How Do You Turn Off Your Weight Gain Hormones?
So how do you turn off your weight gain hormones? From the book The Hormone Reset Diet: You can Balance your Hormones and Lose up to 15 pounds in just 3 weeks! by Sara Gottfried.
Here’s a mind-bender: Being overweight sometimes has nothing to do with calories or exercise. For a many of us, the problem is instead about misfiring hormones. If this is the case – How do you turn off your weight gain hormones and achieve a better waist line with reduced belly fat? Research is still elaborating on this (lots is already available), which has yet to be comprehensively studied. You already know about some weight-affecting hormone issues, like thyroid and insulin imbalances. But other, more subtle ones could also be keeping you from the body you want.
Leptin, Weight Gain/Loss Hormone
Under normal circumstances, Leptin is released from your fat cells and travels in the blood to your brain, where it signals that you’re full. But leptin’s noble cause has been impeded by our consumption of a type of sugar called fructose, found in fruit and processed foods. When you eat minor amounts of fructose, you’re OK. But if you eat more than the recommended 5 daily servings of fruit (which in recent decades has been bred to contain more fructose than it used to) plus processed foods with added sugar, your liver can’t deal with the fructose fast enough to use it as fuel. Instead, your body starts converting it into fats, sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides and depositing them in the liver and elsewhere in your belly. As more fructose is converted to fat, your levels of leptin increase (because fat produces leptin). And when you have too much of any hormone circulating in your system, your body becomes resistant to its message. With leptin, that means your brain starts to miss the signal that you’re full. You continue to eat, and you keep gaining weight.
Cortisol, Weight Gain/Loss Hormone
The so-called stress hormone cortisol can create all kinds of trouble for people who want to. When cortisol rises, it encourages the conversion of blood sugar into fat for long-term storage. Hoarding body fat in this way was a useful survival adaptation for our ancestors when they faced stressful famines. Not so much today. Obviously, reducing stress in your life will help rein in this fat-storing hormone, but there’s another very common source of the problem: daily coffee, which elevates cortisol dramatically, causing your body to hoard fat when you least need to.
Estrogen, Weight Gain/Loss Hormone
Although estrogen is responsible for making women uniquely women, it’s also the hormone that can be the most troublesome in the fat department. At normal levels, estrogen actually helps keep you lean by goosing the production of insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. When estrogen gets thrown off, though, it turns you into a weight-gain machine.
Here’s how: When you eat, your blood sugar rises. Like a bodyguard, insulin lowers it by escorting glucose into three different places in your body. When insulin is in good working form—not too high and not too low—it sends a small amount of glucose to your liver, a large amount of your muscles to use as fuel, and little to none to fat storage. When you’re healthy and in good shape, your pancreas produces exactly the right amount of insulin to have your blood sugar softly rise and fall within a narrow range (fasting levels of 70 to 85 mg/dl). But when your estrogen levels climb, the cells that produce insulin become strained, and you can become insulin resistant. That’s when insulin starts to usher less glucose to the liver and muscles, raising the levels of sugar in your bloodstream and ultimately storing the glucose as fat. Your fat tissue can expand by as much as four times to accommodate the storage of glucose.
How do estrogen levels climb? Meat is one of the primary reasons. You take in a lot less fiber when you eat meat; research suggests that vegetarians get more than twice as much fiber as omnivores. Because fiber helps us stay regular, and we process excess estrogen through our waste, eating less fiber drives up our estrogen.
Toxins and Testosterone, Weight Gain/Loss Hormone
You are confronted with an astounding number of toxins each day, including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods. Many types of these toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and industrial chemicals, behave like estrogen when absorbed in the body. All this fake estrogen overwhelms your body’s testosterone—which is vital for hormone balance—and contributes to estrogen overload. Testosterone contributes to muscle growth, which in turn supports metabolism. And, as we already know, estrogen overload raises insulin insensitivity. The combination adds pounds to your frame. In order to track your progress you can find your body fat percentage at home.
Now you know the “whys” of your broken metabolism, diets are important but hormones also dictate what your body does with food. Hope this gave you more insights about the question “How Do You Turn Off Your Weight Gain Hormones?”