Not losing weight? Three hormones that block weight loss

Are you do everything “right,” but still can’t lose weight? Stop beating yourself up — our resident women’s health guru Dr Sara Gottfried explains that it may be your hormones.

If I could have a dollar for every women that’s walked into my office lamenting, “I follow all the rules, but I still can’t lose weight!” I would be rich. So many women complain to me: “There’s nothing I can do — it’s genetic, I’m just getting old and my metabolism is slow.” Or : “I’ve tried everything — maybe what works for others doesn’t work for me and I need to accept myself as fat?”

I’m going to let you in on the same secret I tell my patients: The reason you’re weight loss resistant is that your hormones are out of whack.

When it comes to women and weight, there are seven hormones that make losing weight very challenging, if not impossible, when they are out of balance. Here are the top three hormones that are the most likely culprits when it comes to your difficulty with weight loss, and how you can begin to reset them.

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Fat Storage Hormone #1: Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen is the female hormone that gives women breasts and hips, and keeps joints lubricated. Men have it too, but at far lower levels. But both men and women are at risk of estrogen overload, which is having too much estrogen in the body — even in menopause.

Here’s one action you can take today to lower your estrogen levels and help you lose weight: Eat a pound of vegetables per day. The fiber from the vegetables will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in your body like bad karma. Aim for 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day for women, and 40 to 50 grams per day for men, but slowly increase in 5 gram increments each day to get to the goal without gas or bloating.

Fat Storage Hormone #2: Insulin Resistance

When you’re overweight or skinny fat (normal weight but you have too much fat mass), insulin becomes imbalanced and your cells become numb to the hormone. As a result, you experience blood sugar highs and lows, and you store fat because your glucose regulator is broken. Insulin isn’t working. Your hormone and weight loss are off track.

There are many ways to reset your insulin, but a personal favorite is to drink filtered water with apple cider vinegar. A recent study found that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before a high carb meal significantly reduces blood glucose levels in people with insulin resistance. In fact, apple cider vinegar might work as well as prescription drugs at fixing your blood sugar regulation. Of course, there are many ways to reset insulin – you probably know already to give up sugar and artificial sweeteners. Keep in mind that if your metabolism is broken, your hormones are misfiring, and insulin is the most likely to be a problem. So sip up, starting today.

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Fat Storage Hormone #3: Cortisol Overwhelm

You make cortisol in response to stress, but most of us run around stressed all the time. All those stress hormones wreak havoc over time, and make you store fat — especially in your belly. High cortisol is also linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings, so that you overeat the wrong foods like cookies and processed foods. What’s the net result? You get fat.

To reset your cortisol, you need to hit the pause button on your caffeine intake. Slowly wean off of caffeine over three days, and notice how your sleep and stress levels improve! There’s many more targeted suggestions in my new book, but kick the caffeine first.

My mission is to help people who struggle with weight issues from hormone imbalance. Understanding that permanent weight loss occurs as a result of hormone balance has helped so many of my patients and online community finally get their weight under control and break through weight loss resistance. When you follow the right program, guided by a trusted mentor and armed with the best knowledge, it’s possible to lose the weight that’s burdened you for so long — and keep it off forever.


This article was originally published on Dr Sara Gottfried’s site, Dr Sara Gottfried MD. Follow the link for references.