Are Your Hormones Keeping Your Jeans too Tight?
Do you have excess weight? Do you believe that calories in = calories out and that in order to lose weight you have to eat less and exercise more? We all know someone who can eat whatever they want, not exercise and never gain a pound or just the opposite, they eat healthy, watch their portions and exercise regularly yet they can’t lose a pound? If you eat fewer calories than you use, you should lose weight right? Somehow the math doesn’t add up. The popular weight loss mantra of eating less than you burn doesn’t always work.
So why do we have such a hard time losing weight? There must be another reason. The answer is your hormones. Your hormones are pivotal to every system in your body. Hormones are at the center of your psyche and your body. Hormones regulate metabolism and control how fast you burn the fuel your body consumes (food).
What makes people healthy is not manipulating calories up or down, it is a combination of eating high quality whole foods and the following four components:
Healthy Liver Function, Sugar Restriction, Hormone Balance, & Stress Management
Behind many stubborn weight cases, you’ll find a sluggish liver. The liver is the hardest working organ in the human body. The liver has over 500 known functions and every fat-burning hormone works through the liver. It plays a key role in most metabolic processes. When clients first come to see me, one of the first things we work on is the liver. It is the most important first step in weight loss. Without a healthy liver, fat burning will be next to impossible.
Next let’s look at sugar. The body is designed to use stored sugar calories BEFORE burning fat for energy. When you eat sugar, the body releases a hormone called insulin. Eating sugar and refined carbohydrates is a double edge sword. When you eat sugar, insulin stops your body from burning fat and the excess sugar not converted to immediate energy gets stored as fat. Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (easy to do when consuming foods with a high sugar content) your liver converts the sugar into fatty acids to be stored in the fat cells. A key to weight loss is to keep the hormone insulin balanced. What triggers insulin? SUGAR! So even if you do everything right, but continue to eat sugar and refined carbohydrates your body cannot and will not burn fat. Worse yet, the fat keeps coming.
High levels of insulin in the body increase cortisol, a stress hormone, secreted by your adrenal glands. Cortisol is your main weight loss hormone. When the body is stressed either through physical or emotional stress, the adrenal glands produce cortisol. While we need cortisol, too much has negative consequences. Today’s busy lifestyle, characterized by the constant stress of fulfilling responsibilities has an overwhelming detrimental effect on the body. Cortisol releases glucose (a form of sugar) from your muscles and liver. If you remain stressed, the body continues to release the sugar. The high level of sugar gets stored as fat around your organs and midsection. Your midsection will remain resistant to dieting because dieting itself stresses the body. This is generally because most diets are low-calorie ones and this causes more stress. We actually need to eat more food. The difference is in the quality of the calories. Chronic stress tends to escalate our body into high gear. Which means we start breaking down faster than our body can rebuild. Managing your stress is vitally important for long term health. So you see, increasing your liver function, eliminating sugar, improving your adrenal strength and managing your stress are all necessary steps to restore your health and ultimately have weight loss.
Each body requires corrective actions in addition to eating and exercise plans to restore your health. Throughout your life, your hormonal system speaks to you through body changes and symptoms. Evaluating hormones and bringing them back into balance is at the cornerstone of weight loss.
Be patient. When you are improving your health, weight loss is not automatic. The body has to regain a level of health and restore its energy reserves in order for you to lose weight. Being overweight is your body’s reaction to a dysfunctional glandular system. Until your glands function in a healthy manner, your body will stubbornly hold onto excess fat. You must first get healthy before your body can kick into fat-burning mode.
Focus on your health, not your weight!