Unexplained Weight Issues Got You Stumped?
Weight loss isn't always about diet & exercise or the lack there of. A hormone imbalance can affect your weight, read more.
Do you sometimes feel like your weight yoyos about? Having unexplained weight gain or loss, or you’re trying to lose weight but can’t seem shift the last five or however many pound left to reach your target weight even though you’re eating right and almost killing yourself at the gym?
One of the most common physical side effects of having a hormonal imbalance, especially in women, is weight gain. Why is that? Because your hormones help to regulate many systems in your body that control your weight, including your appetite and metabolism.
Here we’ll explore what hormones you need to keep balanced, how they can affect your weight, and what you can do about it.
Oestrogen VS Progesterone Weight Changes
Many hormones can affect your weight, but three of the more common ones are insulin, oestrogen and progesterone. The latter two hormones work together like a symphony or a dance where one leads and the other follows. Here’s the thing, when these levels go out of balance i.e. are too low or too high, it can cause considerably different outcomes as far as your weight goes which is a problem. Understanding this will help you and your doctor to figure out which of your hormones are responsible for the unexplained weight gain.
If you have more body fat, experiencing unexpected weight gain, fluid retention, headaches, depression, and blood sugar issues, you may want to check your oestrogen levels as an imbalance there may be the likely culprit. On the other hand, if you are losing weight unexpectedly (which some may feel is not necessarily be a bad thing) and also if it’s rapid weight loss, you may be struggling with too much progesterone.
You want a good balance of both, get them back dancing in rhythm with each other where neither is too high or too low in order to maintain your weight properly.
What’s the deal – Why do hormones affect weight?
There are a few different reasons you start gaining weight as a result of your hormone levels being out of balance. The first is that it can cause your metabolism to plummet. Insulin (also known as the storage hormone) is directly linked with your metabolism, when too much insulin is secreted for whatever reason (stress is usually a culprit), that tells your body to store fat and hold on to it which means your metabolism slows down. You need a good level of metabolism in order to burn fat and calories that you consume, so when you have low metabolism, your body holds onto more of what you eat, which can cause you to gain weight more easily.
You might also notice that when you had other symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you also had a bigger appetite, lower energy, and more cravings. These work together to cause you to eat more unhealthy foods you crave, and not exercise as much, which as you know can also contribute to your weight gain.
What can you do?
Gaining weight isn’t a pleasant thing for most and it’s not about clothes or necessarily about how you look but how you feel within yourself and the effect the weight gain will have on your health. Weight gain puts you at a higher risk for diabetes, irregular periods, worsening PMS symptoms, joint pain, and even some types of cancers.
If you are gaining weight or losing and not sure why:
- I suggest that you talk to your doctor about it.
- Go onto my website and take my Hormone Balance Quiz, that would give you an indication of may be going on (be clear that this is by no means a diagnostic tool).
- Ask to have a blood test done to check your hormone levels especially oestrogen, progesterone, insulin and your blood sugar levels
- Check in with your stress levels, are you stressed out at work, home etc.
- What has changed or occurred recently that has either put you on edge or is making you anxious?
- What’s your diet like? You may want to adjust to eating a more plant-based diet to regulate your moods and hormones
- Take some time for selfcare. Create a routine to heal and nourish yourself emotionally, physically and mentally
- Get some exercise in to help balance your hormones and weight. Please do note that if you have been told you have hormone imbalance, it would be more advisable to adopt a gentle exercise routine such as yoga, swimming or going for a brisk walk than rigorous exercise as that can be counter-productive.