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Hormones & Weight Gain

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale

Do you feel like your body is out of control, no matter how much you exercise or try to eat healthier? It may not be your lack of willpower or self-control, but your hormones might actually affect you from reaching your goals.

HORMONES? Yes, I am talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. These are all things that control your energy and weight. I bet you didn’t know that hormones largely control your weight, did you? There has been research that shows that hormones influence your appetite, energy, and how much fat you store (1), (2), (3).

So, let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones and how they affect your energy and weight. These connections may be stronger than you think about preventing you from reaching any goals.

HORMONES, WHAT ARE THEY?

Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” and the internet these days. That is for a good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. If it is out of sync or not in harmony, it can wreak havoc.

Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. What am I talking about? For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).

Your hormones control your blood sugar and your metabolism and appetite (not to mention other things). You probably know that healthy blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight, right?

So, how can your hormones get out of whack that causes your energy to deplete, mood swings, and pile up the pounds?

COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES

In optimal health, your hormones would work great, giving you ample energy and a healthy weight.

Often there are problems with this harmony. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released. This issue is also known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism). (4)

Another common issue is that, if even the right amount of hormone is released, the way the cells communicate can become disconnected. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).

As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, they can definitely cause issues within your body.

HORMONES AND ENERGY

Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. What is Metabolism anyway? Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. BUT, did you know that one of the main players of this is, you guessed it-your thyroid hormones.

Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down which is called hypothyroid, you may feel cold, hungry, and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight. (4)

You actually want an ideal metabolism working efficiently, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.

HORMONES AND WEIGHT GAIN

So, stop being hard on yourself or getting frustrated. Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin is one of the primary fat storage hormones in the body. It tells fat cells to store fat and prevents stored fat from being broken down. It allows your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage, depending on what is needed at the time. When your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.

You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied…even if that’s not true.

And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be massive drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do. (3)

And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” because it’s released when your body senses stress. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. More importantly, that stored fat is belly fat! GASP!

SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They maintain your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. These directly affect how much energy you feel, weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.

Here are a few “hormone balancing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:

  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat. This can even be in the form of just walking.
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation, self-care, or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol. If you have been stressed lately, try to take even 5-10min a day to reduce your daily stressors.
  • Get proper sleep, 7-9 hours each night. This will help with your cortisol levels.
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables (seaweeds), fish, shrimp, legumes, eggs, or even prunes.
  • Get enough magnesium in your diet. Insulin resistant people are often low in magnesium. Eating foods high in magnesium like pumpkin seeds, spinach or swiss chard, almonds or cashews, avocados, quinoa, black beans, or salmon can improve insulin sensitivity. (5)
  • Keep your blood sugar balance with complex carbohydrates like peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds.
  • Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, impairing ghrelin response after meals and blood sugar. Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water or sparkling waters.
  • Eat a Whole Foods balanced diet with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eat less processed foods.
  • Do not drastically restrict your calories. Never go below 1200 calories; if you need help figuring out your calorie intake-I can help.

If you need help with your energy levels, weight, or on getting your life back, contact me for a 15 min FREE discovery session to see how I can help you.

Want a FREE 7-Day Hormone Balancing Meal Plan to help you feel your best and flood your body with nutrients? Click on my FREE 7-Day Meal Plan to help get your hormones in check and eat more of a Whole Foods balanced diet. The meal plan comes with colorful recipes, nutritional facts, meal plan for the week, and a grocery list.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Published by Erin Wheless

I am a passionate Health and Fitness Professional who thrives on helping and motivating others into a healthier way of life, improving their quality of life being in a more Zen state of mind, along with helping them obtaining a stronger body and mind. I want to help them be the best version of themselves and want to help make a difference one small step at a time.

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