How To Lose Weight With A Hormonal Imbalance

Losing weight is hard. There is no way around that, but for some, weight loss is even harder. These people often have a hormonal imbalance that makes it hard for their body to burn off fat and leads to more fat storage in the mid-section including visceral fat along with the internal organs that increase major health risks like heart disease and diabetes. Balancing hormonal imbalances can help people return to a normal healthy weight and regain natural energy levels.

What Is A Hormone Imbalance?

A hormone imbalance is when the hormones in our bodies are not functioning at the right level. This occurs when there is too much of one hormone, not enough of a hormone, or a combination of the two. When you have a hormonal imbalance (such as estrogen levels or progesterone levels, among others) you are likely to feel worn down and see physical symptoms like weight gain, muscle fatigue, and even issues with your heart and other vital organs.  When your hormones are balanced you feel great, full of energy, and usually have great overall health.

What Are The common Symptoms?

There are several signs to watch for that can be an indication of a hormonal imbalance.

  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Muscle pain
  • Weight gain in the midsection
  • Fatigue
  • Struggling to lose weight even with proper diet and exercise
  • Pain and stiffness in joints
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness

How Do I Know If I Have A Hormonal Imbalance?

If you suspect a hormonal changes, the only way to fully confirm a hormonal imbalance is to have your hormones tested with a simple and easy blood test.

An easy way to test at home is with a reputable home health test company such as Let’s Get Checked. I’ve used them personally for several tests and have found them to be very easy, accurate as well as convenient. You simply order online and receive a kit in a few days. Simple instructions are included with a convenient return envelope. You’ll get notified within a few days to go online to view your test results. Easier and often cheaper than going to the doctor. No doctor referral or approval is needed. Use this link (affiliate) and “FITFOUNDME” code for a 15% discount!

at home testing thyroid kit

Getting a diagnosis on what hormones are imbalanced is the first step to fixing a hormone imbalance and feeling better than ever.

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Why Can Hormones Affect Weight Loss?

Hormones play an important role in how the systems in our bodies work. Several hormones affect body fat and even where it is stored. Hormones control how our body gains muscle, burns, fat, and even how we respond to stress all of which are factors in our weight. When you have a hormonal imbalance your body does not work as efficiently as it was designed leading to weight gain and a struggle to lose weight.

Can You Lose Weight If You Have A Hormone Imbalance?

Yes, you can lose weight if you have a hormone imbalance. However many discover that a hormonal imbalance makes it considerably harder to lose weight. If you find your weight loss struggle goes on and on it can be a good idea to step away and give yourself time to talk to a doctor and find a treatment options that will help you lose weight.

For many hormone imbalances greatly improve from weight loss. In this case, your struggle to lose weight may be hard at the beginning and get easier with time as your weight begins to go down and your hormones balance out. Weight loss for those with a hormonal imbalance can be a life-changing experience giving them the energy they forgot about once having naturally and allowing them to get back to a normal life.

What Hormones Can Affect Weight Loss?

Insulin

Insulin is one of the biggest hormones to affect your weight. Those with insulin resistance and those that do not make enough insulin are more likely to store fat than burn it off. This is because our bodies use insulin to absorb blood sugar to use for ruling our muscles and brains. When we do not make enough or process insulin well enough the sugar in our blood does not go into our muscles but into stored fat often found along the midsection. This is why many diabetics and those with insulin resistance usually have a hard time losing weight.

Glucagon

This hormone helps you burn off fat and is produced by consuming protein. When you do not get enough protein in your diet. This hormone is one reason many people on a high-carb diet struggle with weight loss. Glucagon and insulin work against each other and when one is up the other is likely to be low. Balancing your diet or using a carb cycling diet can help your body lose weight.

Cortisol

Cortisol is the hormone our bodies produce when we are under high amounts of stress or butting our bodies through too much stress by doing things like not getting enough sleep. Elevated cortisol raises insulin levels reducing glucagon levels making your body struggle to burn off fat and more likely to store more fat around the midsection. Cortisol naturally suppresses testosterone in women.

Testosterone

Yes, the well-known male hormone affects weight for both men and women. Without enough testosterone, you are likely to store fat and struggle to build muscle that burns fat. This can be fixed by reducing stress, a balanced diet, and regular resistance training exercises. Often doctors will not test testosterone in women but this is worth requesting a test for low testosterone as treatment can help give you energy, build muscle, and burn fat.

Estrogen

Estradiol, a form of estrogen, is a female hormone that regulates weight in women. Those with lower levels of estradiol tend to have more fat around their midsection and less muscle that burns off fat. Low estradiol can lead to more visceral fat that forms around the internal organs leading to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Hormonal imbalance can be a major reason for weight gain in women that have PCOS or for those that find they struggle to lose weight while lactating. Often doctors will treat this condition with birth control or hormonal replacement therapy depending on your age.

Thyroid hormones

Our thyroid plays a major role in our fat metabolism. This hormone is the one doctors tend to check first when they suspect a hormone imbalance is a cause for weight control issues. Often the thyroid can be given a small boost by adding iodine into your diet. If your thyroid function is not too low this can be one of the simplest hormonal weight loss fixes.

Irisin

Irisin is a newly discovered hormone that has been linked by studies to muscle growth and fat metabolism. Irisin helps the body convert white fat tissue into brown fat tissue that is more bioavailable for burning as energy. When your Irisin levels are low your body has a hard time burning off fat making weight loss slower. Irisin can be boosted by adding healthy fats to your diet. High-intensity exercises like HIIT can help to raise Irisin levels. Sedentary lifestyles and low-fat diets can lead to reduced Irisin levels.

woman with face up towards sky smiling while standing on the beach

How To Fix An Imbalance

For each person and each hormonal imbalance, the treatment plan will be different. For some, simply losing weight sets off a cycle of change in the vital hormones of the body helping to create balance. For others, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, and vitamin supplements can be used to balance hormone levels.

If you have or suspect a hormone imbalance the best place to start is talking to your doctor about having your hormone levels checked and creating a treatment plan that is customized to your needs. It may take some experimenting with different treatments to find the right treatment for your personal situation.

How To Lose Weight When Hormones Are Out Of Balance

To lose weight with a hormonal imbalance you will need to work to balance your hormones and increase your nutrition while still working towards that all-important calorie deficit. For many, the work required to lose weight like getting in more exercises and eating a better more nutritional diet can help balance hormones while others will need a bit of help.

Tips to lose weight with a hormonal imbalance

How Do I Balance My Hormonal Fluctuations To Lose Weight?

There are several ways to balance your hormones to help you lose weight. The best way to pick a treatment plan for this is to have your hormone levels tested and talk to your doctor about hormone therapy. The best way to lose weight with a hormonal imbalance is to provide yourself with the best possible nutrition and daily activity. Depending on your unique hormone levels some vitamins and minerals may have a better effect on you than others.

How Do I Get Rid Of Hormonal Belly Fat?

To get rid of hormonal belly fat you need to take care of your body to help balance out your hormones. This includes a healthy diet with adequate protein, a quality multivitamin, sleeping a full 8 hours a night, and plenty of exercise including low impact cardio and strength training. You can not target belly fat with weight loss other than by balancing your hormones if they are the cause of your excess belly fat. This is commonly the case making balancing your hormones well worth a try if your belly is a problem area for you.

Balancing your hormones for weight loss is a very important factor.

If you feel like you have tried everything to lose weight and just not gotten anywhere, it might be time to see if it’s a hormonal imbalance that’s holding your weight loss back. talk to your doctor to find out if a hormonal imbalance is truly the basis of your weight control issues and begin making healthy lifestyle changes to help balance your hormones and create a vital calorie deficit to help you lose weight.

Learn more about my own experience with menopause and weight loss by reading more.

about stephanie

About Stephanie

Just an everyday stay at home mom who one day decided I didn’t want to become the stereotypical overweight, middle-aged, out of breath, mom anymore. One day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time and I became the athlete I never knew existed. Read more...

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