Hormones

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:16

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

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4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Willpower is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still want more help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight.   Book your Free 30-minute consult today.