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When workouts aren’t enough: the problem with hormones

Are you working out, eating well, and not noticing a single change in your body? The answer may not be in repetitions or portion control. Your hormones may be to blame.

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, bringing vital information from one part of your body to the other. Sometimes, those messengers get the wrong information or get “lost” along the way. When that happens, the body improperly regulates functions like metabolism, hunger, and fullness.

5 hormones that might be sabotaging your fitness journey

Note: We aren’t doctors, so be sure to consult with your physician for testing and any questions you may have.

Leptin

Leptin is your body’s natural red light when you’ve overeaten. This hormone signals when your stomach is full– regulating your appetite and telling your body to stop eating. If you have leptin resistance, your brain may not receive the signal that you’re full, causing you to overeat.

Ghrelin

If leptin is the red light, ghrelin is the green light. This hunger hormone alerts your hypothalamus (the area of your brain that regulates appetite) when your stomach is empty and needs food. Studies show that people who are obese are most sensitive to this hormone, encouraging them to eat even more.

Estrogen

Consider estrogen the Goldilocks of hormones. Levels too high? Weight gain. Levels too low? Weight gain.

Levels of this hormone change throughout a woman’s lifetime– especially during menopause, when the ovarian cells in a woman’s body stop producing estrogen. This is the reason women often gain weight around their trunk during menopause.

Insulin

Think of insulin as tiny suitcases that carry glucose throughout your body. When you eat a meal, insulin transfers glucose from your food to the cells in your body to be used for energy or stored for later.

If your diet is full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and processed foods, your body may develop insulin resistance. This results in free-roaming glucose throughout your body, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Choose healthy foods and keep your glucose suitcases in good shape!

Melatonin

Melatonin is your body’s natural ZzzQuil. This hormone regulates your circadian rhythm, telling your body when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up. If your sleep cycle is regulated correctly, your melatonin levels rise, and your body releases growth hormones that heal your body as you sleep. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep due to low melatonin levels, you could experience weight gain and increased appetite. A recent study shows that people with an inconsistent sleep schedule and shorter sleep duration have a higher body mass index (BMI). Catch your ZZZs in a dark, quiet room to boost melatonin.

Some hormone deficiencies require medical attention, while others can be managed with exercise, a healthy diet, and by sleeping well. If hormones are sabotaging your wellness journey, fight back! Talk to your doctor and develop a plan to look and feel great. Remember, the team at Enhancewell Fitness is always a Zoom workout away. Schedule your private session today!

We’re looking forward to working out with you and getting your hormones in check!

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