How hormones affect your energy and weight
Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?
It might actually be your (mighty) hormones.
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And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your physiology, blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links are be stronger than you think.
WHAT ARE HORMONES
Having healthy, balanced, and happy hormones are essential, especially nowadays. This never goes out of style.
And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the mastermind of your entire body.
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. They send signals to communicate with each other.
One example is your pancreas which makes insulin. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones not only control your blood sugar but also your metabolism and appetite, have you heard of ghrelin and leptin? (plus a host of other things). You are probably aware that a foundation for your optimal energy and weight is having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite. No starvation involved here.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to drain your energy and start packing the pounds?
COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES
When in perfect harmony and balance, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.
But often this cascade can have problems. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to function properly. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).
Even the presence of Obesogens, Xenoestrogens, toxins can block these signals.
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, like controlling your blood sugar, your metabolism and appetite, they can definitely wreak havoc your energy and weight.
HORMONES AND ENERGY
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. Guess what is one of the main players is? Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry, and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight, among others.
What you actually want is a balanced metabolism, balanced energy use, ideal temperature, and ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES AND WEIGHT
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body is tricked to think you’re hungry and not satisfied…even if that’s not true.
And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Don’t you agree??
Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, your hormones make you think and feel so.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat – belly fat! It doesn’t recognize what type of stress either.
SUMMARY AND ACTION STEPS FOR YOU
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of physiological functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
- Get regular exercise to burn up excess blood sugar before your insulin decides to store it as fat
- Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol, trust me this works.
- Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
- Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds
- Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
- If you need some support with your energy levels and/or weight, contact me (your Functional Hormone Wellness and Nutrition Coach) for a strategy session to see how I can help you.