Displaying items by tag: hormones

Thursday, 21 November 2019 20:39

How Hormones Affect Your Energy and Weight

Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?
Maybe not.
It might actually be your (powerful) hormones.
And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.
WHAT ARE HORMONES
Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days.  
And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. 
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones control not only your blood sugar, but also your metabolism and appetite (plus a host of other things). And you probably know that having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the pounds?
COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES
In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.
But often there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite, they can definitely cause issues with your energy and weight.
HORMONES AND ENERGY
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.
What you actually want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES AND WEIGHT
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied...even if that’s not true.
And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!
SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
  • Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds
  • Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
If you need some support with your energy levels and/or weight, contact me Deanna Trask RHN for a strategy session to see how I can help you.
REFERENCES
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fast-weight-loss-changes-hunger-hormones
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-thyroid
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-fixes-for-weight-hormones/
Published in Deanna's Blog
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that more stress and stress hormones promote weight gain, would you?
But what exactly is stress, and how does it keep you from your weight loss goals?
Published in Deanna's Blog
Sunday, 07 May 2017 23:32

Can't Sleep? Try These Tips

It’s been proven that sleeping through the night will help you lose weight. The more up and down you are throughout the night, the more likely you are to not only not lose weight- but you’re more prone to gain weight. This is related to a hormone level reaction. Waking up throughout the night disrupts how this hormone reacts and is made within the body, thus leading to weight gain. Researchers believe (and have proven over and over again in studies) that sleeping throughout the night helps to regulate all hormones, improving your metabolism and promoting weight loss.

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:16

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

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.

Published in Hormones
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 19:04

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

A More Amazing You:  Health Strategy- Reduce Stress 

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  

‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com

So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 

What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 

Is there something you can start with this week? 

Published in Stress