THE 5 HORMONE IMBALANCES THAT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN (AND HOW TO FIX THEM)
Have you developed a muffin top or love handles?
Are you putting on weight even though your diet hasn’t changed much, if at all?
Or are you ravenous, unable to resist relentless cravings and the seductive whispers of sugary fare?
There are key hormones that, when out of balance, can amp-up your hunger, lower your metabolism, and pack on the pounds. This can make maintaining a svelte silhouette nigh on impossible. No matter how hard you consciously try. But, with the right knowledge and approach you can restore their equilibrium.
Let’s take a look at 5 key hormones that contribute to your weight; whether healthy, cuddly, or obese.
Insulin, the fat storage hormone
The hormone, insulin, has an important job. The glucose (sugar) extracted from the foods and beverages that we consume enters the bloodstream. Insulin, then, guides glucose from the bloodstream into our muscle and fat cells. Then, as an article published in the National Institutes of Health said, “Cells obtain energy from glucose or convert it to fat for long-term storage.”
Long term storage is the polite way of saying that we stockpile fatty reserves in the form of thicker thighs, wider hips, a more generous stomach, and a double chin. So, the role that insulin plays in weight fluctuation or stability is profound.
In health, the body is sensitive to insulin. A little goes a long way. But as sensitivity drops — as a condition called insulin resistance results — the pancreas increases production of this hormone. The aim is to force sugar into the cells. But, a higher level of blood insulin halts our ability to burn fat as fuel.
The negative outcome is twofold: We store more fat and can’t burn through excess body stores.
Leptin, a fat-burning hormone
The hormone, leptin, has a number of weight-related roles. These include the regulation of energy homeostasis, metabolism, and appetite.
A review article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine made an important statement about this hormone. “Not only does leptin signal the central nervous system to decrease food intake, it may also increase energy expenditure.”
That’s how this hormone was named; leptin — taken from the word leptos — means “thin”.
Leptin has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, enhance blood sugar control, reduce food intake and, at least in rodent studies, to increase the process of fat burning in white adipose tissue. Its balance is integral to your size.
Ghrelin, a hunger hormone
The hormone, ghrelin, is often referred to as the hunger hormone. We like to say it puts the “grrr” in a “grumbling” tummy! See, ghrelin stimulates appetite to encourage food intake, fat deposition, and the release of growth hormone. It also reduces thermogenesis; the loss of energy through heat. Each of these processes can lead to a cuddlier waistline.
Ghrelin is also involved in blood sugar and insulin levels. Mouse studies show that its removal elevates the secretion of insulin in the presence of glucose, and increases insulin sensitivity. To make matters worse, ghrelin appears to trigger food cravings.
Cortisol, the stress hormone
The hormone, cortisol, is crucial in the response to stress. For example, cortisol helps to regulate metabolism and the inflammatory response. This allows us to funnel energy into a physical response; to fight off the threat, or run. And to protect against infection; say from the bite of a sabertooth tiger. This is wonderful in the short-term as it increases the chance of survival.
However, when the body is chronically flooded with cortisol, weight gain can result. As research published in the journal, Obesity, found, chronic stress and elevated cortisol — as well as increased insulin — is “predictive of greater future weight gain.”
Estrogens, the female hormones
While we speak of estrogen as a single hormone, there are actually a group of estrogens: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Because estrogens are responsible for the sexual and reproductive characteristics and functions of a woman’s body, they’re often collectively dubbed “the female hormone”.
Estrogens play a role in the causes and consequences of overweight in women. You can see this when you look at development; widening hips, the addition of tummy fat, and a growing bust. However, in health, fatty deposits aren’t focused in the abdominal area… until after menopause.
This hormone isn’t easy to investigate because there are a range of hormones that fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle.
Saying that, estrogen (in the form of estradiol) is inversely associated with leptin. As estradiol increases, leptin falls. This appears to be a likely player in the sweet cravings and habitual food choices that menstruating women often make in the luteal phase; the two weeks before their period arrives. This stage lasts, on average, two out of every four weeks. So, the increased calorie intake can accumulate and add unwanted pounds.
Which begs the question…
With so many potential causes for weight gain, how can you balance your hormones to promote a slimmer frame?
How to bring these 5 hormones into balance
As you can see, there are strong links between the various hormones. So, often an approach that creates equilibrium for one hormone brings benefits for others. With this in mind there are three potent steps you can take to restore balance.
Calm your stress
Long-term stress has been shown to contribute to high blood glucose level, insulin resistance, inflammation, and the metabolic syndrome that can negatively affect sex hormones.
To calm stress:
— Practice mindfulness
— Exercise regularly
— Prioritize sleep
— Follow a healthy, nourishing diet
— Learn to say no
— Practice deep breathing
Nourish your body
What you eat matters. Yes, for your hormones too!
So, what approaches count?
Follow a low refined sugar diet
A diet high in refined sugar leads to elevated glucose and insulin resistance, may alter sensitivity to estrogen, and increases leptin within the blood, a possible sign of leptin resistance. To counter this, follow a low refined sugar diet.
Fill up with nutrient-rich foods
It’s been said that your body is a reflection of your past food choices. This is — maybe scarily — true. You and your hormones are a creation of your diet.
Choose foods that are jam packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and healthy macronutrients. Skip junk foods and beverages.
Include healthy protein with every meal
Protein moderates the blood sugar response to food and can alter hormone balance. Choose to enjoy a healthy portion of this macronutrient with each of your meals.
Supplements are a rapid, effective way to consume ingredients that may restore your health and hormone balance, while helping to shed pounds. Ingredients like L-theanine, L-carnitine, grape seed extract, and capsicum extract included.
The authors of the article titled, L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety, noted that this much loved compound within tea has “… positive effects especially on relaxing, cognitive performance, emotional status, sleep quality, cardiovascular diseases, obesity.”
This compound may calm a number of factors that trigger hormonal imbalance, like stress and metabolic dysfunction. As an added bonus, it’s been shown to contribute to weight loss. Amazing!
A recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition compared two sets of women: One group supplemented with L-carnitine, the other did not.
After only 12-weeks, those taking the supplement experienced an improvement in insulin sensitivity. Given the negative effect that insulin resistance has on various other hormones this is a remarkable finding.
Grape seed extract
Is it possible that an ingredient as humble and easily accessible as grape seed can possibly improve hormone balance?
It seems so…
An article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that after 12-weeks of daily supplementation a positive change in blood estrogen levels were observed in postmenopausal women. Stunning and simple!
By helping to improve and maintain metabolism, increase fat oxidation, encourage thermogenesis, and reduce appetite, capsicum extract combats some of the weighty impacts of hormone imbalance.
HyperBurn, our much loved elite fat burner, contains these four ingredients and more. That’s why we regularly receive praise like this from Adalgisa, “This product really works. After drinking this in the morning, it really suppresses my hunger and cravings. I have really seen the difference after a month of taking it.”
Grab your HyperBurn today!
Your hormones are an integral part of you. They respond to your environment, including the stress you’re under and the nourishment you do — or do not — provide. And, yes, this can impact your weight.
To care for your body and your hormones, calm your stress, nourish your body, and supplement sensibly. You might just find this is the weight loss secret you’ve been searching for!