Your hormones play significant roles in your body. They are powerful, natural chemicals that can influence your metabolism, behavior, development, fertility, and even your immune system. Keeping your hormones in balance is important for your overall health, not just weight loss. If you’ve struggled with weight loss but despite many efforts have not been able to keep the weight off despite eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress, hormones may be to blame. What is there to know about hormonal imbalance and weight loss?
How Do You Know if Your Hormones Are out of Balance?
There are a few ways to tell if your hormones are out of balance, even without seeing a doctor. Although if you suspect that your hormones are not in the proper balance, you should see your doctor to get checked out and to discuss what you can do about it. The common signs that your hormones are out of balance include:
- Disturbed sleep. Inability to sleep or troubling sleeping could be a result of a hormonal imbalance, particularly due to stress, which can lead to overproduction of the hormone cortisol.
- Constant hunger. Feeling hungry all the time? Could be due to an overproduction of insulin, which could result from eating the wrong kind of foods or not getting enough protein and fiber.
- Feeling tired in afternoon, morning, or all the time? Fatigue could be the result of eating too many of the bad foods like processed foods, sugar, and refined flours, which can lead to a whacky insulin production.
- Digestive problems. Something could be going on with your hormones if you constantly have upset digestion, although you should see your doctor to accurately determine what the cause is.
- Anxiety, depression, crankiness. Something is most likely going on with your hormones if you are experiencing these feelings. Pay attention to when you feel this way, what you eat, and what thoughts are going through your mind when it happens.
While hormonal imbalances can have many symptoms, these are just a few. Each body is unique and every person may not experience the same symptoms or even common symptoms if you have a hormonal imbalance.
Dr. Jakob Taylor of True Weight Loss Solutions in Chattanooga, Tennessee explains a simple way to tell if your hormones are balanced based on hunger: “Hormones give us feedback that we can “feel”; for example, the feeling of fullness. You can use some of these sensations to know if your hormones are out of balance. Three simple things to look for hunger, energy levels, and cravings. These three things give us clues into how our hormones are behaving. When I’m just slightly hungry, my energy is balanced. I’m not tired or feeling like I just drank a pot of espresso, and my random food cravings are low, then I know my hormones are more balanced.”
What Types of Hormonal Imbalances Are There?
There are several types of hormonal imbalances, and among them are:
- High Cortisol. Too much cortisol could be a response to too much stress or improper managing of stress in your life. Overproduction of cortisol could lead to adrenal fatigue and inability to loose weight in the stomach area, where your body will harbor fat in times of stress.
- High Estrogen. Too much estrogen in your body can affect many things, including your sex drive. While estrogen is most often associated with women, men have estrogen too, and too much of it can make your sexual desire plummet.
- Low Testosterone. Not enough testosterone in your body—for both men and women—can lead to a variety of problems, including depression, obesity, and even heart disease. Not enough testosterone can lead to weight gain and decreased desire for sex.
- High Insulin. High levels of insulin in the body is bad news, and usually results from poor nutrition. This could lead to insulin resistance, a pre-form of diabetes.
These are just a few of the hormonal imbalances that can occur in your body and throw off your wellness, nutrition, or weight-loss goals.
How Does Hormonal Imbalance Impact Weight Loss?
As you have seen from the information above, hormonal imbalance can affect weight loss in a variety of ways. Hormones are complex chemical messengers that work with your body to make many different processes happen. If you’re trying to lose weight but are not seeing results despite diet and exercise, a hormonal imbalance may be to blame. Hormones can impact your weight loss by making your body harbor fat even as you’re trying to lose it. When your hormones are thrown off, your body can have a stress response and will therefore hold on to fat. Hormones affect our cravings, appetite, whether our calories are burned or stored, and many other things.
It’s best to get checked by a doctor if you believe you are suffering from a hormone imbalance or if you think a hormonal imbalance may be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. There are some things you can do in the meantime, such as eating enough fiber and protein, vegetables, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress. Talk with your doctor to see if a hormonal imbalance is impacting your life and weight-loss goals.