If you suspect that your hormones are making you gain weight, this article will show you signs of hormonal weight gain and how to fix it.
Hormones have a bigger impact on your body than you may realize. Unbalanced hormones can ruin your mood, cause fatigue, lower your libido, and trigger weight gain.
Don’t be too quick to blame your hormones if the scale isn’t budging. Most people fail to lose weight due to overeating. According to research, many dieters underestimate their calorie intake, which leads to weight gain.
However, hormonal imbalance can hinder weight loss, especially in women. Women experience more hormonal changes than men due to periods and menopause.
Men also struggle with hormonal weight gain due to poor nutrition, lack of sleep, excessive drinking, lack of muscle, and genetics.
Read on to discover the common signs of hormonal weight gain you should look out for. And then I will show you how to fix these imbalances.
Signs of Hormonal Weight Gain
1. Uncontrollable appetite
Do you always want to eat even when you are full? This could be a sign of leptin resistance.
Leptin is the hormone that stops you from overeating. When you are full, fat cells release leptin. Then leptin is carried by the bloodstream to the brain to signal it that you are full.
Unfortunately, your brain can become less sensitive to leptin if fat cells regularly produce too much of this hormone. When this happens, one is said to be leptin resistant.
When the brain doesn’t receive leptin it assumes that you are starving, therefore you end up having an uncontrollable appetite even when you are full.
The problem doesn’t end there. Since the brain thinks you are not getting enough energy from food, it slows down your metabolism to preserve energy. All of these changes cause weight gain.
Leptin resistance can be caused by inflammation, excess body fat, and poor sleeping habits. Researchers believe that leptin resistance plays a big role in obesity.
2. Expanding waistline
Do you know a skinny person with belly fat? He or she may have a hormonal imbalance. Studies show that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause your waistline to expand.
Research suggests that when cortisol levels are high for too long, we may experience increased appetite and metabolism-slow down. Further research shows that high cortisol increases the accumulation of fat in the belly area in men and women.
High levels of cortisol have also been linked to sleeplessness, and as you may know, lack of sleep causes weight gain.
3. Being tired all the time
Hormonal imbalances like high cortisol, low testosterone, and hypothyroidism can make you feel tired all the time.
It’s normal to feel tired after a long day but if you wake up tired, your hormones could be unbalanced. However, tiredness can be a sign of many other health issues. Instead of guessing, see a doctor and find out what the problem might be.
4. Routine headaches
Different health conditions can cause headaches. But if the headaches occur around the same time every month (before and during a period), it could be a sign of low estrogen.
According to WebMD, low estrogen levels can cause hormonal weight gain. When your estrogen levels are low, your metabolism will slow down and the body will use starches and blood sugar less efficiently, which will make it harder to lose weight.
Other signs of low estrogen include fatigue, bloating, depression, and irritability.
5. Decreased libido
There is also a connection between testosterone and estrogen. Men with low testosterone tend to have high estrogen levels. One of the main signs of high estrogen levels in men is man boobs.
High estrogen levels in women can make breast tissues dense.
6. High blood sugar levels
It’s normal for blood sugar levels to rise when you eat high-carb foods. But you may have insulin resistance if your blood sugar levels are always elevated.
Insulin is the hormone that helps transfer blood sugar into the cells. The cells tend to become insulin resistant when exposed to too much insulin for long, this leads to high blood sugar.
High blood sugar levels can cause weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
It is important to get your hormones tested if you sweat even when you are inactive.
Sweating all the time is a sign of too much estrogen or too little progesterone. It is for this reason that most women sweat at night during menopause.
How to fix hormonal weight gain
It is possible to fix hormonal weight gain. Luckily, the lifestyle changes you need to make in order to balance your hormones are also ideal for weight loss.
Below are some of the tips you can use to fix hormonal weight gain.
How to Fix Hormonal Weight Gain
Eat hormone-balancing foods
Adding certain foods to your diet can reverse hormonal weight gain. For instance, eating foods rich in vitamin D can help boost testosterone and lower estrogen levels.
Avoid foods that cause hormonal imbalance such as sugar, factory-farmed meat, and white bread. If you have hypothyroidism, reduce the intake of soybeans and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli.
Practice deep belly breathing
Being stressed increases cortisol, which may cause weight gain. Practicing deep belly breathing can help relieve your stress and lower cortisol.
You may also try other stress-relieving activities such as meditation, massage, exercise, and walking.
Research has linked inflammation to obesity and different metabolic disorders. Fighting inflammation may reduce hormonal weight gain caused by leptin resistance and hypothyroidism.
Here are a few things you can do to fight inflammation in your body.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods
- Reduce the intake of junk/processed foods
- Avoid all foods with added sugar
- Eat more plant-based protein
- Eat leafy greens in every meal (preferably organic)
Exercise can balance your hormones and make you feel good. Doing strength training can boost your testosterone levels and lower estrogen levels.
Exercise can also help lower your blood sugar levels because it improves insulin sensitivity, according to research.
Any type of exercise can be beneficial. But if you want to burn fat and tone muscles without spending hours in the gym, do these intense home workouts.
Walk More Every Day
Most people don’t realize how powerful walking is. Walking consistently can ease stress, burn fat, and improve insulin sensitivity.
However, you must increase your steps day after day. Aim to walk an extra 200 to 300 steps every day and keep increasing the steps. Get a pedometer so you can easily track your steps.
You are less likely to struggle with hormonal imbalances if you are lean. Excess body fat tends to lower testosterone levels, increase insulin resistance, and worsen leptin resistance.
The Bottom Line
Hormonal weight gain can stop you from reaching your weight goal. However, you can conquer it using the tips I’ve recommended above.
Exercise can go a long way in balancing your hormones. If you don’t have time to exercise for hours, use these 15-minute workouts to burn as many as 15 pounds of fat.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]