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How Hormones Impact Your Weight

How Hormones Impact Your Weight

We often only think about hormones when we are thinking about puberty, but hormones are the chemical messengers that control almost all of our major body functions including reproduction, emotions, mood, and hunger. Hormones may also be the reason why men lose weight faster than women and a hormone imbalance may be a result of misbalanced hormones.  Keep reading to find out more about hormones and their impact on your weight overall.

The Impact of Hormones

Hormone imbalances and weight loss resistance often go hand in hand. Insulin regulation is the most important component of weight as insulin tells your body if you should be in fat burning mode or fat storage mode.  However, insulin is not the only hormone responsible for excessive weight gain, loss, or inability to lose.  Thyroid, cortisol. estrogen, testosterone, and leptin also impact your weight.  The endocrine (hormone) system is complex and often overlooked.

How Can You Impact Your Hormones?

Let’s look at each hormone and how to biohack hormone regulation:

  • Insulin: Insulin is made in the pancreas and allows your cells to take in sugar for energy or storage purposes. To normalize insulin levels, avoid or minimize sugar, reduce carbohydrates, increase your protein and healthy fats, exercise regularly, get enough magnesium, and drink green tea daily.
  • Thyroid: the thyroid is a gland that releases hormones into the body. Thyroid plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight and an overactive or underactive thyroid can cause weight to be abnormal. Normalizing thyroid function should include removing gluten from your diet, limit soybean and cruciferous vegetables, increase fish oil and Vitamin D intake, and possibly, iodine supplements.
  • Cortisol: cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and chronic stress can lead to increased release of cortisol. Cortisol can also be increased through very strict dieting which will have the opposite effect desired.  High levels of cortisol can lead to overeating and weight gain.  To reduce cortisol, eat a balanced diet, meditate, take time for selfcare, and increase sleep.
  • Estrogen and testosterone: estrogen and testosterone are the female and male sex hormones, respectively. If these hormones are imbalanced, excessive weight gain may be present.  To normalize estrogen and testosterone eat plenty of fiber, cruciferous vegetables, flax seeds, and exercise.
  • Leptin: leptin is produced by fat cells and is considered the satiety hormone. Leptin tells the brain there is enough fat and no more food consumption is needed.  In some people, leptin does not work the way it should; this is known as leptin resistance. To improve leptin sensitivity, avoid anti-inflammatory foods, eat fatty fish, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

The Takeaway

Hormones play an essential role in weight maintenance and may be the reason for a weight loss plateau.  Balancing your hormones is an important step in overall wellness.  It is important to see a medical professional to develop a plan for your individual hormones, but common denominators in regulation include whole foods, enough sleep, regular exercise, and balanced diet.

How often do you think about your endocrine system?  Have you been at a weight plateau that you shook loose?  Tell us how on all the social media platforms!