If you’re interested in learning more about how hormones may be a barrier to your weight loss success take a moment to learn more about how they can affect both your appearance and weight loss goals. At Live Young we want your hormones to be working for you, not against you!
Boost Testosterone and Estrogen
For men and women, the balance between your body’s estrogen and testosterone levels can have an effect on the rate at which your body accumulates fat. Excessive estrogen levels tend to promote fat storage. However, enough estrogen is needed to burn fat. Research in 2010 in men who took testosterone plus a drug that blocks its conversion to estrogen, stored more fat than those who took testosterone alone. Interestingly, they also had poorer libidos than men who didn’t take the estrogen blocker.
Testosterone also plays a role in building lean body mass in both sexes- although the circulating levels are very different. Optimizing lean body mass improves energy burning even when resting.
Both hormones decline with aging, and this occurs more abruptly in women so balancing both these hormones can have an important impact on weight management.
When we experience stress, cortisol levels rise, which helps us get through the crisis. However, cortisol also increases when we do not sleep well. Issues arise when cortisol levels go up and stay up. Cortisol makes us store fat by influencing metabolism and increasing insulin- another powerful hormone. High stress can also lead to stress eating and cravings for foods high in carbs. Recognize when stress is influencing your eating choices, and opt for high protein and fibre foods to curb cravings. In summary, take time to work on your sleep and stress levels; exercise is one of the best ways to do this and it helps weight loss directly!
DHEA is involved in the process of burning fat and thermogenesis—that is the amount of heat our bodies generate through metabolism. It may also promote energy and more energy means more movement in everyday living, therefore, more calories burned. When this hormone is low, you can give it a boost by taking the supplement derivative, 7 keto DHEA. Speak to Dr. Sweeney about proper DHEA testing before taking DHEA itself.
Insulin is an essential hormone for maintaining normal blood sugar (glucose) levels. Whenever your blood sugar rises quickly or gets too high, excessive insulin is released. This, in turn, triggers your body to store extra glucose as fat. Sustained high insulin also blocks the body’s ability to burn fat between meals. This can result in a vicious cycle – you can limit this by cutting back on sugars like soft drinks, coffee syrups and other drinks with sugary flavourings and refined carbs such as white bread. High-intensity interval exercise, HIIT, has also been shown to help combat high insulin levels.
Leptin is known as the “hunger hormone.” It tells your body when to stop eating as opposed to the hormone ghrelin, which tells your body when to eat. Leptin is secreted by fat cells, so in order for it to function normally within the body, you have to maintain a healthy weight. In addition to high insulin levels, high leptin makes you hungrier. Reduce hunger cravings by eating enough protein. A good night’s sleep is also important in the leptin/ghrelin balance.
Does all this seem a bit complicated? Live Young can help.
Feature Image: Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com