8 Common Hormonal Imbalances Causing You to Gain Weight

Many people ask me, “Why do you focus your work on women?”

I get it, men need help also and the reality is this program and philosophy works for a man, just as well as for a woman. We eat the same foods, live similar lifestyles, and stress about similar things.

The main difference?

Hormones!

I’m literally in love with the endocrine system and women are BOMBARDED with information about weight loss, diets, fitness, celebrities, society’s standards for beauty, and I can imagine it is EXHAUSTING.

I have two daughters now (3 and 1 year old) and it hurts my heart thinking about all of the messages she’s going to be given in the future. I’m going to do my best to prepare her for self-love, acceptance, and awareness.

I work with women because I truly believe YOU are the catalyst for a paradigm shift in the health and diet industry.

Once you WAKE UP and drop the diets, the industry will collapse.

Once you commit to loving yourself, your body, food, and feeling amazing the thousands of lose weight quick programs will vanish.

My hope is you realize the importance of taking complete responsibility for your health and implement all or some of the invaluable information I am sharing with you.

Speaking of hormones…

8 Common Hormonal Imbalances Causing You to Gain Weight

If you have been trying to lose weight by “eating healthy” and exercising your hormones are likely to blame. Being able to recognize and treat hormonal imbalances is vital to your weight loss success.

Blood Sugar Instability

Did you know that your body’s primary and preferred energy (fuel) source is glucose?  You might be asking, when why the blood sugar problems?

Diabetes…Insulin Resistance….High Blood Sugar…Low Blood Sugar…etc…

When you consume sugar or glucose, your body releases insulin from the pancreas. Insulin grabs glucose taking it to your cells where it either stored as fat OR used as fuel.

Several things can cause insulin excess: excessive consumption of carbohydrates, excessive consumption of PUFAs, insufficient protein intake, excess stress, inadequate high quality fat intake, and excessive consumption of packaged foods.

Symptoms of Blood Sugar Instability – Craving sweets, anxiety, weight gain, fatigue, cramps, allergies, high cholesterol

Learn how the 3-Week Metabolism Diet can reverse insulin resistance and keep blood sugar stable

Low Thyroid Function

Your thyroid is your “master gland” and affects every cell in your body, regulating cell metabolism. When your thyroid is low or “sluggish”, it doesn’t produce enough active thyroid hormone (T3).

Literally every part of your body is affected by a sluggish thyroid AKA Hypothyroidism. And since the thyroid regulates the burning of energy (calories) your weight will go up as your thyroid (i.e. metabolic rate) goes down.

Maybe you aren’t “lazy” after all?

Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function – Weight gain, low energy, fatigued, tendency to feel cold, high cholesterol, headaches, low blood pressure, menstrual problems, skin problems, and reduced sexual drive.

Malnutrition

Similar to undereating, malnutrition causes many metabolic insufficiencies, leading to eventual weight gain.

It works like this, the more processed food you eat, the more vitamins you need. That’s because vitamins and minerals lubricate the wheels of our metabolism, helping the chemical reactions in our bodies run properly.

Among those biochemical processes greased by nutrients is the regulation of sugar and burning of fat. The problem is that the standard American diet (SAD) is energy dense (too many calories) but nutrient poor (not enough vitamins and minerals). Too many “empty calories” confuse the metabolism and pack on the pounds.

Why are we so undernourished?

Ultimately food is less nutritious, even “real food.” Throw in “fake” foods like processed foods with flours, HFCS, refined oils, and preservatives and you have a cocktail for under-nourishment and deprivation.

Another reason our food is less nutritious, is our soils are depleted from over-farming and use of pesticides.

We are in challenging times, BUT a commitment to educating oneself about food and how it affects the body, will set you up for a major success!

Symptoms of Malnutrition: mood swings, severe weight loss or gain; digestive, skin, and liver disorders; low-thyroid function (hypothyroidism)

Estrogen Dominance

Excess estrogen and low progesterone is a MAJOR cause of weight gain for women. What often throws the balance off is an excess of estrogen, caused by environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors.

When looking at Estrogen Dominance it appears that the issue lies in the overall ratio of estrogen to progesterone — and this ratio is an individualized one.

One cause of estrogen dominance is overloading the liver. The liver is a filter of sorts. It detoxifies our body, protecting us from the harmful effects of chemicals, elements in food, environmental toxins and even natural products of our metabolism, including excess estrogen.

Anything that impairs liver function or ties up the detoxifying function will result in excess estrogen levels, whether it has a physical basis, as in liver disease, or an external cause, as with exposure to environmental toxins, drugs or dietary substances.

Estrogen dominance can be occur in women by too much alcohol, drugs or environmental toxins, all of which limit the liver’s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen.

Environment is another cause of estrogen dominance since we live and eat in a very estrogenic and aromatizing environment.

Xenoestrogens, such as PCBs, phthalates, pesticides and DDT, cause estrogenic effects. Hormone residues in meats and dairy products also can have estrogenic effects. It is critical to incorporate a pure, clean diet consisting of organic foods whenever possible in an effort to decrease exposure to harmful xenoestrogens.

As you can see, avoiding estrogenic foods and limiting environmental estrogens is a smart idea IF weight loss is important to you.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance: Weight gain, insulin resistance, PMS, Migraines, Menstrual disturbances—irregular and heavy bleeding, Endometriosis, and other hormonal irregularities.

Menopausal Weight Gain

What causes weight gain at and after menopause? Why is it SO much harder to lose weight after menopause?

The first step towards understanding the correlation between food, weight gain, and menopause is that you are much more susceptible to the negative consequences of hormonal imbalances than you EVER were before.

What this means is your concept of “moderation” or “just one more drink” or “only one more donut” has changed and if you don’t alter your behaviors and make difference choices, you will NEVER lose weight.

I don’t mean to sound harsh…my goal is compassionate (brutal) honesty here. Here’s why…

Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) stops. Menopausal women often experience weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. This is often due to irregular estrogen levels, age-related loss of muscle tissue and lifestyle factors such as diet and lack of exercise.

Apart from estrogen levels, progesterone levels drop contributing to excess estrogen, leading to weight gain, loss of muscle tissues, lowered metabolism, lack of exercise, and altered lifestyle.

And now with more “weight loss information” than ever, menopausal women are turning to diets to lose the extra weight.

This, as you now know leads to MORE weight gain, lowered metabolism, loss of muscle tissue, and health complications.

In order to ease into menopause and not gain weight “in” it requires optimal nutrition. If you are already in it or WAY in it and have already gained weight, NOW is the time to reverse the damage from diets.

Two other hormones to be aware of other than estrogen and progesterone.

  • Leptin (the ‘fat hormone’) plays an important role in body weight management, as it contributes to appetite control and metabolic rate. Studies show that leptin levels drop after a crash diet, which increases the appetite and slows metabolism.
  • Menopause is associated with (not to be confused with “causes”) a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is your body’s ability to use carbs for fuel, instead of storing them as fat. So reduced insulin sensitivity means that you’re more likely to stash those carbs on your hips. It’s not clear whether this is caused by aging (it also happens to men as they get older) or by menopause per se or by some combination of both, but in any case, it definitely happens.

Symptoms of Menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, aches and pains, crawling or itching sensations under the skin, forgetfulness, headaches, irritability, weight gain

Learn How The 3-Week Metabolism Diet reverses menopausal weight gain

General Inflammation

I added this one last, because “inflammation” is technically a broad term that covers ALL hormonal imbalances. It is because of INFLAMMATION that imbalances, intolerances, and diseases occur.

Inflammation is by far the number one cause of not only weight gain, but decreasing your ability to lose weight, or what I call your fat-loss potential.

Inflammation causes chemical changes and imbalances that affect your ability to respond to stress, normalize your appetite, eliminate cravings, and increase your energy.

Your first sign of inflammation usually originates in your stomach and intestines, since this is your first level of “defense” from the poor quality foods you put in your body.

Symptoms of Inflammation: Weight gain; hormonal imbalances; blood sugar irregularities; digestive disorders (IBS, Diarrhea, constipation, ulcerative colitis, etc…); skin and/or hair problems; fatigue

Low Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone is naturally produced in the pituitary gland and plays a vital role in cell regeneration, growth and maintaining healthy human tissue, including that of the brain and various vital organs. Once secreted, HGH remains active in the bloodstream for a few minutes, allowing just enough time for the liver to convert it into growth factors, the most crucial being insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which has growth-promoting properties on every cell in the body.

HGH improves your fat metabolism, so when its levels drop, your weight must rise. You make this “fountain of youth” hormone during the deepest stage of sleep. So its not enough to get sleep, you have to get deep sleep, which requires a long, uninterrupted night.

It’s been shown growth hormone accelerates fat-burning (lipolysis).

Symptoms of Low GH: increased fat gain, reduced bone density, insulin resistance, fatigue, depression.

In women, human growth hormone levels start to decline in their early 20s, and signs of HGH deficiency include dry skin, thinning hair, greater belly fat and the development of wrinkles.

Increasing your growth levels leads to increased energy levels, exercise performance, lean muscle mass, hair growth and stronger bones are few of the many benefits of human growth hormone.

Natural ways to boost human growth hormone levels include high-intensity interval training, sleep, liver detox, L-arginine, L-glutamine, and eating sufficient protein.

The Flat Belly System boosts growth hormone and lowers cortisol

Cortisol Dyregulation

Cortisol is the “master” stress hormone and healthy cortisol function allows our bodies to respond to various stressors. Chronically elevated cortisol interferes with the function of other essential hormones, and can result in:

* Insulin Resistance

* Estrogen Dominance

* Hypothyroidism

Not suprisingly, three hormonal imbalances that keep you from burning fat and losing weight.

While cortisol is a vital hormone of the body, optimal levels are required to achieve healthy weight loss.

Symptoms of Cortisol Dysregulation: Obesity, increased body fat, poor quality sleep, bone loss, muscle loss

How To Reverse Hormonal Imbalances To Lose Weight

If you don’t correct your hormonal imbalances, it will be very difficult to lose weight. In fact, anything you any chance you have of  losing weight requires your hormones to act in harmony.

You might be thinking your a lost cause, but I believe everyone can not only reverse hormonal imbalances, but find a way to do it without restricting calories, over-exercising, and being miserable on a diet.

I teach my 3000+ students who have purchased one of my programs that you need to focus on a few KEY metabolic factors to lose belly fat. It’s really not that difficult, or rather it’s as difficult as you choose to make it.

The good news I have the perfect program to correct all 8 hormonal imbalances in one comprehensive program that focused on food and exercise called The 8-Week Metabolic Makeover.

After coaching thousands of women over my 12 year career and interacting with thousands who purchased my programs, I’ve found the hormone-balancing “secret sauce” for your fat loss struggles.

While many culprits contribute to weight-loss resistance, I find addressing these eight hormonal imbalances helps many clients lose stubborn weight. Hormonal balance might require working with a Holistic Nutriitionist, yet for most clients the strategies become the key to ignite weight loss.

The takeaway? You CAN lose stubborn weight. You CAN reverse your hormonal imbalances. You CAN enjoy your life and avoid strict dieting.

It starts with a choice!

Your coach and friend,

Nick

Holistic Nutritionist

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