Have you been unable to lose weight even with diet and exercise? No matter how an imbalance manifests on the outside, the internal reality remains the same — hormone harmony is required to keep the weight off. The most common imbalances can’t be solved by dieting or exercise alone. In fact, they can prevent successful weight loss even when great diet and exercise plans are in place. If you have not been successful in weight loss or you are steadily gaining weight, then these hormones can be at the root cause:
1. Inflammation (Gastin and a dozen other hormones)
Digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmune disease, arthritis, asthma, eczema, acne, abdominal fat, headaches, depression or sinus disorders can be a sign of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a sign of digestive symphony being out of harmony. There are dozens of hormones that affect a few major players, such as: stomach, duodenum, liver, and pancreas to name a few.
The first bite starts the complex firing that is precise and fluid. All hormones must fire in order and be timed accurately for digestion to go smooth. Hormone imbalances that coordinate regulate digestion can affect the acidity of the stomach (pH) throughout the process. If the acidity falls outside of a narrow range, it can denature or “bend” the enzymes that are to break down the food. Think of a key that is bent – right key but it won’t fit the lock! When enzymes denature (bend) – they no longer brake food down properly . . . thus the process becomes an inflammatory process. Although avoidance diets can reduce the symptoms, the underlying cause is hormone balance.
Insulin is an essential substance whose main function is to process sugar in the bloodstream and carry it into cells to be used as fuel or stored as fat. Insulin is a hormone that is released to decrease blood sugars by promoting uptake into the cells. Glucagon is then secreted to counter balance insulin and keep the sugars in the blood stream. During times of stress, the body has evolved to keep the blood glucose high so it can be routed to the proper system in danger. Chronic stress can strain this balance; however, normal hormone balance can keep it regulated at all times.
3. Serotonin – Depression or Anxiety
Serotonin exerts a powerful influence over our mood, emotions, memory, cravings (especially for carbohydrates), self-esteem, pain tolerance, sleep habits, appetite, digestion and body temperature regulation. When we’re depressed or down, we naturally crave more sugars and starches to stimulate the production of serotonin. While thyroid levels not only effect energy and metabolism, they also play a key role in the levels of Serotonin A rise in thyroid levels = a rise in Serotonin levels.
4. Cortisol – Chronic stress
Under situations of chronic stress — whether the stress is physical, emotional, mental or environmental, real or imagined — cortisol levels surge. Elevated cortisol secretion not only promotes weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as “toxic fat” since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.
5. Estrogen – In Your 40’s, it Spikes Up and Down
There are two ways to accumulate excess estrogen in the body: we either produce too much of it on our own (genetic) or acquire it from our environment (diet and stress levels). We’re constantly exposed to estrogen-like compounds in foods that contain toxic pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones. A premenopausal woman with estrogen dominance will likely have PMS, too much body fat around the hips and difficulty losing weight. Menopausal women usually experience low libido, memory loss, poor motivation, depression, loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat. Estrogen’s counterpart Progesterone can be low causing Estrogen to run wild . . , taking muscle and converting it to fat around the hips and thighs. Nice.
6. Testosterone – Low or History of Oral Contraceptives
Testosterone enhances libido, bone density, muscle mass, strength, motivation, memory, fat burning and skin tone in women. When testosterone is low, body fat spikes and we shed lean muscle mass — regardless of dieting and exercise. Testosterone levels drop as women approach their 40’s off with age. Free testosterone (the testosterone that is not bound up by SHBG . . . think of a Lego with Play Doh on it – the protein SHBG blocks the receptor endings) is almost non-existent in women who previously took oral contraceptives. No free testosterone . . . not only will you not have any libido, your muscle mass will be withering away
7. Thyroid – Burn Calories, not time
Thyroid hormone is the hormone that drives your energy engine. Normal thyroid levels will result not only in great workouts, but the basal metabolism rate will increase and keep burning 24 -7. If your thyroid is not normal your workouts are just burning time . . . not calories.
Those who suffer from low thyroid (hypothyroidism) feel: tired, tend to sleep a lot, experience constipation and weight gain typically occurs. Extremely dry skin, hair loss, slower mental processes, feeling cold, brittle hair, splitting nails, diminished ability to sweat during exercise, infertility, poor memory, depression, decreased libido and an inability to lose weight are also symptoms to watch for.
Building a body is much like building a house. The food you eat breaks down into the material that your workouts build with. Hormones are the very foundation you build on. When the foundation shakes, shifts to unlevel, or even collapses, then NOTHING WORKS.
Great news is that when hormonal deficits are replenished and balance restored, then EVERYTHING WORKS! Stop beating yourself up with micro adjusting your nutrition plan or exercise routine . . . hormones are the foundation that it is all built on. Restore then optimize them and just keep it simple.
Time is too precious to waste on healthy eating and working out that does not give you the results you need. We have written a free eBook available for instant download to help guide you through the signs and symptoms your body is telling you. We hope to help you get a better understanding of the hormone balance and how simple it can be to stay healthy and powerful.
You are right there . . . that point of your life when you know the most and can make things happen . . . ReVitalize your body and optimize your hormones. Now more than ever you deserve it.