Being Tired All The Time
Hormonal imbalances like high cortisol, low testosterone, and hypothyroidism can make you feel tired all the time.
Its normal to feel tired after a long day but if you wake up tired, your hormones could be unbalanced. However, tiredness can be a sign of many other health issues. Instead of guessing, see a doctor and find out what the problem might be.
How To Fix Your Hormones And Lose Weight
Ive hit a stubborn weight-loss plateau, writes this weeks house call, even though I seem to be doing everything right, like eating the right foods and exercising. How can I overcome that obstacle?
Ive discussed different reasons for weight-loss resistance in past blogs. Many obstacles have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. Instead, they involve things like nutritional imbalances, chronic inflammation, metabolic challenges, leaky gut, changes in your microbiome, environmental toxins and your genes.
One huge but often-overlooked reason for weight-loss resistance involves hormonal imbalances.
No contest: The monster hormone that causes weight gain, inflammation and chronic disease is excess insulin. Think of this hormone as your fat cell fertilizer! My new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, discusses how to naturally regulate insulin so you can shift your body from fat storage mode to fat-burning mode.
At the same time, insulin isnt the only player other hormones also affect your weight and health. Three big disruptors are: thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. I discuss these hormones in-depth in The Blood Sugar Solution, however, lets briefly look at each of them here.
Research shows hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, affects one in five women and one in ten men. Unfortunately, in over half of these cases, this condition isnt diagnosed.
A common cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance.
Sex Hormone Imbalances
Common Hormones That Contribute To Weight Gain And Weight Loss
Hormones are responsible for many aspects of our health. For women, these fluctuations cause a wide range of symptoms. Some hormone-related conditions can also lead to significant weight gain. Thyroid hormones, for example, are produced in excess by the thyroid gland. This can cause rapid weight gain or weight loss. This condition is characterized by a large number of symptoms, including increased appetite and weight gain. But there are some ways to avoid weight gain by addressing hormone imbalance before it gets out of hand.
Thyroid hormones control metabolism. A low thyroid can lead to weight gain and other symptoms of an underactive thyroid. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems and increased blood pressure. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy and iodine supplements are usually prescribed by a physician for patients suffering from low thyroid hormone levels. However, an overactive thyroid may result in weight loss and bone loss. A low thyroid can also lead to mood swings, insomnia, and jitteriness. For women, the hormonal changes associated with menopause and perimenopause may also contribute to weight gain.
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Sudden Increase In Belly Fat
One of the clearest indicators that you may be suffering from hormonal weight gain is a sudden increase in belly fat. This typically occurs when your cortisol levels are high because of stress or anxiety. The higher your cortisol levels, the more likely it is for you to store body fat on your stomach instead of burning it as energy or using it as fuel throughout the day
Diet Exercise Primary Contributors To Weight
Calling hormones the true culprit behind womens weight gain isnt correct, according to Susan Davis, a professor of Chronic Disease & Aging at Monash University in Australia.
If they were, Davis said, everyone would be fat. Instead, she said diet is the primary culprit.
According to the National Institutes of Health, people gain weight when they take in more calories than they burn, and this imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain.
Davis added that diet is a crucial part of weight loss, as exercise alone doesnt always burn calories at the rate some might expect.
Twenty minutes of exercise is a glass of orange juice and three hours of exercise is a Big Mac, Davis said. And most people who eat a Big Mac don’t go out and do three hours of sustained exercise to follow that.
That isnt to say exercise is ineffective.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity is one of the most important things a person can do to improve their health. Regular physical activity is also associated with reduced weight gain and weight loss especially when combined with reduced calorie intake.”
Davis recommends those who try to lose weight do so slowly. For example, she said someone can think of one thing they eat on most days, and then cut that out of their diet.
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Everything You Need To Know About The Hormone Diet
Unsplash / Design by Dion Mills
In This Article
Trigger warning: Diet culture and disordered eating.
It would be best to view weight loss trends with a skeptical eye, especially those that require a huge overhaul to your current eating patterns and are restrictive. Diets that require you to eliminate food groups or eat meager calories are often more harmful than good. As well, your weight isn’t always an indicator of your health or hormonal functioning, as several other factors make up a healthy lifestyle.
The Hormone Diet claims to reset your hormones through diet modifications, helping you become healthier and lose weight in the process. But does it work, and is it safe? Here, we ask dietitians and to share their opinions of the Hormones Diet, whether or not it works, and what the pros and cons are.
Meet the Expert
- Mary Wirtz, MS, RDN, CSSD, is a nutritional consultant at Mom Loves Best.
- Jana Mowrer, MPH, RDN, CDCES, is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, certified diabetes care & education specialist, founder, and owner of HealthWins Coaching and Consulting.
Want To Learn More About Your Weight And Hormones
To make an appointment with Drs. McDonald or Wilson at OB/GYN Specialists, call 940-202-0566 today. You can also send us a message here on our website.
Our Denton, Texas, office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm to offer our patients the chance to ask questions, get informed, and start living the lives they most desire.
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How Long Does It Take To See Results
Within 6 weeks of starting to include some exercises that increase lean muscle mass, you might see some shifting and definition, but youll already notice your strength has increased. Its so empowering it feels great! says Carol. Youll get faster results than youll get on your own. Its a kick start that involves all sorts of changes , including a shift in upper body posture, and more defined muscles.
What You Can Eat
Turner calls her food plan âGlyci-Med,” since it’s a mix of foods low on the glycemic index and a traditional Mediterranean diet.
Foods you can eat include lean protein vegetables and most fruit chia seeds, flaxseeds, and most nuts olive oil and some other unsaturated oils and fats, like canola oil and whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa.
On this plan, you’ll avoid or minimize caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, processed meat, peanuts, saturated fat, full-fat dairy, artificial sweeteners, and simple high-GI carbs like white bread.
You’ll eat often — every 3-4 hours — making healthy food choices at least 80% of the time. But you do get one to two âcheat mealsâ a week.
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Your Low Testosterone Levels Are Slowing Down Your Metabolism
You are confronted with an astounding number of toxins each day, including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, and about six different synthetic hormones in meat. Toxins are lurking in face creams, prescription drugs, processed foods, your lipstick, the linings of tuna fish cans, the fire-retardant materials in couches, and even the air you breathe. The list goes on.
Many types of these toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and industrial chemicals, behave like estrogen when absorbed in the body. Experts believe that our increasing exposure to toxins helps explain why so many girls are entering puberty earlier and why many boys exhibit feminine characteristics such as developing breasts. Xeno-estrogens, as these particular toxins are called, have been associated with an elevated risk of estrogen-driven diseases like breast and ovarian cancers and endometriosis.
HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT
All this fake estrogen overwhelms your body’s testosteronewhich is vital for hormone balanceand contributes to estrogen overload. Testosterone contributes to muscle growth, which in turn supports metabolism. And, as we already know, estrogen overload raises insulin insensitivity. The combination adds pounds to your frame: A study from Sweden published in the journal Chemosphere showed that exposure to a particular type of pesticide called organochloride was linked to a weight gain of 9½ pounds over 50 years.
Balancing Hormones For Weight Loss
Hormones can be balanced, even as we get older. Some of the most important tools we have in staying healthy are surprisingly straightforward. Dr. Dorr reminds us that âthroughout life, staying active both mentally and physically is the key to optimal health. Our balance comes from the right diet, exercise, vitamins and minerals.â
What does that mean in the day-to-day? Cutting out sugary snacks and sodas, finding a workout plan, and adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals are all natural ways to balance your hormones.
Persistent weight gain even after lifestyle changes is something you should talk to your doctor about, as it could be a sign of other medical concerns.
Want more information on weight loss after age 60? We have a blog post all about it!
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How To Balance Ghrelin Levels
If you have a sneaking suspicion your ghrelin levels are in need of some TLC, here are a couple of ways to balance them:
- Eat adequate amounts of protein. Protein helps you feel full and should be consumed with every meal. Studies show how eating protein promotes healthy ghrelin levels.
- Avoid sugar as much as possible. As you can see by now, consuming too much sugar disrupts hormonal balance, making weight loss seem an impossible feat. Be sure to read labels. If an item contains high-fructose corn syrup, dont buy it. A 2013 study published in Nutritional Diabetes shows how high-fructose corn syrup is one of the primary culprits of imbalance when it comes to hormones and weight gain.
Fertility Treatments For Women With Pcos
Theres currently no cure for PCOS, so treatment and management depends on the goal.
For infertility caused by PCOS, treatment involves correcting any ovulation issues and tackling metabolic problems, such as insulin resistance.
Hormonal birth control pills can be helpful for those who dont wish to get pregnant. And there are treatments to help you ovulate and conceive. It can also be used to help regulate menstrual cycles and provide protection from endometriosis in women with irregular periods associated with PCOS.
Your doctor will probably recommend some basic health measures first.
Maintaining a healthy weight for your body can help regulate menstruation and keep blood glucose levels under control. So a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise are vital.
If you dont already, its a good time to start tracking your periods. There are many calendars and fertility apps designed to help you figure out which days youre most likely ovulating.
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Signs Your Hormones Are Causing Weight Gain
Several different factors can cause belly fat, including gender, age, dietary habits and amounts of physical exercise and hormonal misfiring. So how can you tell if hormones are the cause of your abdominal weight gain? While you can look out for some signs, its important to discuss any of your questions with a doctor to identify the root cause. Sometimes its not always so obvious and can vary from person to person.
Here are a few warning signs and symptoms you can look out for to help identify the cause of your belly fat:
How To Choose The Best Diet For Hormonal Weight Gain: The Buying Guide
How do you choose the diet for hormonal weight gain? You must consider many things, such as the brand name, price, and product quality. In addition, you should also consider whether it is suitable for your needs or not.
So how do you choose the right diet for hormonal weight gain? Here are some tips that you can use to help you find a good product:
What you Should Keep in Mind When Buying diet for hormonal weight gain
When shopping for a diet for hormonal weight gain, there are several things to consider. You need to think about the quality of the product, the price, and even how much it will benefit your life. However, you also need to keep these factors in mind:
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Engage In Regular Exercise
Creating an exercise routine and sticking with it can be a significant lifestyle change for some and can take some getting used to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , you should aim for 150 minutes of weekly, moderate-intensity activity for optimal body function. Exercise is excellent for keeping your hormones in check. If youre searching for tips on how to lose hormonal fat, exercise is the perfect opportunity to burn belly fat and calories.
Increased Or Imbalanced Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone that helps the body manage and respond to stress or danger and plays an essential role in our flight or fight response. When you feel stressed, your adrenal glands will produce more cortisol, which sends signals to your body to store more fat.
Suppose you are dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety or any stress-related disorders. In that case, your body will produce increased amounts of cortisol, and high cortisol levels can lead to excess belly fat and weight gain.
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What Are Hormone Diets And Can They Really Help You Lose Weight Quickly
As a registered dietitian, I have found that my clients are increasingly asking about books and programs that claim you can adjust your hormones with a diet to lose weight quickly and easily.
Search for hormone diet and there are more than 30 recent books on the topic. The authors allege that the reason people over 35 struggle to lose weight doesnt have to do with eating too much or not exercising enough. They say its your hormones working against you.
According to these books, you can trick your metabolism and feed your thyroid. They claim that all you need to do is eat the right foods and take the right supplements, and youll unlock the secret to lasting weight loss.
But is there any evidence these diets work?
In researching hormone diets, I found some that are sold at weight-loss centers, created by wellness experts who have no recognized credentials. They claim to promote rapid weight loss by affecting hormones such as insulin, which moves sugar from your blood into your cells cortisol, the stress hormone sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and thyroid hormones.
So, do hormone diets lead to quick and easy weight loss?
I dont know of any diet that will change hormone levels in a way that these hormone changes will be instrumental in promoting weight loss, Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, a professor of medicine at Tulane Universitys medical school, wrote in an email.
How To Get Cortisol Under Control
Tips for maintaining healthy, balanced cortisol levels include the following:
- Consider what relaxes you. Is it meditation? A walk in the park? A bubble bath? Engaging in a creative project? Find what relieves stress for you, and integrate it into your daily routine.
- Exercise regularly, and give yoga a try if its not already part of your workout regimen. The synchronized breathwork that accompanies a nice, flowing vinyasa routine calms the nervous system and reduces cortisol all while giving your body and mind a thorough workout.
- Listen to your favorite music. A 2011 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that patients who listened to instrumental music during surgery had lower cortisol levels than a control group.
- Get enough sleep at night. Have you ever noticed how easily stressed and anxious you become on days when youre sleep deprived? This happens because during a night of deep, restorative sleep, your body is working to balance all hormones, including cortisol. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine explored how sleep deprivation impacted helicopter pilots on a 7-day emergency medical duty. Findings suggested it was sleep deprivation not the act of emergency medical care that elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels.
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Hormones Incidental In Weight Gain
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hormones can control everything from metabolism and energy levels to growth and development. Hormones play a role in weight, experts told USA TODAY but they are not the primary driver of weight gain, as the post claims.
Dr. Artur Viana, clinical director of the Metabolic Health & Weight Loss Program at Yale University, said that while hormones are involved in obesity, they are not the sole cause. Robert Lustig, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco, told USA TODAY theres an ongoing debate in the nutrition field over the extent to which hormones contribute to obesity.
Is obesity a problem of energy balance, or is obesity a problem of energy storage? he said. If its a problem of energy balance, its all about calories. If its about energy storage, then the question is: Whats storing it? And the answer is one of two hormones: insulin and cortisol.
For example, when blood sugar rises, the hormone insulin goes up, allowing sugar to exit the blood and enter cells where it is needed. But when cells receive more sugar than they need, fat begins to accumulate. However, insulin itself doesn’t cause weight gain.
Lustig’s recommendation for people looking to lose weight is simple: Stop eating sugar.
Thats numbers one, two and three, he said. Get rid of the sugar, get rid of the sugar, get rid of the sugar.