Balancing hormones for weight loss can help you achieve your desired results faster. When you think about losing weight, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Working out more often? Eating less and healthier food? Cutting out sugar and processed foods? Sure, all of those things can contribute to achieving an ideal body composition and healthy hormones. 

But, many women overlook the impact that hormones have on their weight. Until you start paying attention to how your hormones affect weight loss, you might not see the results you're looking for.

In this article, you'll discover how balancing your hormones can help you lose more weight.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals released by different glands in the body. These chemical signals typically travel through your bloodstream to different organs and tissues. It is the changes in hormone levels that signal your body to make certain responses to various stimuli. 

Hormones play an important role in regulating numerous bodily functions: reproduction, metabolism, growth, development and behaviour, just to name a few. 

Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism; sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) regulate the menstrual cycle; growth hormone regulates growth in children; cortisol helps regulate metabolism and blood sugar levels.

When it comes to losing weight, hormonal imbalances can have a significant impact. It is your hormones that tell your body to either increase or decrease appetite and hunger. 

They also signal to your body whether you need fuel or if it should start conserving fat stores.


Hormonal Imbalance and Weight Gain

balancing hormones for weight loss

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals released by different glands in the body. These chemical signals typically travel through your bloodstream to different organs and tissues. It is the changes in hormone levels that signal your body to make certain responses to various stimuli. 

Hormones play an important role in regulating numerous bodily functions: reproduction, metabolism, growth, development and behaviour, just to name a few. 

Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism; sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) regulate the menstrual cycle; growth hormone regulates growth in children; cortisol helps regulate metabolism and blood sugar levels.

When it comes to losing weight, hormonal imbalances can have a significant impact. It is your hormones that tell your body to either increase or decrease appetite and hunger. 

They also signal to your body whether you need fuel or if it should start conserving fat stores.


Hormonal Imbalance and Weight Gain

Many different factors contribute to your body composition and overall health, including age, lifestyle, stress and nutrition. 

But, it's impossible to ignore the impact of hormones on each one of those things. In fact, hormonal imbalance often leads to weight gain. 


Hormonal Imbalance Causes Weight Gain

There are a few different hormonal imbalances that can cause weight gain. For instance, did you know that some women actually have too much estrogen in their bodies? 

Estrogen dominance (when your estrogen levels are higher than your progesterone) causes increased water retention and bloating. It also leads to cravings for sweets. 

The increase in estrogen is usually caused by environmental estrogens, which are chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen.

If you're not producing enough estrogen, progesterone or testosterone in your body, it could be affecting your weight. Similarly, if you have too much cortisol in your system, you might start putting on extra weight. 

The relationship between cortisol, estrogen and progesterone is complicated, but it's incredibly important to your body composition nonetheless.

For instance, if you have too much insulin in your blood due to insulin resistance (see above), then your testosterone levels will drop. Meanwhile, cortisol starts increasing. 

Cortisol signals for your body to store fat to protect itself. It also triggers sugar cravings, making it even harder to resist the urge to eat sweet snacks late at night.

An imbalanced hormone system can cause some problems, including mood swings and water retention.


Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

balancing hormones for weight loss

Hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of symptoms, including weight gain and sluggishness. 

If you recognise any of the following problems on your own, then it's a good time to book an appointment with your doctor: weight gain, bloating, water retention, mood swings and fatigue.


How Hormonal Imbalance Affects Your Weight Loss Attempts

If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, then it's going to be difficult for you to lose weight until you get your hormones back in balance. 

For instance, estrogen dominance is one of the biggest problems for women who are trying to lose weight. 

Their high levels of estrogen trigger them to crave sugar and carbohydrates, which makes them more likely to overeat.


Balancing Your Hormones For Weight Loss

Hormones are like messengers in the body that tell your cells what to do. When you're overweight or obese, these messengers are thrown off-balance – they don't know how to respond and tell your cells to store fat.

This results in weight gain and other hormonal disruptions like acne or brittle hair. If you're struggling with hormonal imbalance and its accompanying symptoms, then it's time to get your body back into balance. 

One of the best ways to do that is through diet and exercise. Start by eating whole foods like organic fruits, vegetables and lean meats each day. 

Cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods from your diet as much as possible.

Then, get your body moving. Exercise will help keep your hormones in check while improving muscle tone and metabolism. 

For example, insulin resistance is tied to a lack of aerobic fitness. Plus, exercise reduces cortisol levels while increasing testosterone and growth hormone (at least in men).


Decrease Cortisol Levels for Fast Weight Loss

balancing hormones for weight loss

Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates blood sugar levels by signalling the release of glucose into the bloodstream. 

Many people consume foods high in processed sugars and carbohydrates, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. 

A quick spike of glucose triggers the release of cortisol to help regulate your body's energy balance. 

As you may have guessed, this process can perpetuate and become a vicious cycle. The more stressed you are, the more often you'll feel the need to reach for high-carbohydrate foods (i.e., chocolate, cookies) to balance your blood sugar levels. 

If you are constantly eating unhealthy carbs or sugars, it can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems such as weight gain, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

To lose weight, it is critical to balance cortisol levels. Decreasing stress levels can help reduce cortisol production and lead to a calorie deficit, which will help you lose weight more quickly. 

Here are some natural ways to lower your cortisol levels:

  • Exercise (moderate intensity workouts-between 20-30 minutes)
  • Meditation or mindfulness practice
  • Pilates or deep breathing
  • Practice positive self-talk 

As you can see, balancing your hormones can help you lose more weight by making it much easier to manage stress and achieve a calorie deficit. 

By decreasing cortisol levels, you'll feel calmer throughout the day and have more energy to enjoy activities that are important to you. 

Balancing your other hormones like thyroid and sex hormones will also help you lose weight more quickly and easily while improving your overall health.


Deeper Dive:

Delicious foods that promote a healthy digestive system

Turmeric Milk Benefits – 13 Interesting Benefits Your Body Will Love

Anti-Inflammatory Foods List: 13 Delicious Foods That Helps Fight Inflammation


Steps on how to balance hormones and shed those extra pounds

balancing hormones for weight loss


Step 1: Eat healthier

Stop eating processed food and eat more fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Your body needs fuel to run efficiently and you cannot expect it to burn fat if you are constantly feeding it junk.


Step 2: Stop drinking soda

I know we all love our tasty, tasty pop but you are only hurting yourself by continuing to drink diet and regular soda.

Water is the way to go. It will help you get the extra calories needed to lose weight out of your system and reduce bloating.


Step 3: Add good fats into your diet

Good fats include anything from avocados to nuts. They are crucial to weight loss and keeping your hormones balanced.


Step 4: Eat more frequently

Three meals a day is not enough for most people. Not only does it get hard to maintain, but you're also more likely to overeat at each meal because your body isn't getting what it needs when your stomach is empty. It's best if you eat 5-6 small meals during the day.


Step 5: Get your ZZZs!

Try to get 8 hours of sleep EVERY night. Sleep is crucial to balancing out hormones and losing weight as it helps with insulin production, hormone regulation, muscle recovery, and hunger suppression.


Step 6: Drink Green Tea

Green tea has been found to help boost metabolism and burn fat. It is also great for hormone control. Drink about 1-3 cups of green tea a day and watch the pounds shed off!


Step 7: Listen to Your Body

If you're hungry, eat something good for yourself (not junk food). Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.


Step 8: Get Moving

Start exercising and get your body moving! You can start with walking a mile a day, then move on to jogging or biking and if you want to you can even start lifting weights again.

But remember that exercise doesn't have to be hard at first. It's more important to just get started.


Benefits of balancing your hormones

balancing hormones for weight loss

Without proper hormone balance, the body may exhibit symptoms and problems such as:

  • Moodswings
  • Weakened immune system
  • Poor bone health
  • Infertility
  • Low libido

Each of these symptoms can have an impact on weight loss because they are not allowing your body to function properly. The right hormonal balance will allow you to lose weight and keep it off.


Nutrients To Consider

To ensure that you have balance in your hormones for weight loss success, consider adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement and eat foods rich in the nutrients listed below:

Omega-3 fatty acids

You can find these in fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids will also include leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.


Olive Oil

Olive oil contains compounds called oleocanthal and oleacein that have been shown to encourage weight loss.


Citrus

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruit contain hormones that can balance estrogen levels in the body. This will make it easier for you to lose weight while feeling healthy.


Cruciferous vegetables

These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts among others. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of iodine, which will help balance hormones in the body.


Zinc

Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, beef and lamb. It can also be taken as a supplement for women who need a little more support when it comes to balancing their hormones when trying to lose weight.


Magnesium

Magnesium and calcium work together to build up the body's endocrine system, which regulates and balances your hormones.

Magnesium is often used as a supplement for women who have PCOS because it lowers testosterone levels while increasing estrogen production in the ovaries.

Zinc works with your estrogen to control neurotransmitter production and helps you to maintain a healthy metabolic system.

Magnesium can also make it easier for your body to process sugar, which will reduce the risk of fat accumulation all over your body from carbs and sugar.

This is why magnesium is often added to weight loss supplements for PCOS, as well as anti-depressants.

balancing hormones for weight loss

Final thoughts on balancing hormones for weight loss

The key to losing weight is balancing your hormones. This means eating healthier, reducing sugar intake and adding good fats to your diet along with getting plenty of sleep and exercise.

When you consider these steps, it becomes easier for your body to shed pounds. In this article, we discussed ways that can help balance out the hormones that are preventing you from reaching your goal weight.

If you want to lose weight, then it is important to focus on the underlying causes of an imbalance in your hormones.

This includes preventing chronic stress, treating any sleep disorders, and making sure that you have a healthy thyroid system.

These factors can be the difference between losing ten pounds or gaining twenty during your next weight loss attempt.


More Resources

Stress and hormones

A Review of Weight Control Strategies and Their Effects on the Regulation of Hormonal Balance


balancing hormones for weight loss

If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, then it's going to be difficult for you to lose weight until you get your hormones back in balance. 

For instance, estrogen dominance is one of the biggest problems for women who are trying to lose weight. 

Their high levels of estrogen trigger them to crave sugar and carbohydrates, which makes them more likely to overeat.


Balancing Your Hormones For Weight Loss

Hormones are like messengers in the body that tell your cells what to do. When you're overweight or obese, these messengers are thrown off-balance – they don't know how to respond and tell your cells to store fat.

This results in weight gain and other hormonal disruptions like acne or brittle hair. If you're struggling with hormonal imbalance and its accompanying symptoms, then it's time to get your body back into balance. 

One of the best ways to do that is through diet and exercise. Start by eating whole foods like organic fruits, vegetables and lean meats each day. 

Cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods from your diet as much as possible.

Then, get your body moving. Exercise will help keep your hormones in check while improving muscle tone and metabolism. 

For example, insulin resistance is tied to a lack of aerobic fitness. Plus, exercise reduces cortisol levels while increasing testosterone and growth hormone (at least in men).


Decrease Cortisol Levels for Fast Weight Loss

Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates blood sugar levels by signalling the release of glucose into the bloodstream. 

Many people consume foods high in processed sugars and carbohydrates, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. 

A quick spike of glucose triggers the release of cortisol to help regulate your body's energy balance. 

As you may have guessed, this process can perpetuate and become a vicious cycle. The more stressed you are, the more often you'll feel the need to reach for high-carbohydrate foods (i.e., chocolate, cookies) to balance your blood sugar levels. 

If you are constantly eating unhealthy carbs or sugars, it can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems such as weight gain, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

To lose weight, it is critical to balance cortisol levels. Decreasing stress levels can help reduce cortisol production and lead to a calorie deficit, which will help you lose weight more quickly. 

Here are some natural ways to lower your cortisol levels:

  • Exercise (moderate intensity workouts-between 20-30 minutes)
  • Meditation or mindfulness practice
  • Pilates or deep breathing
  • Practice positive self-talk 

As you can see, balancing your hormones can help you lose more weight by making it much easier to manage stress and achieve a calorie deficit. 

By decreasing cortisol levels, you'll feel calmer throughout the day and have more energy to enjoy activities that are important to you. 

Balancing your other hormones like thyroid and sex hormones will also help you lose weight more quickly and easily while improving your overall health.


Deeper Dive:

Delicious foods that promote a healthy digestive system

Turmeric Milk Benefits – 13 Interesting Benefits Your Body Will Love

Anti-Inflammatory Foods List: 13 Delicious Foods That Helps Fight Inflammation


Steps on how to balance hormones and shed those extra pounds


Step 1: Eat healthier

Stop eating processed food and eat more fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Your body needs fuel to run efficiently and you cannot expect it to burn fat if you are constantly feeding it junk.


Step 2: Stop drinking soda

I know we all love our tasty, tasty pop but you are only hurting yourself by continuing to drink diet and regular soda.

Water is the way to go. It will help you get the extra calories needed to lose weight out of your system and reduce bloating.


Step 3: Add good fats into your diet

Good fats include anything from avocados to nuts. They are crucial to weight loss and keeping your hormones balanced.


Step 4: Eat more frequently

Three meals a day is not enough for most people. Not only does it get hard to maintain, but you're also more likely to overeat at each meal because your body isn't getting what it needs when your stomach is empty. It's best if you eat 5-6 small meals during the day.


Step 5: Get your ZZZs!

Try to get 8 hours of sleep EVERY night. Sleep is crucial to balancing out hormones and losing weight as it helps with insulin production, hormone regulation, muscle recovery, and hunger suppression.


Step 6: Drink Green Tea

Green tea has been found to help boost metabolism and burn fat. It is also great for hormone control. Drink about 1-3 cups of green tea a day and watch the pounds shed off!


Step 7: Listen to Your Body

If you're hungry, eat something good for yourself (not junk food). Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.


Step 8: Get Moving

Start exercising and get your body moving! You can start with walking a mile a day, then move on to jogging or biking and if you want to you can even start lifting weights again.

But remember that exercise doesn't have to be hard at first. It's more important to just get started.


Benefits of balancing your hormones

Without proper hormone balance, the body may exhibit symptoms and problems such as:

  • Moodswings
  • Weakened immune system
  • Poor bone health
  • Infertility
  • Low libido

Each of these symptoms can have an impact on weight loss because they are not allowing your body to function properly. The right hormonal balance will allow you to lose weight and keep it off.


Nutrients To Consider

To ensure that you have balance in your hormones for weight loss success, consider adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement and eat foods rich in the nutrients listed below:

Omega-3 fatty acids

You can find these in fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids will also include leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.


Olive Oil

Olive oil contains compounds called oleocanthal and oleacein that have been shown to encourage weight loss.


Citrus

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruit contain hormones that can balance estrogen levels in the body. This will make it easier for you to lose weight while feeling healthy.


Cruciferous vegetables

These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts among others. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of iodine, which will help balance hormones in the body.


Zinc

Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, beef and lamb. It can also be taken as a supplement for women who need a little more support when it comes to balancing their hormones when trying to lose weight.


Magnesium

Magnesium and calcium work together to build up the body's endocrine system, which regulates and balances your hormones.

Magnesium is often used as a supplement for women who have PCOS because it lowers testosterone levels while increasing estrogen production in the ovaries.

Zinc works with your estrogen to control neurotransmitter production and helps you to maintain a healthy metabolic system.

Magnesium can also make it easier for your body to process sugar, which will reduce the risk of fat accumulation all over your body from carbs and sugar.

This is why magnesium is often added to weight loss supplements for PCOS, as well as anti-depressants.


Final thoughts on balancing hormones for weight loss

The key to losing weight is balancing your hormones. This means eating healthier, reducing sugar intake and adding good fats to your diet along with getting plenty of sleep and exercise.

When you consider these steps, it becomes easier for your body to shed pounds. In this article, we discussed ways that can help balance out the hormones that are preventing you from reaching your goal weight.

If you want to lose weight, then it is important to focus on the underlying causes of an imbalance in your hormones. This includes preventing chronic stress, treating any sleep disorders, and making sure that you have a healthy thyroid system.

These factors can be the difference between losing ten pounds or gaining twenty during your next weight loss attempt.


More Resources

Stress and hormones

A Review of Weight Control Strategies and Their Effects on the Regulation of Hormonal Balance


About the Author Funmi

Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses. 

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