The concept of finding hormone balance may seem foreign because we tend to think about issues in silos. You have a shortage of testosterone, or you’re making too much estrogen.
But here’s the thing. When you experience one of these issues, you’re experiencing both. That’s because all hormones are interconnected, and not just the big T and E, commonly referred to as “the sex hormones.”
In the following article, we’ll be touching on how all hormones and weight gain go together, and what you can do to bring back balance and lead a healthier life. Let’s begin!
You hear a lot about imbalances in the sex hormones, but how many of you have ever heard of leptin? This often-overlooked hormone is known as the “fat burning hormone.” It stimulates the brain-to-body response that results in your body burning more calories.
Now do a thought experiment with us for a moment. Say you’re trying to do everything right. You’re logging calories consumed as well as exercise, and even though you’re creating those healthy deficits on paper, you keep gaining weight.
Here’s what could be happening.
Your logging calories burned based on the normal average for the activity you’re doing, but you have a leptin imbalance, and you’re not really burning as many calories as you think you are.
If the margins between consumption and burn are too thin, then your body could be preserving more calories than it burns resulting in weight gain. But how do you know if this is the issue if it’s never diagnosed?
Keep a watch on the scale. If you’ve hit a weight loss roadblock, consider seeing a specialist trained in hormone therapy. They know what to watch for and how to address it.
2. Go Natural
Inflammation could be a hormone-related contributing factor keeping you from losing weight even though you’re doing everything else right.
Say your body is producing more insulin than usual. This hormone causes inflammation. When it reaches a certain level, it can activate cortisol production as well.
Cortisol has been referred to as the “stress hormone.” In too high of quantities, these hormones create a vicious cycle of inflammation.
To combat, embrace foods and beverages that help you fight inflammation. Some of these include:
- Green tea
- Wild-caught fatty fish
Shop for complete proteins, fiber-rich foods, and anything with antioxidant properties.
3. Compounded Prescriptions
Doctors, whether specialists or generalists, tend to have a hyper-focused view of patient treatment. They go after symptoms instead of underlying causes.
This mindset can be beneficial, but it also can lead to a cycle of over-medication and disease proliferation. Doctors trained in hormone therapy take a different view.
They are open to compounding medications, which are concoctions more specialized to the individual patient’s needs. This process is approved by the federal government and overseen by the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA).
4. Supplement Wisely
Over-the-counter supplements (i.e., capsules, powders, shakes, bars) can be helpful to disrupting the connection between imbalanced hormones and weight gain. But you do need to be careful.
Not all supplements are created equal. The industry operates outside of Food and Drug Administration approval processes. That means some are better than others.
And even in the case of quality supplements, you may not be supplementing the right elements to address hormone balance issues. Consulting with a specialist in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) builds this sometimes confusing component of your health into the process.
A BHRT-trained physician can give you the best supplements for boosting fat burning hormones, regulating sex hormones, or controlling whatever other factors are at play.
5. Track Your Progress
Hormonal issues are complex. Until they’re diagnosed successfully, you could be dieting and exercising in the dark.
Get a handle on the process. Don’t let up on the brakes at the first signs of progress. If going the hormone therapy route, keep going to those checkups.
Ask plenty of questions. You are your best healthcare advocate.
6. Reduce Stress
The always-connected mindset of the 21st Century has created a 24/7 work schedule. Constant access to technology has also perpetuated round-the-clock news cycles and social media drama.
All of this contributes to a perfect storm in which cortisol production can ramp up and allow more of the damaging effects of stress into our lives.
If you need help reducing the stress, here are some things that have been proven effective:
- Meditation (or prayer, for religious people)
- Locking up the phones after dark
- Getting better sleep
- Making time for hobbies
Find one or more that work for you, and add them to your daily to-do list along with any work responsibilities. It makes a difference.
7. Embrace the Basics
We’ve already touched on some of the foods that you should bring into your hormone diet from a natural perspective. Now we’ll just stick with the broad strokes.
If you eat fewer calories than you burn in a given day, then it’ll go a long way in helping you reduce inflammation, lose weight, deal with stress, and feel better.
Add more movement and exercise to the mix, and you’re on your way. A word on exercise, though.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not ready to run marathons or compete in fighting tournaments. Effective exercise isn’t about winning gold medals or trophies or championship belts.
It’s about starting where you are and improving each day. If 30 minutes of light walking is all you can do today, do 35 minutes tomorrow.
As long as you commit to incremental positive changes to your activity levels every single day, your body will gain momentum. Soon, you’ll be able to do more than you ever thought possible.
Finding Hormone Balance Turns Back the Clock
Hormones do not operate as islands. Changes in one lead to changes in others, for better and worse. Achieving hormone balance ensures that all of the body’s functions are operating as they should be.
If you feel an imbalance may be standing in the way of your weight loss, we want to hear from you. There are therapies available that PCPs or specialists typically don’t consider, and through BodyLogicMD’s network, you can find a physician willing to guide you through the process.
Should you still have questions, check out our guide to hormone therapy and weight loss, or send us your questions. We’re happy to help!