Understanding how you can use your hormones for weight loss can help you achieve your goal.
Hormones and the weight of a person is highly correlated. Hormonal imbalance can lead to weight gain. And similarly, weight gain through lifestyle changes can trigger hormonal imbalance. But the latter happens more often. That is why knowing about hormones for weight loss is extremely important. Here are some of the key hormones that play a role in weight regulation and how you can get them to work with you:
Cortisol is one of the most important hormones for weight loss. Usually thought of as a stress hormone, Cortisol is secreted to help us choose whether to fight or flight. Cortisol also promotes insulin secretion. “This makes us store fat on our bodies, particularly around our waists, one of the more dangerous areas for our health,” says Susan Carnell, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine in her blog. “It can also increase our appetite,” she notes, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Hormone Hack: Managing stress can be key to losing weight, says Carnell. A lot of things can help cope and manage stress and it may be different for different people. Making a cup of tea, going on a walk, or even a hot bath can help you manage stress. Stress eating is a thing and Carnell suggests keeping your favorite binge eating foods out of the house.
Insulin drives glucose to our cells. “When we habitually eat foods high in sugar, our bodies need to constantly produce insulin so the glucose can be utilized by our cells,” Carnellexplains. She further says, “At the same time, an elevated insulin level sends the signal to our body that there is excessive sugar, and it needs to start converting it to fat and storing it for later. This excess fatty tissue not only increases your waistline but also causes cells to lose sensitivity to insulin, thus signaling the body to produce more insulin, causing even more weight gain.”
Hormone Hack: Instead of ditching carbs completely, you should choose the right type of carbohydrates. “Pairing carbohydrates with protein and fat helps blunt the body’s response to blood sugar,” says Sarah Rueven, MS, RD while speaking to a fitness magazine.
Leptin tells the brain how much fat is in our body. When leptin levels are low, you tend to feel hungry; when leptin levels are high, you tend to feel full explains Carnell. She further says “As you start to develop obesity, you start to become resistant to leptin, So you may have high levels of leptin, but the brain isn’t registering that.” This can cause diabetes and heart problems.
Hormone Hack: Research suggests physical activity can help manage leptin levels. resistance training appears to be more efficient at reducing leptin levels, according to a recent review of studies on overweight and obese middle-aged adults published in PLOS One.
One of the most important hormones for weight loss for women, estrogen is the reason females tend to store fat in their thighs and arms. Research finds that having too-high levels of estrogen before menopause, also known as estrogen dominance, is associated with weight gain and increased fat storage. On the flip side, as women reach menopause, estrogen levels in the body begin to decline and fat storage is shifted from the thighs and hips to the abdomen, says Reuven.
Hormone Hack: Premenopauasla women should eat fiber-rich foods and cruciferous veggies. “Fiber reduces estrogen absorption in the GI tract and shuttles excess estrogen out of the body via bowel movements,” Rueven says. Postmenopausal women should focus on whole foods in their natural forms like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
Testosterone is one of the most crucial hormones for weight loss among men and like estrogen it is the reason why men tend to store fats around their belly first. Research suggests that low testosterone in men can impact overall weight and has been linked to weight gain. Low levels of testosterone reduce muscle mass and calorie expenditure, so testosterone deficiency, can lead to weight gain over time and make weight loss harder.
Hormone Hack: The the same study notes that men can combat the loss of testosterone with exercise. Other studies say weightlifting is the best type of exercise for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. High-Intensity Interval training is also helpful.
Having control over these hormones can make your weight-loss journey a little easier. But more importantly, controlling them will make sure that they won’t impede your progress. So, gain control over these 5 hormones for weight loss, as soon and as efficiently as you can.
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