How Women’s Hormones Can Affect Weight Loss
Going on a weight loss journey is filled with many ups and downs, and the challenges along the way can test one’s discipline. However, aside from the typical factors that go into weight loss, there are some key players that we might not be able to identify. For women, hormones like estrogen determine how we use glucose (or sugar) in our bodies, and it is just one of the hormones that play a crucial role in weight loss. Understanding the way these different molecules affect our bodies can make it easier to push weight loss efforts in the right direction for faster results. Here’s how hormones can affect weight loss and what you can do about it:
How Hormones Affect Women’s Weight Loss
Both women and men are affected by hormones in their weight loss journeys. For instance, leptin and ghrelin affect us in similar ways as they regulate weight gain and appetite. Cortisol is another hormone that regulates stress, which can lead to changes in appetite as a response. While studies from Columbia University’s obstetrics and gynecology program show that obesity is triggered by socioeconomic, behavioral, and medical factors too, there is no doubt that female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone play an essential role in weight gain and loss. These hormones are responsible for the regulation of appetite, eating behaviors, and energy metabolism in women. The balance of these hormones can have an impact on fat loss and overall health.
Hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle are also responsible for weight gain and loss. Many women experience cravings during the luteal phase of their cycle and so consume more calories in the days leading up to their period. This is why starting diets or losing weight may be more manageable during the follicular phase. It is here that the effects of progesterone on the thyroid hormone tend to reduce a woman’s appetite. Given the effect of these specific hormones on women, knowing how to control them can aid in successful weight loss.
How to Manage Your Hormones for Weight Loss
While hormones are naturally occurring molecules that depend on the body’s chemical makeup, there are measures you can take to balance them out as much as possible. Apart from the obvious need to exercise, here are a few ways you can manage your hormones for more effective weight loss:
Eat enough protein.
Consuming the right types of food is essential for anybody looking to lose weight. In this case, it is especially important to eat enough protein. Dietary protein provides your body with the building blocks to maintain muscle, bone, and skin health. It can also influence the production and release of hormones that control appetite. In this case, our article on Healor discusses how it may be helpful to get nutritional counseling to ensure you are eating enough of the right macronutrients depending on your body’s needs.
Manage your stress levels.
Although stress is a normal response that protects you from threatening situations, too much stress can have a negative impact on your health. An article by Symptom Find explains how “stress can lead to cardiovascular disease and hypertension over time”. Stress can also throw your hormones off balance. Having constantly elevated levels of cortisol in your body can lead to excessive calorie intake and increased belly fat. Activities such as meditation, yoga, and walking can help you reduce your stress significantly and prevent unnecessary weight gain.
Consult a medical professional.
Weight loss should always be approached carefully and safely. Drastic weight loss measures can be terrible for your wellbeing, so any weight management programs you follow should always be approved by a medical professional. An effective program should also be well-suited to your overall health plan, especially if you have issues with balancing hormones. Medical experts can recommend the right treatments throughout your weight loss program and guide your weight management in relation to your holistic health. Our medical weight loss programs on Healor are guided by the right medical professionals, so you can see results faster than if you were following exercise and nutrition programs that are not optimal for your individual needs.
We hope the above tips prove informative if you are struggling to lose weight.
Writer: Allie Cooper | Penned for healor.com