Hormones That Affect Weight Gain
Some of the main hormones that control weight gain and weight loss are:
- Thyroid hormones
Were going to look at each of these hormones more closely in just a moment.
But before we dive in, its important to remember that these hormones are not BAD.
They are our allies and they play very important roles in the body.
However, when theyre out of balance, theres a ripple effect that can cause rapid weight issues.
So, with that out of the way, lets look at how each of these hormones impact our weight.
Your Weight Gain Is Only In Your Abdomen
Menopause puts your body through a whole host of changes, one of them commonly being weight gain. Why? Your production of estrogen, along with other hormones, takes a dip. Outside of menopause, low estrogen levels can be due to excessive exercise, disordered eating patterns, or pituitary gland issues. Decreased estrogen levels can change the fat distribution of your body, causing you to gain more in the belly as opposed to the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Estrogen deficiency can also impair the action of insulin, making it harder to regulate blood sugar and leading to increased hormonal belly fat and abdominal weight gain.
Melt away hormonal belly fat caused by low estrogen and insulin resistance by adopting a low carbohydrate eating plan, recommends Johnston. Between protein, fat and carbohydrates, carbs have the biggest impact on raising blood sugar and insulin levels, she says. Reducing high-carbohydrate foods such as refined sugars, breads, cookies, crackers, and pasta and boosting less insulin-stimulating foods rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fat can have a significant impact on your waistline.
Keep in mind that if your carb consumption dips too low, it can suppress your leptin levels and interfere with leptins ability to regulate your reproductive hormones so its important to keep some whole-food based sources of complex carbohydrates in the diet such as fruit, starchy vegetables, and whole grains.
Will Increasing My Estrogen Help Me Lose Weight
Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a woman’s resting metabolic rate. This might help slow weight gain. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight. Other age-related factors.
Think Seriously About Your Hormones
Many of us dont even think about our hormones not giving them a second thought with us putting on weight. And yet, these chemical messengers feature high on the list for how our body works and our general health. When our hormones are upset, they can cause chaos in the body. Women will know all about this chaos when they ride the hormonal roller coaster every month, experiencing PMS, heavy periods, mood swings, and even missing periods. Some women have had babies and their hormones have left them feeling depressed. And what about the symptoms that come along with menopause? Lots of women dont even want to talk about those symptoms!
Actually, there is very little that our amazing hormones dont do for us. The shape of our bodies, the quality of our sleep, how our digestive system serves us they involve our hormones. But we are also quick to use the excuse when someone is suffering from some malady, to say, Its just their hormones. But modern living today can lead to a lot of this hormonal chaos, throwing these precious workers in our body out of sync out of harmony.
Watch Your Carbohydrate Intake
Not all nutrients are created equal, and some experts believe that a steady diet heavy in unrefined carbs like pasta and bread are a significant factor for excess belly fat. Carbs are the enemy of the middle-aged woman, says Dr. Boling. If you are perimenopausal, look at how much sugar you are eating. Carbs turn into sugar in our bodies. Some turn faster, like candy bars, oatmeal burns slower, but eventually it all turns to sugar. If you are aware of how many carbs you are eating, you are going to do better. Research published in April 2017 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a reduced-carbohydrate diet may decrease the risk of postmenopausal weight gain.
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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!
What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Belly Fat
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.
An imbalance of your hormones resulting in certain hormone levels being too low or too high can cause excess weight gain in the lower belly. Lets go over some of the most common causes of hormonal belly fat.
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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.
Natural Remedies For Hormonal Imbalance
Physicians may prescribe pharmaceuticals for balancing hormones, but we know that taking medications indefinitely can often do more harm than good. Thankfully, there are a variety of lifestyle-based natural remedies for hormonal imbalance. The exact method you choose will depend on whats going on with your specific hormones, but trying out one or several of the below strategies should help you bringing your hormones back into balance:
All of these natural remedies for hormonal imbalance can help you restore proper levels of your hormones, which will have a huge positive impact on your overall health. Plus, most of these strategies are healthy lifestyle habits that we should all be adopting anyway!
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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
Hormonal Weight Gain Symptoms
Since hormonal weight gain is linked to many types of imbalances, it can cause different symptoms. The symptoms you have depend on the hormone involved and whether you have too much or too little of it.
In addition to trouble losing weight, common symptoms of hormonal weight gain include:
- A thirst that isn’t satisfied despite drinking water
- “Brain fog,” or an inability to think clearly
The Link Between Your Weight And Your Hormones
Weight gain isnt just an issue associated with the food you eat or how much you exercise. It can also be affected by your hormones and vice versa. If youve noticed that youre experiencing hormonal changes and/or weight fluctuations, it might help you to discuss these issues with your doctor.
Drs. Daniel McDonald and Marc Wilson, as well as the rest of our team at OB/GYN Specialists, want you to feel comfortable and confident in your body. One of the best ways to get there is to understand how your body works, especially how many of its functions, which may seem independent of one another, are actually linked.
What Is Hormonal Weight Gain
Weight gain associated with underlying hormonal imbalances. For men, hormonal weight gain can be caused by high stress or cortisol levels in the body. The heightened levels of cortisol may make the body go into survival mode and induce the production of fat cells which will cause a declining metabolism to store food for later use. For women, a specific estrogen hormone called estradiol decreases at menopause helps regulate metabolism and body weight. The lower the levels of estradiol may cause weight gain. Throughout a womans life, they may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs.
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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.
Get Sufficient Sleep For Faster Weight Loss
It may not seem like it, but while youre sleeping your body is busy doing the most important work for your well-being. Heres what I mean
You see, in order to reset your weight loss hormones your body needs time for R& R .
Rest and Repair cant occur when youre awake because youre already busy thinking, executing, planning and eating.
So, your sleep hours are when your body puts all the good stuff the smoothies, anti-inflammatory foods and supplements to use.
Give yourself enough sleep time every night, so that your body can do the hard work for you.
Thats hard work that you wont have to worry about
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Youre Hungry All The Time
Labeled as the hunger hormone, ghrelin tells you when its time to eat and has a significant impact on the size of your appetite. If you were to start fasting tomorrow, skipping breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your body would take notice and as a result begin to release ghrelin, telling you to eat again. On the other hand, if you suddenly began to binge on candy, your stomach would quickly recognize this overconsumption and cut back on ghrelin secretion.
However, research shows ghrelin secretion can become dysregulated when you gain weight. In fact, obese individuals tend to have elevated circulating levels of leptin and decreased levels of ghrelin. Having elevated leptin levels, despite what you may expect, does not always mean you are more likely to stop eating. When you have consistently elevated leptin levels this can lead to dysfunction of leptin receptors which means your brain will not receive the message youre full. This hormonal confusion throws your hunger cues out of whack and you do the opposite of what leptin is designed to do, so you continue to eat without ever receiving the signal to stop, resulting in the undesirable hormonal belly.
How To Start A Healthy Lifestyle
Oh, boy! Adopting a healthy lifestyle sure seems like an overwhelming project. Yet, it doesnt have to be. Your future can be a success story with helpful advice from Registered Dieticians who understand better than anyone how to successfully lose belly fat, and keep it off. Pritikin is geared to helping people change their lifestyle: nutrition, medical, physical, and psychological. Its a multi-faceted program that focuses on modifying peoples healthy habits and helping them move forward, explains Lon. No matter what age cohort youre in, Pritikin has the ability to significantly improve your blood sugar, control blood pressure and improve your weight.
Making changes to your lifestyle may sound hard, but it doesnt have to be. In a highly interactive, supportive educational experience with experts, such as Lon and Carol, that includes hands-on activities, such as grocery shopping excursions, modifying your eating habits, and moving towards a healthier future , it is possible to succeed. A stay at Pritikin is a health education experience like no other leaving you feeling highly motivated and tremendously confident that you can lose belly fat and live a healthier lifestyle.
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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.
Can You Combine These Supplements
While you will want to speak to your physician about combining these supplements, as a general rule of thumb, you may be able to combine one or more of these supplements into your daily intake. For example, because pregnenolone supports DHEA, you may be able to take both of these supplements at the same time.
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Does Lack Of Estrogen Cause Weight Gain
Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain. Research suggests that this may be why women approaching menopause are likely to become overweight. Being overweight can increase your risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
How To Reset Female Hormones For Weight Loss With Acupuncture
Bringing balance to Yin and Yang can help to achieve weight loss, and one way to do that is through the ancient practice of acupuncture. Originating in China thousands of years ago, acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into certain points of the body. It helps to resolve blood stasis which in turn will help to improve the function of the bodys organs. Thanks to its ability to improve the flow of Qi, it helps to relieve bloating and improve metabolism. Acupuncture can also help with the release of endorphins to provide a calming effect which reduces stress. As ones mood improves due to the presence of neurotransmitters, patients may also experience appetite suppression.
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Menopause Weight Gain: How To Get Rid Of It
Exercise Physiologist, Carol Espel explains that Things shift when you start to go through menopause, but your ability to shape that is in your hands. Theres something you can do about it! Carol is the Fitness and Program Director at Pritikin Longevity Center who works with many guests, men and women, struggling with belly fat, and knows exactly what works. Newer science says going through menopause doesnt have to involve weight gain.
Why Is It So Critical To Prevent Weight Gain At Menopause
Throughout the reproductive years, women may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs. However, at menopause, women tend to gain weight around their abdomen and upper back. This shift in where fat is deposited is due to hormonal changes brought about by menopause. While the genetic factors related to weight and fat distribution cant be changed, women can control menopausal weight gain by reversing the decrease in hormones.10
Menopausal women taking HRT tend to have less body fat, especially abdominal fat.3 Simply put, most women are overweight at midlife because their hormones are out of whack, and that type of weight gain is dangerous. The health implications of weight gain at menopause cannot be overstated. Excess weight, especially around the midsection, is called visceral fat.
Visceral fat cells can set off inflammation, and increase insulin resistance. Visceral fat gets worse with depression, stress, poor sleep, smoking, and drinking fructose-sweetened beverages. If thats not enough, menopausal weight gain increases the risk of:
Cancer specifically colon, breast, uterine, esophageal, kidney, and pancreatic.
Type 2 diabetes
Beyond these effects, decreased hormones and excess weight tend to lead to lower libido through vaginal changes, reduced energy, reduced mobility, poor self-image, and so much more.
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