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.
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 Are Hormonal Imbalances Treated
Treatment for a hormonal imbalance will depend on whats causing it.
If you have lower-than-normal hormone levels, the main treatment is hormone replacement therapy. Depending on which hormone is deficient, you may take oral medication or injection medication.
For example, if you have low thyroid hormone levels , your provider can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone pills. If you have growth hormone deficiency, youll likely have to take injections of synthetic growth hormone.
If you have higher-than-normal hormone levels, there are many treatment options depending on the cause. Options include medication, surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of any of these.
For example, if you have a prolactinoma, a benign tumor that causes excess prolactin , your provider may prescribe a medication to shrink the tumor or you may need surgery to remove it.
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Key Takeaways About Hormonal Weight Gain
Estrogen Dominance And Belly Fat
Estrogen dominance causes weight gain around the belly, butt, thighs, and hips. Worse news: fat cells produce even more estrogen. When the body is estrogen dominant:
- Hypothyroidism slows the bodys metabolism.
- Abdominal tissues retain more water causing bloating to be a constant issue.
- Unnatural insulin release results in constant hunger and food cravings for sweets.
Heres what happens when the amount of progesterone circulating within the body is elevated to a level that is sufficient to neutralize the underlying condition of estrogen dominance:
- The hypothyroid condition is eliminated. In other words, bioidentical progesterone triggers a metabolic response allowing weight loss to occur.
- When progesterone is added back into the body via bioidentical progesterone cream, it acts as a natural diuretic, thereby reducing the bloating.
- When progesterone and estrogen levels are re-balanced, insulin release is tempered.
The result: normalized blood sugar levels and reduced food cravings.
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Youre Losing Your Hair
If your increased abdominal weight gain is coinciding with an accelerated rate of hair loss, your hormones might be to blame. Specifically, thyroid hormones help to regulate your body weight as well as your hair growth so an underactive thyroid could be the culprit of hormonal belly if youre experiencing issues with both simultaneously.
Because the relationship between metabolism, thyroid hormones, and weight is complex, the exact mechanism by which thyroid hormones cause weight changes isnt entirely understood. The most simple explanation is that when your thyroid isnt producing enough hormones, your metabolic rate slows down, reducing the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis, and often contributing to weight gain, particularly around your midsection.
However, it isnt thyroid hormones alone that play a role in how much energy your body uses. Thyroid hormones work synergistically with a number of other hormones, proteins, receptors, and chemical messengers in the body making it a layered process with other downstream effects on inadequate thyroid levels such as fatigue, hair loss, constipation, and low libido.
Why Are My Hormones Making Me Gain Weight
It is important to understand that hormones influence appetite, the rate of metabolism, and fat distribution. An imbalance in these hormones causes abnormal metabolism, leading to body fat accumulating.
A variety of factors can cause hormonal imbalance. Thyroid and adrenal gland issues are very common causes. Other causes are weight, medications, allergies, and stressful situations.
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Can An Endocrinologist Help With Weight Loss
An endocrinologist can very often help you reverse weight gain that is associated with hormonal imbalances. Potentially useful interventions include lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet modification, or stress management, as well as treatments such as testosterone or thyroid hormone replacement. Medications may be able to help with weight gain-related symptoms such as increased appetite, or to moderate excessive hormone levels.
Change In Exercise Or Diet
Maintaining a moderate level of exercise is vital for many reasons. It can help lower stress, burn calories, build strength and help release tension. If you havent exercised in a while, you might find that you have higher stress hormone levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is activated when we feel stressed and sends signals to the body to store more fat. By cutting out exercise, you may develop a hormone imbalance contributing to your lower belly fat. Eating sugary and fatty foods while cutting out the proper nutrients you need can also cause hormone imbalances of ghrelin and leptin, causing you to eat even more.
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Getting To Know Ghrelin
You can think of ghrelin as your hunger hormone. Like leptin, it communicates with the brain in this case, telling your brain to eat. Every time your stomach becomes empty, it naturally releases ghrelin into your bloodstream. Ghrelin levels are lowest just after youve finished a meal. Theyre at their highest when the stomach is empty and youre ready for your next meal. This scenario is normal when a person is healthy and maintaining optimal weight.
An overweight person, on the other hand, will find that like the other hormones weve explored ghrelin levels are typically out of whack. In healthy individuals, ghrelin levels decrease in a way that satiates them and signals their brains to stop eating. But in obese individuals, ghrelin levels dont decrease enough after eating, which fails to send the brain the signal it needs to stop eating and feel satisfied.
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.
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Understand Hormonal Weight Gain And What You Can Do To Lose It
Did you know there is a direct link between your hormones and your weight? This often slips our minds when were traveling the long and difficult road of weight loss. Our bodies need a delicate balance of hormones to maintain a healthy weight for our body makeup.
Its important to have a clear understanding of how your hormones work so you can lose weight and keep it off. Once you recognize the relationship between weight gain and hormones, you can balance your hormones and lose weight healthily and efficiently.
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Taking The Next Steps Toward Health
If HRT doesnt cause weight gain, where does that leave women undergoing HRT who are having a hard time maintaining a healthy weight? The short answer is that youre probably better off taking the hormones than you would be without it. In fact, researchers have found strong evidence that HRT can prevent the shift in body fat proportions that typically accompanies menopause and mitigate some of the metabolic downregulation that occurs as a result of menopause, especially in energy-intensive places like the heart.
Nonetheless, theres a good chance that youll gain weight as a result of menopause, aging, and the associated lifestyle factors if you dont increase your level of physical activity and decrease your caloric intake. Working with a practitioner who combines an in-depth understanding of menopause and hormone replacement therapy with an integrative approach to treatment can help you create a comprehensive plan to optimize both your physical and emotional well-being. With the right tools and support, you can take charge of your health and enhance your confidence as you enter this new phase of life.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases.
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Hormonal Weight Gain: Which Hormones Affect Weight Gain
Written by Elite HRT on November 01, 2021
Camille Freking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR
Did you know that hormones are directly connected to how much you weigh? This is something many people overlook as they struggle to lose weight. To maintain a healthy body weight, hormonal balance is essential. If certain hormones are imbalanced, weight gain can follow.
Read on to learn more about how hormones are involved in your appetite, metabolism, and body weight.
A Neat Way To Burn Calories
Many trainers get too focused on the calories clients burn during their training session and forget about how much they move the rest of the day . This other energy expenditure is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis , and it actually makes up the bulk of calories burned in a days activity.
If your clients are sedentary, ensuring theyre getting enough movement during the day should be a top priority. The suggestion for 10,000 steps is a great place to start. In the short term, apps or fitness trackers can be very effective tools for showing clients how inactive they truly are.
It can take 812 weeks to build new movement habits. Walking to work, taking the stairs, parking as far away from the entrance as possible , or doing a daily or nightly walk with friends or loved ones are all great ways to add more movement into the day.
If you want more context on NEAT, read this resourcenext!
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What Hormonal Issues Cause Weight Gain
Estrogen, the female sex hormone, can cause weight gain whether it’s extremely high or extremely low. Some ways to manage your estrogen are to get plenty of fiber in your diet, eat more cruciferous vegetables, exercise more frequently, and add flaxseeds to your diet…. view details
Additionally, improving dietary choices, increasing physical activity, getting more sleep, managing stress levels effectively, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol are all ways to decrease and avoid hormonal weight gain…. see more
How can I lose hormonal weight gain?
10 Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones
So, what exactly is hormonal belly? A hormonal belly is lower abdominal weight gain caused by an imbalance of hormones. Hormones help regulate many bodily functions such as our metabolism, sex drive, hunger and reproductive functions…. see more
How are hormonal imbalances diagnosed? Healthcare providers typically order blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream…. see details
How Can I Lose Hormonal Weight Gain
Generally, the accepted way to lose weight is through the CICO diet, which stands for “calories in, calories out.” This approach estimates the calories that will meet your nutritional needs. However, if your body has a hormonal imbalance, calculating your calorie intake won’t be very helpful for you. If the scale is not moving after all your efforts, it may be time to try a new approach.
As you age, maintaining a healthier body weight becomes challenging. Most women gain weight as they transition into menopause. While youll likely gain weight during menopause, you can reverse and control this by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising more often.
Several healthy lifestyle strategies can help you lose hormonal weight:
1. Exercise more
Being more physically active can help you shed extra pounds. Exercise can include vigorous aerobic activity , walking an average of 150 minutes every week, jogging, swimming, and strength training. Strength training doesnt burn as many calories as cardio, but it improves muscle mass, directly contributing to your health and metabolism.
2. Be mindful of your nutrition
To gradually lose hormonal weight and maintain your ideal weight, you may have to reduce your calorie intake while monitoring the nutritional value of your food. Avoid processed foods and sugars. Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as fiber keeps your digestive system healthy.
3. Limit your alcohol intake
4. Get enough sleep
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Is Hormonal Weight Gain Permanent
As you get older, you might notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, many women gain weight around the menopause transition. Menopause weight gain isn’t inevitable, however. You can reverse course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle…. continue reading
Take Steps To Reduce Stress
Research shows that stress can take a toll on your hormones, primarily the stress hormone cortisol, and taking steps to reduce your stress levels can help you balance your hormones. Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise and listening to relaxing music are all great ways to help manage stress.
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The Link Between Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
Underlying health issues and getting older can both cause hormonal fluctuations, making you feel less than your best. A hormonal imbalance can even cause weight gain, along with a few other unpleasant side effects.
Our dedicated primary practitioner, Gordon Hart, PA-C, at Balance Hormone Center, promotes healthy hormone balancing using gentle and effective methods. These compassionate treatments include holistic solutions to help rebalance everything your body needs to stay active, happy, and healthy.
How Are Hormonal Imbalances Diagnosed
Healthcare providers typically order blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.
Certain hormone levels vary drastically throughout the day, so providers may order other tests to measure your levels, such as a glucose tolerance test or insulin tolerance test.
Your provider will also ask you about your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical exam.
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Discover How To Stop Hormonal Weight Gain With A Tailored Approach
Stopping hormonal weight gain requires patience, effort, as well as many lifestyle and dietary changes. Even when we know what to do, sometimes we can still struggle to get the results we want. In most cases, we’re unaware of just how much our hormones can dictate whether we gain or lose weight. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Hormones can determine whether we are satisfied after a meal and how effective we are at absorbing nutrients from our food. They can even rule out whether we get enough sleep, feel energised or fatigued, happy or sad, and so much more!
So, balancing your hormones is much more than simply getting back on track on your weight loss journey it is all about improving your overall health and how you feel about yourself. Now, what can you do about it?
Women On The Pill Had Gained 40% Less Muscle Than Those Who Werent On It
At the time, he was researching how a persons genetic makeup can affect their ability to grow their muscles through exercise. His research team put a group of men and women through 10 weeks of resistance training slow, punishing exercises such as crunches and lifting heavy weights. Then participants were weighed to see if they had more muscle than they started with. The team also gathered information on various lifestyle factors so that they could make sure any gains were caused by genetics and not, for example, the medications they were on.
While they were doing this analysis, they discovered that women on the pill had gained 40% less muscle than those who werent on it.
It jumped out as a pretty big impact, says Riechman.
Eight women open up about the side effects they experienced from the pill. Watch the video below.
Its well-known that men naturally have more muscle than women. The average man has 72lbs of brawn, compared with a measly 46lbs in women. This is partly just because men are taller and heavier overall, but that isnt the whole story as a percentage of overall body mass, men are about 38% muscle while women are 31%. This comes down to hormones: men have more anabolic hormones running through their veins, which tell the body when to grow more muscle.
Men tend to have a higher percentage of muscle mass than women because of their hormones
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