Weight loss can be a complex journey. ESPECIALLY when exercise and diet don't seem to make a difference. Many are quick to point fingers at their hormones.
There are over 200 types of hormones in our body. Each impacts our overall wellness in unique ways.
Hormones can influence your emotional state, hunger pangs, sleep patterns, sexual functioning, and even how you metabolize food - the last one being crucial for weight management.
This is why balancing hormones is SO important. If there's too much or too little of a certain hormone, you may experience issues with mood, weight, blood sugar regulation, and fat storage.
And now for the million dollar question:
Which hormones should we really be looking at when it comes to that stubborn abdominal fat?
Let's put some of the key hormones involved in weight and fat loss under the microscope.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and it helps our body use blood sugar for energy. Blood sugar (glucose) is your fuel.
Consuming a diet loaded with sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods leads to a rapid rise in glucose. This triggers our body to produce more insulin to balance it.
Regular intake of these types of food can cause persistent blood sugar and insulin spikes. Over time, this can lead to insulin resistance. At this point, cells start ignoring insulin signals, which leads to too much glucose in the blood.
When you don't regulate blood sugar properly, you may struggle with excess belly fat. You may also experience elevated inflammation, and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
What can be done?
* Increase your physical activity. Strive for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity weekly.
* Up your fiber intake. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. If boosting fiber feels tough, we've got your back! Our tasty Pineapple Chia Cleanse is loaded with the fiber you need to manage cravings and blood sugar.
In this era of perpetual rush, stress is a constant companion. The adrenal glands produce cortisol aka the "stress hormone" to help us cope with daily stress.
When we deal with chronic stress, however, we may experience an unhealthy surge in blood sugar and a buildup of belly fat.
Stress can also deplete magnesium levels. This negatively affects mood, cognitive function, eating habits, and sleep quality.
Increased stress may also lead to cravings for unhealthy, sugar-rich, and carb-heavy foods.
What can be done?
* Try relaxation techniques. Experiment with breathing exercises, meditation, listening to nature sounds, practicing Qigong, or simply taking a walk outdoors.
* Incorporate foods rich in magnesium. Examples include flax, chia, and sacha inchi seeds. Our Vegan Vanilla Proteini provides these superfoods, plenty of magnesium, and ample protein to help regulate blood sugar.
* Get plenty of sleep! Aim for 7-8 hours a night. Lack of sleep can increase sugar and carb cravings by messing with your appetite-controlling hormones.
The thyroid gland is instrumental in controlling metabolism. Low thyroid hormone levels can result in sluggish metabolism and weight gain. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men and is a prevalent issue in the U.S.
What can be done?
* Try our delicious Organic Pressed Greens, which contains researched-based ingredients such as ashwagandha and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, spinach and kale) to support optimal thyroid health.
* Increase intake of nuts. Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are excellent sources of selenium, which can helps support healthy thyroid function.
* If you are iodine-deficient, consider adding iodized table salt to your meals or eating foods higher in iodine such as seaweed or fish.
* Consider taking a dietary supplement that contains selenium, zinc and L-tyrosine. These ingredients have been found to play a critical role in thyroid health, and are found to be lower in those with hypothyroidism .
* Talk to your doctor about thyroid hormone replacement if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Although estrogen is produced in both women and men, it is higher in women. A decrease in estrogen levels, as seen in women after menopause, can cause an increase in fatty deposits, especially in the abdominal area.
Mainly produced by the ovaries, when estrogen levels diminish, this forces the body to produce it from other sources such as fat cells (resulting in cravings for fatty or sugary foods). Other imbalances in estrogen can be caused by oral contraceptive use and being obese (or overweight).
What can be done?
*If postmenopausal, talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.
* If you are using oral contraceptives, talk to your doctor about some alternative means of birth control.
* Eat less red meat.
*Consider a detoxification for your body, as xenoestrogens (chemicals that come from our environment that resemble estrogen) can result in an imbalance in estrogen levels. Our Organic Pressed Greens contains chlorella, wheatgrass, and dandelion to provide you with a whole body detoxification.
In addition to the diet and lifestyle suggestions listed above, it is a great idea to work with your doctor so he or she can provide you with preventative screenings and annual physical exams.
Apart from your usual routine annual blood work, notify your doctor if you have any other concerns mentioned above (insulin resistance, thyroid, cortisol, or women’s health) so they can order the appropriate blood test markers to further investigate them.
A great way to cover all your bases is to incorporate the EVERYTHING BUNDLE into your diet, which provides each of the superfoods we mentioned to help support optimal hormones for weight loss.
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