Naturopath & Holistic Doctor San Diego Dr. Gaila Mackenzie-Strawn MS,DC, CTN In 1979, I made a life changing decision. Having suffering with painful abdominal pain since the age of two,Read more
For years, I’ve watched close family members and patients go on diets, exercise and still not be able to lose or keep the weight off. Does this sound familiar? Because my passion in life is to help others, I decided to find out why so many people constantly struggle with their weight. I would like to share with you what I discovered.
I found that lifestyle choices can lead to an imbalance in hormones, and this imbalance in hormones can lead to weight gain or make it difficult to maintain a desired weight, even if you are following a healthy diet and exercising. So let’s look at what hormones affect your weight, and what you can do to balance these hormones and permanently lose weight and/or maintain your ideal weight.
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases your appetite, decreases your satiety and increases the amount of fat you store. It also stimulates the reward center in your brain for unhealthy foods such as sugary and fatty foods. When you have high levels of ghrelin, it is extremely difficult to lose weight or maintain a desired weight. Thinking that you can eat sugary, fatty, processed and refined foods and continue to maintain your ideal weight is a lie! Research has shown that you can suppress ghrelin production by eating natural, wholesome foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, eggs, turkey and lamb.
Studies have also shown that sleep deprivation will lead to an increase in ghrelin levels, appetite and hunger and that the supplement, 5-HTP, will help promote sleep and decrease sugar cravings.
Leptin is a hormone that suppresses your appetite and let’s your brain know when you have stored enough fat in your body. When you gain weight, the leptin in your body stops working properly, and you become resistant to the signals that leptin sends. This resistance leads to additional weight gain and makes weight loss nearly impossible. Research has shown that the best way to increase levels of this natural appetite suppressant is to eat anti inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, cold water fish, nuts, beans and seeds.
Another hormone that interferes with your ability to lose fat or maintain a desired weight is cortisol. Eating processed refined foods and unhealthy fats increases inflammation in your body. Your body responds to this inflammation by producing cortisol. An increase in cortisol slows your metabolism, increases your belly fat and causes you to retain fluid. Studies have shown that the herb, Siberian Rhodiola reduces anxiety and stress and naturally lowers your cortisol levels.
Recent studies have shown that the hormone Adiponectin curbs your appetite and tells your body to burn fat for fuel. Supplementing with EPA/DHA omega 3 fish oil, eating cold water fish, increasing fiber intake by eating more vegetables, apples, flax and bran and regular exercise increases this fat burning hormone.
Eating healthy foods and getting adequate rest are essential for losing weight and permanently maintaining your ideal weight.
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