How do I lose hormonal weight gain?

Hormones are definitely they key component of achieving leanness, burning body fat and overall athletic performance.

The problem with hormones (especially for women) is they are constantly in flux, whilst influencing each other and impacting the different systems in our bodies.

When out of balance, there is usually too much or too little of a particular hormone. This brings on complicated communication from the hormone to the brain.

Here are 4 key hormones and how they impact our bodies ability to burn body fat

  1. Insulin. As you may know, insulin regulates the entrance of glucose into the fat and muscle cells.
    After eating, your blood glucose levels rise. Any glucose not immediately used for energy, is either stored in your muscles or into your fat cells. Insulin is also they key trigger of enzymes that facilitate protein synthesis. This is great for all of us trying to build muscle and repair any tissue.
    They key to controlling your insulin levels is with diet. High carb, and fast digesting foods elevate insulin levels, prompting glycogen to be stored into fat cells. Protein on the other hand has a completely different effect than carbs, despite that it too elevates insulin. This rise is in fact not detrimental to metabolic health. They key is to include protein with every meal, avoiding the huge insulin spikes that added sugars and refined carbs create. This will be the perfect environment for your body to begin to use fat stores as energy, because you are slowly create a deficit.
  2. Cortisol. This is the physical and mental stress you may experience due to your environment or a particular event. Too much cortisol suppresses the immune system and stops vital functions of the body in order to get you through these stressful events. Think, the fight of flight response.
    When you are stressed for long stretches of time, on a daily basis, muscle loss and fat gain are most certainly to occur. It works intertwined with insulin, in the presence of intense stress, to store body fat. Exercising on the other hand, cortisol and growth hormone are released in order to free fat stores from the body, and use them for energy. Research has indicated that the cortisol plays a role in tissue repair and recovery after you exercise.
    There are a few ways our diet can increase cortisol. It increases when you go for long periods of time without eating, as well as when you have a huge meal, taking in more calories than necessary. This leads to excess energy diverted towards the fat cells.
    The key determiner of how cortisol affects your fat stores, is both diet and stress related. Altering your food intake towards one that is filled with whole foods, exercising regularly and controlling your stress levels is key. Opt for meditation, yoga, or even a walk in nature. Find what works best for your body.
  3. Growth Hormone. This wonderful hormone is in charge of building muscle mass and burning body fat. They key to this hormones trigger, is strenuous your training is. Sprinting and max effort training is the perfect environment for activating this. High lactate levels are also key to it’s release – lactate is produced when you train very intensely, oxygen uptake is not full-filled as fast as it’s needed. This can be felt as an intense burn in your muscles, that encourages you to stop and recover. The trick is to keep on going as much as you can! In terms of diet, fasting creates a major increase in growth hormone levels. This is why intermittent fasting is so successful for fat loss and muscle growth. Limiting food during periods of time balances the triggering of growth hormone for fat loss and muscle building, whilst keeping cortisol levels at bay.
  4. Thyroid hormone. This particular hormone must be in balance in order to encourage fat loss, because it regulates metabolic rate and your body temperature. Sometimes the cause of the dreaded fat loss plateau, is the result of a reduced thyroid hormone. This caused your body temperature to lower, there it burns fewer calories. Low thyroid reduces your rate of protein synthesis causing fatigue and lethargy. The opposite is also true with an elevated thyroid, causing rapid fat loss and muscle wastage. This is not as beneficial as you may thing, because it reduces your quality of life, leading to insomnia, extremely elevated heart rate and constant irritability.
    One think you must be aware of is that extremely low carb and calorie restricted diets, cause a reduction in thyroid function. This is why they are not sustainable long term. If you want the fat loss benefits of carb reduction, then try cycling your carbs, and focus on higher consumption when you are training within higher intensities.

As you can see from this blog post, there are many hormones at play when it comes to weight loss. The best option for you is to eat, sleep and stress less. This is not always an easy thing to do, but trying your best is a good start. Good luck on your journey, and please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my website at Ange Dim, or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to visit if you like.

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