We here this all the time, "I am following a restricted diet and exercising 4-5 days per week, but I still can't lose weight."
We specialize in finding out what hormomes are negatively affecting your ability to lose weight. Sometimes your body can throw you a curve ball. That is where we come in..let us help you get a strike.
In the world of hormones, several hormones can throw you a curve ball with your weight loss efforts.
Cortisol is released during stressful events. Chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain. Studies have also shown that women release more cortisol during stress, resulting in higher abdominal fat. Stressful events include; excessive exercise (cardio too long or too often), calorie restricted diet (don't let your calories drop below your basal metabolic rate), interrupted sleep or too little sleep, relationship or financial strain are some examples. To manage your cortisol levels; make sure you are getting 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep/night, setting limits to the length of your workouts and making sure to take rest days. You can also calculate your basal metabolic rate based on your age, sex, weight to identify what your MINIMUM calories should be per day.
When it comes to estrogen most people only associate it with women, but men also produce and require estrogen to maintain good health. Estrogen plays multiple roles in the body. With regards to weight and fat storage, it's important to understand that estrogen triggers fat storage starting at puberty to maintain fertility and the reproductive system. An imbalance in estrogen can result in the body producing more fat or shifting fat from the hips to the abdominal area. Excessively high or excessively low estrogen levels trigger fat storage. We see excessively low estrogen levels in post-menopausal women or men taking estrogen blockers. It is also important to know that increased abdominal fat places you at risk for insulin resistance.
Insulin plays a key role in metabolism, energy and fat storage. This hormone is released throughout the day for energy and following meal consumption to help convert carbohydrates to energy. Excessive insulin in the bloodstream will create your body to have "excess energy" and store that energy for later. To minimize excess insulin in the bloodstream, avoid blood sugar spikes by eating meals with protein, fat and carbohydrates. Also minimize sugar/carbohydrate consumption per meal to prevent your body from storing the excess energy for a later need.
Low testosterone levels, in itself, doesn't lead to weight gain. However, low testoterone levels are associated with changes in the body that affect your ability to lose weight. The first change is the production of aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme produced in the body that converts testosterone in the bloodstream to estradiol (the most abundant estrogen hormone). An obese person produces more of this enzyme which converts circulating testosterone into estrogen. We mentioned above about having excess estrogen- WEIGHT GAIN. This creates a vicous cycle. The more aromatase enzyme you have circulating will result in more abdominal fat, further lowering your testosterone levels. Low levels of testosterone are also associated with higher inflammation markers, which also make weigth loss difficult. High inflammation markers put you at greater risk for heart disease, cancer and many other health conditions. Low testosterone levels are also associatd with decreased mood, energy and stamina, so the desire to exercise is not there.
Contact our office to discuss if any of these hormone imbalance is causing your weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Our treatment plans are not cookie cutter and are based on each person's individual needs.