Weight loss is a popular topic. You’ve probably tried various methods to shed unwanted pounds, such as dieting and exercising, but did you know that hormone levels affect your ability to lose weight? Explore the connection between hormones and weight loss to help you approach your health and fitness goals in a new light.
The Connection Between Hormones and Weight
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the endocrine system that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, appetite, and energy levels, all of which affect your weight. When hormone levels are imbalanced, it can cause weight gain or hinder your weight loss efforts.
Hormones That Affect Weight Loss
- Insulin is produced by the pancreas and regulates blood sugar levels. When insulin levels are high, the body stores fat, making it difficult to lose weight.
- Leptin is produced by fat cells and regulates appetite and energy levels. Leptin resistance can cause overeating and weight gain.
- Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and regulates stress. Elevated cortisol levels cause the body to store fat, particularly around the belly.
- Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are produced by the thyroid gland and regulate metabolic functions, including energy production, body temperature, and weight management.
- Estrogen is produced by the ovaries and regulates reproductive functions. Imbalanced estrogen levels cause weight gain and impede weight loss efforts.
- Testosterone is produced by the testes and regulates muscle mass and bone density. Low testosterone is associated with decreased muscle mass, which slows the metabolism and makes weight loss difficult.
Hormonal Imbalances You Can’t Control
More than 12 percent of the US population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, such as hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough T4 and T3. You might exercise and eat right, but if your thyroid is underactive, you’ll have a hard time losing weight no matter what you do.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause are other conditions beyond your control that cause hormonal imbalances in women. PCOS causes weight gain, insulin resistance, and difficulty losing weight, while menopause decreases estrogen levels and causes weight gain, particularly around the belly.
Food Hormones and Weight Loss
The food you eat affects what hormones your body produces. For instance, the stomach makes ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger to the brain. A diet high in processed foods and sugar increases ghrelin production, leading to overeating and weight gain.
On the other hand, foods rich in fiber and protein increase cholecystokinin levels, which signals fullness to the brain, reducing appetite and promoting weight loss. This demonstrates how a balanced diet regulates hormone levels and supports healthy weight loss.
Bioidentical Hormones and Weight Loss
Bioidentical hormones are synthetic yet structurally identical to the body’s natural hormones. They treat hormonal imbalances to improve metabolism, energy levels, and appetite control. Bioidentical hormone treatment is available from qualified healthcare providers.
If you’re struggling to lose weight and suspect hormonal imbalances may be a contributing factor, consult with your doctor to determine the next steps. At Pledge To Fitness, we offer services that help support strength gain and healthy weight loss. We can also refer you to a specialist to address potential hormonal imbalances. Contact us today at (713) 401-2841 to learn how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.