The key to losing excess weight isn’t as simple as eating fewer calories or exercising more. If that were true, everyone who tried to lose weight with these measures would be successful. Unfortunately, many people find that their most diligent efforts to shed pounds simply don’t work, and more often than not, they have no idea why. One important factor in weight loss that is often overlooked is hormone levels. Hormones and weight are closely linked, and hormones imbalances often have to be addressed in order for any weight-loss plan to be successful.
How quickly and easily someone loses weight may be linked to certain hormone levels. Some hormones encourage the body to hang onto excess pounds despite dieting efforts. The key is to know how hormones could be affecting you and what you can do to help balance them if you’re trying to lose weight.
Leptin is a hormone and protein that’s produced by fat cells. When leptin levels are ideal, the body can maintain a healthy weight balance. Leptin tells the brain that the fat cells are at the right level and we don’t need to eat. But, when a person restricts calories too drastically, their fat cells lose some fat, and plasma levels of leptin go down. Studies show that this decrease in leptin happens in both thin and overweight people when they lose weight.
These low levels of leptin send a starvation signal to the brain, telling the body to preserve energy because it doesn’t have enough fat. In other words, the body will try not to burn calories or fat when that’s exactly what you’re trying to do. This is obviously detrimental to a person’s best weight-loss efforts.
To add insult to injury, these lower leptin levels can also trigger hunger. This can partially explain why many people feel so hungry on conventional diets that restrict calories. People who are overweight may also develop leptin resistance, which means the brain can’t hear the leptin signals. As a result, they could keep gaining weight, increasing their leptin levels, and the brain doesn’t realize it. Leptin resistance may be a key factor in obesity.
Some healthy lifestyle steps can help you balance out leptin levels:
Why does it seem like some people can eat what they want without gaining a pound, and others aren’t so fortunate? A person’s hormonal balance can affect things like hunger and how easily someone gains weight. In some people, certain hormone imbalances could be the reason they diet but don’t shed pounds, or find that their hunger is too powerful to overcome.
Ghrelin, a hormone that signals your brain when it’s time to eat, is produced by the stomach. Its levels shoot up when the stomach is empty, and conversely, they decrease after you eat. But it’s not just food intake that affects ghrelin: stress has a big impact on it as well. Ghrelin levels may increase during times of stress, which explains why many people “stress eat.”
Although ghrelin is a useful hormone, abnormally high levels can make someone more prone to weight gain. Make these healthy lifestyle adjustments to help keep ghrelin levels in the normal range and ward off unwanted weight gain:
Hormones play a crucial role in all of the body’s processes, including weight gain and weight loss. But, most people don’t know if their hormones are in balance without having lab tests done. So, what can you do to rebalance hormones and finally lose the weight for good?
For starters, adopt the healthy lifestyle habits described here. They will be an important first step to getting both leptin and ghrelin levels under control. Also, avoid crash or fad diets. While these diets may work for a lucky few, most of the time they leave you with further hormone imbalances because their restrictive plans simply aren’t customized for your body’s needs.
Stop the dieting-hormone negative cycle by looking into a medically managed weight-loss plan. A plan that is customized for you will be designed to help you avoid common diet pitfalls like hunger.
At Garcia Weight Loss, we will create a weight-loss plan that unlocks your health potential. Your plan will include an optimized combination of the right foods, supplements, and medical supervision based on your lab test results and unique needs. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation.