Hormone imbalance plays a bigger role in our weight than many of us realize. Hormonal messengers are communicating with your body around the clock. There are things you can do and change to give your hormones more of what they need to be able to do their jobs.
Hormones, created in our endocrine glands, act as chemical messengers in our bodies. Many associate hormones only with reproductive functions, but they influence a lot more, including hunger, emotions, and mood. When one part of the system is out of balance, it affects the whole thing. According to ASEA, hormone imbalance, particularly with sex hormones, accounts for billions of dollars in healthcare costs in the US.
According to Diet Doctor, obesity is an issue of hormone imbalance. Estrogen, leptin, cortisol, and insulin are the heavy hitters of weight control. Environmental estrogens are a problem for both genders in that estrogen encourages the storage of fat. Leptin is produced by our fat cells and sends “full” signals when we’ve had enough to eat. It also slows the appetite and speeds up metabolism. Cortisol has a function that tells the body to break down muscle tissue into sugar. It’s triggered by stress and causes the body to store fat. Insulin fights against the breakdown of fat.
To balance your hormones for weight loss, you need to reduce excess estrogen, cortisol, and insulin while increasing leptin and insulin sensitivity. According to Get Healthy, the main steps are to get plenty of quality sleep, exercise on a regular basis, increase fiber, and decrease sugar intake.
Sleep helps to rebalance the hormones for weight loss by increasing leptin production and lowering cortisol and insulin resistance. More exercise helps both women and men shed excess estrogen. It also increases insulin sensitivity and leptin production. A side benefit of exercise is that it helps you sleep better.
You can increase fiber to lower estrogen. Dialing back the sugar intake is one of the most important things you can do. Adequate protein helps decrease insulin and builds the muscle you need. Adding in plenty of foods with low glycemic indexes, like fruits, beans, and non-starchy vegetables will also help keep insulin production down. Certain supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B-vitamins will give you the support you need.
Being overweight can feel like a hopeless fight, but you really can adopt healthier habits that will help to rebalance your hormones and get you back on track to the best fitness of your life.
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