Are Hormones preventing you to lose weight?
It is not always about eating a balanced and healthy way or exercising the right way that will give you results that you want. Have you ever wondered why it that sometimes you just can’t lose the extra weight is? If you assess your daily habits all looks good on paper so why is it that no matter what you do that number on the scale doesn’t move?
If we assume that your daily calorie intake and workout plan is on point, you might want to check your hormones as their impact is massive on weight gain and weight loss.
Here are some of the major hormones playing a key role on this matter
This is the main female sex hormone, responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics. Women you have too much estrogen (estrogen dominance) can cause your metabolism to slow down and start storing more fat.
A natural way to start balancing your estrogen levels is to eat more vegetables as fiber helps remove the estrogen from your body (Dr. Gottfried), cut back on alcohol, and eliminate processed foods and red meat intake.
Insulin helps our body to regulate sugar in the blood in our bodies (glucose). In case you eat a lot of sugary foods, your insulin is constantly working and trying to take sugar from your blood. If you eat too much of that type of food, your body can’t work on that speed and takes the extra sugar and stores it as fat.
If you want to balance your insulin level, start by drinking more water during the day to start the flush out process. In order to eat less sugary foods, start eating more regularly throughout the day, don’t wait until you are starved to eat because that is usually when we can’t control ourselves and we binge on processed and sugary foods. Include protein at every meal, low-glycemic carbs such as fruits, beans, and legumes.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates our response to stressful situations. In our daily lives we are constantly responding to stressful situations at home, work, traffic, you name it. We don’t even think about it anymore but if you analyze how many things gets us “stressed” during the day it is a lot!
The side effect of all this daily stress is that we tend to have too much cortisol in our bodies that puts us at the risk of heart disease and it also causes the infamous fat around our internal organs which appears usually around the belly.
Handling your cortisol levels can be a success but you need to put the work into it. For starts ditch the coffee and start drinking tea. This won’t help immediately but it is a good start. If you have many coffees per day, start by lowering that number. Next thing is to practice mindfulness, stop spreading yourself too thin. Calm your mind and enjoy the moment. As I said, this takes practiceJ.
When you are at work, make a task list, a set of priorities instead if multitasking all the time (I understand multitasking is something that most people are even proud of but in my mind that only means that for each task you are not giving 100% because you are doing so many things at the same time. Think of it this way: Don’t you want to excel in all your tasks? If you do a task half way you might have to do it again so there is also a waste of time involved), when you are home with your family stop checking your phone, practice being at home present and enjoying the moment, when you are eating or working out use that time to enjoy the moment. I truly believe that there are too many distractions and by practicing a bit more mindfulness you might see results in your weight as well. Think about it: if you eat mindlessly you will just eat more without thinking what you are doing.
Besides practicing mindfulness, sleeping helps if you have this opportunity (I don’t at the moment with the baby) or have naps during the day. Take Vitamin B or Magnesium supplement.
This hormone is basically responsible to tell our body when we are full. If you eat too many processed food, sugary foods your body will have an excess of leptin. The downside of this is that at one point if your diet is mainly composed of these types of food, you will become leptin resistant which means that your body will not know when it is full. Consequently, you will be eating more and more.
Just like cortisol, in order to reduce leptin you need to sleep more. When we are sleep deprived, our leptin level is low, it sends a signal to the body that we need food (in general starchy, sugary and processed food to “wake us up”) and we start eating like crazy! Taking supplements, avoiding processed foods, exercising and sleeping all contribute to balancing your leptin levels. Needless to say, avoid refined, processed sugar as much as you can.
We can have either an underactive or overactive thyroid. Research shows us that when we have a low-thyroid (hypothyroidism), it affects our body with weight gain. Why we have low-thyroid in the first place is a mixture of different factors but it can be treated if you do the thyroid hormone tests. Personally I always check my TSH, Free T3 and T4 and I advise you to do the same. Your doctor can prescribe you a thyroid replacement therapy.
This is the hunger hormone. If you sleep between 6 to 10 hours, your body is in a fasting mode. When you wake up, this hormone is low and that’s why you need to have breakfast. You want to keep this hormone balanced by eating regularly. Skipping meals makes ghrelin raise and it is highly likely that your next meal will be high in processed food, high in sugar because your body needs compensation. Don’t skip meals, eat a balanced diet and this hormone will be in balance.