Have trouble losing weight? Tired of strenuous workouts and fad diets? If everything has failed, your hormones might be the culprit. Cortisol, testosterone, insulin, and other hormones have a direct impact on body composition. They regulate appetite, metabolism, and fat oxidation. Even the slightest hormonal imbalance can affect your body weight.
Fortunately, there are ways to balance your hormones naturally. Prescription pills and hormone replacement therapy should be your last option.
Let’s take a look at the primary hormones that influence your weight:
Ghrelin, the so-called hunger hormone, signals your brain that it’s time to eat. Its levels go up when you’re on a diet. This leads to increased hunger and cravings. Elevated ghrelin levels increase food intake in obese and lean people alike.
The best way to balance ghrelin production is to eat a balanced diet. Adequate sleep can help too. Research also shows that a high protein intake can lower ghrelin levels naturally.
When you eat, your body releases insulin. This hormone promotes fat storage and regulates glucose metabolism. A high-sugar diet and large meals can raise insulin levels and cause sudden crashes. Over time, these fluctuations lead to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance.
A diet low in sugar and simple carbs can help improve insulin response. For best results, mix it with strength training and HIIT. Heavy lifting reduces insulin resistance and boosts your metabolism.
Leptin, the satiety hormone, tells your brain that you’re full. Overeating increases its levels, which in turn, causes leptin resistance. As a result, you’ll feel hungrier and experience stronger cravings.
To keep your leptin levels stable, eat mindfully and drop excess weight. The leaner you are, the more effective leptin will become. Ensure you also incorporate healthy fat’s into your diet such as coconut oil, avocado, olives, and flaxseed.
Weight gain is often caused by elevated cortisol levels. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol promotes fat storage and slows down your metabolism. It also affects your ability to build muscle and lose weight. Over time, it puts you at risk for chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.
Proper sleep, exercise, and good nutrition can help lower cortisol levels. Strength training, for instance, boosts testosterone production. The higher your testosterone levels, the less cortisol your body will release. Read more about how stress can effect wight loss here.
Other hormones that influence your weight are cholecystokinin, progesterone, estrogen, and adinepoctin. Unless you have an underlying condition, you can balance your hormones through simple lifestyle changes. Ditch the sugar, increase your protein intake, and stick to an exercise plan.
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