As we get older, underlying health issues and age can cause hormonal fluctuations making you feel less than your best. Hormonal Imbalances can even cause weight gain along with other unpleasant side effects.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones live all around your body and are the little messengers that carry information through the bloodstream to all other parts of your body. Their job is to tell organs and tissues what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
Hormones are the responsibility of your endocrine system, which is a vital part of your overall health. They work efficiently, but slowly, so it may be difficult to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones affect processes like your metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood, and reproduction.
Reasons Hormones Cause Weight Gain
Weight gain associated with underlying hormonal imbalances. For women, a specific estrogen hormone called estradiol decreases at menopause helps regulate metabolism and body weight. The lower the levels of estradiol may cause weight gain. Throughout a woman’s life, they may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs.
What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Weight Gain?
Hormonal weight gain can be caused by the following conditions or issues:
- Thyroid hormone deficiency
- Estrogen dominance
- Androgen imbalance
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Cortisol excess
- Leptin resistance
- Pituitary insufficiency
Weight Gain and Menopause
At around the age of 45-55, women usually enter Menopause. This is when the estrogen hormone declines causing the end of a women’s menstrual cycle. An estrogen decrease can also cause weight gain around the same time. These extra unwanted kilos tend to accumulate around the thighs, hips and tummy. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease resulting in an increase in body fat and decrease in muscle mass.
Excess weight in your mid-section can lead to heart disease, breathing problems and Type 2 Diabetes and should be addressed before any serious issues occur. Additional weight can also lead to an increased risk of some types of cancers.
Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
If your body doesn’t product enough thyroid hormones, you may have a condition known as Hypothyroidism.
The thyroid is a small gland at the back of your neck and provides vital hormone regulation to keep you healthy as well as ensuring you have enough energy to function. If your thyroid is underproducing the necessary energy for your body to function, you can experience weight gain.
Weight Gain for No Apparent Reason
There are a wide range of hormonal issues that may cause sudden, unexplained weight gain. These include thyroid deficiency, declining estrogen (often due to menopause), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Weight gain may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and heavy or painful periods. If you find yourself gaining weight with no apparent explanation or changes in diet or exercise, you should discuss this with your doctor to help identify hormonal imbalances and request blood tests if required to get to the root cause of the problem.
What Is The Best Way to lose Menopausal Weight?
There's no magic formula for preventing — or reversing — menopause weight gain. Simply stick to weight-control basics:
Move more. Physical activity, including cardio exercise and strength training, can help you shed excess kilos and maintain a healthy weight. As you gain muscle, your body burns calories more efficiently — which makes it easier to control your weight.
Eat less. To maintain your current weight you might need about 200 fewer calories a day during your 50s than you did during your 30s and 40s.
To reduce calories without skimping on nutrition, pay attention to what you're eating and drinking. Choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, particularly those that are less processed and contain more fibre.
In general, a plant-based diet is healthier than other options. Legumes, nuts, fish and low-fat dairy products are good choices. Meat, such as red meat, or chicken, should be eaten in limited quantities. Replace butter, stick margarine and shortening with oils, such as olive or vegetable oil.
Check your sweet habit. Added sugars account for nearly 300 calories a day in the average diet. About half of these calories come from sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, flavoured waters, and sweetened coffee and tea.
Other foods that contribute to excess dietary sugar include cookies, pies, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream and candy.
Limit alcohol. Alcoholic beverages add excess calories to your diet and increase the risk of gaining weight.