Out of the endless reasons I started the Keep Your Glow blog, this is in the top 3 (right behind “I LOVE a strong women’s community” and “I’m getting older and I want to ‘Keep My Glow’ too). This maybe the one topic that binds women together the most, and gets the sympathy vote. Every month since those adolescence years we are reminded that we are at the mercy of our hormones. Our willpower goes out the door and next thing we know we have a chocolate shake in one hand and a super burrito in the other. We try to head it off with goals and determination, but really, who are we kidding? Hormones usually win.
“How depressing, that can’t be the end of the story,” you say? It isn’t. Turns out, you can get control of your hormones and lose those stubborn pounds too. “How?”, you ask? Knowledge. By knowing about the hormones that put a damper on your weight loss success you can create a plan of attack. Here are some suggestions:
Known as the “stress” hormone that is secreted in response to adrenaline activation in your body, those “fight-or-flight” moments. So during long periods of stress, your body conti
nues to release Cortisol and this stimulates your urge to eat high-fat and sugary foods. If that’s not enough, Cortisol causes your body to increase calorie storage to your fat cells around your abdomen. Hello muffin top!
How can you battle the mid-section bulge: Stress management is key. Counteract negative feelings with exercise inducing endorphins, plus consider meditation and yoga, which have proven to be successful tools in Cortisol control. Try this video.
It’s one of the “well-known” hormones, but it can pack a big weight-gain punch. The primary job of Ghrelin is to stimulate your appetite to remind you to eat regularly. I know that sounds funny, because really, who forgets to eat?! Well our body is a sophisticated machine and it’s ready for all scenarios, including getting so busy that you forget to reenergize. As we are all undoubtedly aware, many, if not most of us eat far too often which has lead to our overweight/obesity epidemic in the U.S. Turns out, this hormone may play a bigger role in our weight gain than we thought.
How you can slow down appetite stimulation: Incorporating a, as I call it, “protein-strong” diet will help you feel fuller, longer. I don’t describe this eating plan as “high-protein” because that would assume it’s a higher percentage of protein calories than carbohydrates or fat. Rather, “protein-strong” is just a term I use that means to focus on getting 25-35% of your daily calories from protein to feel satiated.
Leptin is known as the “I’m full” hormone. I know, how can we get that in a pill form?! Its job is to communicate to your body that we no longer need calories and to stop consumption. However, as our diets have become higher and higher in sugary foods and drinks, our Leptin levels have decreased, causing us to not know when we’ve fulfilled our body’s caloric needs. In response, we overeat and gain weight.
How you can feel full before you’re too full: Cut the sugar. It’s not easy to cut sugar in your diet when it’s been a steady fuel source for years. Our bodies have a strong dependency on the sweet stuff, however trying to keep your sugar intake to the recommended allowance of 50g per day will help to get your Leptin levels where they should be. Start with cutting out all high fructose corn syrup, then decrease the amount of sugary drinks you consume, lastly keep your fruit intake in the suggested 2 cups per day to maintain the proper levels of Leptin.
Use these 3 tips as part of your plan to take back control of your body because we all get it, this physique, at times, has become unrecognizable and we usually chalk it up to those big, bad hormones that are running rampant. However, when you know better, you do better. And so we will…together.