Are you sick and tired of trying fad diets to lose weight with no results? Your hormones could be the issue. New studies suggest that the lack of a specific hormone, such as progesterone, testosterone, or adiponectin, can cause weight gain.
Let’s discuss five ways your hormones could impact your weight and what to do about it.
- Brain pathway
Hormonal Brain Pathways and Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
Feeling ravenous even after you’ve just eaten a big meal? Your brain may not be getting the right cues to stave off hunger and regulate your metabolism.
Your hormones work through the same pathway to your brain to control weight and blood sugar. When hormones are out of balance, they aren’t present in the right amounts to send proper hunger and fullness cues to your brain. This can lead to an uncontrollable appetite and strong cravings. Worse, the same hormones that help you feel satiated also govern your metabolism and your body’s blood sugar regulation. Over time, weight loss becomes more difficult because the body compensates by lowering your metabolic rate, which is needed to help you burn calories.
Insulin and Fat Storage
Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to store fat. Eating a diet heavy in sugar and highly processed foods can spike your body’s insulin production. Occasional insulin spikes may not be a big problem, but doing it over and over again can lead to insulin resistance. When the body is insulin resistant, it won’t respond as well to insulin production. As a result, it will produce more insulin, increasing fat storage and putting you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To control insulin, avoid sugary foods and drink green tea.
Leptin Deficiency and Hunger
Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. A leptin deficiency can leave you feeling hungry all the time, even when your body doesn’t need any more nourishment. As a result, people with too little leptin will almost always overeat and wonder why they can never stick to a diet or lose weight. Fortunately, you can promote better leptin production by getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
Cortisol, Stress, and Weight Gain
Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. It evolved to keep us alive during times when we were in danger of being killed by predators and/or harsh conditions. While this was great in our hunter-gatherer days, it’s not as useful today. Unfortunately, your body cannot tell the difference between the stress of being chased by a mountain lion versus the stress of a big presentation at work. No matter what the cause of your stress, your body will produce cortisol, which will, in turn, result in more fat storage and a larger appetite.
To decrease cortisol production, try yoga, meditation, and plenty of sleep. The more you can work relaxation into your daily life, the lower your cortisol levels will be, and the more easily you’ll lose weight.
Progesterone Impacts Your Appetite and Metabolism
An imbalance in progesterone can result in a significant increase in appetite and slowed metabolic function. If progesterone production is too high, it can act as an appetite accelerator. If it’s too low, though, it can impact thyroid function. And, as your thyroid essentially governs your metabolism and how efficiently you burn calories, that can have a huge impact on your weight loss efforts.
Want to learn more about how you can lose weight naturally by balancing your hormones? Contact us at Youthful MD today!