So you’ve been counting your calories, weighing your food and doing everything right, you know your BMR, your RMR and the exact number of calories used at every gym session but weight loss is either frustratingly slow or just not happening. Is this familiar to you?
There are other factors that come into play to ensure consistent, healthy and sustainable weight loss. Over the next few weeks I am going to be covering these factors in my blog. This week is hormones!
What is a hormone?
Hormones are chemical messages, like text messages, sent from an endocrine gland through your blood to target cells. Hormones influence your behaviour, emotions, neurotransmitter activity, immunity, and metabolism. When your hormones are in balance, you look and feel your best. But when they are imbalanced, you can feel lethargic, irritable, over-emotional, grumpy and depressed.
We are focusing on weight loss but other signs to look for are:
- Infertility and irregular periods
- Depression and anxiety
- Low libido
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive issues
- Hair loss and hair thinning
Of course we can’t cover everything there is to know. But, a lot of diets don’t work, especially for women, because they don’t address the hormonal root causes that are common reasons for weight loss resistance.
Excess cortisol – You produce cortisol as a response to stress but as most of us are stressed a lot of the time. High or dys-regulated cortisol can really disrupt your body over time – insomnia, belly fat storage and depleting happy-brain chemicals like serotonin. High cortisol is linked to sugar cravings.
Leptin Resistance – Leptin is your natural ‘I’m full up’ signal to your brain so that you stop eating. If you are overweight your cells can produce too much leptin. This leads to resistance via the receptors and the brain does not get the signal so you just keep on eating and never feel full.
Insulin resistance– Insulin is linked to fat storage. When you eat glucose is released into the blood stream. If your cells can’t store the extra blood glucose then the liver converts it into fat. Insulin resistance usually causes weight gain and sugar addiction.
Oestrogen dominance – Too much oestrogen , and out of balance with progesterone. This is linked to weight gain as well as irritability, increased PMS and heavier periods.
Thyroid – This is the ‘control panel’ of your metabolism. When it is underactive it can cause weight gain, fluid retention, hair thinning and depression.
So this is depressing…what can I do?
Firstly contact your GP to rule out any other causes of your symptoms. They can also arrange blood tests etc that can tests for many of these imbalances. Secondly, contact me to discuss functional testing. There are various tests available that can be ordered straight to your home. I will then go over the results with you and form a plan for you. This will be diet and lifestyle changes and possibility supplements too.
Endeavour to get all the nutrients you need from food, in their natural form. Here are a few easy tips:
- Swap refined carbs for healthy fats. The body uses these fats to produce hormones and as anti-inflammatories.
- Try to avoid all processed foods.
- Increase fruits and vegetables to increase antioxidant intake and fibre
- Limit caffeine and alcohol
- Eat pre and pro biotic foods to maintain good gut health
- Reduce chemicals that act as xeno-oestrogens. Go for natural cleaning and beauty products, reduce plastic use.
Sometimes it is necessary to add supplements to get a therapeutic dosage that cannot be achieved with diet. These are used to address specific imbalances in a targeted way. Always get professional advice to ensure there are no contra-indications with medications and to get the correct dosage. It is also important to make sure you are taking steps to ensure you are maximizing absorption too.
As I stated, there is so much to cover and every one of us is unique. To find out how you can overcome weight loss resistance book a call with me.
The information provided here is for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. This information is not intended for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.