Fad diets, starving yourself, detoxing, exercising and those “magic pills” just aren’t cutting it when trying to lose the last 5-10 pounds. Could your hormones really be making you fat? Now, before all you men start clicking the big red “X” on the top of the screen, think again because you have them too!
Hormones have a pretty crummy reputation these days but it’s time for you to give these little guys some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Are your hands cold? How are you feeling at this exact moment? Are you anxious or sad? Are you happy and relaxed? Are you going to make it to the gym today? Are you ready to take a run at the person next to you for simply speaking to loud? How did you sleep last night? Is your libido pretty lame lately? Are you feeling sluggish and heavy? Is your skin glowing? Are you trying to get pregnant?
Every single one of these questions directly relates to the function of one or more of your many hormones in your body. That’s right, these little suckers go beyond your monthly mood swings ladies! Hormones are small chemical messengers which spark communication processes throughout your entire body causing them to impact just about every aspect of your well-being (even your pretty lil’ face!). Better yet, they most definitely play a large role in successful weight loss.
Don’t get me wrong, diet and exercise are crucial for losing weight but other influencing factors are often over-looked. This includes a good nights sleep, a loving liver, stress management, eliminating inflammation, optimizing digestion and reducing your toxin exposure, to name a few.
Last week I was in Florida and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and the warm white sand by walking the beach. While doing this, I started to notice a strange pattern in most body shapes and it didn’t make a difference whether or not the individual was young, old, male or female. Each person had tiny little legs, itty bitty arms but carried weight around either their waist (“apple shape”) or around the hips (“pear shape”). My grandma would call this the “beetle body”! According to Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at the Children’s Hospital Boston, this is almost always caused by a hormonal imbalance. Regardless of what type of hormonal imbalance you may be experiencing, it will lead to difficulty losing or maintaining weight and increase your risk for obesity.
When functioning properly, your hormones will in turn help you lose weight rather than gain. Here are a few reasons for respect:
- Hormones will boost your metabolism
– The thyroid controls the metabolic rate and the body temperature. Without enough thyroid hormone, it will not function properly.
– The hormone “adrenaline” provides a short-term metabolic boost
– Hormones aid with growth and repair of muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn as muscle tissue is metabolically active during rest.
- Hormones ensure optimal fat-burning
– Your hormones open up the “fat-burning” pathways in your liver and muscles
- Helps decrease inflammation which causes weight gain.
– Inflammation can be caused by poor digestive health, liver, immune system and diet, lack of exercise, obesity, too little estrogen and stress. All of these factors lead to hormonal dysfunction.
- Controls your appetite, not just food!
– Boosts metabolism.
– Tells us when we’re hungry or full.
– Controls sexual appetite (hello calorie burning! Even better news, sex is actually GOOD for your hormonal balance!)
- Controls fat-packing hormones
– Insulin, cortisol, estrogen, dopamine, ghrelin, leptin, etc. are all hormones which play a direct role on weight loss.