How to Outsmart Hormones That Make Us Gain Excess Weight
In addition to a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, hormones might play a certain role in gaining weight. If you’ve been on one of the popular protein diets (meaning you eat only meat and have forgotten what carbs look like) for over a month now but your weight hasn’t changed, estrogen is probably to blame. In order to balance an excess of estrogen in your body, it’s recommended to minimize the consumption of products rich in protein.
Bright Side has a complete file on hormones that might become one of the obstacles on your way to the body of your dreams.
1. Overbalance of estrogen
High levels of estrogen make you gain weight despite the food you eat. This excess weight is mainly stored on the hips and your menstrual cycle becomes irregular, you might have headaches, or become too emotional. An excessive amount of estrogen might also be the reason for hair loss, memory loss, and irregular sleep.
The buildup of estrogen in one’s body is caused by eating meat produced under industrial conditions with the use of growth hormones. Substances similar to estrogen are used in the production of plastics and household chemicals.
- To clear your body of the excess of estrogen, consume less meat, and replace it with vegetables. High-fiber foods bind with estrogen and eliminate it from your body. Flaxseed, oats, apples, and pears diminish its negative impact on the body. Rosemary essential oil helps to restore the hormonal balance and improve your memory.
2. Deficit of serotonin
A serious lack of serotonin almost always manifests itself in depression and a bad mood. Moreover, people with a deficiency of serotonin often change their eating habits. If you feel like eating a whole chocolate cake all by yourself or you dream of french fries at night, this is how your body signals to you that you have a deficiency of the happiness hormone.
- The natural sources of serotonin are eggs, nuts, and pineapples. Pineapples also contain bromelain; it’s a ferment that prevents swelling. Light physical exercise and spending more time outside increases the level of serotonin.
3. Excess of ghrelin
Ghrelin is a hormone that determines if you’re hungry or not. It’s very stubborn: even after a year on a low-calorie diet, the level of ghrelin could still be high (the body will try to store the fat tissue just in case). Ghrelin can help us lose weight easily and it also makes it really difficult to keep it on.
- But, it’s easy to outsmart it. You just need to consume products that stretch your stomach — like vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. After consuming these foods, the hormonal reaction starts and you start to feel full. Cut down on sugar and processed foods: they’re high in calories but they keep the level of ghrelin unchanged. Soon after eating a cinnamon bun you’ll become hungry again.
- Sleep and no stress are the best ways to keep the level of ghrelin at bay. After 6-8 hours of sleep the concentration of the hormone in the blood drops. Caution: don’t get carried away with lowering the level of ghrelin, it’s an important hormone. It plays a crucial role in studying and the development of intellectual abilities.
4. Excess of neuropeptide Y
The excess of neuropeptide Y causes the fat tissue to be stored in the lower back, hips, and buttocks; due to the quick weight gain caused by this hormone stretch marks might appear. Your whole body undergoes a real emotional storm: anxiety, irritability, and headaches appear. You might also experience excessive sweating, pigment spots may appear, and blood pressure rises.
- Exclude from your diet all foods with a high concentration of sugar in them. Spices and flavorings should be banned as well since they often make you hungry.
5. Excess of prolactin
A high level of prolactin leads to rapid weight gain. Women might notice that hair fluff appears all over their body, a small mustache starts to grow, and their menstrual cycle changes. The excess of prolactin leads to the growth of the mammary glands in men. If you notice any these symptoms, it necessary that you talk to your doctor since a high level of prolactin might indicate a hypophysis tumor (prolactinoma).
- Obviously, just like any hormonal imbalance, a high level of prolactin should be treated by doctors. But there are foods that can also help you lower its level. Pay attention to ginseng and ginkgo biloba, they might help you treat your prolactin imbalance.
6. Deficit of glucagon
Glucagon lowers your appetite and promotes fat digestion. The level of this hormone lowers after a stressful situation — that’s how certain people begin stress eating. However, the deficiency of glucagon might also indicate that there are problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.
- To increase the level of glucagon, it’s essential to normalize your eating habits. By taking long breaks between meals (without starving), the hormone will digest fat by itself. Physical exercise might be helpful as well: a 30-minute workout significantly increases the level of glucagon in the blood.
7. Deficit of adrenaline
Adrenaline (epinephrine) boosts metabolic processes and burns fat tissue. Epinephrine is all about the brightest emotions that you feel under certain (sometimes extreme) circumstances. If you haven’t felt that rush in your life for a long time now, maybe it’s time for a change. And to lose weight as well.
- You should remember that adrenaline won’t change anything in your body unless you change your eating habits. However, if you cut down on carbs (like white bread, corn, and rice), then adrenaline, along with somatotropin, will start fighting your fat tissue. Things that can boost an adrenaline rush are computer games, horror films, thrill rides, and even public speaking. Add a healthy diet to that and you’ll have the whole package and be on your way to your dream body.
8. Excess of testosterone
Testosterone is considered to be the male hormone, but it plays an important role in the female body as well. An excess of testosterone leads to an increase in body weight and fat tissue is stored in the upper parts of the body (arms, chest, and neck).
- You can lower the level of the hormone naturally. You’ll just need the help of phytoestrogen in soy, coffee, and whole grain products. Refined sugar should be replaced with dates, sweet apples, and apricots.
9. Deficit of adiponectin
Excess weight often indicates the lack of adiponectin, especially if the fat is mainly stored in the midsection. If you were diagnosed with diabetes type II, it’s likely that the level of adiponectin in your body is too low.
Experts believe that at some point it could be necessary to fight excess weight and other metabolic problems with adiponectin injections. They help you lose weight and don’t interfere with your appetite.
- Don’t neglect physical exercise. The best exercise that helps boost adiponectin is walking. It’s recommended to walk at least 8,000 steps every day. There’s also an amazing product that regulates the level of the hormone in your blood — pistachio nuts. Also, if you replace carbs in your diet with monounsaturated fats (like avocados, olives, olive oil), the fat will disappear even quicker.
All the information presented in this article is for informative purposes only. All pieces of advice should be considered supplementary. If you think you have any problems with hormones, consult with your doctor. Only a professional can give you the right diagnosis.
Do you know of any products that can help you take control over your hormones? Share your knowledge with us in the comments.
Illustrator Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me