How Your Hormones Might Be Preventing You from Losing Weight
The decision to lose weight is, often, a good thing for your health. Previous studies have found that even a modest weight loss can provide health benefits, including lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
So even a 5 percent reduction in weight will reduce your risk of health complications associated with obesity.
Shedding excess pounds can also help you live longer. A previous study involving the data of more than a million adults found a strong link between obesity and mortality. The more overweight a person is, the higher their risk of death. Researchers found that this was true across all age groups, whether they have no pre-existing condition or have never smoked in their life.
Feel Physically and Mentally Better
In addition, those who have successfully lost weight and kept excess pounds off feel better about their body. They become stronger physically, gain better self-esteem, and be overall happier.
Losing weight is not easy because it requires significant lifestyle changes. Attempts to lose weight through calorie restrictions often fail because adopted new eating habits are unsustainable. It is better to slowly but steadily lose weight by eating moderately and exercising regularly. Numerous diet fads emerge periodically, but only a few people see positive results from these weight-reduction plans.
However, as anyone who has tried to lose weight before knows, it is easier said than done. Slimming down to a healthy weight is a long and challenging journey. Keeping the excess weight off also requires a lot of effort.
Losing weight is even more challenging when your body and mind seem to be fighting any of your efforts to be healthier. Here are some ways your body might be holding you back from achieving your ideal weight:
Your efforts to lose weight through exercise and eating less have been successful for weeks. You have seen the scale go down gradually day per day, bringing you closer to your goal weight. Everything, however, comes crashing down the week before you start your period. Suddenly, you get the urge to binge sweet chocolate sundaes and salty potato crisps. Greasy pizzas and burgers might have replaced your daily meals that consist of vegetables, lean meats, and fruits.
Almost every woman is familiar with the intense cravings of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Over 90 percent of women have said they experience headaches, pelvic pains, bloating, moodiness, and the desire to eat unhealthy snacks about one or two weeks before they menstruate.
These symptoms appear whenever it is the time of the month due to changes in estrogen levels in your body. Estrogen is responsible for regulating your monthly cycle, but it also influences your metabolism. It plays a role in how the body uses the food you consume for energy.
Underlying Thyroid Problem
One of the most common reasons people struggle to lose weight is hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland releases the thyroid hormone and is directly responsible for metabolism. Metabolism is directly affected when the thyroid gland is underactive or releases fewer hormones than usual. The body more slowly burns calories, leading to constipation and weight gain problems.
This is a medical problem, and unlike PMS, it will not come and go as the weeks’ pass. Patients with underactive thyroid glands should immediately seek a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Aside from difficulties losing weight, people with undiagnosed thyroid problems can also experience fatigue, dry skin, puffy face, muscle weakness, and increased sensitivity to cold. The condition is diagnosed through a simple blood test. Treatment will usually involve hormone replacement medication.
Stress is also a common culprit behind weight gain. When people are stressed, their body releases the hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response. Cortisol is healthy in short bursts, but it can negatively affect the body when levels are elevated for a long time.
This hormone is responsible for many things. It will stimulate the rapid metabolism of fat and carbohydrates to generate energy that your body will need in a dangerous scenario. This process also encourages you to eat more as your body prepares to spring into action. And when you end up not burning the calories you have consumed to either combat an attacker or flee from danger; you gain weight.
Worse, cortisol dictates where the excess pounds are stored: around the stomach. Fat in the abdominal area has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
If you want to lose weight, it will help to include yoga or meditation into your weight loss routine to calm you down and reduce cortisol levels in your body.
Your hormones control a lot about you, from your moods to your weight. It would not be easy to reach your goal weight if you are experiencing hormonal changes. In any case, seek medical advice to help you cope with your body’s changes.