Imagine you are a woman in your late 30s who has always struggled with her weight.
You have tried countless diets and exercise programs, but nothing seems to work for more than a few weeks.
Frustrated and feeling like a failure, you decide to see a doctor to figure out what is happening.
After running some tests, your doctor tells you your hormone levels are out of balance.
Specifically, your levels of estrogen and testosterone are lower than they should be, which can make it difficult to lose weight.
At first, you are disappointed. You had hoped that there was a simple solution to your weight struggles, but now it seems like there is a deeper issue at play. However, your doctor assures you that there are things you can do to help balance your hormones and improve your weight loss efforts.
You start by making lifestyle changes, like getting more sleep, reducing stress, and eating healthier.
You also start taking medication to help balance your hormones.
It takes time, but eventually, you start to see progress.
Your energy levels increase, your mood improves, and the weight starts to come off.
You feel better than you have in years, and you can finally achieve the weight loss success you have been working towards.
Hormones play a crucial role in regulating many functions in our bodies, including our weight.
When our hormones are out of balance, it can lead to weight gain. In this blog post, we will explore how hormones can affect our weight and what we can do to keep them in check.
Before we carry on, it's vital to remember that although hormones are important when it comes to weight loss, in the end, it still comes down to energy balance (calories in vs out).
Too much stress is bad.
One of the hormones that can lead to weight gain is cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress. When stressed, our bodies release cortisol, which can lead to weight gain.
This is because cortisol can cause our bodies to store more fat, especially in the abdominal area.
Cortisol can also increase our appetite, leading us to eat more.
High cortisol levels can affect the amount of calories you consume by making you feel hungrier and less resilient and where you store the energy and burn it.
“Mental health awareness doesn’t mean fighting stress, anxiety, depression and other everyday mental health issues, rather it means consciously modulating the habits that intensify those issues. Once you are in control of your habits, instead of checking your habits, you would automatically be in a much better shape, both mentally and physically. ”
– Abhijit Naskar
Estrogen is a female hormone that is responsible for many of the changes that happen in our bodies during puberty.
It is also involved in regulating our menstrual cycle.
When our estrogen levels are out of balance, it can lead to weight gain. This is because estrogen can cause our bodies to store more fat, especially in the hips and thighs.
Testosterone and estrogen? Similar. If you are a male and have hypogonadism, your ability to create muscle may be lowered, and energy may be more readily stored as fat.
Estrogen for women may be beneficial for metabolism and also abdominal fat too.
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including metabolism.
When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can have a significant impact on weight loss.
Two types of thyroid disorders can affect weight loss: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. This can lead to a slower metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, and coldness.
Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. This can lead to a faster metabolism, which can make it easier to lose weight. However, it can also cause other health problems, such as anxiety, tremors, and irregular heartbeat.
If you are experiencing difficulty losing weight and suspect that your thyroid may be the cause, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treating thyroid disorders typically involves medication and lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Another hormone that can affect our weight is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is released when we eat. It helps our bodies to process the sugar in our bloodstream and use it for energy.
When we eat too much sugar or refined carbohydrates, our bodies can become resistant to insulin. This means that our bodies have a harder time processing the sugar in our blood, leading to weight gain.
Your gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in your digestive tract.
It plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including digestion, metabolism, and immune system function.
Recent research has suggested that the gut microbiome may also play a role in weight loss and weight management.
Some studies have found that people with a higher diversity of gut bacteria are more likely to be at a healthy weight, while those with a lower diversity are more likely to be overweight or obese.
There are several ways that the gut microbiome may influence weight loss:
Metabolism: The gut bacteria can influence how your body processes and stores energy, potentially affecting weight loss.
Hunger and satiety: The gut microbiome may influence the release of hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, potentially affecting weight loss.
Inflammation: The gut microbiome may influence inflammation in the body, which has been linked to obesity and weight gain.
While the link between the gut microbiome and weight loss is still being studied, there are several things you can do to support a healthy gut microbiome:
Eat a varied, plant-based diet: A diet rich in fibre and plant-based foods can help promote a diverse gut microbiome.
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Limit processed and sugary foods: These foods can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, potentially leading to weight gain.
Get regular exercise: Exercise can help support a healthy gut microbiome.
In summary, the gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and play a role in many bodily functions.
It may also influence weight loss and weight management.
To support a healthy gut microbiome, it is important to eat a varied, plant-based diet, stay hydrated, limit processed and sugary foods, get regular exercise, and consider taking probiotics.
In conclusion, our hormones play a role in regulating our weight.
There are many things that we can do to keep our hormones in balance and avoid weight gain.
One of the most important things is to manage our stress levels.
When stressed, our bodies release cortisol, which can lead to weight gain.
To manage our stress levels, we can try practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing.
We can also manage our weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks can also help keep our hormones balanced.
Exercise is another important factor in keeping our hormones balanced and preventing weight gain. Regular physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve our insulin sensitivity. This means that our bodies can better process the sugar in our blood, leading to weight loss.
When our hormones are out of balance, it can lead to weight gain. BUT ... remember, weight loss still comes down to calories in and out. Your hormones will affect one or both parts of that equation.
And Remember ...
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