hormones and weight loss
When it comes to losing weight, it’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all formula that works for everyone. It’s quite complex. To give you an idea of how complex it is, below are ten different factors that determine weight and fat burning:
- Biorhythm: living in sync with nature, a 24-hour sleep/wake cycle.
- Insulin: blood sugar-lowering hormone.
- Cortisol: activation hormone/survival hormone.
- Estrogen dominance: imbalance in sex hormones.
- Thyroid hormone: your metabolism for glucose and fat.
- Leptin: satiety hormone.
- Melatonin: sleep hormone.
- Mindset: emotions, thoughts, and self-image.
- Sedentary lifestyle: testosterone and growth hormone/anti-aging hormone (hormones).
As you can see, hormones play a crucial role in determining your weight and fat burning. If one hormone is imbalanced, it can make it difficult to lose or maintain weight.
Here are nine tips to ‘hormone-proof’ your weight loss
- Maintain a stable blood sugar level, as it is essential for weight loss and balancing hormones. Avoid blood sugar spikes, as they are detrimental to your hormone balance and overall health. Consuming energy from proteins, especially in combination with healthy fats, keeps blood sugar stable and helps you enter fat-burning mode.
- Start your day with a stable blood sugar level by choosing a healthy and easy breakfast that is rich in protein and healthy fats. Fats are necessary for burning fat. Avoid foods like bread, muesli, sugary granola, breakfast cereals, and crackers in the morning.
- Opt for nutritious foods, and reduce or eliminate sugars, unhealthy fats, and excessive salt. Instead, choose unprocessed, fresh, healthy fats, proteins, and fibers. Replace unhealthy products with healthier alternatives.
- Eat enough. Restrictive diets and inadequate calorie intake can have a counterproductive effect. Your body needs nourishment and must trust that it is receiving enough energy to be burned. Crash diets lead to your body holding on to everything, slowing down your metabolism, which is not beneficial. This is the well-known yo-yo effect.
- Drink enough water, at least 2 liters per day.
- Exercise as much as possible: at least 3 times a week with intensive training and throughout the day, try to walk and bike as much as possible. All forms of movement contribute to the weight loss process. Intensive training, especially strength training, boosts testosterone and growth hormone levels, leading to faster fat burning. Try exercising in a fasted state in the morning to burn fat more effectively. Endurance sports can help with weight loss, but they may also create more stress in the body, which is not conducive to the process.
- Ensure you get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep promotes the weight loss process. Poor or insufficient sleep affects your metabolism and increases the likelihood of choosing calorie-rich foods. Adequate sleep also supports the production of growth hormone, which is essential for fat burning.
- Avoid stress and engage in relaxing activities. Stress increases cortisol levels, signaling to your body that it needs to “survive.” Whether the stress is acute or chronic, the response is the same. Other hormones become less important, and cortisol leads to increased blood sugar to provide more energy for fighting or fleeing in stressful situations. However, in our sedentary lives, we don’t utilize this energy, and it leads to fat storage. Stress is a major cause of overweight.
- Stimulate the production of brown adipose tissue (brown fat) through exposure to cold. Brown fat can switch into fat-burning mode, converting fat into heat. As you age, you accumulate more white adipose tissue (white fat), which mainly stores fat. Examples of cold stimuli include taking cold showers, swimming in cold water during winter, or using a cold plunge pool in a sauna.
Nutritional advice for ‘hormone-proof’ weight loss
- Choose a low-carb approach, reducing energy intake from carbohydrates. You can still opt for complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, legumes, tubers, buckwheat, and gluten-free products without added sugars. Also read the tool Low Carb.
- Consume enough protein: 1 gram per kilogram of body weight per day. Also read the tool Plantbased proteins.
- Eat a maximum of three meals per day.
- Practice intermittent fasting for 12-14 hours, such as eating only between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Also read the tool Intermittent fasting.
- Aim to consume 500 grams of vegetables per day.
- Choose organic and unprocessed foods whenever possible.
- Incorporate the right fats into your diet.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol.
By following these tips, you can create a healthier balance of hormones and support your weight loss journey.