common recommendation from trainers and coaches… I don’t always agree with.

One question I ask first: 


What are you going to do with it? (do you want to do HRT? Considering it? Or not? Knowing what you will do with results may determine the answer to this) 

Then, what you think you know might need an update to 2023. Said respectfully! What we learned in the 80s is no longer applicable – to either the bodies we have now or to the science developments since then. 

And… we know now that one woman’s healthy is potentially another’s poison.. The amyloid proteins in chicken may cause gut problems. The antinutrients in kale may not work for you. You may not have celiac disease or a full-blown allergy however could still have developed a food sensitivity to something you’ve eaten daily for a long time. 

Can you test for food sensitivities? Yes, but they sometimes aren’t detected until they’re fairly bad so test your body with an elimination and reintroduction diet too. 

So in this episode, I’ve got a load of information. I’d suggest gathering all the information about what is happening for you right now before you decide what step to take next.

We’re talking about a significant loss of weight for both and a lifestyle change. We’re not recommending it or suggesting it. This isn’t a persuasive argument. What it is about an hour that might open your mind to possibilities for you and your future? For how to start something when you may have decided it’s too late. 


Smart Scale, measuring tape, CBG monitor, tracking devices

Walking, weight training, and Intermittent fasting, monitoring your protein, carb and fat intake may also be beneficial (that’s not macro counting, that’s the ability to look at a plate or a menu and control what you eat and when so you both have the pleasure of food and benefit from good health from it too).


Functional vs Western-Trained testing (root cause vs illness detection) 
What to do with your Western-trained doc (inside our membership
What to do with a functional doc (because you may HAVE to and because only they’ve been trained to interpret)
Complete Blood Panel
Cortisol saliva 
Stool test 

You’re gaining weight/tired* in spite of:

  • Sleeping soundly and waking rested
  • Increasing protein and keeping it steady throughout the day
  • Eating adequate amounts of carbs, especially around exercise
  • Exercising priorities: strength and low, HIIT if feeling good, and not endurance 
  • Recovery between exercises: you’re ready for a workout feeling strong and energized! 
  • You’re measuring body composition and its fat or inflammation gain not muscle 
  • Testing yourself with elimination, reintroduction, and following a plan from there
  • Eliminating alcohol and reducing caffeine to 2 or less cups in am 
  • *hydrating by adding electrolytes 
  • *adding adaptogens 

Subjective Test: Self-Assess 0-4

Focus & Concentration
Muscle tone & strength

All at a 3 or 4?

Lab Tests You May Want, When & Why:

Complete Blood Panel if not in last year

  • Inflammatory markers: A1C, CRP
  • Fasting Blood Glucose (still may not be conclusive) 

Saliva Cortisol 
Stool Testing 
Hormones and… 

  • Thyroid
  • TPO
  • Antibodies (these can be a clue to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)
  • T3
  • T4
  • Reverse T3

Not all Functional Docs need or favor Dutch (blood tests can also pinpoint for you)

  • Estrogen (3)
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA

Before You Ask About Lab Tests …

There are other tools besides the self-assessment of subjective measures you can do too. 

I think it’s easy to turn over our power to a physician. Or possibly to do a lab test, get results and then maybe a pill, cream, patch or shot and think, that will do the heavy lifting. (Pun intended). 

Yet, we really need to explore whether lab tests that result in a prescription of some type will do their job if we haven’t really explored the consistent habit changes. 

And habit changes that come from different nutrition information than we may believe, different exercise habits than we’ve been led to believe are best, and prioritizing our sleep, and self care. 

Sometimes though, the value is, we pay attention because we pay. 

 Yet, if you’ve done labs that are not the right labs providing the right insight, they may be leaving you wondering why you feel so bad when you’re doing the right thing.

My advice:

Do the self-assessment I include here  (we did this as a membership challenge recently and giving step-by-step actionable items once we help members prioritize what they most need)

Other Episodes You May Like:

Why You Can’t Lose Fat in Menopause: https://www.flippingfifty.com/lose-fat-in-menopause/

How an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle and Eating Clean Work #505: https://www.flippingfifty.com/intermittent-fasting-lifestyle/

Midlife Weight Loss: Burn Body Fat, Balance Your Hormones: https://www.flippingfifty.com/midlife-weight-loss/


EASY, EFFORTLESS, PROTEIN: https://www.flippingfifty.com/protein – take 10% off by registering for Subscribe & Save, and don’t forget to order Fiber Boost. For regularity, and fullness, and satiety, there is NOTHING like combining protein and fiber. 

Sunlighten Saunas: https://www.flippingfifty.com/sauna

My Favorite Self-Directed Labs: https://yourlabwork.com/Flipping-50 CODE: flipping50 

Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor I’m loving: https://www.flippingfifty.com/myglucose

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Circumference outside of both arms, at the armpit

Right Triceps
Halfway btwn shoulder & elbow, arm extended.

Find the widest point of girth at the hips

Right Thigh
Standing with weight on both legs, measure halfway between knee cap and hip flexor

Right Calf
Standing with weight on both legs, find the largest point of calf.

how to measure woman outline

Measure from the rib cage just under breasts at bra line

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