What You Need to Know About Five Hormones that Impact Weight Loss

The Reality… 
As women, we have probably all been accused at one point or another of being hormonal. Perhaps a little insulting, but actually true.  With that said, all humans are full of hormones, not just women!  If you’re overweight, those hormones are likely not as balanced as they should be.  The bottom line is all bodies have a unique hormonal response to food, drink and lifestyle, and you must have the utmost respect for your hormones and determine, through experimentation, what works best for your body to bring it into hormonal balance.  
How do you know when you’re in hormonal balance?  Your moods stabilize.  You naturally maintain a healthy weight.  Your body sends messages that it’s time to eat only when it is in true need for fuel.  And when you are satiated, your body sends the message that you are full and should stop eating.  While you are working to achieve your ideal body weight, you must appreciate and yield to the power that your hormones have to not only wreak havoc on your weight loss but also make you feel pretty darn uncomfortable in your skin when they aren’t balance.  Hormones also have the power to bring your body back in balance and allow you to achieve a healthy weight for life.  
Below are five hormones that can impact weight loss for women:

  1. Cortisol
  2. Ghrelin
  3. Leptin
  4. Insulin
  5. Estrogen 
The Challenge…
When the five hormones above are out of balance, they can prove a challenge to your weight loss plans.  Further, in some case, going on a diet will impact your hormones and impact your weight loss plans.  Below is a brief description of each hormone.
Cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. High cortisol concentrations increase abdominal fat, the type of fat more closely linked to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Ghrelin.  Ghrelin, made in the stomach, is the hormone that stimulates appetite.   Your body is designed for survival so when you begin a diet and reduce calorie intake, ghrelin levels increase and make you hungry to protect you from starvation.  
Leptin.  Leptin is a hormone that is secreted from your fat cells, and it signals your body when it’s full and should stop eating.  Overweight and obese people have high levels of leptin, but the leptin signal isn’t working due to a condition known as leptin resistance. Leptin resistance can cause hunger even though the body has more than sufficient fat stores, and can also negatively impact the number of calories that are burned.
Insulin.  Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use.  Like with leptin, if you regularly eat a lot of sugar, your body produces an elevated level of insulin and over time your cells are less responsive to the presence of insulin and become insulin resistant.  Intermittent fasting, the topic of two of my recent blogs, has been associated with improved insulin sensitivity. 
Estrogen.  Estrogen is made in the ovaries, and plays a role in body-fat distribution. Many women report that changing estrogen levels affect their weight, particularly around menopause. They may notice that they are gaining weight, or that it is more difficult to lose weight.
The Solution…
The brief descriptions above do not even scratch the surface of the intricacy and interplay between your hormones, and how they can potentially impact weight loss.  And as I mentioned above, each person has a unique hormonal response to a given set of circumstances.  However, the basics on these hormones is a starting point and you now have information about which hormones are relevant to weight loss.  I would highly recommend as you embark on a weight loss journey that you make it your business to know all about the hormones that will impact your weight loss success, and pay particular attention to your unique hormonal responses.  Knowledge is power when it comes to your hormones, and knowing what is going on inside as you attempt to lose weight can put any temporary failures you experience in perspective for you.  As you research, bear in mind there is conflicting data out there, especially on the internet.  The good news is that incorporating into your lifestyle the three components we target in my 6-week weight loss program “Weight Loss for Stressed Out Ladies” (healthy diet, exercise and stress management) will help bring your hormone levels into balance over time and help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. 
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

Five Intermittent Fasting Methods to Kickstart Your Weight Loss

The Reality…  
In a prior blog, I addressed the basics of intermittent fasting and why you might want to give it a try to achieve your weight loss goals.  As mentioned, intermittent fasting is essentially a pattern of eating that defines a specific period of time during your waking hours in which you will eat, and then you fast for the remaining hours.   
The Challenge…
If you research intermittent fasting, you will find that there are variety of different methods from which you can choose.  It can be a challenge to find the right method for you with all the available options, but as is the case with finding the right formula for diet, exercise and stress management, you must investigate and test the options and find the perfect fit for your body and lifestyle.  Below are the top five popular variations of intermittent fasting, with a brief description:
  1. 16:8 Method: Using the 16:8 method, you would eat during an eight-hour period you select, and then fast for the remaining sixteen hours.  There are no limitations or calories restrictions on what you are allowed to eat during your eight-hour eating window.  
  2. Eat Stop Eat: This method features a full 24- hour fast either one or two days per week, with normal eating the remaining days of the week.  
  3. The 5:2 Diet:  This method features a modified fast two days of the week (only 500 to 600 calories), with normal eating the remaining five days of the week. 
  4. The Warrior Diet: This method permits a four-hour eating window in the evening, and “fasting” the remaining 20 hours of the day by only eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables.  
  5. Alternate-day Fasting: Using this method, you would fast every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.
The Solution…
Assuming any sort of intermittent fasting is something you would like to try, it makes sense to give each of these methods a try and see which one works best for you.  I personally use a five-hour eating window (generally between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm), and fast for the remainder of the day.  I adjust my eating window on a weekly basis depending upon what my schedule holds for the upcoming week. 
The Invitation…. 
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

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Five Reasons to Try Intermittent Fasting

The Reality…
 
There are so many different diets out there, it can be overwhelming to assimilate not only the sheer volume of information, but also reconcile the conflicting information you come across in trying to find the right diet for you. 
The Challenge…
I’m 52 years old, and I have struggled to one degree or another since law school to find the PERFECT diet for me…. a diet that wasn’t too terribly complicated or difficult to implement since I had a time-consuming and stressful career as a lawyer, and was a single parent to boot.  You can’t imagine how many different diets I have tried during that close to thirty-year span of time.  At most, I have had temporary success with the different diets I have tried.  I have learned from trial and error, and also watching the successes and failures of my friends, that each human body is different and there is no single RIGHT WAY to achieve and maintain a healthy body.  I entered my 50s still looking for MY right way to do it, and less and less confident that permanent weight loss would be possible at my age. 
Enter Intermittent Fasting.  This past year I tried Intermittent Fasting.  If your eyes are rolling back with skepticism right now, I completely understand.  It’s hard to fathom that Intermittent Fasting could be healthy for your body, especially when many of the latest diet trends recommend small, frequent meals to keep metabolism revved up.  I was well aware of what the naysayers were saying about Intermittent Fasting when I first decided to try it.
Since each person’s body and habits are different, I can tell you right up front that Intermittent Fasting may not be your personal answer to achieving a healthy weight and body.  However, at this point I’m a true believer in its many benefits because I know how I look and feel after adopting it.  
By the way, my brother, who passed away in an accident five years ago, was a big fan of periodic fasting, although the last thing he ever needed was a diet.  He fasted for health and spiritual reasons.  Looking back, perhaps he didn’t need to go on a diet BECAUSE OF his decision to incorporate periods of fasting.  After my own experience, I believe periodic fasting was his secret to a healthy body. 
What is Intermittent Fasting? Intermittent Fasting is basically a pattern that cycles between fasting and eating, essentially defining some window of time in which you eat, with the remaining periods allowing the body to rest and recover via a fast.  We humans naturally fast each evening when we sleep, but Intermittent Fasting incorporates extended periods of fasting into our waking hours. 
Our caveman predecessors experienced periods of fasting whether they wanted to or not since food was not so readily available in those times.  Imagine how much leaner we would be if we actually had to hunt our own food and grow our own fruits and vegetables. Our bodies haven’t changed all that much since caveman times, but our conditioning to desire and consume food, and our accessibility to food, certainly has undergone dramatic change.  The reality is our bodies are more naturally designed for periods of fasting than they are for frequent eating and the consumption of large amounts of food in a sitting.  Don’t you quickly feel that when you’ve eaten way too much??
With Intermittent Fasting, there aren’t really any rules as to what you should or should not eat, so it’s not really a diet in the ordinary sense of “eat so much of this, and don’t eat that.”  There’s none of that, although Intermittent Fasting is certainly more effective if you incorporate healthy food decisions into its basic structure.  I will explore the variety of different Intermittent Fasting methods in a subsequent blog, but for now I want to detail five reasons you might want to give Intermittent Fasting a whirl.
The Solution…
You may want to try Intermittent Fasting for the following five reasons:
  1.  Reduction of calories (weight loss)
  2.  Increases your metabolic rate so you burn more calories (weight loss)
  3.  Reduction of insulin (weight loss and disease prevention)
  4.  Increases human growth hormone (HGH) which promotes cellular repair (anti-aging)
  5.  Improves numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers (heart health)
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

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