What do you do when this happens? You’re gaining weight, despite “doing everything right”. If you are female, you may want to look at the hormones responsible for weight gain.
Why hormones are important
Your endocrine system is one of the most complicated systems in the human body and for females this system is even more complicated. The endocrine system is made up of hormones and the glands which produce them. Your hormones are the messengers in this system that help to control every system in the body.
Not surprisingly this system also controls your body weight. When it’s out of balance you’re more likely to gain weight even if you think you are doing everything right.
The two female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen can cause weight gain when the levels are high compared to the other sex hormones and it can cause weight gain if the levels are too low. During perimenopause and menopause your estrogen levels and the balance is disrupted.
Females also have the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone helps to burn fat and helps with muscle and bone maintenance. Testosterone levels drop naturally over your lifetime.
Insulin regulates blood sugar levels. If you become insulin resistant or develop type 2 diabetes your body makes more insulin than it needs but your body doesn’t respond to it. Unfortunately, elevated insulin levels can lead to weight gain.
The high blood sugar levels that result also can contribute to weight gain.
Your thyroid hormones control several areas of the body. They regulate metabolism, sleep, heart rate, and growth. When thyroid hormones are low (hypothyroidism) your metabolism slows down meaning that your body uses fewer calories. And this effect is compounded by fatigue which makes it harder to get in more activity.
Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells. It is sometimes referred to as the satiety hormone. If working correctly it tells your body you have enough fat stored so you don’t have to eat and your body doesn’t need to store more fat.
Since leptin is produced by fat cells, the more fat you have the more leptin and should get signals from your brain to limit food intake. But if you have leptin resistance your brain doesn’t respond the way it should and actually may think your body is starving, encouraging you to eat more and your body to store more fat.
Ghrelin is produced by the stomach, small intestines, pancreas and brain. It is called the hunger hormone because it causes you to feel hungry and eat more. It also lead to more fat storage.
Some people seem to be susceptible to ghrelin so they may eat more because of this hormone. Dieting, poor sleep, and less muscle all contribute to higher levels of ghrelin.
The main stress hormone is cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands when your body is under stress. This can be a good thing when your body is actually in a threatening situation, but often stress is chronic and cortisol levels are chronically high.
High cortisol levels can lead to increased blood sugar, inflammation, stress eating and weight gain.
What can you do?
If you are female and experiencing weight gain, your hormones likely have something to do with it. I can help you with personalized programs that target hormones so you can experience lasting change. Book a free call to find out more.
Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏 | www.vickiwittweightloss.com
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.