You sweat your bum off every single day; swallow every salad leaf while thinking of a juicy rib-eye, yet you’re still on the same mark on that weighing scale as 3 months ago. Don’t get discouraged and drop your well-balanced diet and regular exercise just yet. The reason you’re finding it hard to lose weight may not be not running enough miles on the treadmill, but your body’s hormonal balance.
If you unknowingly suffer from hormonal issues (or have known about them for a while but never really thought it could affect your weight loss efforts), it just means having a healthy diet and exercise routine might not be enough.
We’ve put together a list of the most common hormones that affect your weight loss. If you fit the bill on any of the points below, we suggest you schedule a trip to your doctor and have yourself checked if there are any medical steps you need to take to manage your hormonal balance.
Cortisol is responsible for many vital functions in our body such as controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and metabolism.
This is more popularly referred to as the “stress hormone.” When we experience stressful situations, our bodies produce more cortisol to help us cope with the added pressure, before reverting to normal once the stressful stimuli have passed. But if you are someone who’s constantly exposed to stress, your cortisol levels may remain elevated for longer periods of time which may cause weight gain. More specifically, this causes increased fat storage around your abdomen.
Serotonin controls a huge part of our appetite. Like the first hormone mentioned above, serotonin is affected by stress.
Long-term stress can cause a significant decrease in your body’s serotonin levels, resulting in stronger cravings for carbs and sugar. These two food groups encourage your body to increase serotonin production. Eating too much of these may cause you to gain weight.
It is important to note that you have to determine what it is about your life that is constantly stressing you out and then figure out an actionable way to reduce this significantly. Don’t forget to take yourself out on a date regularly and always make time to do things you enjoy.
- Thyroid hormones
Your thyroid gland produces hormones that are important in maintaining a healthy weight threshold because they regulate our body’s metabolism.
If your thyroid hormones are below normal levels (also called hypothyroidism), your metabolism will slow down and make it more difficult to lose weight. On the flip side, too much thyroid hormones (or hyperthyroidism), and your body will metabolize more than it should – making it more difficult to gain weight.
Naturally, maintaining healthy levels of your thyroid hormones are extremely important for maintaining a healthy weight.
Now that you’re made aware of the different hormones in your body that when thrown off balance can affect your weight loss journey significantly, it’s important to re-center your focus on making sure your body systems are functioning well more than just hitting your weight goal. If you feel your healthy diet and regular exercise is not doing as much as it should, have yourself checked and make sure your hormones are at their best.
This list has been adapted from this original article by Kayla Itsines.
Have you been struggling to lose weight too? Let us hear your story in the comments below!