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Your hormones, especially insulin, plays a large role in your ability to lose weight. When they’re out of balance, all the extra willpower, deprivation, and exercise can’t help you drop pounds. At 360 Medical Weight Loss Specialists, Dr. Gartner and her staff look at how your hormones might be standing in the way of your ability to lose weight.

Signs that hormones are impeding weight loss

If you honestly try hard to lose weight by sticking to a healthy, portion-controlled diet and exercising faithfully but see no budge in the numbers on the scale, you may have a hormone problem holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals.

Sometimes, hormones that are out of balance can make you believe you have a naturally sluggish metabolism or that those last 10 pounds you’re desperate to lose are just never going to go away. You may also frequently experience a weight yo-yo — you lose weight only to have it return and then some. Insulin that’s out of whack can also make you crave certain foods.

These situations aren’t personal failures or a sign that you’re destined to be overweight. You may have hormonal irregularities that make your weight loss somewhat out of your control.

Insulin is a key hormone

When insulin is unregulated, it causes significant inflammation, chronic disease (you’re familiar with Type 2 diabetes, right?) and weight gain. When you become insulin resistant, it means you need more and more of the hormone to regulate your blood sugar levels. This causes you to pile on the pounds as the additional circulating insulin encourages your body to store fat.

When your insulin levels are unregulated, other hormones — such as cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone — can also fall out of balance and make weight loss even harder.

Insulin and cortisol

A stressful lifestyle doesn’t only make you more likely to eat a lot of comfort food and skip exercise. Stress also causes your body to pump out more cortisol, which causes weight gain and worsens insulin resistance.

When you’re stressed, cortisol activates important stress responses — like fine-tuning your senses and giving your body the drive to run away, if necessary. But it also slows your metabolism and digestion, so that you have more energy to devote to survival mechanisms. When you’re subjected to long-term stress, the constantly increased levels of cortisol can make your blood sugar levels soar, as well as lead to high cholesterol. As a result, you suffer from more inflammation and additional weight gain.

Sex hormones

Women (and men) with high levels of estrogen experience weight gain and the inability to lose weight. Estrogen levels naturally shift during menopause, but they can also become irregular due to environmental toxins or a poor diet rich in alcohol, added sugar, and processed carbohydrates. Although estrogen is considered a woman’s hormone, men can have too much of it circulating as well.

Women with high estrogen levels may have intense premenstrual symptoms, sore breasts, and bloating, while men can develop belly fat, man boobs, and a loss of lean tissue.

Men may also have trouble losing weight if they have low levels of testosterone, the main male sex hormone. Symptoms of low testosterone include poor muscle definition, fatigue, and a subdued libido. Testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, but an accelerated decline leads to premature aging and resistance to weight loss. Insulin resistance can cause both testosterone and estrogen levels to become irregular.

When you get insulin under better control with the Hormone Reset Program we offer at 360 Medical Weight Specialists, all of your hormones even out. This meal replacement program reduces the amount of sugar you consume, so your body resets to a lower blood sugar level, and less insulin is produced. Then your body doesn’t store so much sugar as fat, and you can achieve lasting weight loss as your metabolism adjusts within just a few months.

If you’re ready to begin a physician-supervised program that helps balance your hormones so you can lose weight, contact us. Just phone the office to reserve your spot in one of our free information sessions or click the button to schedule a consultation.

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