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Adjusting Lifestyle to Lose Weight in a Way that Improves Hormone Balance


Written by Dr. Chris Smith, Updated on June 29th, 2021
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Have you ever wondered why it seems so difficult to lose weight? It looks like the people that are trying the hardest have the most trouble achieving successful changes in body composition, especially when considering long-term results. This is largely the result of how certain diet/training strategies impact Hormone Balance. Without specific knowledge, many people engage in the worst weight loss/strength training tactics out of ignorance. Take a moment and let us help you start off on the right track.

Hormone Levels are Intricately Interconnected

The human endocrine system is a complex interplay of organs and hormones designed to help the human body work as a single unit. Weight loss can be a challenge because abrupt changes in diet and activity level cause the body to react to preserve body mass as a protective mechanism.

Insulin, blood sugar, Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol, and Thyroid Hormones all belong to the same series of hormone cascades that directly impact physiological function. Disrupting the balance among these hormones can make it extremely difficult to lose weight and keep it off.

Your hormones aren't concerned with keeping you thin and fit; they work together to maximize the odds that your genes will live on for another generation. Our bodies have been trained for millennia to survive feast and famine situations. In the not-so-distant past, the threat of starvation was much greater than the accumulated dangers of overeating. This is the reason why crash diets don't work.

While it's important to eat well and stay active, many people take things too far when they are trying to lose weight. Two of the biggest barriers to losing weight are highly restrictive diet plans and overexertion during workouts. When we eat too little or train too hard, it leads to self-defeating changes in Hormone Levels.

Rapid Changes Disrupt Hormone Balance

Elevated Cortisol production chips away at sex hormone levels while also increasing stress and anxiety. Decreased Testosterone Levels make it harder to build muscle mass, which suppresses metabolism. Chronically elevated Cortisol also leads to increased bloating due to impaired electrolyte balance, which adds on water weight.

Cortisol Levels are designed to peak in the morning and slowly drop throughout the day. Chronic stress due to poor dietary habits can make it harder to get a restful night's sleep, which further disrupts sex hormone balance while also having a devastating effect on HGH Production. Human Growth Hormone is a tool that our body uses to convert body fat into usable energy. When HGH Levels are too low; it helps preserve body fat, to the detriment of diet goals.

The Thyroid Gland can't tell the difference between an extreme diet and the threat of starvation, so it significantly boosts the production of T3, which increases appetite. Thyroid hormones trigger amplified Ghrelin Production, which makes you hungrier more often, and makes you crave larger portions.

Weight loss and increased strength/endurance do involve conscientious dieting and a good workout plan, but you still have to give the body the fuel that it needs to function optimally. Making rapid "Cold Turkey" changes to your lifestyle is one of the biggest roadblocks to successful weight loss.

How to Lose Weight Responsibly

In order to lose weight, we have to keep stress levels in check while engaging in healthy changes that don't shock the body into going on the defensive. Starving yourself will likely only lead to disappointment, but making earnest and thoughtful changes will provide gradual and effective results.

Adjusting your diet while modestly decreasing caloric intake will give your body the tools to get fit while also helping you feel full. A diet high in protein and healthy fats and relatively low in carbs will provide lots of energy. You should focus on getting your carbs from complex sources because simple starches and sugars wreak havoc on glucose balance. Intermittent Fasting is a proven way to encourage Hormone Balance while still meeting your daily caloric needs.

You should also aim to work out with frequency but not push yourself over the edge. A few days of weight training combined with daily cardio will provide great results. Muscle groups need time to heal from weight training. Also, consider High-Intensity Interval Training. This style of exercise involves short bouts of high-exertion combined with longer periods of baseline activity.

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