Are hormones affecting your weight loss? The answer is yes and no. It all depends on your body and all the factors contributing to weight gain or plateauing. That’s probably not the answer you wanted to read, but it’s honest. Sometimes hormones do interfere with shedding extra pounds. You’ll be amazed at which hormone does it, especially if you’re going through menopause, where your hormone levels are dropping daily.
Lower estrogen levels don’t ensure you won’t gain weight.
Menopause and perimenopause are times when you least expect higher estrogen levels to cause you to gain weight, but it may be exactly when it happens. While your estrogen levels are dropping, so are your progesterone levels. If you end up with your progesterone levels dropping faster than your estrogen levels, you have estrogen dominance. A higher level of estrogen can be part of the reason for weight gain. This dominance can occur at any time in your life, not just at menopause.
Other hormones play a role in weight gain.
Besides estrogen dominance, there are three other hormones you need to consider leptin, insulin and cortisol. These also affect weight gain and the area where you put on the weight. You may immediately have thought of sex hormones like estrogen, but leptin, insulin and cortisol are also extremely important. Cortisol is a stress hormone and too much of it can cause fat to build on the abdomen—the dreaded belly fat. Leptin comes from fat cells and it tells the body we’re full. Excessive leptin leads to leptin resistance where that message never gets through to the body. Insulin is created by the pancreas and is responsible for regulating blood sugar. Out of whack, it can make it more difficult to lose weight.
You can help regulate these hormones.
If you have high levels of cortisol, it may mean you’re often stressed out and don’t get proper exercise. Exercise burns off the hormones of stress, including cortisol. In fact, exercise is also good in regulating insulin levels, too. Strength-building exercises and mild cardio is good to help balance all the hormones in your body. Mild cardio includes walking,swimming or riding a bike. Take it slowly at first and build up to more rigorous exercise as you hormone levels normalize.
- Eat healthier, consume less red meat and avoid caffeine. Healthy fat is important and high sugar products should be eliminated from your diet. Make certain you eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you have all the necessary nutrients.
- Get plenty of sleep. The body regulates hormones during sleep. Lack of sleep, even for one night can throw your hormones out of whack.
- Even if you eat well, you may need to supplement. Consider taking a B vitamin, magnesium, D3 and add some bone broth for extra collagen and nutrients in your diet.
- Address the health of your gut and the bacteria in it. If your digestive system is out of whack, it affects your whole body.