Hormone Balance For Weight Loss: Fact Or Fiction
See the NASM Weight Loss Specialization course for more information on this subject!
A quick online search for weight loss strategies reveals a plethora of hormone-balancing diets, supplements and medications. The premise behind these products is that hormonestiny chemical messengers that regulate physiological processesget out of balance, causing weight gain or foiling attempts to lose weight.
That seems like a reasonable claim, but is it true? What should you say when clients ask about hormones and weight management? In this article, well provide answers on the links between body weight and five of the most talked about hormone imbalances: those relating to insulin, cortisol, the thyroid hormones, testosterone and estrogen. Ill review the science and outline nutrition and exercise strategies to help your clients overcome weight loss plateaus and succeed at long-term weight loss.
The hormone issues discussed below often fade away with proper diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. Supplements and specialized diets typically address the symptoms of hormone imbalances, not the causes. Your clients may get better results if they understand the difference between the two.
Lets dive in!
How To Balance Insulin For Weight Loss:
One small step you can take is by starting the day drinking filtered water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This will help you regulate your blood sugar first thing in the morning.
If apple cider vinegar sounds too harsh for you, ease into it or at least drink 16 oz of water every morning before you eat or drink anything else.
This acts as a natural body flush.
Other ways to naturally balance your insulin levels include:
- Getting enough protein with every meal
- Eating smaller, healthy meals more often
- Eating low-glycemic carbs
- Eliminating added sugars from your diet
The bottom line is this: if youve been struggling to lose weight but cant figure out what youre doing wrong, your hormones may be to blame.
You can ask your doctor to test your hormones, as well as use the above information to try different techniques to bring suspected problem hormones back into balance.
Its your body, and you should know everything you can to not only lose weight but feel happy, healthy, and whole.
Before we get started, heres a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, measuring progress wisely, thinking long-term, limiting fruit, alcohol and artificial sweeteners, reviewing your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, exercising and finally, getting into ketosis.
This is number fifteen:
Macronutrient Composition Of Meals
The macronutrient composition of meals is one variable that may contribute to excessive caloric intake under ad libitum conditions resulting in unwanted weight gain and the onset of obesity. The postprandial endocrine response associated with meals of varying macronutrient proportions may give some insight as to why certain food combinations lead to greater satiety resulting in less caloric ingestion than others. Identifying and exploiting the macronutrient proportions that are associated with satiety and favorable postprandial endocrine responses may be a useful strategy for initiating weight loss through appetite regulation in the absence of purposeful calorie restriction.
In conclusion, evidence tends to suggest that for the regulation of ad libitum caloric ingestion, a high-protein diet may be beneficial whereas high-fat diets should most likely be avoided. It would appear to be most beneficial if the additional protein is ingested from solid food sources as food form also appears to play a role in feelings of satiety . Future research should investigate the effects of large doses of insoluble fiber in addition to a high-protein diet to determine if this combination could further attenuate appetite and energy intake.
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What Hormones Can They Test
It is important to note that no home test can diagnose a health condition, so people should interpret their results with the help of a doctor.
Some metabolism tests look at key hormone levels that can affect a persons metabolism. These test results could indicate a hormone issue that could be affecting an individuals weight and other aspects of health. For example, many hormone metabolism tests look at cortisol levels, TSH, and free testosterone.
Release Stubborn Weight Naturally
The great news is that by changing what you eat and how, you can help naturally reset the balance between your major and minor hormones. You can jumpstart this process by using targeted phytotherapeutic herbs. Weve formulated a hormone balancing herbal combination of black cohosh, red clover, kudzu, passionflower, ashwagandha and more that adapts to the hormonal needs in your body. This combination can ease your hormones back into balance and eliminate bothersome symptoms. With the burden of hormonal imbalance lifted, your body can release the stubborn weight its holding on to.
Our Weight Loss Resistance Package offers a specially formulated eating plan along with targeted nutrients and herbs shown to improve hormonal regulation.
1 Vicennati, et al. 2002. Response of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenocortical axis to high-protein/fat and high-carbohydrate meals in women with different obesity phenotypes. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 87 , 89843988. URL: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/87/8/3984 .
Schwarzbein, D., & Deville, N. 1999. The Schwarzbein Principle. Deerfield Beach, FL: HCI.Lukanova, A., et al. 2004. Body mass index, circulating levels of sex-steroid hormones, IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3: A cross-sectional study in healthy women. Eur. J. Endocrinol., 150 , 161171. URL: http://eje-online.org/cgi/reprint/150/2/161 .
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How To Check Hormone Levels At Home
Hereâs how to test hormone levels from the comfort of home:
The Everlywell Womenâs Health test lets you easily check for 11 key hormones all from the comfort of your own home. The kit includes everything you needâ even a prepaid shipping label to send your samples to the lab.
This easy-to-use female hormone test can detect an imbalance, and it also includes detailed instructions for how to collect your blood and saliva samples.
To collect your blood sample, just prick your finger and apply a few drops of blood to the collection card. The saliva sample is collected by spitting into the saliva tubes provided in the kit.
Youâll then send your samples to the lab, and just a few days later, your test results will be ready to view on our secure, online portal.
What You Can Do: Stop Overeating The Foods That Cause Insulin Resistance
How do we ensure our insulin levels remain balanced? First, we need to stop eating too much. Its a known fact that overeating leads to insulin resistance, especially when we eat too much food thats no good for our bodies and minds. When we eat too much sugar, too much fast food, and too many processed carbohydrates, insulin goes haywire. These elevated insulin levels lead to weight gain and low-grade inflammation. A 2010 study published in the journal Diabetes found that even eating too much of these foods in the short term leads to insulin resistance and weight gain.
You may also want to restrict carbohydrates in your diet. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, a low-carb diet prevents metabolic syndrome and the insulin resistance that causes it. Other findings show drinking green tea, consuming omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, and eating adequate amounts of protein all help balance insulin levels.
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Best For Rapid Results: Mylabbox Weight Loss Test
Some reviewers complain of poor customer service
MyLabBoxs At Home Weight Loss Test costs about $239 with free two-day shipping. Your results will be available online as soon as two days after returning the kit, but may take up to five business days. The company accepts FSA and HSA funds as payment.
The At Home Weight Loss Test checks your levels of estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, TSH, HbA1c, TSH, C-reactive protein, and vitamin D, and samples are read by CAP- and CLIA-certified labs. Your results will also come with lifestyle recommendations to help optimize any abnormal levels.
The kit requires both a blood and saliva sample, which you mail it back to the lab in a prepaid envelope. Note that MyLabBox does not currently ship tests to New York state.
There are both positive and negative reviews for MyLabBox, but many negative reviews complain that both shipping and results take longer than the time periods listed on the website.
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.
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Why Can Hormones Affect Weight Loss
As we know, hormones support many vital functions within the body, including our ability to maintain muscle, lose body fat, and experience stress and hunger. When a hormonal imbalance occurs, it becomes considerably harder to lose weight.
But dont worry if your progress has plateaued, hormones are not the be-all and end-all for weight loss. Remember to prioritise your food quality and calorie intake to reap the benefits of a healthy diet and create an environment for optimal hormone production.
Hormones that affect female weight loss include:
Will Taking Estrogen Help Me Lose Weight
Estrogen levels in the body are relatively stable throughout life. However, estrogen levels change during menopause, pregnancy, and after childbirth.
During menopause, estrogen levelsdrop dramatically. This leads to hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. It can also lead to bone loss, osteoporosis, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
If youre going through menopause, talk to your doctor about whether you should start taking estrogen replacement therapy .
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Symptoms And Potential Complications
Imbalances in female hormones can have far-ranging effects on the body, producing a variety of physical, emotional and cognitive changes. These changes can cause symptoms that may include:
- Menstrual cycle changes, including shorter or longer times between periods, and periods that are longer, shorter, heavier or lighter than normal.
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
- Diminished sex drive
- Unexplained weight gain, especially in the abdominal area, hips and thighs
- Skin changes, such as thinning, dryness and wrinkling
- Dry, brittle hair
Female hormone imbalance can increase a womans risk of a number of diseases and health problems. Among the most serious of these is heart disease, with risk increasing as estrogen levels decrease. Women with hormonal imbalances are also at greater risk for osteoporosis, since low levels of estrogens can interfere with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients essential to the maintenance of bone health and density.
Where Should I Get A Hormone Balance Test And Other Faqs About Hormone Testing
You should get your hormones tested!
How many times have you heard that comment? Were often encouraged to look closely at our hormones when weexperience symptoms that hint at conditions like hypothyroidism, menopause, or low testosterone. Indeed,
- Sleep disturbances
are all common symptoms of hormonal changes or imbalances in your bodys endocrine system. But, even if you know that a hormone test might be a good idea, you may not know what it entails, or where to get one.
Hormone testing is a very simple process. Its quick, easy, highly accessible, and can reveal critical information about your health. But, hormone testing can only work if you know which tests to get and what the results mean. By exploring the basics of hormone testing, you can ensure you get the information and the support you need.
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Hormones And Womens Weight
Since hormones regularly fluctuate in women and since those fluctuations can cause a variety of symptoms Davis said that hormones are often implicated when other health problems arise, sometimes without justification.
Some hormone-related disorders can cause weight changes. Hyperthyroidism, for example, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine, according to the Mayo Clinic. That can result in weight loss or gain.
But that doesnt establish hormones as a driving factor for all weight gain.
Pregnant women also gain weight in part due to the release of hormones that encourage fat deposits, Davis said. But she said pregnancy is not a womans general state, and therefore the rich hormonal milieu of pregnancy cant be implicated in all weight gain, either.
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What Else You Should Know
Cost: Eating organic will probably add to your grocery bill. Beyond your food shopping and supplements, the hormone tests Turner recommends may not be covered by your insurance.
Support: None, though Turner runs a Toronto clinic that offers health assessments, nutrition and exercise coaching, and other health and wellness services.
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How Does The Stress Hormone Cortisol Sabotage Weight Loss
How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain? First of all, heightened cortisol is linked to overeating. Ever notice how you eat when youre stressed? A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher than normal cortisol levels were linked to overeating and weight gain. Another study links elevated cortisol levels to an increase in belly fat.
What You Can Eat
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.
Youâll eat often â every 3-4 hours â making healthy food choices at least 80% of the time. But you do get one to two Ã¢cheat mealsÃ¢ a week.
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You Might Have A Hormonal Imbalance
Do any of these sound like you? Have you noticed any of these changes?
Do you remember how you felt 10 years ago? Are you ready to get back to your old self? Restorative Health has good news. There is hope.
Please, take the Online Hormone Test. Let our experts review the symptoms that are most concerning to you. Take the first step toward feeling better, looking better, and living better.
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What Kathleen Zelman Mph Rd Says:
Does It Work?
Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet, similar to Turner’s, can aid weight loss. You will lose weight on the plan because it is low in calories.
Eating a clean, natural, preferably organic diet, free of preservatives and processed foods is ideal, but it’s not practical or necessary for weight loss or good health. Nor are the tremendous amounts of supplements, including herbal and bowel cleansers.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
Following a Mediterranean-style, low-glycemic diet is a sensible approach to healthy eating and weight loss that could benefit most people. Reaching a healthy weight can improve many conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
The Final Word
The cocktail of supplements and the hormone theories are unfounded and not recommended. Keep in mind that many things affect your hormone levels. It’s not just about your food. To say that certain foods are “hormone hindering” is inaccurate and oversimplifies the role of nutrients in the body.
If you think you have a hormonal imbalance or would like to follow this diet, consult your doctor.
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Breaking Down Key Hormones Problematic For People
Testosterone: One of its most important functions in both genders is to maintain muscle mass and promote muscle growth and bone strength. Your levels decline with age, partly explaining age-related muscle and bone loss.
Estrogen: Estrogen dominance is when you have too much estrogen compared with its counter-hormone, progesterone. Having too much estrogen in the body causes a number of symptoms, including weight loss resistance, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods.
Insulin: Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Insulin resistance or block means your cells cant absorb the extra blood glucose your body generates from the food you eat when that happens, your liver converts the glucose into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction.
Leptin: High leptin causes weight gain and excessive hunger. Leptin is natures appetite suppressant. When youve had enough to eat, leptin signals your brain to stop eating. When you are overweight, your fat cells produce excess leptin. When your brain gets bombarded with leptin signals from too many fat cells, it shuts down leptin levels keep rising, receptors stop functioning, your body doesnt get the leptin signal, and you dont feel full. You keep eating the wrong foods in an addictive pattern, and you keep gaining weight.