What’s the hormone weight gain connection?
Well, for starters hormones are f-u-n-d-a-m-e-n-t-a-l when it comes to women and weight, key players in regulating how many pounds we put on and where, our rate of metabolism, blood sugar, insulin, AND whether or not the body decides to burn fat or store it. Thus it can be notoriously difficult to maintain a normal healthy ideal weight if an undetected hormone imbalance is silently sabotaging your best efforts to stay slim.
As we age, shifting hormone levels trigger imbalances that cause numerous symptoms, chief among them increased fat deposition in the hips, thighs, bottom and belly ( the kind that won’t budge no matter how many crunches we kill ourselves doing), not to mention sugar cravings and/or a raging appetite that induce one to overeat of all the wrong foods leading inevitably to weight gain in all the wrong places. Maddening! So it is no coincidence that the highest prevalence of obesity (as reported by the Centers for Disease Control) is found among midlife men and women over 40, those folks in the very throes of the hormonal woes.
The Typical Symptom Picture
Women in perimenopause, (the transitional years starting in our late 30s, early 4Os that end with the end of periods at menopause) are the first to notice the encroachment of surplus adipose and may be WAY frustrated that they can’t shed pounds as easily as they used to. These are the women who simply can’t abide the stubborn belly fat they never had before and will do just about anything to get rid of it. Trouble is doing anything and everything if it does not include detecting and correcting a hidden hormone imbalance will ultimately prove fruitless. These are the women who say that since they hit menopause they can put on pounds just looking at a sweet roll.
Men over 40 whose hormones are downsizing as they move into andropause (a.ka. the male menopause) may notice a drop in strength stamina and the slow slide of ‘six-pack abs’ into an abdominal ‘spare tire’ of fat.
Younger women and adolescents, particularly those whose dietary and sleeping habits are seriously lacking, are also at risk for hormone imbalances that encourage excess weight gain or obesity. The CDC tells us that obesity rates among teens and adolescents are also at epidemic levels.
Can’t Lose Weight? Blame it on your Hormones!
Do the following symptoms sound familiar?
- weight gain in hips, thighs, breast (known as gynecomastia in men)
- belly fat
- water retention or bloating
- premenstrual weight gain
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- increased appetite/hunger/a sense of never feeling full
- sugar cravings
- decreasing lean muscle being replaced by increased body fat
- low thyroid symptoms: can’t lose weight, stalled weight loss, sluggish metabolism,
- tend to regain weight once lost (sometimes more)
- can’t get to sleep/stay asleep
Got two or more (troubling or persistent) symptoms? These are hallmarks of weight linked hormone imbalances that could be thwarting your ability to lose weight, and/or control your weight over time. There is no better approach to avoiding serious obesity-related diseases such as Type2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, than maintaining a healthy weight.
The Missing Link: Hormone Testing
Attempting to maintain a healthy weight without taking hormone levels into account, is like starting a weight loss program without ever stepping on a scale or measuring your waist line. Sidebar: for the average women, a waist circumference over 35″ (in men, over 40″) is an important marker of insulin resistance* /metabolic syndrome** harbingers of Type 2 diabetes.
Your Best Efforts to Control Your Weight can be derailed by undetected imbalances of:
Eating whole, hormone- free foods, exercising, reducing stress and exposure to environmental toxins, getting enough sleep, and using natural hormone therapies and supplements as needed can help you raise the bar to ultimate weight control.
- You’ve tried every diet
- You eat healthy, whole foods for the most part
- You workout or get regular exercise
- You weigh yourself every morning
- For gawd’s sake you even ran a marathon last week….and STILL cannot lose weight !!!
Have you considered testing your hormones?
I trust that by now you are all ears, and if so I encourage you to keep them perked, listening and learning at our webinar, “The Hidden Truth About Weight Gain and Hormones”, coming up this Wednesday, the 16th of October, at 9am. ZRT Laboratory will be hosting the webinar as they have recently developed a special hormone test collection (a.k.a. The Weight Management Profile), that detects hormone imbalances linked to weight gain as well as major risk markers for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. As the past director of education at ZRT and now a consultant, yours truly will be presenting. Join me for some life changing edutainment. The webinar is of course free to all comers (and who knows we might just give away a hormone test kit). Here is the link to sign up for the webinar, coming up very soon, this wednesday in fact, Oct. 16th, just a week away: http://www.zrtlab.com/specialty-profiles/weight-management