How do I balance my hormones to lose weight?

You are always on a diet and eat almost nothing. Or you can exercise until your biceps are sore and your face is blue. But nothing seems to be working. Losing weight was so easy for you, but now even losing a few pounds is a struggle that you can’t seem to win. Like many women, you don’t know what to do. But your inability to control your weight may be due to something you never thought of; your hormones. The following hormones can make the difference between weight loss and weight gain:

Leptin

Leptin is a hormone made in your fat cells. It sends a message to your brain that you are hungry or full. It works pretty well when balanced, but when it isn’t, you can overeat and gain weight. Prolonged leptin imbalance can lead to leptin resistance. People who are resistant to leptin will feel hungry even after they’ve just eaten a full meal. But there are ways to prevent leptin resistance. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid foods that are resistant to leptin. This means staying away from foods that contain trans fats and processed foods. Eventually, prolonged diets of these types of foods can lead to leptin resistance.
  • Avoid sugar. Sugar can increase leptin levels and make you hungry when you aren’t.
  • ¬†Practice. Regular exercise increases both your energy levels and your metabolism

Ghrelin

Ghrelin, like leptin, controls appetite. When the stomach is empty, ghrelin is released into the bloodstream. The brain then receives a message indicating that it is time to eat. The more of this hormone in the blood, the more you want to eat. The less it is, the more full you will feel. In many obese people, this hormone is out of sync with the brain and they tend to eat when they are not hungry. There are ways to restore ghrelin balance:

  • Eat more protein. Protein tends to fill your stomach. Ghrelin can sometimes send the wrong message to the brain. Don’t worry if you are vegan. The source of protein can be vegetable or animal.
  • ¬†Avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can destroy your hormones. Studies have shown that this and other sugars are a major cause of weight gain.

Estrogen

Have you ever heard of women talking about menopausal weight gain? Well, estrogen is probably the culprit. Estrogen is a hormone that is produced in the ovaries. When estrogen is in balance, the optimal amount of fat is stored to keep the reproductive organs functioning. But when there is an estrogen imbalance, like when a woman is going through menopause, too much fat is stored and you can gain weight.You may also read Coffee is health food: Myth or fact?.
For women looking to replace the loss of estrogen during menopause, there are a few options:

  • hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Your doctor may prescribe estrogen to make up for the amount lost during menopause.
  • Avoid BPA. BPA is a chemical endocrine disruptor. The endocrine system produces hormones that regulate metabolism. If BPA gets into your system, it can affect the way these hormones work. BPA is found in plastic containers and water bottles. Reduce your exposure by using paper or glass containers for microwaveable food. Also, opt for reusable BPA-free water cans instead of plastic bottles.
  • Avoid phthalates. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors. These chemicals are found in many artificial fragrances. Reduce the use of sensitive cosmetics, soaps, or detergents. Instead, try odorless products.

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