Are your hormones running riot?

November 10, 2015

As you know, my passion is helping people like you to get lean and healthy.  When you're on a weight loss journey, it's the best feeling in the world when you're seeing changes in your body but sometimes it can feel like you are doing everything right yet you can't get rid of your extra body fat.  Unfortunately losing fat is a little more complex than just eating better and exercising more - if it was that easy I would probably be out of a job! 

 

 

When it comes to getting lean, your hormones play a huge role in your ability to lose body fat.  If your hormones are out of balance, it can cause your body to store fat, even if you are nailing your nutrition plan and smashing your workouts.  A stressful lifestyle, poor sleeping patterns or a history of yoyo dieting can cause your hormones to become out of balance.  Here are 4 common hormones which could be interfering with your weight loss goals: 

Insulin
If you're unable to shift body fat, it could be very likely you have a degree of insulin resistance.  Insulin is the hormone which is secreted after you eat. It will either tell your body to use the food as energy or store it as fat. If you are insulin resistant the latter will happen.

How to fix it:
- Avoid high GI carbohydrates like sugars, white bread, cereal or pasta
- Increase your good quality protein
- Do resistance training 

 

Oestrogen
High oestrogen levels can cause women to store fat around their bottom and thighs, and men to store belly fat and grow man boobs.

How to fix it:
- Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles that contain the chemical BPA.  This has been linked to increasing levels of oestrogen. Opt for a glass or BPA free bottles
- Filter tap water before drinking
- Avoid or limit soy products
- Cut out alcohol

Leptin
Leptin is the hormone which regulates appetite and tells your body when you are full.  If you are low in leptin, it can cause weight gain because you will feel hungry and therefore eat more.

How to fix it:
- Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night
- Eat slowly and chew your food at least 30 times before swallowing
- Avoid distractions like TV while you eat - eat mindfully
- Avoid MSG as it makes you want to eat more (once you pop you just can't stop!)

Cortisol
Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces in times of stress. Elevated cortisol levels increases your blood sugar level, which causes your body to store fat. Increased cortisol actually breaks down your muscles, which will then slow down your metabolism.

How to fix it:
- Practice yoga, meditation or deep belly breathing
- Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night
- Go for a walk when you feel stressed
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid too much caffeine
- Regularly take time to enjoy activities which relax you.

If you think your hormones are out of balance, I always suggest getting tested by your doctor, so you can take the necessary action to move forward in your weight loss journey.  

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