As we enter spring, it tends to be a time of renewal, detox and weight-loss! Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a number of new posts all around detoxification and weight-loss so that you can feel your best heading into summer.
Ever feel like your body just can’t handle what it used to, or the weight just doesn’t come off as easily as it used to? You might have thought that it’s just inevitable and something you can’t change; but, I’m here to tell you that’s not completely true. Weight gain and/or slower metabolism is not inevitable, but there are certain factors that are important.
There are various different hormones that play a role in weight. Today, we’ll discuss three main ones.
Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands. If you are under prolonged stress, cortisol can become elevated. Elevated cortisol leads to increased conversion of blood sugar to fat for long term fat storage. This is an ancestral trait in the sense that in a typical ‘stressful’ situation, you might not have known when you’d next get food. Storing fat was then a benefit! But now, most stressful situations do not lead to food scarcity.
The other area that cortisol and stress plays in to weight gain is using food emotionally. This is super common, and I admit I’ve been guilty of this before. One thing I find useful is to think of the ‘after state’ once you’ve had the food. Will it leave you feeling good or bad? Will it have changed anything emotionally 5-10 minutes after you’ve finished that food? Probably not.
Related to aging, your cortisol doesn’t go out of balance overnight. Rather, it’s often months and months or even years of stress that lead to it. Hence, in your teens and 20s, you might not notice major imbalances - unless you have had a particularly traumatic experience or situation, but compound years of not dealing with your stress, and it can catch up with you. When it does, all of a sudden that 10 day diet you put yourself on, doesn’t yield the results it used to.
Let’ s start off here by saying that estrogen is absolutely necessary, but too much estrogen is known as estrogen dominance and can lead to weight gain in the hips, butt & thighs, or moobs (man boobs) in men.
There are a number of factors that cause estrogen levels to rise. Here are some of them:
Your thyroid governs your metabolism. When it goes wonky - particularly in to the hypothyroid zone, your basal metabolic rate slows, meaning you just don’t metabolic what you should.
Here’s the thing with your thyroid - there are a number of different factors that influence it - specific nutrient deficiencies like selenium, iron, zinc and vitamin D. Cortisol levels also influence it, as do heavy metal toxicity.
Last, but certainly not least, is your liver. I like to think of your liver as a barrel. You can put things in an empty barrel and have no problem. But over time, the barrel gets more and more full. Eventually, the barrel is overflowing and it doesn’t work the same way to keep adding things in. The same goes with your liver. Over time, too much processed food, alcohol, sugar and some medications without enough of the nutrients to support your liver, can cause it to become sluggish.
Similar to your hormones, this happens slowly over time so you don’t notice it immediately. But, if your liver is overworked and sluggish, you won’t be detoxifying the way you used to, causing you to hold on to weight.