When we think of weight loss we seldom think of hormones. Turns out the two are definitely linked or as I've recently learned the two should be holding hands and breaking out into a verse of Kumbaya. That's how closely linked hormones and weight loss really are.
After watching one of Angela's Live Facebook events in her group Lighten Up! it became obvious that I need to adjust my mindset, learn to deal with stressors, and always walk with protein snacks. Confused? Keep reading, Angela will explain the "Hunger Hormones", and the hated but needed (insert creepy piano music here) Cortisol.
Message from Angela ........
HORMONES! One of my favourite topics. We're always talking diet and weight loss but we tend to miss the underlining aspect of hormones and the role they play in our bodies. If you have a hormone imbalance this can manifest in your weight loss and strength gain. We do have direct control over maintaining a balanced level for certain hormones. We're going to dive into three specific ones and how they can affect your weight loss efforts.
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite
Ghrelin or the "G" hormone
This hormone is produced in an empty stomach. if you skip a meal it will alert you to eat, eat, eat. That feeling of starvation and you eat everything in sight that is a sign your G hormone is activated. Your hormones are telling your body you need to eat. Tip: Always have a protein snack with you. By ingesting a protein snack in between or after a workout will give you that extra time needed before you eat. It will satisfy that hunger so you can sit and eat your meal without the "inhaling of the entire meal in one gulp". You know that feeling when you can't eat fast enough and you forget to chew your food ...... we've all been there. Protein Snack options listed below.
the “starvation hormone.”
This hormone is what I would call your best friend hormone for when you want to lose weight or fat. Leptin is an appetite suppressor hormone. Studies show that when eating foods with healthy fats it increases the levels of leptin, which will increase your bodies natural appetite suppressant. This is why I'm a huge fan of fish oil. Take one tablespoon in the morning for overall good health. If my goal is to lose fat, I'll add a tablespoon in the evening as well. I do this to keep my levels of essential fatty acids and EPA's (eicosapentaenoic acid) long-chain omega-3 fatty acids which will keep my Leptin up. Let's dive into that natural helper within our bodies by eating healthy fats. If you're cutting carbohydrates, this is especially important. If you are on a diet with reduced carbohydrate intake, moderate protein and vegetables you really need those healthy fats to complete the meal. Try adding avocado, olive oil, or coconut oil, to help you use your bodies natural appetite suppressant. Another interesting point is lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation hinders the leptin production within our bodies. Less sleep decreases our leptin levels and appetite increases. So whenever I'm doing a focused effort on losing fat I understand and emphasize getting to bed earlier. Our bodies need 7-9 hours of sleep each day, but do what is comfortable for you. A time that allows you to wake up refreshed. If you're running on empty you are going to counter your fat loss efforts. Understanding and staying on a regular sleep schedule will help you acheive your long term healthy lifestyle plan and short term fat loss goals.
Tip: Focus on sleep for success, and get your healthy fats in. You can get a fish oil supplement from any natural health food store, drug store or an online approved dispensary. Pretty much every supplement store now sells fish oils. My favourite brand is Nutrasea (not sponsored)
Last but not least......
known for its involvement in the “fight-or-flight” response
The "Stress Hormone" this hormone is directly linked to stress. Increase in stress triggers an increase in cortisol which increases your belly fat. Stress in our bodies can be triggered by a number of things. Excitement, anxiety, lack of sleep, overactive thoughts, weight loss goals, etc. I often find women put an enormous amount of stress on themselves when it comes to weight loss. This negative thought can actually hinder your weight loss efforts. Negative thoughts will trigger stress, which increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol will help your body rise to the challenge when tensions are heightened however this will also increase the spare tire, add to the belly fat. It also increases our attraction to sweet and/or slaty food. This is a result of high cortisol levels. Look into your life and check in with your mind set. Reduce the stressors in your life. Thinking and having a positive mindset, reducing our mind resistances, unblocking the negative thought around your weight loss.
Tip: Practice a few mindset techniques. Try and reduce your thought resistances. Meaning, we all have mental blocks when it comes to the positive thoughts about ourselves. Try and focus on gratitude, positive thought when thinking about your body, life, health. Positive thoughts will increase your vibration, increase your energy, and will help in reducing your feelings of anxiety and stress. Lowering your cortisol levels indirectly. I encourage you all to start thinking outside the box when it comes to your fat loss efforts and what can you do. We all tend to fall into the same pattern of eating a certain way, same excessive routine and expect the same results. We ALL do it, its human nature. it's also a first step to acknowledging that maybe we should try adding in the positive mindset.
Sometimes what we many need is what I would call a Rest of Hormones in order to see continued efforts. If you would like to reach out to me I can explain what I mean by a rest. If you are over exercising, cutting calories, under dieting reach out and I can give you tips. It's exciting to think you can rest more and lose weight.