Weight Loss and Hormonal Changes
The path to weight loss often seems like a bumpy, winding road with no end in sight. Many people find that it is not the fork in the road, but actually the fork in the hand that is the culprit. Is that really the case, or could your own body be sabotaging your weight loss attempts? You might be one of the many adults over thirty who is in a pattern of weight gain, weight loss, and hormonal changes that are hindering your success.
Think of it like this – your weight gain may have absolutely nothing at all to do with eating too much or not exercising!
If that news is shocking, be prepared to get confused, but don’t worry, we will sort it out for you in this informative article.
Hormone changes are the biggest obstacle many overweight adults face when trying to get their bodies back in shape. While it is true that a person who spends every day at an all-you-can-eat buffet will put on extra pounds simply due to gluttony, that is not the issue that the majority of people experience. When dieting efforts fail, hormones may be to blame, especially growth hormone –a vital chemical that helps regulate metabolic function. More about HRT you can read here.
Hormones are the chemical messengers that stimulate the multitude of functions that take place throughout the body. These potent substances deliver signals that can stimulate hunger, stress, metabolic functions, enzyme secretion, and fat burning properties. Hormones also aid in immunity, sexual desires and performance, brain functions, heart health, internal organ functions, and so much more that it can boggle the mind.
When it comes to metabolism and weight loss, hormones stimulate how food is processed and broken down for energy. If a deficiency is present, that food can be stored away as fat rather than burned as immediate fuel.
Here are some ways that hormonal changes affect weight:
The stress hormone cortisol encourages blood sugar’s conversion into fat. This long-term hoarding was meant for survival long before humans had the ability to purchase food at the grocery store. We are no longer hunters like our ancestors. Cortisol also stimulates the release of ghrelin – a hormone that stimulates hunger and the need to eat more for additional energy.
Leptin is a hormone that is released from fat cells to send signals to the brain that you are full. When there is too much sugar in the diet, the liver cannot process it quick enough, and a conversion to fat takes place. These fats enter the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides, landing in the liver and the belly. Although the level of leptin increases during this process, the body becomes resistant to the message and the brain does not get the signal that you are full – leading to overeating and weight gain.
Many weight loss programs push exercise as a way of increasing caloric burning properties. If you want to decrease stored fat, you obviously have to burn it off, right? Yes, it is true that the more active a person is, the higher the amount of calories he or she uses during a day. However, that is not the main reason why exercise is beneficial for weight loss. It is really all about stimulating hormone production and secretion.
Inactivity does a few different things to hormones that can affect weight:
It prevents the pulsatile bursts of growth hormone during the day that the body needs for proper metabolic function
It decreases the amount of testosterone produced
It affects the mood by preventing the release of powerful endorphins
It stimulates the need for outside energy sources – ghrelin – the hunger hormone – kicks into action causing a person to consume more food
A sedentary lifestyle also leads to reduced mobility. Joint and muscle stiffness can occur from inactivity. Excess weight can add to these problems. Movement during periods of increased hormonal weight loss will help mobilize stored fat, and drinking plenty of water will help flush it out of the body.
The fact that testosterone and estrogen imbalance could be the reason for weight gain and inability to lose unwanted fat may surprise some people. Testosterone promotes metabolic functions. Estrogen promotes belly fat! Here is the shocking news: the body naturally converts excess testosterone into estrogen through the enzyme aromatase. Now, guess where aromatase comes from – belly fat!
The more belly fat a person has, the more aromatase will be released into the bloodstream to search for testosterone. When this increased aromatase finds the testosterone, it will convert it into estrogen. You now have higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone, resulting in more belly fat and weight gain.
That is why adults diagnosed with Low T lose weight when they receive testosterone therapy. If we look back at the first section of this article, we can also note that being prescribed HGH treatment for growth hormone deficiency can also help to support proper metabolic functions that will result in improved fat burning abilities.
What this all comes down to is giving the body the tools that it needs to function at its best, and if hormonal changes are interfering with that than bioidentical HRT may be the answer to both improved health and weight loss.