Many things can cause you to gain weight, but have you ever considered that your unbalanced hormones may be the culprit? Your hormones have a significant impact on your entire body, and many people don’t realize the significant part they play in their overall weight. Think about it; hormones can cause you to have a low mood, can make you feel tired all the time, and they can even lower your libido.
Is it such a far stretch to think that they can also cause you to gain weight? You must be careful and not lay too much blame on your hormones because the most common reason a person is overweight is that they overeat. St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center did a study with other New York area hospitals that found that your calorie intake is the biggest culprit in weight gain.
Conversely, it’s interesting to note that having unbalanced hormones can hinder you from losing weight, which is mostly observed in women. During menstruation, ladies often go through various hormonal fluctuations because of their cycle, which men don’t encounter. That doesn’t mean that men don’t have issues with their hormones.
Men can deal with hormonal weight gain when they don’t get enough sleep, drink too much alcohol, have poor nutrition, or their genetics dictate.
Symptoms of Hormonal Weight Gain
Shockingly, so many hormones can have such a significant part in your weight. Here are seven symptoms that your body has a hormonally related weight problem.
1. Sweating/Night Hot Flashes
Do you find that you sweat more often than the next person? You put on deodorant, but by your lunch break, you must reapply it to keep from stinking. Most people don’t consider that sweating continually is a sign that your body is deficient in progesterone or estrogen.
When a woman goes through menopause, she has night sweats because she is low on estrogen. You don’t need to be in menopause to have unbalanced hormones affecting your body.
2. Chronic Headaches
Numerous medical issues can cause you to experience a headache. Did you know that there are 11 types of headaches, and according to the World Health Organization, one in 20 people have headaches every day? The interesting fact about their reports is that most of these headaches are caused by hormonal imbalances.
Having low estrogen in the body can cause headaches, specifically when they occur during menstruation. Insufficient estrogen levels also affect the metabolism making it sluggish. A sluggish metabolism only hinders the body from using blood sugar as efficiently as it should.
If you think that a low level of estrogen could be to blame, then you may also have problems with irritability, bloating, fatigue, and feeling sad.
3. High Blood Sugar
If your diet consists of processed and high-carbohydrate foods, then your blood sugar levels can be unstable. When your body’s glucose is always at an elevated level, you can develop insulin resistance. The body relies on the hormone insulin to help transport useful sugar to the cells.
When your cells are saturated with too much glucose for extended periods; then it can lead to diabetes. People with diabetes often gain weight because their insulin levels are off-kilter, and they’re eating the wrong foods.
Are you tired all the time? Do you get 7-8 hours of sleep each evening but still awake tired? It could be that you have unbalanced hormones that are causing you issues. When you have no energy and feel exhausted continuously, you likely have unbalanced levels of:
•Thyroid Hormones T3-T4
Since fatigue can indicate a severe medical problem, you should never guess what’s wrong. Instead, you should see a doctor for a confirmed diagnosis.
5. Decreased Libido
Testosterone is a hormone that plays a significant part in your sexual health. If you have a loss of sex drive along with weight gain, this hormone could be to blame. The University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium did a study regarding these essential hormone levels among men.
They found that men who had a higher percentage of body fat often had a lower level of this vital hormone. Interestingly, there is a definite connection between estrogen and testosterone that should not be ignored. Men who have lower levels of testosterone often show an increase in estrogen.
Have you ever seen a man that has breasts like a woman? It’s highly suspect that a higher level of estrogen is causing this to occur. Women who have high levels of estrogen typically have denser breasts.
6. Ravenous Appetite
Some people are hungry even when their bellies are full. If you just ate and still feel like you need to eat again, it indicates that you have a low level of leptin. Leptin is a hormone that sends a signal to the brain that you’re full, which keeps you from overeating.
When your stomach is filled, the cells inside this area release this hormone, which hitches a ride in the bloodstream to the brain. Sadly, many obese people have become less sensitive to the signals from leptin as the body is accustomed to this hormone’s overproduction. Leptin resistant people often have an uncontrollable appetite that leads to weight gain.
If only the problem ended there with this hormonal imbalance. The University of Michigan did a study on leptin-resistance and its role in obesity. When your body feels that it’s not getting the energy it needs from your food, then it tries to preserve the fuel you have by slowing down your metabolism.
People who have leptin-resistance often experience restless sleep, high body fat, and increased inflammation, which they theorize is a significant factor in obesity.
7. Abnormally Large Waist
Have you ever seen someone with a “beer belly” when someone has an enormous abdomen that doesn’t match their body? The chances are that it’s not beer causing this unsightly fat buildup. The possibilities are that there is a hormonal imbalance causing the waistline to expand.
A person can be skinny everywhere else, but their belly is larger than average. Yale University did a study regarding men and women who have a considerable accumulation of fat in their midsection. They found that when the body is under stress for an extended period, cortisol is pumped throughout the system.
If the cortisol levels stay high for too long, it slows down the metabolism and increases the appetite. Additionally, they found that having higher cortisol levels causes fat to accumulate in the belly.
Fixing Your Unbalanced Hormones
Thankfully, there are many ways that you can fix your hormonal imbalance. Start by changing your diet to include foods that can help to boost testosterone and lower estrogen. Foods that are rich in vitamin D can help with that goal, and some of these foods include:
•Cod liver oil
Also, make sure you cut out sugars and processed junk that can only increase your insulin resistance. Watch your carbohydrate intake as it is crucial in keep your weight at a good level.
Next, reduce your stress levels so that your body isn’t sending cortisol hormone levels through the roof. Deep breathing exercises are usually great to help with calming you down and lowering the production of this stress hormone. You also need to reduce the inflammation in your body as it triggers things like metabolic disorders and obesity.
Try consuming more plant-based protein and add more leafy greens to your diet. Lastly, you can’t go wrong exercising regularly. Exercise is a natural way that you can fix those unbalanced hormones. Things like strength training are excellent to balance things like estrogen and testosterone.
When you’re working every part of your body, you will lower your blood sugar levels, which decreases your chances of developing diabetes. A report published in the US National Library of Medicine states that people who engage in exercise regularly can lower their insulin resistance and help blood sugar levels. Even if you can’t do an effective workout each day, you can do simple things like walking.
Walking can help to ease your stress as well as burn fat. It can also improve your insulin sensitivity that can help with weight loss. Why not develop a routine and walk with a friend or your spouse in the cool of the evenings? It can be fun to explore nature and help your body at the same time.
Hormones can complicate your weight loss. However, there are ways to combat these deficiencies so that you can reach your desired weight. Some unbalanced hormones are a serious medical issue that requires medical intervention. Thankfully, many of these issues you face can be changed with lifestyle alterations and a little bit of hard work.