One Of The Main Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight
The hormone that has the greatest connection to weight gain and disease is insulin specifically too much of it. Every week I speak to new clients who tell me that theyve started to put on weight since hitting their 40s/50s ! Insulin resistance is often to blame! One of the more obvious consequences of a diet too high in sugars and starches is that thick roll of tummy fat. That fat itself produces pro-inflammatory compounds and inflammation, which can also cause inflammation in the brain.Foods that cause high blood sugar and insulin resistance when consumed regularly and over consumed include sweet fizzy drinks, sweet coffee drinks, sweets, pastries, pasta, bread, processed grains, fruit juices and other high-glycemic foods. But sometimes just a diet high in any carbohydrates. Many women find that they gain weight sometimes a significant amount during peri menopause and menopause. And, to make matters worse, their old tried and true ways of getting the weight off simply dont work.Its a complex issue that includes a combination of poor diet sedentary lifestyle, stress, and many other factors. But, the truth is, whatever the underlying cause, insulin resistance is a major cause of peri and menopausal weight gain and those with a genetic variant on their genes involved in insulin balance will be at greater risk. The key to reversing it and achieving lasting weight loss is to keep insulin levels low.See my recent Blog post on Insulin Resistance.
What Hormones Can Affect Weight Loss
A number of hormones can influence metabolism which ultimately impacts our ability to gain and lose weight. Insulin, for example, moves glucose into cells for fuel or fat storage. An underactive thyroid gland can also affect metabolism. Too much cortisol, a stress hormone, can increase cravings and appetite, cause abdominal fat to build up, and lead to other unwanted side effects. Additional hormones that can affect our efforts at weight loss include estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone among others.
Hormone imbalances can occur for a variety of reasons, such as aging, vitamin deficiencies, menopause in women, and more. It is important to get any issues diagnosed to avoid some of the health dangers associated with being overweight, including an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Carrying too much weight can also cause other problems, such as osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and asthma.
Whether you’re struggling to lose extra pounds or simply want to maintain your current weight, Gordon Hart and his colleagues at Balance Hormone Center can help. Call the office or click the button to book an appointment today.
Sorting Your Stressed Hormones
Luckily there are ways to help your hormones. Stress-lowering techniques are vital devote more time to yourself and more time to relaxation.
This might mean time off screens, or taking more breaks during the day to make a cup of tea or pop out for a walk.
Dr Brewer said: Aim for a better balance between pressures you can handle and those you cant.
Identify what causes you stress through keeping and analysing a stress diary.
She adds that changing how you view stressful events is also helpful: If you believe you can deal with a stressful situation, you are likely to succeed.
If you think youll fail before you even start, this usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
View challenges as an opportunity rather than a threat.
And if you do fail, welcome the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Its all about taking control.
Other ways to lower stress and get your hormones back in check include eating a healthy diet.
Dr Brewer said: Eat a high-fibre, wholefood diet with an abundance of fruits, vegetables and salads, while decreasing your intake of sugary foods and salt.
Vitamin C and B group vitamins are rapidly used up in the metabolic reactions associated with the fight-or-flight response, plus stress also depletes the body of calcium and magnesium.
Dr Brewer recommends a multivitamin and mineral supplement as well as a probiotic to replenish immune-boosting bacteria in the gut.
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What Causes Hormonal Weight Gain
Stress can be either beneficial or detrimental, depending on whether it helps you catch up with deadlines at work or negatively impacts your productivity. However, too much stress, or chronic stress, can only harm your health, particularly your body shape, by the presence of a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces when its stressed. Although cortisol is essential as it sends you into fight-or-flight mode, preparing your body to react to a danger or a stressful situation, it can become harmful in excess amounts.
Cortisol boosts your energy levels by stimulating your fat and carbohydrate metabolism. While this process is necessary for stress management, cortisol also stimulates your appetite, leading to persistent cravings for sweet and fatty foods.
In addition, increased cortisol levels due to stress can also drive you to eat more than usual. You might constantly look for snacks throughout the day to temporarily relieve stress. As a result, you might end up noticing an increase in weight around the waist.
Extra weight around the arms, thighs, and chest are all symptoms of hormonal weight gain due to estrogen. According to research, the absence of estrogens may be a crucial factor in obesity. On the other hand, estrogen dominance, which occurs when the body has too much estrogen, might also be another culprit of hormone-related weight gain.
When To See A Doctor For Weight Management
If you experience rapid weight gain or loss it is time to see your provider. Because weight changes are often a symptom, this one could point to a serious issue.
If you’ve tried losing weight but can’t seem to budge the scale and are feeling frustrated, meet with a provider to discuss your unique health needs is important. If you try a popular diet pattern like intermittent fasting and actually gain weight or notice significant symptoms like fatigue or missing periods arise, its time to check in with your medical provider.
If you notice your hair falling out, a drop in energy, dry or thinning skin, joint pain, mood changes, or any period issues that accompany changes in weightplease get it checked out.
It may be time to test your hormone levels to identify any root causes for your weight loss resistance.
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Metabolic Syndrome And Insulin Resistance
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes a group of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess body fat around the waist.
Metabolic syndrome is closely tied to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose for energy. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it can’t use glucose effectively. This increases blood sugar levels, and too much glucose in the blood is eventually stored as fat.
But contrary to popular thought, insulin itself doesnt make you fat. So before you get scared away from eating that next piece of juicy fruit or sweet potato, please know that the glucose causing elevated insulin levels is a product of insulin resistance and not the root cause. Meaning, its not the carbohydrate leading to fat storage but the underlying insulin resistance at a cellular level thats the cause. And the root cause of that is due to many factorsmainly an ongoing diet composed of too many processed foods and not enough real food.
Insulin resistance is usually linked with type 2 diabetes, but you can have insulin resistance for years before developing diabetes without knowing it .
Healthy lifestyle tips to support insulin resistance:
My Own Experience With Hormones And Weight Gain
Cortisolis one of the biggest problems when it comes to hormonal imbalance. When cortisol levels are skewed, so many other hormones are impacted as well. Thats why I suggest starting with looking at your cortisol production and the stress in your life.
I know first hand the effects that stress can have on weight. I was in perimenopause when my mother got sick, and not only was I caring for her, I was also raising three young children, and working insane hours in my thriving practice.
During this time, I gained 20 pounds, seemingly out of nowhere. I couldnt believe it I had changed nothing about the way I ate, but my body was certainly changing! I tried everything to drop those extra pounds. I joined a weight loss program and actually ran to meetings for weigh-in then ran back home again. I didnt recognize that I was increasing the stress on my body, thereby making the problem worse!
It wasnt until I took a step back and realized that I was directly contradicting the advice I gave other women that I knew what had to be done. Stress reduction was a necessity, not a luxury!
Its funny how much you can miss when it comes to your own life, isnt it? I knew that stress and rising cortisol levels could impact weight, but its like I forgot it all when I got caught up in my own personal stress cycle. Im so grateful for my education and training, because it allowed me to remember all the things I passed along to women in my practice every day.
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Things That Happen To Your Hormones When You’re Trying To Lose Weight According To A Dietitian
Our series, Hormones & Our Health: How What You Eat May Affect How They Work, explores the vast role hormones play in the body and the diet and lifestyle factors that help them function as they should.
Numbers don’t lie. Except when it comes to weight loss. For years, dietitians swore weight management boiled down to one simple equation: Eat less, lose more.
Sounds logical. But today, we know that dropping pounds isn’t just about mathematics. If it were, we wouldn’t still be searching for the latest weight-loss miracle . Why is weight loss such a challenge? One big reason is your hormones.
Our bodies are evolutionarily hard-wired to hang onto fat to protect against starvation and famine. So even though you might want to lose weight quickly, your body has other plans entirely. And it really doesn’t matter which diet you choose. Whether it’s keto, paleo, intermittent fasting or old-school calorie-cutting, rapid weight loss sets off alarm bells telling your body to restore the status quopronto. As soon as it gets the SOS, your body springs into action, releasing a flurry of hormones designed to put the pounds back on. Next thing you know, the weight you worked so hard to shed starts making a comeback.
Hormones And Your Weight
Hormones are chemical molecules that act as messengers, responsible for communicating between the different systems of the body. They are secreted into the bloodstream and transported towards the areas of the body where they perform their work.
Among the many functions of hormones are regulating physiological activities like digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sleep, stress, development, and reproduction. Hormones also impact your body weight and fat distribution.
A study published in the Journal of Womens Health explains that women have a higher risk of obesity than men due to hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives. This hormone-weight link also affects men to a lesser degree. Fortunately, both women and men can minimize this risk with proper prevention and early intervention.
Many complain that when they lose weight, they tend to gain it all back quickly. Others observe that their weight creeps up as they age. Finally, some follow a perfect diet with a consistent exercise routine, but nothing seems to work.
These situations may be the direct result of hormonal imbalances. With age, both men and women undergo changes in their hormone levels. As long as they remain off-balance, weight loss may seem impossible. While women largely deal with progesterone and estrogen imbalances, men have testosterone to blame.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss can be triggered by a number of different things. Stress, bereavement, and an overactive thyroid are only a few of the reasons that women may experience weight loss. It can also be caused by hormonal imbalance. When women enter menopause, they experience a rapid change in their production of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The body is left unable to cope with the changes and can react in unexpected ways, thus a loss of appetite and sudden weight loss due to hormonal imbalance are relatively common.
How Can I Balance The Hormones That Affect Weight
Once you understand the various hormones roles in your body, you will see how to balance them.
Insulin plays a key role in weight loss and weight gain. Secreted in the pancreas, insulin stores sugar and uses it depending on the bodys needs. The hormone stores fat and decides how much fat the body will hold or convert to energy.
To maintain balanced insulin levels and avoid insulin resistance, eat regularly, but dont eat too much. Reducing your carbohydrate intake can also keep your insulin stable. Increased insulin levels eventually lead to weight gain.
Leptin is the appetite suppressant hormone. Ideally, this hormone “talks” to your brain, telling it when you are hungry or full.
Just like insulin, keeping leptin levels balanced requires you to be on top of your diet. Remember to eat less processed sugar, include more fiber, exercise more, and consume anti-inflammatory foods.
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It sends signals to the brain telling it to eat. Every time the stomach is empty, the body releases ghrelin into the bloodstream.
One way to keep ghrelin levels balanced is to consume more protein. Protein makes you feel full, so you should incorporate it into every meal.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. Whenever your body is under any form of stress, it releases cortisol into the bloodstream. Studies have linked high levels of cortisol to overeating.
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Hormones And Weight Gain: How To Fix The Hormones That Control Your Weight
Did you know that your weight is directly related to your hormones? This is a fact many of us forget as we travel along the often slow and frustrating road to weight loss. To maintain a weight thats healthy for our unique bodily makeup, a delicate balance of hormones is required. If certain hormones are off-kilter, weight gain often results.
In order to lose weight and keep it off we must understand the intricate inner workings of our many hormones. Once we understand the relationship between hormones and weight gain, we can take the proper steps to balance these hormones and lose weight in a sustainable, healthy way.
When Should I See An Endocrinologist For Weight Gain
There are a wide range of hormonal issues that may cause sudden, unexplained weight gain. These include thyroid deficiency, declining estrogen , and polycystic ovary syndrome . Weight gain may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and heavy or painful periods. If you find yourself gaining weight with no apparent explanation or changes in diet or exercise, you should discuss this with your doctor. An endocrinologist can help identify hormonal imbalances by reviewing your symptoms and performing laboratory tests when necessary.
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How To Combat Hormonal Imbalance In Long
So now that we know the leading causes of hormonal imbalance, we can discuss how to fight this problem long-term.
You need to make sure that you have a healthy lifestyle and balance your lifestyle.
To start with, you need to eat foods rich in nutrients and vitamins. Your body needs energy and nutrients for energy production. A healthy diet will ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs for its essential functions, such as metabolism, immunity, and digestion.
If you want to maintain a healthy weight alongside hormonal balance, you should take note of the following tips below.
Final Thoughts On Hormones And Weight Loss
The hormone and weight loss equation is complex. So many hormones work together in your body to maintain equilibrium, so when one or more of these hormones is out of balance, it can lead to weight gain or make it difficult to lose weight, even when you’re eating right and exercising.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight without success, it may be time to have your hormone levels checked by a professional to see if they could be the culprit. With the right information and support, you can get your hormones back in balance and finally see and feel the results you want.
And lastly, never stand for a provider who makes weight an issue of morality, shames you about your body, or uses it as an excuse to dismiss your concerns. None of that should be tolerated from anyone, let alone a medical provider.
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Does Anything Good Happen
Despite these changes, weight loss isn’t all bad news for your hormones. Some hormones improve after weight loss, doing good things for your health.
For instance, losing weight may:
- Lower estrogen, which can protect from breast cancer.
- Boost testosterone, helping to maintain muscle mass and bone density. It can also improve sex drive in all genders and increase sperm count if a person has testes and is not on androgen blockers.
- Improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes .