What if you knew there was something secretly sabotaging your weight loss? Well, for many people it’s their hormones. Very few actually know that hormones control everything about their ability to burn fat.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight even with diet and exercise, but results weren’t showing, then it’s probably because of a hormonal imbalance.The great news is that you can re-balance your hormones and belly fat loss through diet.
Stop Letting Hormones Make You Fat
Hormones like insulin, testosterone, estrogen and cortisol are chemicals created by the endocrine glands. These substances act as messengers between different parts of the body coordinating complex processes like metabolism and behavior.
When something stops the normal functioning of the endocrine system, too much or not enough hormones may be released by the glands. This means that any hormonal imbalance will sabotage your weight loss efforts – regardless of your diet and exercise program.
The main hormones that force your belly to grow and accumulate fat are Cortisol, Estrogen, Insulin and Testosterone.
Reset Your Hormones And Belly Fat
Here are the four major hormonal imbalances and how to fix it:
1. High Cortisol
Cortisol (the stress hormone) is produced in the body during stressful situations.When cortisol stays in the blood longer than necessary, it begins to stimulate the metabolism of carbs and fats.
The longer cortisol is working in your body, the hungrier you will feel. Apart from boosting your cravings, high levels of cortisol also cause a loss of libido, muscle mass and bone density and contributes to depression and memory loss.
How to fix it: Get at least 8 hours sleep and eat at the same hours. Sleep deprivation makes you wake up with high levels of cortisol, which fuels cravings, especially for sugary and Carb foods, even when you have eaten enough.
You can lower the stress linked to blood sugar imbalances by having a high protein meal in the morning and never letting more than three hours to pass between meals.
2. High Insulin
There is no doubt that insulin leads to weight gain and obesity. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and its role is to drive sugar to the cells where it is turned into energy. If sugar is not used by the cells or is more than necessary, it is converted into fat. In a person that is physically active, the extra energy is turned into muscle mass rather than fat.
High insulin levels are caused by eating too many processed foods, sugary drinks, low-fat foods along with not enough protein and fibre. Every time you eat a high GI carbs, your liver converts it into fat and you block the body from burning fat for several hours.
How to fix it: Replace the high GI carbs with vegetables. Eating low-fat meat with veggies is one of the fastest ways to a fit body. For example, a green salad with chicken breasts will keep your insulin level under control.
Foods that balance the insulin levels:
Apple, orange, grapefruit, cherries, plum, lentils, carrots, hummus, fat-free yogurt. Also, eating more proteins will keep your blood sugar balanced and your insulin levels low. Your best sources are those that are lowest in fat (e.g. chicken, turkey, low-fat cheese, eggs and scallops.)
3. High Estrogen
Estrogen is the primary female sex hormones. In men, high estrogen levels lead to more fat accumulation and also increase the incidence of prostate cancer. In women, high estrogen is responsible for premenstrual syndrome, body fat around the hips and difficulty in losing weight. Other effects of high estrogen levels include low libido, memory loss, poor motivation, depression and loss of muscle mass.
Opt for a diet rich in proteins and good carbs because too much insulin in your blood triggers the estrogen levels. Balancing insulin with such a diet will also help the liver work better and detox the body properly.
How to fix it: Balance the estrogen levels by adding green tea, turmeric, ground flax and Chia seeds to your diet. Eat a predominantly whole foods diet and lots of fruits and vegetables. (the best choice are organic foods)
4. Low Testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone secreted in men’s testicles. Low levels of testosterone may affect libido, trigger depression, affect fat distribution, bone density and the creation of red blood cells.
Obese people tend to have lower testosterone and one reason for this is that obesity maintains a state of overall inflammation inside the body, which has been associated to low testosterone.
People lose some testosterone as they age, but low testosterone is also caused by alcohol intake, especially beer. Low testosterone is closely linked to the metabolic syndrome, which is related to obesity (especially belly fat), insulin resistance and a having a pear-shaped body.
How to fix it: The super plant “Tribulus Terrestris” may help raise testosterone levels, as well as zinc supplements and sufficient intake of protein. Protein tells the brain that you are full and satisfied, that’s why 35% of your diet should come from protein. It will accelerate your weight loss, improve your appetite control and balance your hormones.
If you are serious about losing weight, then you’ll need to make some changes in your lifestyle. You need re-balance your hormones and belly fat loss through diet.This means:
- Eating / snacking every 3 hours at the same time every day
- Never eating 3 hours before going to bed
- Increasing your protein intake to 35%
- Eating more foods that burn belly fat
Balancing your hormones can be life changing and the benefits can reach far beyond getting a slim waistline. You will get more energy, clear thinking, good sleep and emotional well-being.
Additionally, check out this quick video about hormones and belly fat and also go ahead and read The Hormone Diet: A 3-Step Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Strength, and Live Younger Longer
This book explains how hormones affect our weight and the ways in which body fat is either stored or burned into energy.