Cortisol And Sugar Cravings
Cue the sugar cravings. Because sugar supplies your body with the quick energy it thinks it needs, it’s often the first thing you reach for when you’re stressed.
The downside to consuming so much sugar is that your body tends to store sugar, especially after stressful situations. This energy is stored mainly in the form of abdominal fat, which can be particularly hard to shed. And so the vicious cycle starts: get stressed, release cortisol, gain weight, crave more sugar, eat more sugar, gain more weight.
The Role Of Cortisol In The Body
Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring.
Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
One of the most common symptoms of perimenopause is hot flashes, which often coexists with night sweats. Almost 80 percent of people who are in perimenopause or transitioning into menopause have hot flashes. Also, most women who receive chemotherapy or undergo surgery to remove their ovaries will experience hot flashes.
Scientists know that hot flashes occur as a result of low estrogen levels. Each hot flash involves a sensation of heat that starts in the chest area and travels to the neck and the head. It can last for a few minutes and may cause sweating. Some women also develop a faster heart rate during hot flashes.
If a hot flash happens during sleep, they are called night sweats. Women who have night sweats often wake up in the morning feeling tired.
Some people experience redness along their neck and face during a hot flash. This is called a hot flush.
On average, each hot flash lasts for about three to four minutes. Hot flashes can occur for a few months to several years. In a few rare cases, some people had hot flashes for 10 years.
Other signs of hormonal imbalance include:
- Heavy or irregular periods, missed periods, frequent periods, or stopped periods
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Weakened muscles
- Pain in the muscles, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain and swelling in the joints
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Bioidentical Hormones Can Contribute To Weight Loss In Some Cases
Contrary to popular belief, bioidentical hormones are not an instant weight loss solution. These medications were designed to address symptoms related to menopause, andropause, or hormone disorders. Significantly, estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones are powerful chemicals that have far-reaching effects throughout the body. While certain medications may have an impact on your appetite or metabolism, theyre not designed to facilitate quick and easy weight loss.
The reason bioidentical hormones are so commonly equated with weight loss is that hormone imbalances can result in plenty of weight-related problems. Men with low testosterone and women with PCOS, for example, may experience stubborn weight gain that doesnt seem to respond to typical diet and exercise strategies. Hypothyroidism is another common contributing factor to weight gain.
In some cases, supplementing with the hormones your body needs can help your endocrine system function more effectively, improving metabolism and influencing gradual weight loss. But so many other factors influence your bodys natural resting weight. Indeed, diet and exercise are the most important factors for healthy weight loss in the majority of cases. As such, its important that you speak with a qualified medical professional to determine which factors matter most for your bodyand how they can be combined to help you feel your best.
Dieting Increased Ghrelin And Weight Gain
Research shows that a lot of dieters regain all the weight theyve lost within a year. Why? you might ask. Well, ghrelin is involved.
People on a diet eat less. A lot of the time, if youre on a diet, you have to starve yourself, which means the gut is quite empty. But your body cannot remain in that state of starvation. Ghrelin levels will go up, which will signal your brain that you need to eat.
Once again, you can see why dieting is not always about willpower. Your body is just doing what it is meant to do. The longer you starve yourself, the higher your ghrelin levels rise. The more ghrelin you have, the more youre likely to eat.
Have you heard of the term compensatory overeating? This is what it means. Someone who has not eaten for a while will tend to overeat when they eventually get to a meal.
Its because ghrelin has risen so much within that time. They need to eat more to get the ghrelin levels back down.
How about long-term dieting? Researchers have shown that for a 6-month diet, you can have a 24% increase in ghrelin levels. So, even if you successfully lose weight within those 6 months, it will be hard to maintain that new weight.
Higher ghrelin levels mean you eat more when you get off the diet. Or even before. Consequently, the weight comes back.
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Symptoms Of Hormonal Weight Gain
The most common symptom of hormonal imbalance is weight gain, which may lead to:
- Sexual dysfunction
So, consult a doctor if you face any of the above symptoms and go for a routine hormonal check-up for proper management.
Lets answer another common question that people have about hormonal weight gain.
How Can I Treat The Estrogen Dominance Case
First, you should your exposure to the previously mentioned causes then, you should:
Third, you should increase your consumption from the following points and change your lifestyle as follows:
- Eat a paleo diet
This type of diet is mainly based on avoiding most of the phytoestrogen foodstuff in order to balance the hormonal levels once again. It is always recommended for people who will start paleo diet to consume grass-fed animal products in order to avoid absorbing the growth hormones that may have an impact on estrogen levels.
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It Could Pose An Adverse Effect On Your Physical Health As It Causes
- Induce magnesium and zinc deficiency
- Accelerate the premature aging process
- Eye dryness, hair loss, regular headaches, and hypoglycemia
- It disturbs the menstrual cycle and causes irregular menstruation
- Increase the risk of strokes as it increases the rate of blood clotting
- Increase the breast tenderness, allergies, asthma, and fatigue all over the body
- Increase the risk of having polycystic ovaries, Cervical dysplasia, breast cancer and fibrocystic breasts
- Increase the risk of thyroid dysfunction, infertility, uterine cancer and many autoimmune and gallbladder disease
How To Fix Your Hormones And Lose Weight
Ive hit a stubborn weight-loss plateau, writes this weeks house call, even though I seem to be doing everything right, like eating the right foods and exercising. How can I overcome that obstacle?
Ive discussed different reasons for weight-loss resistance in past blogs. Many obstacles have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. Instead, they involve things like nutritional imbalances, chronic inflammation, metabolic challenges, leaky gut, changes in your microbiome, environmental toxins and your genes.
One huge but often-overlooked reason for weight-loss resistance involves hormonal imbalances.
No contest: The monster hormone that causes weight gain, inflammation and chronic disease is excess insulin. Think of this hormone as your fat cell fertilizer! My new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, discusses how to naturally regulate insulin so you can shift your body from fat storage mode to fat-burning mode.
At the same time, insulin isnt the only player other hormones also affect your weight and health. Three big disruptors are: thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. I discuss these hormones in-depth in The Blood Sugar Solution, however, lets briefly look at each of them here.
A common cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance.
Sex Hormone Imbalances
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Hormones Responsible For Weight Gain In Women
Did you know that stubborn fat can be harder to lose if your hormones arent in balance? So its a great idea to get all your hormones in check first.
Which hormones? Here are the hormones youll want to get in check to ensure you can achieve the healthiest weight of your life.
The thyroid gland produces three hormones: T3, T4, and calcitonin. Togther, they regulate metabolism, sleep, heart rate, growth and brain development, among other functions.
Sometimes the thyroid doesnt produce the right quantities of these hormones, though, and it can lead to hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroid is associated with constipation, fatigue, depression, slow heart rate, and other symptoms. However, it is also related to weight gain, as your metabolism slows down due to the hormone deficit.
When your body is 100% healthy, leptin signals that you are full and should stop eating.
But when we overeat foods that are high in sugar or processed foods, the oversupply of fructose is converted into fat, and it gets deposited in the liver, belly and other areas of the body.
That is a problem because fat cells can also secret leptin, desensitizing the body to it and causing the brain to ignore the signal to stop eating. This vicious circle can lead to high levels of weight gain.
Estrogen levels that are too high or too low can cause weight gain.
Ghrelin And Your Weight: What Is The Link
As we continue the discussion on hormones and weight connections, we must not fail to touch on ghrelin.
Here is an easy way to remember what ghrelin is all about: ghrelin is the hunger hormone. It sends signals to your brain to eat when you are hungry. If leptin is the satiety hormone that tells you to stop eating, then ghrelin is the opposite of it.
Can A Hormone Imbalance Be To Blame For Weight Gain
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by endocrine glands that travel to distant organs and tissues in our body and tell them what to do.
Hormones affect many different processes in the body, from reproduction and menstrual cycle regularity to mood and metabolism. When thereâs an imbalance in certain hormones, that can set the stage for weight gain and negative health consequences.
We take a look at which hormones may be affecting your weight and some tips for achieving a hormone balance that favors reaching your healthiest weight and optimal health.
How Can I Prevent Hormonal Weight Gain
As we saw, weight gain can be the result of a greater hormone imbalance. If you are eating clean and exercising regularly but still not losing weight, testing your hormones may reveal insight into unexplained weight gain.
Of course, you should always consult your doctor if you are concerned about unexplained weight gain. He or she will be able to run comprehensive hormone tests that can give insight into an existing hormone imbalance.
Sometimes, at-home testing options can be a good place to start for more information on your cycle and hormones. For example, in a healthy, balanced cycle an egg will be released and post-ovulatory hormones will remain adequately elevated for a long enough period of time.
This is referred to as successful ovulation. If progesterone or PdG levels drop too soon after ovulation, this could be a sign of a hormone imbalance, in which case we recommend consulting your doctor.
Luckily, you can confirm successful ovulation with Proov! Proov is the first and only FDA-cleared PdG test kit for ovulation confirmation. Testing PdG levels with Proov on days 7-10 past peak fertility confirms that successful ovulation has in fact occurred.
Proov is the first and only FDA-cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation.
While progesterone may not directly cause weight gain, a greater hormone imbalance can lead to unexplained weight gain. Ensuring your hormones are balanced can help you live a healthier, happier life!
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Common Home Remedies For Hormonal Imbalance That Can Curb Weight Gain
There are practical natural ways to help your body balance your hormones as you are losing weight.Lets go through a few of these home remedies.
Eat foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals
The phrase hormone diet is quite common. Many experts and books claim that certain diets can balance your hormones and help you lose weight rapidly. However, be aware that not all diets will actually help you lose weight in a healthy way.You are better off focusing on the quality of your meals. Eat foods that are rich in high-quality carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
You can get more fiber by eating high-quality carbs, including 100% whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and buckwheat pulses such as lentils and chickpeas flaxseeds sweet potatoes and fruits such as oranges and berries.How does fiber help balance your hormones? Research shows that a type of dietary fiber known as lignans contain precursors known as phytoestrogens , which closely resemble estrogens.7Because these lignan precursors look like estrogen, they can bind to the enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism, and, therefore, help to regulate the levels of estrogen in the body.7 Flaxseeds are the greatest source of lignans.
Cut out processed foods from your diet
Skip the alcohol
Get Enough Sleep
What Does Ghrelin Do
Ghrelin is produced in your gut. Its levels increase when your gut is empty.
Ghrelin also goes to the hypothalamus, which then tells you you need to eat. So, you begin to feel hungry. You feel the need to eat and absorb calories, etc.
When youve eaten and your stomach is full, leptin goes back down. Hunger stops. There is less need to eat.
Some studies have shown that lean people have lower levels of ghrelin, so they feel less the need to eat.
Yet other studies show that obese people and lean people have about the same levels of ghrelin. The difference is just that obese people are more sensitive to the effects of ghrelin.
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Menopausal Weight Gain: 4 Hormones Other Than Estrogen That Need Your Attention
Our bodies are constantly changing. Your metabolism now isnt what it was when you were three, nor is your body chemistry. As we age, things change whether we want them to or not. Among the many changes are than those that occur at middle age, such as the ever-dreaded menopause weight gain.
Menopause is the natural process by which women leave child-bearing age. As the physical changes of the process begin and continue, many women experience the consequence of weight gain. Understanding that this is common and what causes it will help you to address any unwanted pounds to help you keep your youthful health and appearance.
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How To Keep Estrogen At Optimal Levels
To balance estrogen levels naturally and prevent the weight gain that happens with an estrogen imbalance, youll want to do the following:
- Commit to a regular exercise routine. Many studies, including this 2012 one, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, explain how exercise lowers estrogen levels in obese women.
- Eat your fiber. Fibrous foods help decrease elevated estrogen levels.
- Eat veggies in the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy. Anything green and leafy is always a good idea, too!
- Reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with our natural hormones. Avoid plastic containers, cans, or water bottles made with BPA. Never microwave plastic.
- Choose organic foods when possible, and choose phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products.
- Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which uses plant-based hormones identical to those produced naturally by the human body to keep hormones balanced.
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Does Hormonal Imbalance Make You Gain Weight
Hormones, along with your lifestyle, influence your appetite, satiety, metabolism, and weight .
Stress, age, genes, and poor lifestyle choices can disrupt your hormonal balance and lead to a sluggish metabolism, indigestion, and uncontrollable hunger. This, ultimately, leads to weight gain.
So, lets find out which hormones cause weight gain.
Causes Of Hormonal Weight Gain And How To Prevent It
Have you been losing and gaining the same 10-20 pounds for the past couple of years? Its now halfway into 2020 and if your New Years Resolution was lose weight and you havent quite reached your goal yet, dont feel too discouraged.
Weight gain and weight loss are influenced by a lot of factors, some of which you may not know about and are out of your control.Keep reading to learn more about the reasons for hormonal weight gain and the steps you can take to prevent it.
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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.