Do you feel your hormones are controlling your weight?

If you feel stuck in your weight, this article is for you. 9 main hormones are controlling your weight. I'm not going to go all sciency on you, but you should know that these hormones can make you feel weird during peri-menopause. Either help you gain or lose weight. Research shows that hormones can influence your appetite and weight. So, I'm going to explain simple natural fixes you can do to control your hormones and lose weight.

A lot of women feel depressed and go around their daily life with low self-esteem because they can't control gaining weight. Even when they think they're doing the right thing, the weight keeps coming. This weight gain affects their mood- because they're always feeling anxious and stressed about it- and end up being easily triggered by the people closest to them. Their attitude ends up affecting their relationship with family, partners and work colleagues.

At some point, they might even throw the towel and give up. Start telling themselves "I actually don't care, it's part of ageing." The truth is that when they tell themselves lies, they end up feeling worse because they are debating between two feelings inside of them. Women are really good at hiding their feelings. This suppressing ain't right. Once they realize the real emotion, they will be able to take action, lose the weight and feel A-mazing.

It sounds impossible. Right? How can you be able to lose 5, 10 kgs of weight, boost your confidence, improve your relationships and just be plain happy? Really happy?

There is an approach you can take. A different one from just waiting for something to happen. What if I told you that it isn't your fault. Your hormones are responsible for this. Specifically, these hormones:

Insulin: is the primary fat storage hormone n the body.

Leptin: produced in your fat cells, is responsible for reducing your appetite and make you feel full.

Ghrelin: known as the hunger hormone. It's responsible for telling your brain to eat when your stomach is empty.

Cortisol: the stress hormone. It's released when your body is under stress. But when it's both too high or too low, you will tend to overeat and gain weight.

Estrogen: female sex hormone. As with cortisol, both very high or low levels can make you gain weight. During menopause, estrogen levels drop the site of the fat storage shifts from the hips to the belly.

GLP1 glucagon-like peptide: can decrease appetite and increase weight loss.

CCK (Cholecystokinin): reduces appetite and is produced when you eat protein

PPY (Peptide YY): higher levels may reduce appetite.

Thyroid hormones: are the main metabolic hormone in the body. T4 is inactive and must be converted into T3 in order to affect your metabolism. High levels if cortisol can inhibit the conversion.

 

All of these might affect weight, and yes, they have to do with your nutrition and lifestyle. The truth is that, after 40, we HAVE to look at what we eat, how much and the type of exercise we do.

 

So, how can you fix this, without taking medication? Well, if you have talked to your doctor and you have no medical condition, here are some things you can do that will get you seeing changes:

* Reduce your carbohydrate intake - helps to reduce insulin levels and aids to regulate CCK, PPY.

* Eat plenty of protein and of prebiotic soluble fibre.

* Avoid high amounts of processed sugar (fructose and sucrose) promotes insulin resistance, as well as refined carbs, high fructose syrup, sugar-sweetened drinks, and fast food - these aids to regulate insulin, leptin, Ghrelin, GLP_1

* Include plenty of healthy fats to regulate insulin, leptin, cortisol & CCK.

* Exercise regularly (brisk walk, jog and some resistance training) this helps to control most of the hormones, especially insulin, cortisol, estrogen and thyroid. Combining high intensity exercises with reisistance and cardio exercises improves your hormones and hence help you to lose weight.

* Eat enough magnesium.

* Drink green tea

* Eat more anti-inflammatory foods that will help to maintain healthy levels of leptin (helping you to keep your ideal weight once you lose it)

* Get enough sleep - these will help lower cortisol levels take special and assist the thyroid hormones.

* Supplements to lower your insulin levels.

* Practice meditation, listen to music to relax and lower your cortisol levels.

* Add flaxseeds to your diet.

* Avoid fasting for extended periods (24+h) because this can have an opposite effect in women by triggering hunger, especially for carbs.

 

In conclusion, hormones work together to increase or decrease your weight. The good thing is that your diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on the effects these hormones have on your weight.

 

If you found this helpful but feel the need to get some help in your weight loss journey, reach out to me and I'll be glad to help you feel and look A-mazing.

 

Workout Nutrition: When is the best time to eat carbohydrates?

Your workout nutrition can be classified into three categories: Pre-workout (what you eat before a workout), Intra-workout (what you eat during) and Post-workout (what you eat 2-3 hours after) nutrition. On the health and fitness world, there is a lot of talk about what you should have as a pre & post-workout meal.

Evidence-based research suggests that the quantities and degree of adherence to a specific nutritional program will depend on your level and intensity of exercise. Ask yourself how intense will your session be? How long will it take? A 3-hour session will require more nutrients than a 45minute session. How frequently do you train? Do you train 3,4,5 or 6 times per week? What are your goals? Change in body composition, weight loss, increase body mass or be healthier overall. What is your body type? Are you long and lean and can tolerate carbs easily but find it hard to build muscle; do you have a high tendency to store body fat and a low carbohydrate tolerance or are you muscular and athletic?    How well do you tolerate carbs?

All of these questions will determine how many carbohydrates you should eat.

In addition, when you train or exercise you are going over the process of muscle breakdown. This breakdown of muscle uses your glucose storage in your blood and later, if needed, from your muscles, as energy. How you feel during a training session will depend on your glucose levels: low blood sugar means you fatigue faster and will feel “low” on energy. Constant blood sugar will translate into feeling mentally “sharp” and “tough” and with enough energy. After your workout, your body begins the process of repairing the damaged muscle. So, an important goal when training is to avoid a drop in blood sugar.

Also, stress and adrenaline will deplete your sugar stores, and the stored glucose in your muscles ( glycogen stores) will deplete too. Our body can use the stored fuel if the tank is empty, but eventually, it will need to be filled up again.

So, ideally, we replenish our glycogen storage with carbohydrates after and during a session. Not every session will require you to restock while you train because it will depend on the intensity and length. Usually having enough water is sufficient. If your training session is longer than 1,5 hours and your goal is to lose weight, it’s recommended that you take some BCAA’s (BCAAs stand for branched chain amino acids) with your water. Thus, definitely focus on restoring your carbs after a workout.

Maintaining a healthy diet is, obviously, important for your weight but it will definitely affect your performance before, during and after a training session and thus it’ll affect how your whole day develops. When your food choices are wise then you will feel energised, keen to confront anything life throws at you  (absolutely crushing a tough workout). The number of carbs and protein play a key role in your performance and results.

Going back to the initial question: when is the best time to eat carbohydrate? The body handles carbs better when you’ve exercised. A post workout meal high in carbohydrates is ideal.

A rule to follow is this: A MEAL MUST INCLUDE CARBS ONLY  IF YOU DESERVE THEM. If you’ve trained, you deserve your carbs. If you’ve trained even harder, then you deserve even more. However, if you haven’t exercise then you should have a low carb meal.

If you are training for regular health, keep a healthy balanced diet and consistent nutrition by including carbohydrates in MOST meals (follow the “must include carbs only if I deserve them” protocol) and protein and veggies in every meal.

On your regular day-to-day meals, go for higher-fibre, slow digesting carbohydrates: Starchy tubers, whole grains, fruit, high fibre version of pasta, bread… Some great ideas for post-workout meals are the ones that include carbs and protein. A good shake, some eggs with veggies, oatmeal are good sources of carbs with a good dose of protein. Remember, a post-workout meal should include, at least, 26% carbs or higher, protein, fibre and healthy fats.

Generally, if you’re looking to lose weight you have to implement another rule: avoid carbohydrates before going to bed. This will be the worst time to have them.  As your body is a very smart machine, it will not throw away a source of energy. It will definitely store them. If all your glucose storage is full, then it will store it as fat.

TIPS to make a delicious Post workout meal:

  • Add protein powder to your morning oatmeal

  • Keep a good mix of veggies and fruits at hand

  • Toss away any refined carbs you have at home and replace them with a high fibre, whole wheat version. If you are gluten intolerant, look for a good source of gluten free option

  • Turnip and sweet potatoes are great post workouts choice. Toss them in with some turkey sausages for a great breakfast alternative

  • Fancy a shake? Make sure you add some peanut or almond butter, protein powder or cottage cheese, oats, flaxseed frozen berries, and veggies to turn it into a SUPER shake

  • Chickpeas are also a great carb alternative to have at hand for a post workout meal, cook them ahead of time and have them in a curry or as little pancakes.

If you find this all sounds overwhelming, it’s always a good idea to reach out to a certified nutrition coach or personal trainer who can help guide you to reach your goals more effectively. The future of fitness and nutrition is through online coaching. More and more people have less time to go to a gym or workout and need their time to be more efficient but still need someone to help them. At the end of the day, responsibility, discipline and consistency are what will get you results and a good coach will hold you accountable for all no matter if in person or through video.

Want to learn more? Contact Sabrina at hello@bodyglowfit.com or book a video call today