In addition to a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, hormones might play a certain role in gaining weight. If you’ve been on one of the popular protein diets (meaning you eat only meat and have forgotten what carbs look like) for over a month now but your weight hasn’t changed, estrogen is probably to blame. In order to balance an excess of estrogen in your body, it’s recommended to minimize the consumption of products rich in protein.
365 Women Info has a complete file on hormones that might become one of the obstacles on your way to the body of your dreams.
1. Eat less meat to get rid of excess estrogen.
High levels of estrogen make you gain weight, even if you stick to a healthy diet. This excess weight is mainly stored on the hips and your menstrual cycle becomes irregular. You may even have headaches or become overly emotional. Excessive estrogen might also be the reason for hair loss, memory loss, and irregular sleep.
The buildup of estrogen can be caused by eating meat that contains growth hormones. Substances similar to estrogen are also used in some plastics and household chemicals. To clear your body of the excess estrogen, eat less meat and try to replace it with vegetables. High-fiber foods will bind with estrogen and eliminate it from your body. Flaxseed, oats, apples, and pears can reduce its negative impact on the body, while Rosemary essential oil helps to restore the hormonal balance and improve your memory.
2. Eat foods rich in serotonin.
A serious lack of serotonin can often result in depression and a bad mood. Additionally, people with low serotonin levels often change their eating habits. If you feel like eating a whole chocolate cake all by yourself or you dream of chowing down on french fries at night, this is your body signaling to you that you have a deficiency of the happiness hormone.
The natural sources of serotonin are eggs, nuts, and pineapples. Pineapples also contain bromelain; a fermented substance that prevents swelling. Light physical exercise and spending more time outside can also increase the levels of serotonin in your body.
3. Add more veggies to your diet to control the level of ghrelin.
Ghrelin is a hormone that determines if you’re hungry or not. It’s very stubborn — even after a year on a low-calorie diet, your level of ghrelin can still be high (your body will try to store the fat tissue just in case). Ghrelin can help you lose weight easily but it also makes it really difficult to keep any on. However, it’s easy to outsmart it.
You just need to eat foods that stretch out your stomach like vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. After you’ve eaten them, the hormonal reaction will start and you’ll feel full. Cut down on sugar and processed foods: they’re high in calories but they keep the level of ghrelin unchanged. Soon after eating a cinnamon bun you’ll become hungry again.
Sleep and little stress are the best ways to keep the level of ghrelin at bay. After 6-8 hours of sleep, the concentration of the hormone in the blood drops. But be careful — don’t get carried away with lowering the level of ghrelin, it’s an important hormone. It’s crucial for studying and the development of intellectual abilities.
4. Exclude sugar and spices from your diet to keep neuropeptide Y in balance.
If the level of neuropeptide Y is high in your blood, you’ll end up having a ravenous appetite. This hormone won’t only lead to weight gain, but rather, to real clinical obesity. The excess neuropeptide Y causes the fat tissue to be stored in the lower back, hips, and buttocks.
The quick weight gain causes stretch marks to appear. Your whole body undergoes a real emotional storm consisting of anxiety, irritability, and headaches. You might also experience excessive sweating, pigment spots may appear, and your blood pressure will rise. Exclude from your diet all foods with high amounts of sugar in them. Spices and flavoring agents should be banned as well since they often make you hungry.
5. Visit your doctor if you suspect that your prolactin level is high.
A high level of prolactin can also lead to fast weight gain. Women may notice hair growth all over their body, a small mustache will likely start to grow, and their menstrual cycle will change. The excess prolactin leads to the growth of mammary glands in men. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s necessary to talk to a doctor because high levels of prolactin may indicate a hypophysis tumor (prolactinoma).
Obviously, just like any hormonal imbalance, a high level of prolactin should be treated by doctors. But there are foods that can also help you to lower its levels. Pay attention to ginseng and ginkgo biloba, they might help treat your prolactin imbalance.
6. Take longer breaks between meals to increase the levels of glucagon.
Glucagon lowers your appetite and promotes fat digestion. The level of this hormone lowers after a stressful situation — that’s how certain people begin stress eating. However, a deficiency in glucagon might also indicate that there are problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.
To increase levels of glucagon, it’s essential to normalize your eating habits. If you take long breaks between meals (without starving), the hormone will digest
7. Add some healthy stress to your life to fight an adrenaline deficiency.
Adrenaline (epinephrine) boosts metabolic processes and burns fat. Epinephrine is all about the brightest emotions that you feel in certain (sometimes extreme) situations. If you haven’t felt that rush in your life for a long time now, maybe it’s time for a change — or to lose weight as well. You should remember that adrenaline won’t change anything in your body unless you change your eating habits.
However, if you cut down on carbs (like white bread, corn, and rice), then adrenaline, along with somatotropin, will start fighting your fat. Things that can boost an adrenaline rush are computer games, horror films, thrill rides, and even public speaking. Add a healthy diet to that and you’ll have the whole package and be well on your way to your dream body.
8. Eat foods with phytoestrogen to get rid of excessive testosterone.
Testosterone is considered to be a male hormone, but it plays an important role in the female body as well. An excess amount of testosterone leads to an increase in body weight and fat tissue is stored in the upper parts of the body (arms, chest, and neck).
You can lower levels of testosterone naturally. You’ll just need the help of phytoestrogen which you can find in soy, coffee, and whole-grain products. Refined sugar should be replaced with dates, sweet apples, and apricots.
9. Walk more and eat pistachios to fight the absence of adiponectin.
Excess weight often means that you’re lacking in adiponectin, especially if your fat is mainly stored in the midsection. If you were diagnosed with type II diabetes, it’s likely that the level of adiponectin in your body is too low. Experts believe that at some point it will be necessary to fight excess weight and other metabolic problems with adiponectin injections. They’ll help you lose weight without interfering with your appetite.
Don’t neglect physical exercise. The best exercise that helps boost adiponectin is walking. It’s recommended to walk at least 8,000 steps every day. There’s also an amazing product that regulates the level of the hormone in your blood: pistachio nuts. If you replace carbs in your diet with monounsaturated fats (like avocados, olives, and olive oil), the fat will disappear even faster.
10. Keep your thyroid gland healthy in order to stay in good shape.
Thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism. An inactive or over-active thyroid gland can make your basic metabolic rate too low or too high. As a result, problems with the thyroid gland and the imbalance of its hormones can lead to weight gain. If you suspect that your thyroid gland may not be working properly, you’d better schedule a visit to your doctor.
However, there are some natural ways to support your thyroid gland. Brazil nuts and leafy greens, for example, are rich in microelements and minerals that can be helpful for your thyroid gland. But be careful: there are certain products you should and shouldn’t eat depending on the exact condition of your thyroid gland.
All the information presented in this article is for informative purposes only. All pieces of advice should be considered supplementary. If you think you have any problems with hormones, consult with your doctor. Only a professional can give you the right diagnosis.