Things That Happen To Your Hormones When You’re Trying To Lose Weight According To A Dietitian
Our series, Hormones & Our Health: How What You Eat May Affect How They Work, explores the vast role hormones play in the body and the diet and lifestyle factors that help them function as they should.
Numbers don’t lie. Except when it comes to weight loss. For years, dietitians swore weight management boiled down to one simple equation: Eat less, lose more.
Sounds logical. But today, we know that dropping pounds isn’t just about mathematics. If it were, we wouldn’t still be searching for the latest weight-loss miracle . Why is weight loss such a challenge? One big reason is your hormones.
Our bodies are evolutionarily hard-wired to hang onto fat to protect against starvation and famine. So even though you might want to lose weight quickly, your body has other plans entirely. And it really doesn’t matter which diet you choose. Whether it’s keto, paleo, intermittent fasting or old-school calorie-cutting, rapid weight loss sets off alarm bells telling your body to restore the status quopronto. As soon as it gets the SOS, your body springs into action, releasing a flurry of hormones designed to put the pounds back on. Next thing you know, the weight you worked so hard to shed starts making a comeback.
What Hormones Can Affect Weight Loss
A number of hormones can influence metabolism which ultimately impacts our ability to gain and lose weight. Insulin, for example, moves glucose into cells for fuel or fat storage. An underactive thyroid gland can also affect metabolism. Too much cortisol, a stress hormone, can increase cravings and appetite, cause abdominal fat to build up, and lead to other unwanted side effects. Additional hormones that can affect our efforts at weight loss include estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone among others.
Hormone imbalances can occur for a variety of reasons, such as aging, vitamin deficiencies, menopause in women, and more. It is important to get any issues diagnosed to avoid some of the health dangers associated with being overweight, including an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Carrying too much weight can also cause other problems, such as osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and asthma.
Whether youâre struggling to lose extra pounds or simply want to maintain your current weight, Gordon Hart and his colleagues at Balance Hormone Center can help. Call the office or click the button to book an appointment today.
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Other Causes For Hair Loss
Hormones may be the most common cause of hair loss, but they arent the only reason. You may notice changes in your hair from autoimmune issues, dermatitis, and other conditions. If your hair loss seems excessive or continues to be a problem, make sure to speak to your provider. He or she can help you find the root cause of the issue.
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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.
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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How Do Hormones Work
Hormones are little chemical messengers that travel through your blood to communicate with different parts of the body. They are the way that your brain and organs such as your Thyroid, communicate with your tissues and keep everything running smoothly.
A hormone imbalance happens when there is too much or too little of a hormone available. Even a slight change will have a big impact on your overall health and how you feel.
Hormones work together too so that an issue with one hormone will have a knock on effect on the others.
Hormones tend to fluctuate too depending on your life stage. Puberty and pregnancy are obvious times when hormones change. However the menopause is a very dramatic time for hormonal fluctuation.
Your lifestyle and any medical conditions you have also affect your hormone levels.
Can a hormone imbalance cause weight gain? Yes, if your hormones are unbalanced its hard to lose weight.
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Three Categories Of Symptoms Often Caused By Hormonal Imbalances
When we see patients at Madison Womens Health for hormonal imbalances, most of their symptoms and concerns fall into three categories:
Lets first discuss these groups of symptoms. Next, well cover the most common hormones your doctor may check based on your symptoms.
What Role Does Hormone Replacement Treatment Play In Hair Thinning During Menopause
Hormone replacement treatment during menopause may help with thinning hair if its related to hormone changes. Our provider may prescribe estrogen replacement therapy to help bring your hormones back into balance and back up to healthy baseline levels if you have low estrogen during menopause. This may help your hair in a few ways.
First, as we learned, estrogen plays a significant role during hair growth. Increasing estrogen levels during hormone replacement treatment may help your hair stay in the growing phase for longer than it would without hormone injections. It can also help your body keep testosterone levels in balance to help reduce the shrinking effects testosterone can have on hair follicles. In addition, some studies show that if you start hormone imbalance treatment early on for menopause symptoms, it may help you maintain your current hair density. This can help you reduce how much hair you lose throughout the course of menopause.
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How Can Hair Loss Be Treated
Youve heard the ads and infomercials touting the latest scheme for regrowing hair and ending thinning. Heres the reality. Lets walk through the available options.
- Minoxidil Minoxidil is the only over-the-counter medication for hair loss approved by the FDA for use by both men and women. It wont return hair to areas it has left, but it will slow hair loss. Brand names are Rogaine and Theroxidil. These products, and the generic form, work for about two thirds of men and women. They are most effective when the patient is under age 40 and has just begun to lose his or her hair.
- A Prescription strength pill is also available but it is used for blood pressure.
- Finasteride Finasteride is a prescription oral tablet used to treat male pattern hair loss. Brand name is Propecia. Also prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate, finasteride works by decreasing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone in your body. DHT normally causes the prostate gland to grow larger, but the decrease also leads to increased hair growth and decreased hair loss. Finasteride doesnt affect hair growth on other parts of the body.
- Anti-Androgen Therapy Androgens include testosterone and other male hormones. These can accelerate hair loss in women. Some women who dont respond to minoxidil may benefit from the addition of the anti-androgen drug spironolactone for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as female pattern hair loss.
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Hormone Imbalance: The Missing Link To Weight Loss
At Metabolic Research Center we take a holistic approach to weight loss, tackling it from every angle. One of the aspects we consider is how hormones impact your ability to lose weight. This is why we offer hormone testing as an option with all Metabolic plans. Research shows that 96% of our clients have a hormone imbalance making weight loss feel like an uphill battle. Our clients find that after testing their hormones, and working to gently correct imbalances, they feel better, their symptoms improve, and their weight loss becomes easier. Letâs take a deeper look at hormones and how hormone testing can help uncover the missing link to your weight loss.
This quick quiz will ask several questions to assess whether you are experiencing symptoms that can indicate a hormone imbalance. Letâs start by learning more about you.
Estrogen dominance is a type of hormone imbalance that occurs when estrogen becomes too high relative to progesterone, the hormone that keeps estrogen in check. Hormone imbalance tends to be particularly symptomatic during perimenopause when cycles become irregular, at menopause when cycles end, and in women of all ages who are not ovulating. Estrogen dominance is worsened by high stress , poor diet and exercise, synthetic hormone use or overexposure to toxins in our foods and environment.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance
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How To Balance Hormones For Weight Loss
Are you having difficulty losing weight even when you cut your calories, follow a weight loss diet, and exercise regularly? Does it seem like no matter what you do, you cant seem to lose weight? Take heart! you are not alone. One of the most common causes of weight loss difficulty is a hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalances have been linked to reduced metabolism and increased fat storage, which can make it difficult to lose weight. Lets take a look into how to balance hormones for weight loss.
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How Do You Fix Hormonal Imbalance
Many health conditions that involve hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes and thyroid disease, require medical treatment.
Many nutritional supplements in stores claim to treat different hormonal imbalances, but few of them have been scientifically proven to have a beneficial effect. Its important to always talk to your healthcare provider first about taking supplements.
Aside from medical treatment, your provider may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help manage a hormonal imbalance, such as managing your stress levels and getting routine exercise.
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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How Do Hormones Impact Weight
Hormones are signaling molecules in your body that align internal processes, and impact your physical and mental health. They are essential for managing and aligning the activities of your organs and body systems. And when there is an imbalance, you might experience distinct health issues , which can lower your quality of life.
That being said, there are many hormones that play a role in weight management, BMI, and fat storing. An imbalanced synthesis of those hormones may negatively affect your appetite, metabolism, water retention and fat-storing mechanisms, as well as your digestive system.
Such imbalance may go both ways:
hormones may lead to obesity
My Own Experience With Hormones And Weight Gain
Cortisolis one of the biggest problems when it comes to hormonal imbalance. When cortisol levels are skewed, so many other hormones are impacted as well. Thats why I suggest starting with looking at your cortisol production and the stress in your life.
I know first hand the effects that stress can have on weight. I was in perimenopause when my mother got sick, and not only was I caring for her, I was also raising three young children, and working insane hours in my thriving practice.
During this time, I gained 20 pounds, seemingly out of nowhere. I couldnt believe it I had changed nothing about the way I ate, but my body was certainly changing! I tried everything to drop those extra pounds. I joined a weight loss program and actually ran to meetings for weigh-in then ran back home again. I didnt recognize that I was increasing the stress on my body, thereby making the problem worse!
It wasnt until I took a step back and realized that I was directly contradicting the advice I gave other women that I knew what had to be done. Stress reduction was a necessity, not a luxury!
Its funny how much you can miss when it comes to your own life, isnt it? I knew that stress and rising cortisol levels could impact weight, but its like I forgot it all when I got caught up in my own personal stress cycle. Im so grateful for my education and training, because it allowed me to remember all the things I passed along to women in my practice every day.
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Why Hormone Imbalance Can Make It Hard To Lose Weight
Hormones are specialized chemicals in your body. Humans naturally produce about 50 different types of hormones, which control bodily functions ranging from metabolism to sex drive.
Your hormone levels are always changing. In fact, its normal for hormones to ebb and flow hour by hour, day to day, and over the course of time. However, certain health conditions can interfere with your hormones and cause hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal imbalance affects your body in a number of ways and one of the most common symptoms is weight problems. Having a hormonal imbalance can cause weight gain or make it hard to lose weight, even when you diet and exercise.
At Medical Associates Of North Texas, we understand how frustrating it is to struggle to lose weight. Our team specializes in medical weight loss programs, and if you have extra weight to lose, we can help you find a path to a healthier you.
If youve tried losing weight without success, you could have a hormonal imbalance. Read on to learn why hormones could be keeping you from shedding the weight and what you can do about it.
What Cause A Hormonal Imbalance
A hormone imbalance occurs when one of the aforementioned glands does not function properly. When a hormone imbalance occurs, a host of health issues can happen. For example, if your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, it can cause hypothyroidism, which can cause a host of issues, including weight gain, low energy levels, hair loss, and much more.
Hormones throughout the body work together to maintain health. When one hormone becomes imbalanced, it can affect others. For example, if your cortisol levels are imbalanced, it can affect your estrogen levels or any other hormone in the body. It is important to realize that when one hormone becomes imbalanced, it can cause a snowball effect.
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Which Hormone Increases Hair Growth
Androgens, which include a reasonable amount of testosterone, are responsible for stimulating hair growth on the face, body, and head. Women also have adrenal glands, but the androgen produced is of a very small amount. It is important to understand that moth male and female hormones are responsible for hair growth.