Lately, you’ve put on a lot of weight and tried losing it but all in vain. Even after eating right, doing the right kind of exercise, nothing seems to work. A reliable weight loss plan that had been working for years is suddenly not working for you.
If you are one of those, plagued with such thoughts, the reason can be a ‘hormonal imbalance’. Being overweight often has nothing to do with calories and exercise. Hormonal imbalance nowadays is reportedly one of the main causes of weight gain among people and we wrongly keep blaming our diet for it and give in to fancy weight loss gimmicks of fitness organisations.
After being diagnosed with hormonal imbalance, most of us resort to medicines as the only solution. But wait, popping pills do not target the root cause of the problem instead some dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way to balance out these hormones and control further weight gain. Once you’ve corrected them you can go in for a regular weight loss plan without your hormones playing any further mess with your body.
Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Loss
Most of those who struggle with weight loss are also unknowingly fighting a battle with hormonal imbalance. Your hormones govern all aspects of fat loss from where you store fat to your cravings, appetite, gut health and even your food eating pattern. You will be amazed to see how easy weight loss becomes once your hormones are back in order. Just as hormone balance can lead to weight loss, losing a few pounds can bring them back into their optimal levels.
“The truth is, our hormones impact many things like our mood, appearance and of course our weight!”
So let’s have an insight on how some hormones can hold you back from weight loss and how to balance them naturally to maintain a healthy weight.
Cortisol – “The Stress Hormone”
This hormone is largely responsible for that fat around your belly which you are finding hard to lose. According to a report, having excess cortisol puts you at increased risk of heart disease and causes you to store visceral fat. High cortisol is a result of chronic stress.
Balancing Cortisol for weight loss: To manage cortisol, you also have to manage how you respond to stress. Thanks to our lifestyle, most of us these days have superficial stress which can easily be managed by some healthy lifestyle changes like yoga, deep breathing, meditation. You can also add nuts and fish oil to your diet which have proven to reduce stress and ultimately lower cortisol. Avoid excessive caffeine in your diet and switch to herbal teas like chamomile tea which will help you to feel calmer and sleep well.
Having too much estrogen causes weight gain whether you’re a man or a woman. Too much sugar, refined carbs and alcohol spikes estrogen levels. Eating too little fibre or too many antibiotics is damaging for gut health resulting in the imbalance of this hormone in the body.
Balancing Estrogen for weight loss: A diet which is low in sugar, high in good fats, fibre and magnesium can help balance estrogen and also other hormones in general. Include ground flax seeds and organic fruits and veggies in your diet and adopt a regular exercise regime for a healthier you. Eliminate red meat and alcohol from your diet.
A lot of women are being diagnosed with hypothyroidism these days. It results in a sluggish metabolism and hence weight gain. A common cause of it is said to be gluten intolerance and Vitamin D deficiency.
Balancing Hypothyroidism for weight loss: Your thyroid needs specific nutrients to run optimally like selenium, zinc, iodine and omega 3 fats. Include nuts especially Brazil nuts, coconut and coconut oil in your diet and limit soybeans and raw cruciferous veggies for a healthy thyroid function.
Insulin is a hormone that stores fat. It regulates blood sugar in your body and can be one of the major reasons for you finding it hard to lose weight. If you tend to eat a lot of sugar-laden foods, you keep your insulin working throughout the day to clear the excess sugar from your blood. Hence it stores it as fat leading to weight gain.
Balancing Insulin for weight loss: First of all, eliminate added sugars from your diet. Added sugar is something your body doesn’t require at all. Get enough protein for your body and eat smaller healthier meals. Go for low GI carbs.
The primary function of leptin is to tell our brains when we’re satiated. Our diet is laden with a type of sugar called fructose found abundantly in processed foods and fruits. When too much fructose goes inside our body, it stores it as fat. This leads to an excess of leptin and it can possibly result in leptin resistance meaning your body won’t know when it’s full or satiated so you keep on eating thereby gaining unnecessary weight.
Balancing Leptin for weight loss: If you have a leptin imbalance, the most important part is to get enough sleep every night. Include diet rich in omega 3 like fish, nuts, chia seeds. Decrease fructose levels by steering clear of processed foods. Lastly, make it a point to exercise regularly.
Well, the bottom line is, there’s much more to things than meets the eye. So, not just you even that overweight neighbour or relative of yours whom you keep lecturing on weight loss, might just have a hormonal imbalance to rectify to get back in shape. So spread the info and make people aware why they have just not been able to lose weight after all their efforts. A hormonal imbalance just might be the reason!