Calories Matter But Hormones Matter More
When it comes to the subject of weight, it still amazes me that the mainstream approach of: eat less, move more, no pain, no gain is still grabbing so much attention.
Because research shows that our bodies are so much more beautifully complex than simple calorie burning machines.
But you might ask, “What about all the experts who say that the solution is to restrict eating to 1,200 calories a day?”
Well they left out the fine print: Only in a perfect hormonally balanced body.
Calories matter but hormones matter more. Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect all aspects of weight. They govern: appetite, cravings, fat storage, calorie burning, gut health, digestion, nutrient assimilation and even our addictive patterns with food.
Hormone imbalances are often at the root cause of unwanted weight gain and weight loss resistance.
But interesting to note is that excessive weight gain itself can also be the cause of hormonal dysregulation. Weight gain reflects the accumulation of fat cells that are highly pro inflammatory. That disturbs blood glucose and insulin function, contributing to a downward spiral of poor regulation of insulin and cortisol.
That’s why it’s all about food AND lifestyle change for lasting health and natural weight loss and maintenance.
The key to understanding hormones and how to keep them in balance is their interdependence. As you’ll see they’re like dominoes and when one is dysfunctional it causes a cascading effect.
Here are the 4 Top Hormones That Affect AND Are Affected By Weight:
1) Insulin – Insulin is the gatekeeper of many other key metabolic hormones. Simply put, insulin controls whether a calorie makes you fat. You don’t need to be diabetic or pre-diabetic to care about your blood sugar balance.
2) Leptin – Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. It makes you feel full and satisfied. If you are insulin resistant, you are more than likely also leptin resistant. For people who are chronically overweight, leptin is not doing its job of reducing appetite and stimulating fat burning.
2) Cortisol – Cortisol is released by your adrenal glands during the fight or flight stress response. When cortisol is out of balance, insulin and blood sugar get elevated, thyroid and growth hormone decrease and digestion and calorie burning is slowed.
3) Thyroid – The thyroid secretes hormones that regulate the activities of every cell and every organ in the body. It regulates metabolism at the cellular level and controls the body’s sensitivity to other hormones such as cortisol and insulin and therefore regulates how quickly we burn calories and maintain our metabolism.
4) Growth – Growth hormone plays a key role in cellular growth and repair and metabolism. It interacts with cortisol and other stress hormones to burn fat and build muscle.
Bottomline, what we eat and how we live either supports or disrupts this delicate web of hormones that is our endocrine system.
How To Reset and Balance:
1) Adopt Whole, Plant Centered Eating (Fat, Fiber & Protein)
2) Eat At Regular Intervals (Make Midday Meal the Biggest and Evening Meal the Lightest)
3) Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol (Make Water a A Priority)
4) Practice Conscious Breathing & Meditation (You can’t lose weight in a stressed out body)
5) Develop a Balanced Exercise Plan
6) Commit to a Sleep Routine (Good sleep is the most powerful metabolism booster)