If there’s one thing we’ve all learned so far from living on Planet Earth and going to math class, it’s that they are more than a way to solve a particular problem. If you’ve tried losing weight via the conventional method, and you’re having no success, it’s high time you looked into hormonal weight loss.
You can torture your joints all you want. You can perform wrenching workouts from sun rise to sun dawn, limit your diet to some boring, tasteless meals you get on the internet or from a weight loss guru and yet lose no weight. Okay, maybe you’d lose some but nothing significant and won’t come back.
The thing is that for some people, ensuring that they consume fewer calories than they burn is enough for them to start shedding pounds and losing some inches around their waistline. However, for others, the story is quite different.
If you’ve been doing everything right by the book to lose weight and yet, you can’t seem to lose those belly fat, it’s high time you looked at your hormones.
Yes, you read that correctly. You see, hormones are one of the critical factors that can help make or break your weight loss success. Unfortunately, they are often left out of the equation when planning for weight loss. It’s really quite unfortunate.
Hormones such as cortisol, thyroid hormone, insulin and the rest wield a lot of powers when it comes to shedding those pounds. When your hormones are balanced, they can help promote weight loss and do wonders to your body, but when they become imbalanced for any reason whatsoever, you can expect to deal with hard-to-lose body fat and even add a few more pounds.
What are hormones?
Hormones are special chemical messengers in the body that controls most of our bodily functions from basic processes like hunger to complex ones like mood regulation, sexual reproduction and so on. When it comes to losing weight, these messengers produced by the endocrine glands can act as a catalyst to your weight loss or as an inhibitor. They are intertwined and connected to your success or failure as a weight loser.
You see, when your hormones are balanced, everything tends to work out fine. You get rewarded for your weight loss attempt by shedding pounds, and everyone is happy. However, when your hormones are imbalanced, things start to get messy, and your efforts at losing weight get unrewarded.
HORMONAL IMBALANCES, SYMPTOMS AND ITS CAUSES
When you have too much or too little of a hormone in your bloodstream, you’re said to have hormonal imbalances. Hormonal Imbalances are becoming more rampant and prevalent in today’s world. No thanks to today’s fast-paced modern lifestyles, stressful environment, and poor nutrition among other things.
Here are some signs and symptoms of Imbalanced hormones includes:
- Weight gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
- Loss of muscle mass
- Lowered sex drive
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- Dry skin & skin rashes
- Changes in blood sugar and pressure
- Constipation or frequent bowel movements
- Increased or decreased heart rate
- Frequent urination
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Joints pain and stiffness
- Hair thinning hair or brittle hair
- Blurred vision
Causes of Imbalanced Hormones include:
- Chronic or extreme stress
- Diabetes (type 1 and 2)
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Use of anabolic steroid medications
- Iodine deficiency
- Cushing’s syndrome (high levels of the hormone cortisol)
- Exposure to toxic substances and pollutants
- Hyperglycemia (overproduction of glucagon)
- Hypoglycemia (more insulin produced than there is glucose in the blood)
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Over- or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone
- Hormonal replacement or birth control medications
- Addison’s disease (low levels of cortisol and aldosterone)
- Cancers that involve endocrine glands
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy and
- Hereditary pancreatitis etc.
HORMONES RESPONSIBLE FOR WEIGHT GAIN AND WEIGHT LOSS RESISTANCE
Cortisol in the body isn’t that bad as the media paint it out to be. Heck, it helps to control blood sugar levels and blood pressure, regulate metabolism, and alleviate inflammation, etc. However, when it becomes too much, the good ol’ Cortisol becomes a ravaging beast that switches its allegiance. High cortisol has been linked to hardtolose belly fat, sugar cravings, and lousy sleep.
High cortisol level in the body slows down your digestion and wreak havoc on your metabolism. It causes increased belly fat and muscle loss. It also elevates the level of your blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and pressure.
Stress is the single leading causative factor of high cortisol level in the body.
How To Fix:
Practicing and engaging in relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, etc., are some of the best ways to reduce stress and lower your cortisol level. The good thing about these methods is that they are free and easy to learn. Taking fish oil has also been proven to help lower cortisol in the body.
EXCESS INSULIN (INSULIN RESISTANCE)
Another hormone that might be responsible for your weight loss resistance is Insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Its primary role revolves around regulating the blood glucose in the body and promoting fat storage especially around the belly. When insulin is produced in excess, it can switch your body to a fat storage mode.
Poor diet and nutrition containing processed foods, sugary foods and junks can make your insulin level spike.
How To Fix:
- Stop taking sugary and processed carbs.
- Eat whole foods rich in fibers
- Stop consuming foods that can spike insulin levels in the body
Thyroid hormones are responsible for your metabolism regulation. If you suffer from hypothyroidism; an underactive thyroid gland, losing weight might be much more difficult for you than expected as a result of a low basal metabolic rate.
- Gluten intolerance.
- Exposure to pesticides and heavy metals.
- Nutrient deficiencies – selenium, zinc, iodine and omega 3 fats.
How To Fix
- Take a supplement rich in vitamin D, zinc, and selenium
- Undergo a thyroid therapy
- Eat more nuts, seeds and take fish oil (or supplements)
TESTOSTERONE & ESTROGEN
Imbalances in sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone can also lead to weight problems.
Female sex hormones produced primarily by the ovarian follicles of female mammals, developing and maintaining secondary female sex characteristics. Estrogen is both presents in the male and female body and having too much estrogen in your body causes your body to gain weight. Eating a lot of sugary foods, processed carbs and drinking alcohol can spike your estrogen levels, leading to weight gain. Some of the symptoms of excess estrogen in men include a loss of body hair, beer (or pot) belly, and “man boobs.” Low testosterone in men can also fasten the rate at which you age among other things.
Testosterone is a (steroid) sex hormone secreted by the testes, which stimulates the development of male sex organs, secondary sexual traits, and sperm. Testosterone is also produced in the ovaries and adrenal cortex but in smaller quantities.
Low testosterone leads to muscle loss and weight gain, low libido, fatigue, mental fogginess, and bone loss, etc.
Exercise, alcohol, stress, environmental toxins or diseases like diabesity are some of the causes of low testosterone.
How To Fix
- Exercise more often and lift weights regularly
- Eat a nutritious, balanced diet rich in protein, fat, and carbs
- Increase your sleeping time and get plenty of rest in between them.
- Supplement your diets with vitamins and minerals tablets or oil
Cortisol, thyroid, insulin and sex hormones – testosterone and estrogen are the major culprits that disrupt and contributes to weight loss resistance. Whenever you find it hard to shed some pounds or if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau, it’s advisable you take a peep into your hormones and see if everything is alright.
Weight loss and hormone balance go hand in hand. Just as balancing your hormone could help you lose some weight, losing a few pounds could can help balance your hormone which has a positive effect on weight loss.
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