How Hormones Affect Weight Loss

Are you suddenly gaining weight in your belly? Has your mood, sleep, or appetite changed recently? Hormones might be at play. 

Changes in hormones can throw a cruel curveball at your weight loss goals. 

But how exactly do hormones affect weight loss? Today, we’ll explore a few key questions so that you can balance your hormones and let go of those stubborn pounds. 

Hormonal Rollercoasters Aren’t Just a Teen Thing 

When did you first hear the term “raging hormones?” 

Probably at an age where anything—especially if it was related to your changing body—was extremely embarrassing coming from your parents. 

The truth is, limiting “raging hormones” to just your teen years isn’t that accurate. As we move through all stages of life, our hormone levels fluctuate. Aging causes us to produce more of some hormones and less of others. Hormones naturally fluctuate during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. 

Why Hormones Misbehave

While hormone changes are normal throughout our lives, some people experience continual, irregular hormonal imbalances. 

You might experience hormone imbalances due to: 

  • Poor gut health
  • Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Mineral imbalances
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Medical conditions that affect the endocrine system

Which Hormones Affect Our Weight?

Hormones influence our appetite, metabolism, sleep, and body fat distribution. Not all hormones are involved with our body weight, but the following ten seem to have a close relationship with how many pounds we put on or drop: 

  • Leptin (the calorie burn or store hormone)
  • Insulin (the glucose hormone)
  • Ghrelin & Neuropeptide-Y (the appetite hormones)
  • Cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Estrogen (the sex hormone)
  • Androgens (the growth and reproduction hormones)
  • Growth Hormone (the body-building hormone)
  • Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (the blood sugar-stabilizing hormone) 
  • Cholecystokinin (the fullness hormone)

How do These Hormones Affect Weight Loss?

Weight gain isn’t just about the calories you eat and how much you exercise. Hormones regulate many of our physical functions that determine our body weight. They influence: 

  • How much fat we store
  • How much fat we breakdown
  • Where our fat is stored
  • Our energy expenditure
  • The foods we crave
  • How hungry we feel
  • The number of calories we burn on a daily basis

Six Signs That Your Hormones Are Out of Whack

Hormone imbalances frequently cause the following six signs or symptoms: 

  • Unexplained weight gain, belly fat, or fat between the shoulders
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Decreased sex drive or infertility
  • Hair loss or brittleness
  • Sudden changes in bowel movements
  • Dry skin or breakouts along the jawline

How to Naturally Balance Hormones for Weight Loss

Our lifestyle can make hormone fluctuations even more unruly or help them become as calm as still waters. Here are 10 ways you can help balance your hormones naturally. 

Eat more protein

Our bodies use protein to decrease ghrelin and help us feel full and satiated. Low protein diets are linked with hormone imbalances. Boost your daily protein intake with quality sources of protein like grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, nuts, and beans.

Cut out the sugar

Lots of sugar can disrupt your gut, change your hormone levels, and promote insulin resistance. Opt for naturally sweet foods, like root vegetables and fruit. Or, kick your sugar cravings to the curb for good with this guide. 

Up your healthy fats

Healthy fats, like omega-3 found in salmon, mackerel, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts reduce inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in avocados, almonds, and olive oil are also helpful for hormone balance and weight loss. 

Exercise regularly

Exercise strongly influences our hormone health, specifically balancing insulin. HIIT, strength training, and walking are three excellent workouts to help balance hormones. Outside of your gym time, increase your activity level throughout the day. 

Shoot for a healthy weight

Your hormones can affect your weight, but your weight can affect your hormones too! Excess weight can lead to higher hormone levels that can encourage even more weight gain. Lowering excess body fat can help balance your hormones and make weight management much easier. 

Minimize environmental toxins

Swap your cleaning products for vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. Diffuse essential oils instead of burning candles or using fragrance sprays. Clean any mold in your home. Use an air filter that captures airborne particles, and buy some house plants to purify the air in your home. 

Give your gut some love

A healthy gut microbiome can boost your hormone health, reduce insulin resistance, and regulate your appetite. Increase your fiber intake gradually. Eat a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet. Consume probiotic foods, like yogurt or kefir regularly. 

Prioritize sleep

Sleep is linked to several hormones, including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, and growth hormone. Consistent, high-quality sleep can do wonders for your hormones. Shoot for at least 7 hours each night. 

Stress Less

Stress boosts our cortisol levels and can cause insulin resistance. Manage stressors when they come by practicing deep breathing, taking a relaxing bath, going for a walk outside, connecting with others, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy, balanced diet. 

Find Balance and Health within Community

Balancing our hormones is key to regulating our metabolism, improving our body composition, and achieving overall health and wellness, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Join a whole community of people who are on the same journey and sign up for the next LEAN session todayFor more practical tips and tricks on how to create a healthy and happy lifestyle, hop on my weekly newsletter. Each Monday, you’ll receive one of my personal workouts, a favorite recipe, and special exclusive invites that only newsletter insiders can access.

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