Here's a topic many of you may be all too familiar with– weight loss. You may have tried different diets, exercises, and supplements, but nothing seems to work. You feel frustrated and hopeless. You wonder why you can't seem to shake the fat.
Well, I have some news for you. It may not be your fault. It may be your hormones. Yes, you heard me right. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate many processes in your body, including your metabolism. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and fat. And if your hormones are out of balance, your metabolism can slow down, making it harder for you to lose weight.
So which hormones are we talking about? There are three main ones that affect your metabolism: testosterone, cortisol, and TSH. Let's take a look at each one and see how they can impact your weight loss journey.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that gives you muscle mass, strength, energy, and libido. It also helps you burn fat and maintain a healthy body composition. Testosterone levels tend to decline with age, especially after 40. This can lead to a loss of muscle mass, an increase in body fat, a lower metabolic rate, and a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.
How can you boost your testosterone levels naturally? Here are some tips:
- Lift weights. Resistance training stimulates testosterone production and helps you build muscle mass and strength.
- Eat more protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, and it also boosts testosterone levels.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation lowers testosterone levels and increases cortisol levels, which can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
- Manage stress. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, which can interfere with testosterone production and cause muscle breakdown.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can reduce testosterone levels and impair your liver function, which is responsible for metabolizing hormones.
Cortisol is the stress hormone that helps you cope with emergencies and challenges. It increases your blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen intake. It also suppresses your immune system and digestion. Cortisol is beneficial in small doses, but when it's chronically elevated, it can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Cortisol can cause insulin resistance, which means your cells don't respond well to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.
When you have increased cortisol levels, this can lead to high blood sugar, inflammation, and fat storage.
Here are some natural ways to lower your cortisol levels:
- practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
- Eat a balanced diet: Cut the carbs and avoid those refined sugars wherever possible. These can spike your blood sugar and cortisol levels. Rather, you should try to eat more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
- Look into daily supplements: Vitamin C and magnesium are great at supporting your adrenal glands, which helps lower cortisol levels.
TSH is the acronym for the very boringly named thyroid stimulating hormone (I guess they ran out fancy science names.) it's produced by the pituitary gland in your brain, and it tells your thyroid to do it's job. The hormones produced by your thyroid regulate metabolism, body, temperature, heart rate, and more. They're very important to your overall well-being.
When your thyroid hormones are low, your metabolism slows down, and you can experience weight gain. Conversely, if your thyroid hormone levels are high, you can experience weight loss.
How can you balance your thyroid hormones naturally?
- the first thing to do is get tested. Luckily, we have a solution for that, through our Metabolism Blood Panel.
- eat iodine-rich foods: Seafood, dairy products, and eggs are great sources of iodine.
- Limit your intake of goitrogens: soy and peanuts contain this compound, which interferes with thyroid function, and can actually enlarge it.
- Take supplements: Zinc, copper, and vitamins B12 & D are great for supporting overall thyroid health and metabolism.
So, if your having issues with weight loss, and you have tried all the standard approaches, maybe it's time to start looking into alternatives. Luckily for you, our Metabolism Blood Panel can check the levels of all three of these hormones, and give you recommended courses of action.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen.