Hormones impact your metabolism and weight no matter your age, gender or race. Especially those three hormones: leptin, ghrelin and cortisol and two hormone-secreting glands – thyroid and adrenal glands that play major role in weight management.
When you are hungry ghrelin is released telling your body you need food. Until you satisfy your body’s need for nutrients, gherlin level remains high so you feel hunger. Once your start eating and providing necessary food, your body releases leptin to tell your brain you are fine and no longer hungry. Research suggest that people who are overweight have high level of leptin which cause them to be leptin resistant so they are never satisfied and keep on eating. People with a body fat higher than normal and people who do not have adequate sleep are also at risk for leptin resistance.
What can cause leptin resistance:
- poor eating habits
- lack of sleep
- chronic stress
- nutrient deficiency
The other hormone that have a big influence on our weight is cortisol produced by adrenal glands. Cortisol is the hormone that is released when you are stressed. You might experience different types of stress: emotional (evoked by situations), physical (our body physiology: being overweight, having chronic inflammation, lack of sleep, reduced hydration) and chemical (medications, environmental toxins).
Elevated cortisol level can lead to:
- visceral (abdominal) fat
- difficulty sleeping
- weakened muscle and bones
- suppressed immune system
- elevated blood pressure
- reduced thyroid function
Thyroid and adrenal glands are imperative to metabolism so any imbalances to the hormones can lead to metabolic changes. Having reduced thyroid function or adrenal fatigue may cause weight gain, sluggish metabolism, dry skin, low energy levels, poor sleep, joint discomfort and mood changes. Having an imbalance to any of your hormones stresses you body further. So you might be eating healthy and exercising and not seeing any results.
The best approach to improve your metabolism is:
- eat a healthy low-glycemic-impact diet and avoid alcohol for at least 21 days
- exercise, including cardiovascular, strength training and flexibility, yoga is very beneficial as well
- supplement to provide nutrient balance and support