Has it been frustrating to shed off some pounds? If none of those restricted diets has brought significant changes in your weight, you’re probably overlooking one factor that’s sabotaging your weight loss attempts.
Hormone imbalances cause undesirable effects on our health. Many of our bodily functions are directly affected by abnormal hormone levels and in this case, that’s your metabolism.
What are the hormones that influence your weight? Why do these hormones inhibit you from losing those extra pounds?
Hormones and Weight Gain
Thyroid hormones play a major role in regulating weight. An individual who has hypothyroidism (or underactive thyroid gland) has a slower metabolism, which results in weight gain and a higher body-mass index or BMI.
However, that extra weight in hypothyroid individuals is not always because of too much stored fat. According to the American Thyroid Association, most of that added weight is due to excessive salt and water accumulation.
Your cells absorb sugar (glucose) and use it for energy through the help of insulin. Without insulin, the extra glucose stays in your bloodstream, which leads to high blood sugar levels.
When there is too much glucose and your cells do not use them for energy, they will be stored as fat. A huge increase in blood sugar can result in insulin resistance. Consequently, the fats deposited in different parts of the body cause weight gain.
Do you think there’s something inside you that can stop you from eating too much? No, that’s not your conscience guilt-tripping you because you’ve had seven slices of pizza. That’s probably leptin.
What is leptin? It’s the hormone released from fat cells that tells your brain when you’re already full. As in any result of hormone imbalance, when there is way too much leptin in your bloodstream, it will not function the way it should.
The leptin in your blood will fail to send the signals to your brain that you should stop eating. If you develop leptin resistance because its levels are often high, you will eat for as long as you want and gain that unnecessary weight.
If leptin is the hormone that suppresses your appetite, the one that increases your desire to eat is ghrelin, a.k.a. the hunger hormone.
Your stomach secretes ghrelin. The levels spike right before you eat as it signals hunger or when you’re not eating enough. Research suggests that ghrelin determines how quickly your hunger comes back. The ghrelin in your body drops three hours after your last meal so it’s around this time that you would feel hungry again.
High levels of ghrelin can lead to weight gain as it increases appetite and fat deposition.
How often do you turn to emotional eating when you’re stressed? Also known as stress eating, this type of response addresses your emotions and not hunger.
So even if you’re not hungry, you’ll continue to eat thinking it would make you feel better. When you’re stressed out, your cortisol or stress hormone levels go high. This event triggers blood sugar to convert into fat and stays in your fat stores for a longer period.
Don’t let stress disrupt your weight loss efforts! Here’s how you can manage stress.
Did you know that testosterone also has a role in weight management?
This hormone helps burn fat. But if you have low levels of testosterone can trigger stress and inflammation, which may lead to fat accumulation.
Estradiol is a form of estrogen that helps manage your metabolism and weight. This hormone decreases when a woman reaches the menopausal stage.
When you are suffering from estrogen imbalance, as in the levels are dropping significantly, your estradiol levels follow. That means you are lacking the hormones that are helpful in maintaining your ideal weight.
Women experiencing menopause tend to gain weight in the mid-section and abdomen or that annoying belly fat. When your estrogen levels drop, your metabolism declines. This causes visceral fat to stick to your abdominal wall and some of your vital organs.
Visceral fat does not only pose weight management issues. This abdominal fat increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, and certain cancers.
Have you heard of diindolylmethane or DIM? This natural substance helps maintain estrogen balance and keeps your bad estrogen (responsible for storing unnecessary fat) from reaching high levels.
Prevent weight gain caused by estrogen imbalance by taking a DIM supplement daily. This does not only help with weight management, but DIM also protects you from hormone-related health issues.
Whether it’s because your hormones are out of whack or not, managing your weight starts with healthy eating habits and a more active lifestyle.