Why Is Weight Loss Difficult With Pcos
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine-based condition caused by an imbalance in hormones like testosterone, insulin, and progesterone. Testosterone and insulin are often elevated in those with PCOS, making weight loss difficult.
Because of inflammation and insulin resistance, PCOS can make it harder to lose weight and contribute to increased weight gain. Studies have shown that women with PCOS have higher levels of inflammation, possibly due to insulin resistance. Not every woman with PCOS has insulin resistance, but the majority do.
High androgens like testosterone also play a role, as mentioned above. Weight loss with PCOS takes a specialized approach, including diet, exercise, supplements, and more, to address root causes.
But know, weight gain is a symptom of PCOS, not the cause. And you cannot cure PCOS by losing weight, but in many instances, it can help symptoms. Addressing weight issues in people with PCOS is never a calories in/ calories out conversation. It is important to educate on the multiple ways this condition can impact the body and focus on the nutrition, lifestyle, and sometimes medication strategies that can help bring balance.
Keep Your Thyroid Gland Healthy
A healthy thyroid is crucial for effective weight loss. You can keep your thyroid in good shape with some simple nutritional habits.
Studies show that 1 in 3 people around the world are deficient in iodine. Poor supply of iron, selenium, and zinc affect many people as well. These deficiencies can cause hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid disorder when the thyroid gland underperforms. It slows down your metabolism and makes it harder for you to lose weight.
Keep your diet rich in seafood, dairy, and soy, to ensure that you get enough iodine. Poultry and eggs are rich in zinc, while beans and cereals give you plenty of iron. If your diet falls short in any of these areas, it could be why you are having a hard time losing weight. Improving your diet or taking supplements can help.
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As far as foods to avoid, Gottfried recommends staying away from things full of processed carbs and sugar, like pasta, corn, potatoes and alcohol. Some high-sugar fruits, like mango and pineapple, can get in the way of reaching your goal, though options like berries are good.
” spikes your glucose,” Gottfried said. “It raises insulin, makes you store fat, especially belly fat.”
One particular roadblock is eating out or ordering too much takeout.
“We want to be thinking about this,” Gottfried said. “Is it related to the salt? Is it related to the industrial seed oils that are used? We don’t really know.”
While diet may be the biggest factor in balancing your hormones, Gottfried said that exercise matters too: Strength training and flexibility exercises can be “really good” as well.
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How To Lose Weight If Your Hormones Are Out Of Balance
Hormones can take a toll on your waistline. Women are especially prone to gaining weight during hormone surges, specifically during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. The increase in estrogen can affect your appetite, while your changing lifestyle adds to and compounds the problem.
Recognizing your weight gain is the result of changing hormones can allow you to pinpoint some of your triggers to create a weight loss plan. Talking to your doctor about your changing body can also help you find treatment options that allow you to lose weight successfully.
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The Hormone Reset Diet
The Harvard-educated physician and New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure shows you how to grow new receptors for your seven metabolic hormones, making you lose weight and feel great fast!
When it comes to weight loss, most people dont think about hormones. But when you develop resistance to your seven major metabolic hormonescortisol, thyroid, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, insulin, and estrogenyour body adjusts by increasingly raising your hormone levels and ultimately slowing down your metabolism. And a slower metabolism leads to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The solution, Dr. Sara Gottfried contends, is to reset the efficiency of your hormones by repairing and growing new hormone receptors.
Based on leading scientific research, The Hormone Reset Diet is her proven weight loss and energy program to reverse hormone resistance in just three weeks. It will help you:
For the last twenty years, this Harvard-MIT educated physician has helped thousands of women address the root hormonal causes of what bothers them most: excess weight, lack of energy, aging, and illness. Going beyond her bestselling The Hormone Cure, this program is the next generation of her deep understanding of hormonal optimization for rapid weight loss.
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Understanding Your Insulin Levels
Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas which helps regulate glucose, or blood sugar, in your body. If youre overweight or storing too much visceral fat around your organs, your bodys glucose regulator gets thrown off balance, and you may have a harder time losing weight.
In addition, if you tend to eat sugary foods throughout the day, you keep your insulin working overtime, trying to clear the sugar from your blood. Insulin stores extra sugar as fat.
Focus On Diet Quality
Overall, diets that are high in a variety of whole foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals promote healthy hormone levels.
Hormones such as insulin, cortisol and sex hormones can be negatively affected by a lower-quality diet, such as one that has lots of refined carbohydrates along with hydrogenated and saturated fats from fried foods, fatty meats and highly processed foods.
To reduce elevated insulin levels, eating better-quality carbohydrate sources and less carbohydrates overall may help.
Higher-quality carbohydrates tend to be lower on the glycemic index, minimally processed and higher in fiber. Examples include whole grains such as 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat, rolled or steel-cut oats and barley, pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and berries.
There is also some evidence that low-carb diets can help lower elevated insulin levels.
Eating too much or not enough is also not desirable from a hormone perspective: Overeating can cause insulin levels to rise, while undereating or chronic dieting negatively affects levels of cortisol and sex hormones.
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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.
Reasons You’re Gaining Weight That Have Nothing To Do With Food
Your body could be trying to tell you something, and it might not have anything to do with your diet.
It’s normal to gain weight and it’s nothing to be ashamed of — especially as we’re still wading through the murkiness of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed our work, gym and home lives. Often times, making healthy food swaps or adding more physical activity to your daily routine will get you back to whatever a “normal” weight is to you.
But sometimes figuring out why you gained weight is trickier than that. The “calories in, calories out” can miss the mark for many people when it comes to managing weight loss, so it makes sense that gaining weight is more complex than that too.
If you’ve gained weight and are having a hard time pinpointing the cause, keep reading below for five reasons that could be to blame.
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Ghrelin: Aka The Craving Hormone
Ghrelin works in tandem with leptin. When your stomach is empty, it is ghrelin that is responsible for telling you that you are hungry and that you need to eat something. These days, something is broken in the ghrelin mechanism too, increasing your hunger with your rarely feeling satiated.
Ghrelin is secreted primarily in the lining of the stomach. Your stomach makes ghrelin when its empty. Just like leptin, ghrelin goes into the blood, crosses the blood-brain barrier and ends up at your hypothalamus where it tells you youre hungry. Basically, ghrelin is high before you eat and low after you eat.
How to tame this craving hormone?
Water is an essential part of life and well, it can help you tame down this hunger hormone. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated and next time you feel hungry, have a glass of water first and you may be surprised to find your hunger pains abating.
Did you know that there is direct relationship between hormones and weight loss? Your hormones control every aspect of weight loss including your metabolism, where you store your fat, your appetite and even your cravings.
This means that any kind of hormonal imbalance may sabotage your weight loss efforts! Sure, skipping potato chips and hitting the treadmill is a trusted way to lose weight, but if your hormones are out of balance you may struggle to lose weight. However if you understand how they work and how to balance them you will be able to lose weight faster.
First Unopposed Estrogen Can Cause Water Weight
Especially if youre using hormones for birth control or replacement therapy.
Some women are so sensitive to bloating that they will put on 8-10 pounds of water weight. They will blame it on salty foods, poor circulation, their period. But it is hormonal.
Your Estrogen is out of balance with your Progesterone. You need to make 10-50 times more progesterone than estrogen in order to stay in balance. If you are stressed, your progesterone is used by your adrenals to fuel the stress response. Meaning your estrogen becomes unopposed. If this lasts a long time, you become estrogen dominant. Not that you make too much estrogen. The problem is .
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What Are The Stages Of Hormonal Change For Women
Women begin to experience the hormonal changes associated with the cessation of ovulation about eight to 10 years before menopause truly sets in, which means that menopause is a slow process.
Premenopause and Perimenopause
For many women, the first stage of menopause happens between ages 30 and 40, with the primary symptoms being cycles that become less regular and hot flashes during the night. Perimenopause is a more substantial stage where the symptoms of hormonal changes become more pronounced. In particular, perimenopause includes faster depletion of estrogen levels however, women are still capable of becoming pregnant during perimenopause, although fertility rates are likely lower.
Menopause and Postmenopause
Menopause is the full suspension of the ovulation cycle, meaning women no longer have any periods because their bodies do not produce enough estrogen to ovulate. Menopause is marked by hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbance, sexual dysfunction, and more. Many women are surprised to learn that postmenopause, which can occur for over 10 years after the onset of menopause, features a continuation of these symptoms.
Which Stage Features the Most Potential Weight Gain?
Where Do I Start
If you think hormones are sabotaging your weight loss, it may be worth getting a blood test , to check key biomarkers such as your thyroid and oestrogen levels.
Knowing whether you have an imbalance in hormones is a great starting point and depending on which hormones may be affected will depend on the best lifestyle changes to make. For example, if your cortisol levels are found high, then your first step may be to look at ways to de-stress.
Ultimately though, improving your diet, increasing your physical activity, and finding ways to manage your stress levels will have a positive impact on your health, body weight, and hormone production.
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What You Need To Know About Leptin Resistance
When your body becomes resistant to leptin, leptin levels become too high. In fact, overweight individuals who get their leptin levels tested typically find their leptin levels to be as high as four times the normal level. Whats more, its really difficult to balance leptin levels once theyve become resistant.
With leptin resistance, communication between the brain and leptin is impaired, so that your brain doesnt understand that its full, and tells your body to keep eating. Its as if your brain thinks youre starving when in reality, youre just leptin resistant.
To reverse leptin resistance or prevent it from happening to you in the first place, lets talk food, drink, and supplements. Everything in your body impacted by what you put into it, and leptins no different. Sugar, in particular, can cause leptin levels in your body to skyrocket, so youll want to eat less sugar. Other ways to prevent or reduce leptin resistance include:
- Committing to a regular exercise routine
- Getting truly restorative sleep on a regular basis
Reduce Exposure To Exogenous Oestrogens
Hormonal imbalances may also be affected by our exposure to exogenous oestrogens. Exogenous oestrogens are an environmental source of oestrogen that mimics the oestrogen within the body and can cause imbalances.
Examples of exogenous oestrogens include:
- Female contraceptive pills
- Hormone replacement therapy
There has also been a rising concern surrounding day to day exposure from sources within food, plastics, and other household products.
To counteract and help balance exposure to exogenous oestrogens, there are some foods that can help balance the bodys oestrogen.
Foods to help balance oestrogen include :
My blog on should women be worried about exogenous oestrogens explains more about where they are found and how to avoid them.
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Understand How Insulin Impacts Weight
Insulin is one of the most important hormones when it comes to weight loss and weight gain. Made by the pancreas, insulin is responsible for storing blood sugar, or utilizing it, depending upon your bodys needs of the moment. After you eat a large meal, a substantial amount of insulin releases itself into the bloodstream. It also enters the bloodstream as needed throughout the day, ensuring that blood sugar levels remain stable.
Another key function of this essential hormone is fat storage. Insulin decides how much fat to store, and how much to convert for energy expenditure. Chronically high levels of insulin can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance, which is linked to an uptick in blood sugar as well as continued elevated insulin levels.
Preventing this insulin imbalance is crucial, as it leads to weight gain, and eventually type 2 diabetes. When insulin levels remain high over an extended period of time, obesity and metabolic syndrome are often the unfortunate outcome.
Hormones Matter: Doctor Shares Weight
A new strategy for weight loss doesnt focus on working out more or limiting your portions: Instead, the method revolves around making sure youre eating the right food for your hormones.
Special anchor Maria Shriver spoke to physician and author Dr. Sara Gottfried about the tactic, which she says works especially well for women who are trying to lose weight for good.
Your food actually regulates your hormones, Gottfried said. So if youre trying to reduce calories, as an example, to manage your weight, that is a course of failure. Calories matter, but hormones matter more.
Gottfried said that instead of first thinking about hormones in their 50s and 60s, women should start thinking about them, especially in relation to their diet, at a much younger age. In her new book Women, Food and Hormones, Gottfried laid out a four-week plan that can help women achieve hormonal balance, based on her own experience trying to lose weight.
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Can Hormones Prevent Weight Loss
Hormones are chemical messengers that give crucial signals for regulating hunger, satiety, thirst, body temperature, or even weight .
With the help of the hypothalamus, a control center in your brain, the hormone balance is significantly involved in keeping bodily functions in a healthy equilibrium.
This principle of homeostasis also applies to essential metabolic processes. Hence, losing weight is hard once your hormones are out of balance.
Hormones decide whether you store energy or mobilize it, whether you are hungry or satiated, and how fat or muscle mass is distributed around the body.
Its not due to a mere lack of willpower that more than 75% of adults in the U.S. are already overweight or obese .
If your hormonal balance is set incorrectly, you will not lose weight no matter how much you restrain yourself from eating or exercising several times a week.
Therefore, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig concludes that the obesity epidemic is due to a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one.
The hormonal system has the primary role in developing obesity, even though the cultural changes of the last half-century initiated it .
And this Western lifestyle has long ceased to be a purely American issue but rather a global one.