You may be doing everything right in order to lose weight. You’re following all the rules hoping that in due time you will achieve your desired weight loss goal. However, no matter what you do, the stubborn fat just won’t leave your body. Despite all your efforts, you try to remain positive and continue to fight what appears to be a losing battle.
At some point, you may feel frustrated and with a due cause! Well, don’t despair. You may be doing everything right, but your hormones could be the culprit, as your hormones can greatly affect the results of your weight loss efforts.
Almost anyone who has a problem with weight is possibly battling with a hormonal imbalance. Bringing your hormones back into balance is a great start to helping you reach your goals.
Four Hormones That May Be Out Of Balance
There are four hormones that make losing weight a real struggle, especially for women. They are cortisol, estrogen, insulin, and leptin.
Levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” rise during stressful and tension-filled situations. Every time you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol. An overload of cortisol results in more stored fat, especially belly fat. High cortisol levels make you feel depressed, experience sugar cravings and can lead to food addictions.
It’s a vicious cycle. The more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol levels will become. Abnormally high levels of cortisol, or hypercortisolism, can cause Cushing syndrome, which is associated with disorders of the adrenal glands.
Estrogen is a female hormone, although it is also present in men, at a lower level compared to women. Both men and women can be subject to estrogen dominance, and too much estrogen can create an imbalance.
There’s no set limit as to how much is too much. It’s relative to your other sex hormones. However, having too much estrogen makes you gain more weight because it can inhibit or block the thyroid hormone, which stimulates different metabolic processes in your body. If this happens, you may experience a slower metabolic rate. Estrogen dominance results in more fat deposits, makes you retain excess water and causes bloating. It, therefore, becomes more difficult to lose weight because it stimulates fat and water retention. Even if you have managed to lose weight, you may gain it again quickly if you don’t keep your estrogen hormone levels in balance, or at what is considered to be within a normal range.
The hormone that regulates blood sugar or glucose in your body is the insulin hormone. Your pancreas produces insulin to help in the metabolism of glucose. It allows glucose to enter the cells to provide energy for your body. It is also a fat-storing hormone.
When your body develops insulin resistance, your muscle cells are less able to absorb glucose. The glucose remains in your bloodstream, and your liver ultimately converts the unused glucose into body fat. It leads to pre-diabetes, a condition where your blood sugar is persistently higher than normal but not as high as someone suffering from diabetes.
Leptin is a hormone produced by your body’s fat cells. It targets an area in the brain called the hypothalamus and sends a signal to let you know that you are full, and it’s time to stop eating. The problem with most of the modern diets consumed today is that we are overloaded with foods that are full of simple carbohydrates, especially sugar.
Too much of these types of foods and our body converts them to body fat, which can lead to an excess of leptin being released. When leptin levels are persistently high, the brain starts to ignore the hormonal message. This, in turn, makes you become leptin resistant, which means your brain cannot detect the leptin signals, and you never feel full. You may even still feel hungry (or think you are) after eating a huge meal. One reason why you keep eating the wrong kinds of food is that you develop cravings for these high-carb, sugar-laden foods. In the process, you gain more weight, and losing weight becomes your losing battle.
Knowing how your hormones work can help you to make some changes in your life. Get your hormones working the way they should, and your journey to weight loss will not be as big a battle as before.