HORMONES RESPONSIBLE FOR WEIGHT GAIN

Hormones are secreted in the body by several glands that are essential for the growth, development, reproduction, etc.  They are the body’s chemical messengers. They help tissues or organs to do their work via travelling through the bloodstream. While these hormones keep your body function normally, a hormonal imbalance can cause an adverse effect on your body.

In order to lose weight all these hormonal imbalances should be taken into consideration.

This is why it’s so important to understand how your body physiology works before you choose a diet plan and make strategy for weight loss.

There are some 50 hormones in our body, here’s 7 hormones that may be responsible for your weight gain and how you can control them.

Testosterone

Testosterone as we know is associated with development of male characteristics such as deeper voice, facial hair and such.

Testosterone promotes muscle growth and at the same time suppresses fat gain.

Deficiency of testosterone can lead to weight gain.

Testosterone is often considered as a male hormone, but women’s bodies also secrete this hormone. Testosterone helps to maintain libido, burn fat and strengthen bones and muscles.

Due to various lifestyle factors, such as age, stress can reduce testosterone levels and can lead to obesity.

To prevent it, you should work out daily, avoid alcohol and should eat fiber enriched food.

Thyroid

The thyroid gland produces three hormones: T3, T4, and calcitonin. If these hormones are under produced, it can lead to hypothyroidism, which is associated with weight gain.

Hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, affects one in five women and one in ten men.

These hormones regulate metabolism, sleep, heart rate, growth, brain development, etc.

The thyroid hormones are important for regulating weight. Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) can lead to slower metabolism, weight gain, and a higher body-mass index (BMI).

You can prevent it by consuming iodized salt, taking vitamin D, eating well-cooked food and consuming food rich in zinc quantity.

Insulin

Insulin is the main hormone that stops you from losing weight. It is called a fat storing hormone. Insulin use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food for energy or storage for future use. It tells fat cells to store fat, and prevents stored fat from being broken down.

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when there’s lots of insulin being produced (for example, with a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrate), but the body and brain have stopped “listening” to insulin’s effects. Kind of become numb to the effects of insulin, which can cause to produce more insulin.

Studies shows people with insulin resistance has 5 to 6 times more insulin.

Leptin

Leptin is produced by your fat cells.

It’s considered a “satiety hormone” that reduces appetite and makes you feel full.

As a signaling hormone, its role is to communicate with the hypothalamus, the portion of your brain that regulates appetite and food intake.

Leptin tells the brain that there’s enough fat in storage and no more is needed, which helps prevent overeating.

Unfortunately, in obesity the leptin system doesn’t work as it should. This is referred to as leptin resistance. That’ll make you overeat.

Get proper rest. Avoid processed food. Stay hydrated.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin is known as a “hunger hormone.” When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin, which sends a message to the hypothalamus telling you to eat.

Normally, ghrelin levels are highest before eating and lowest about an hour after you’ve had a meal.

Ghrelin helps stimulate appetite and increases fat deposition.

Studies have also shown that after obese people eat a meal, ghrelin only decreases slightly. Because of this, the hypothalamus doesn’t receive as strong of a signal to stop eating, which can lead to overeating.

To Combat this

Eat Protein: Eating protein at every meal, especially breakfast, can reduce ghrelin levels and promote satiety

Avoid Sugar: Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, which can impair ghrelin response after meals

Cortisol

Also known as the stress hormone, it is produces in the adrenal glands.  It’s released when your body senses stress. This can promote weight gain and cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips.

And also, with elevated cortisol levels, the body also produces less testosterone, leading to decrease in muscle mass. With less testosterone to build muscle mass, your body starts to burn fewer calories.

Cortisol can influence other hormones as well. Can cause insulin resistance.

The main concern here is stress, stress can influence a lot of systems in our body.

High stress = high cortisol = high insulin = elevated blood sugar = weight gain in the belly

Estrogen

Both low and high levels of estrogen can lead to weight gain.

High: Overproduction of estrogen by the ovaries or eating food rich in estrogen can cause high estrogen levels.

A healthy body produces desired amount of insulin and keeps blood sugar levels in check. However, high levels of estrogen in the body stresses the cells that produce insulin. This makes our body insulin resistant and led to high glucose levels, which in turn lead to weight gain.

Low: Estrogen levels can be low in women for many reasons. The most common reason for low estrogen is menopause.

One form of estrogen called estradiol decreases at menopause. This hormone helps to regulate metabolism and body weight. Lower levels of estradiol may lead to weight gain.

And also, to produce more estrogen levels, body extracts fatty cells and converts all energy to fat to reload glucose levels. This is another reason for weight gain.

Throughout their life, women may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs. However, after menopause, women tend to gain weight around their mid-section and abdomen. This type of fat gain tends to build up in the abdomen and around the organs, where it is known as visceral fat. Visceral fat can be very dangerous. It has been linked with several other medical conditions, including: diabetes, stroke, heart disease, some cancers.

To keep estrogen levels in balance, you must avoid alcohol consumption, processed foods and should work out regularly. Also, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables can help you maintain estrogen levels.