Many times when you hear people complain that they can’t lose weight, it’s because they aren’t following the program. Either they ignore the calories they consume either at meals or in soft drinks and snacks or fail to exercise regularly. However, there are cases when your hormones are out of balance, which makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. It’s one reason I tell people to keep a food and exercise diary, so we can find precisely where the problem is.
You have a lot of different types of hormones.
When people think of hormones, their mind immediately goes to estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the sex hormones, but the body has far more than just those three. Hormones are the messengers of the body. They trigger different responses, including emotional responses. Those feel good hormones that provide a runner’s high are examples. Hormones can determine when you get hungry or feel full—ghrelin, the hunger hormone and leptin, the satiety hormone. Lack of sleep causes you to produce too much ghrelin. Too much insulin or excess cortisol may be the culprits behind belly fat.
If belly fat is a problem, maybe it’s stress that’s the underlying cause.
As noted before, both insulin and cortisol are linked to belly fat. You can help control both with exercise and proper diet. Cortisol occurs when you’re under stress. Learning methods to control stress or exercising to burn off the hormone helps. The fight or flight response to stress triggers cortisol production. Exercise mimics running or fighting, burning it off. As for insulin resistance, exercise improves glucose uptake and helps reduce belly fat, which is associated with insulin resistance. The best exercise to do is HIIT—high intensity interval training, weight lifting, sprinting and even increasing the amount you walk.
Look for other signs of thyroid hormonal imbalances.
I hear people complain of an inactive thyroid all the time. Besides weight gain, there are other signals this is the problem. Frequent constipation, sensitivity to heat or cold, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss and irregular heartbeat can also occur. Your thyroid regulates metabolism and can make a difference whether you lose weight or gain it. Sometimes, you can avoid problems by eating a healthy diet and avoiding stress. Start by cutting out sugar and highly processed food. Always consult with your doctor first.
- No hormone is good or bad. You need them all, but you need them in balance. There are hormones to speed heart rate and ones to slow it. Balancing glucagon and insulin can make the difference between healthy and diabetic or hypoglycemic.
- Most women find sex hormones out of balance during menopause, causing weight gain. Cutting out coffee, exercising more, eating more fruits, vegetables and phytoestrogenic foods consuming healthy fats and cutting back on sugar and salt can help,
- Cutting out foods with added sugar can be a big help, regardless of the type of hormonal imbalance. Sugar causes inflammation, which leads to other problems, like insulin resistance, weight gain and oxidative stress.
- Find ways to relax and reduce stress levels that work quickly. While exercise does that, you can’t always do jumping jacks when you need to relax, but you may be able to use breathing techniques or meditation.
For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training