The Relationship Of Hormones And Weight Gain
Maintaining a healthy weight can feel like a Catch-22. Being overweight or underweight affects your hormones and can throw them out of whack. But hormone imbalances can be the reason your weight is fluctuating.
So, what are hormones, and why are they messing with your weight?
Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They are messengers that travel through your bloodstream to reach tissues and organs. Hormones are essential in coordinating and controlling bodily activities.
Your body may accidentally over or underproduce hormones. When this happens, your endocrine system becomes unbalanced.
The most common complaint of hormonal imbalances is weight gain. Even when dieting and exercising regularly, people with hormonal issues continue to experience unexplained weight gain. Other warning signs of a hormonal imbalance include:
- Mood swings and depression
- Fertility problems
- Weakness and fatigue
Hormone problems are very prevalent, especially in women. A survey found that out of 2,000 American women, 47% percent reported symptoms of hormonal imbalances.
Lets explore the different hormones that affect our body weight.
What Do We Mean By Menopause
The menopause is the date of the last menstrual period. The average age is 51, but there is a wide variation, between the ages of 45 and 55. Many women are unaware that up to ten years before the final period, the levels of their reproductive hormone levels are undergoing a dramatic change. Levels of follicle-stimulating hormone increase, at the same time as levels of estrogen decline. In the two years before the last period, estrogen levels fall to around 90% less than their premenopausal values.
Other Factors That Influence Hormones
Sleep, activity, and stress can also affect hormones that influence body weight.
Getting enough sleep is essential for optimal health. Not getting enough sleep is associated with hormonal dysregulation.
Sleep deprivation is linked to insulin and leptin resistance and hunger hormone derangement, which may lead to increased appetite, decreased fullness, overeating, and weight gain (
- improve the bodys sensitivity to insulin
- increase testosterone levels in men
- reduce leptin levels in people with overweight and obesity
- improve response of fullness hormones after meals
Controlling stress is important for healthy hormonal response as well. Chronic stress may alter the hormones responsible for appetite regulation, which may contribute to increased calorie intake and weight gain .
For this reason, managing stress is an important part of promoting optimal hormonal health and maintaining a body weight thats healthy for you.
Many factors may impact hormones that influence your weight. Following a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, staying active, and managing stress are evidence-backed ways to promote hormonal health.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Jawline Acne
Exercise Muscle Mass And Weight Gain
Changing your diet and being more physically active may help you to maintain your normal weight.
Physical activity can help to maintain muscle strength, but it needs to be a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise.
Aerobic exercise is any exercise that makes your heart and lungs work faster to provide more oxygen to the muscles for example walking or gardening.
Resistance training includes weight training and swimming. You have to use your muscles to push against the weights or water, which helps to strengthen them.
Physical activity also helps to control your weight. You dont have to go to the gym, you can build it into your life. For example, you could get off the bus the stop before you need to, do some gardening or join a walking group. Some hospitals organise exercise sections for cancer patients. Ask your specialist nurse if this is available.
You should aim to be physically active for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Your doctor may check your cholesterol and heart health before you start an exercise plan. This is important if you have conditions such as diabetes or you are overweight.
Hormone treatment may lower your bone density, increasing the risk of fractures. Talk to your doctor if this could be a problem for you.
Eating a balanced healthy diet can help you to maintain a healthy weight. It can also help you lose or put it on if you need to.
This page is due for review. We will update this as soon as possible.
How Hormone Imbalances Start To Affect Weight
As you enter your 20s Growth Hormone declines naturally as you transition out of puberty. This is why people gain the freshman 15 in college.
But, you can imbalance hormones at any age! If youre too stressed, dont sleep enough, or eat too many processed foods you can affect hormone function. If left untreated, hormone imbalances can get progressively worse and affect health, mood, and weight as you age.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Hormonal Acne Around Mouth
How Hormones Impact Your Weight
Weight loss and weight gain are controlled by more than just calories in and calories out your hormones play a major role, too.
In one way or another, hormones control almost every aspect of weight gain and weight loss considering they affect your metabolic rate, appetite, muscle mass, ability to use glucose for energy, stress levels, sleep and amount of water retention, says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com.
Key hormones that can affect your weight include ghrelin and leptin, the hunger hormones stress hormones such as cortisol triiodothyronine and thyroxine, two hormones produced by the thyroid that affect the metabolism testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, and insulin, which affects the way glucose is stored in the body. Well get into all of this below.
Thyroid, insulin, and hunger hormones
Hormones produced by the thyroid, Axe says, affect your metabolism and your ability to use energy. If youre concerned you may have a thyroid issue, consult your doctor.
Insulin, on the other hand, is directly related to how our body stores and processes sugar. Axe explains: Insulin controls the amount of glucose used by your muscles, stored in your liver or turned into fat to be stored in your cells.
And then there are the hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin. They control how hungry or full you feel, Axe says.
How To Rapidly Reset Hormones To Lose Weight
There is hope! Hormones can be regulated quickly with food and minimal exercise!
If you already suspect that you have a hormone imbalance, Id strongly recommend trying my Reset Cleanse I created it in part to help balance hormones quickly to help people lose weight and feel great fast!
I hope this post helped you! Do you think your hormones are affecting your weight? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear what you think! It helps me create more helpful content to help you lose weight and feel great!
Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader
Originally, posted July 14, 2013
Read Also: How Long Testosterone Test Results
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.
Can I Lose Hormone Weight
The first step is always to work with your doctor to diagnose the underlying cause. This often includes a blood or urine test to check current hormone levels and identify any inconsistencies.
Should test results reveal your weight gain is related to estrogen or testosterone deficiencies, hormone replacement therapy can be a viable option, but comes with risks and side effects. For example:
Testosterone replacement therapy , while able to correct some physical issues, is also linked to an increase in sleep apnea, acne and raised red blood cell counts, which can raise your risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
Estrogen replacement is not safe for women who have had cancer, liver disease or issues with vaginal bleeding. Treatment risks include blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer and gallbladder disease.
Thyroid issues like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can stem from autoimmune thyroid disorders, inflammation or be hereditary. Treatment is a lifelong, daily medication regimen designed to replace your missing or imbalanced hormones. If the hormone imbalance is caused by an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s disease or Graves disease, your doctor will advise you on the risk of side effects from iodine and supplements, food and medicines to avoid.
Losing hormonal weight is possible, and together with your doctor you can develop a program that works best for you.
High Blood Sugar Levels
Its normal for blood sugar levels to rise when you eat high-carb foods. But you may have insulin resistance if your blood sugar levels are always elevated.
Insulin is the hormone that helps transfer blood sugar into the cells. The cells tend to become insulin resistant when exposed to too much insulin for long, this leads to high blood sugar.
High blood sugar levels can cause weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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
Also Check: What If My Estrogen Levels Are Low
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.
Hormones And Weight Gain
Its difficult to get motivated to lose weight, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and lose weight when hormones are being affected. Hormones have an impact on mood, energy levels, and your ability to burn fat and feel control over food. Its difficult to lose weight when you dont feel great and youre hungry all the time, you feel me?
Keep in mind that its possible to lose weight when hormones are imbalanced. You have to be in a calorie deficit to burn fat BUT, its possible to gain weight even when youre in a calorie deficit when your hormones are imbalanced. Hormones can cause weight gain even if youre dieting and exercising like a pro!
Recommended Reading: What Hormones Affect Women’s Libido
Obesity And Sex Hormones
Body fat distribution plays an important role in the development of obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke and some forms of arthritis. Fat around our abdomen is a higher risk factor for disease than fat stored on our bottom, hips and thighs. It seems that oestrogens and androgens help to decide body fat distribution. Oestrogens are sex hormones made by the ovaries in pre-menopausal women. They are responsible for prompting ovulation every menstrual cycle. Men and postmenopausal women do not produce much oestrogen in their testes or ovaries. Instead, most of their oestrogen is produced in their body fat, although at much lower amounts than what is produced in pre-menopausal ovaries. In younger men, androgens are produced at high levels in the testes. As a man gets older, these levels gradually decrease.The changes with age in the sex hormone levels of both men and women are associated with changes in body fat distribution. While women of childbearing age tend to store fat in their lower body , older men and postmenopausal women tend to increase storage of fat around their abdomen . Postmenopausal women who are taking oestrogen supplements dont accumulate fat around their abdomen. Animal studies have also shown that a lack of oestrogen leads to excessive weight gain.
Leigh Ann Scott Md Providers
Dr. Scott and Nurse Practitioner, Elise Lewis, understand how hormonal imbalances affect weight loss and overall health in general. We use a science-based, holistic approach to your health and treat you as an individual so you can look and feel your best.
If you are struggling with weight issues, we can give you answers and offer solutions so that you are able to restore your health and live a vibrant life again. Our appointments with you last an hour so that were able to provide you with quality support, guidance, and the tools you need in order to succeed.
For more information about Hormone Balancing click here.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Nature’s Bounty Melatonin
Hormone Replacement Therapy And Its Possible Role In Weight Gain
Estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone often constitutes HRT. Let us examine the impact of these two hormones on weight. In theory, progesterone is acknowledged to contribute to fat storage and perhaps increase appetite, while estrogen is known to cause water retention. With these suppositions, it can be concluded that the intake of both progesterone and estrogen can cause weight gain. However, this has not yet been proven in many studies. Let is take a look at one of these studies probing into the relationship between hormone replacement therapy and weight gain.
What Can I Do About A Hormonal Imbalance
At Balance Hormone Center, we have some easy solutions if youre experiencing the effects of a hormone imbalance.
Hormone therapy can help women before, during, and after menopause, and its also an option for men experiencing a drop in testosterone levels. Regardless of age, diet, or environmental factors, a natural hormone replacement therapy treatment plan can decrease or eliminate imbalances. At Balance Hormone Center, we specialize in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy .
When diet and exercise arent enough to shed excess pounds, consider personalized treatment options for weight loss. You can take control of your weight loss under the supervision of a certified specialist by developing unique treatment plans that help you reach your goals.
Getting your body back in balance is a critical part of your happiness.
Are you ready to make an appointment at Balance Hormone Center in Norman, Oklahoma? To find out how we can help you return to a happy and healthy hormonal balance, our office today or use our convenient online scheduling tool to request an appointment.
You Might Also Enjoy
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Brand Of Melatonin
How Exercise Helps With Weight After Menopause
The more active you are, the less weight youâre likely to gain. A National Institutes of Health review showed that people who did aerobic activities every day for 10 or more minutes had 6 fewer inches around the waistline compared to people who didnât exercise. And exercising while youâre in the process of losing weightâ as well as after youâve lost it â may be critical to maintaining weight loss.
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.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne