For us women, being overweight often has little to do with calories or even exercise. For a large number of us, the problem instead lies with our hormones. But can we turn off these hormones and stop weight gain?
There are the common hormones that we know are responsible for interfering with weight management, like insulin and thyroid hormone. These are well researched and there are dietary and medication strategies to address them. But these aren’t the only ones that may be keeping you from your ideal body.
The “Darling, You’re Full” Hormone
I like to think of the hormone Leptin as your harsh, but fair, friend kindly suggesting that you’ve had enough for one meal. When functioning normally, Leptin is released from your fat cells and travels to the brain to signal that you’re full.
There is, however, a modern saboteur at work. When we eat large amounts of a type of sugar called Fructose (found in fruits, fruit juices, and processed foods), your liver can’t process the sugar quickly enough to burn it for fuel. So, instead it gets converted into fat. These new fat cells are often stored in the liver or around your mid-section.
As you accumulate more fatty tissue, your body will also have the capacity to produce more leptin. This sounds like a good thing, but in the long term it isn’t because your body becomes resistant to its messages. Without leptin kept in check, you won’t get the gentle nudge to stop eating when you’re full.
The best way to prevent excess fatty tissue interfering with your Leptin levels, is to limit your overall fructose intake. This means avoiding processed foods, fruit juices, large amounts of dried fruits, and even total whole fruit intake. If you stick to your 5 fruits and vegetables per day you won’t be overdoing it.
The “Darling, You Need to Calm Down” Hormone
Cortisol, the “stress hormone”, creates all kinds of challenges for women wanting to lose weight. When cortisol levels increase, your body tends to go into storage mode and converts your blood sugar into fat. This would have been helpful as a survival adaptation when our ancestors were facing a famine, but not so much today.
Reducing stress is the best way to rein in your cortisol levels, but the other effective strategy is to reduce your daily coffee consumption. Caffeine can elevate your cortisol levels dramatically, so it can be very helpful to reduce your coffee intake if you’re looking to lose weight.
The “Darling, You’re a Woman” Hormone
We are blessed as women to be made unique by our abundance of the hormone Estrogen. Estrogen at normal levels helps keep our weight in check by balancing our insulin levels. However, when your estrogen levels are elevated and unbalanced, your body turns into a fat storage facility.
When Estrogen levels are high, your body can become prone to insulin resistance. So how do we keep Estrogen levels from being elevated? Firstly, increase your fiber intake so that the excess estrogen is eliminated with the other waste. Secondly, choose hormone-free meats wherever possible to avoid interference from artificial hormones/toxins.
Address Your Hormones and Turn Off Weight Gain
These three “darlings” can leave you feeling like your metabolism is somehow broken. You may be exercising and trying to eat the right foods, but your hormones will always dictate how your body processes those foods.
If you address your hormones, your body will shed the excess without too much additional effort on your part. You can harness your hormones and turn off weight gain.
If you want to receive a nutrition program that will truly empower you to take control of your health and balance your hormones, get in touch today.